Bitcoin is NOT a Currency

Nerds LOVE Bitcoin. It's technologically and cryptographically fascinating. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin

But is it actually a currency? Kenneth Bromberg, lead programmer of Bloomberg's foreign exchange platform, will explain what actually makes something a "currency", why Bitcoin doesn't fit that definition, and why it therefore doesn't trade on the global currency exchanges.

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  • Joly M.

    What about freicoin http://www.indiegogo.com/freicoin ? Any comments?

    June 28, 2012

  • Joly M.

    Video is now posted at http://youtu.be/NULPfp0Zu5g

    May 18, 2012

  • Francis K.

    Thanks for your responses, Ken. For those that didn't attend the talk, Ken addressed these questions both eloquently and extensively, including what defines a currency in this specific context. As such, I advise those that missed the talk to watch the video, which was taped by Joly MacFie (per above).
    Again, a Huge Thanks to Ken for a great talk, it was both interesting and insightful. Also Thanks to BK Tech Talks for organizing, and Etsy Labs for hosting.

    May 16, 2012

  • Mosheh P.

    I think the primary reason BitCoin fails as a currency for trade is not because it isn't associated with any government, but rather because it isn't associated with any economy. If I was a merchant I would accept US dollars because I pay my employees, suppliers (and taxes) in USD. If the dollar fluctuates against the Euro it doesn't affect my bottom line (at least not immediately). Whereas with BitCoin, I can't accept it as long as the value fluctuates because it isn't reflected in my economy.

    May 16, 2012

  • Mosheh P.

    I'm sorry I was being a bit facetious :-)
    Your argument is relevant only to currencies as they pertain to forex traders and investors; whereas the primary purpose of currencies to provide a medium of exchange. Are airline miles a currency even though you can't earn interest on them? For the majority of people a currency is anything that solves the 'coincidence of wants' problem.

    May 16, 2012

  • Kenneth B.

    Well, I'd like to think it was a bit more than that. I tried to make an argument that a new financial instrument can't break into the level of 'currency which is of real interest to institutional investors' unless it has access to certain advantages which currencies issued by governments have. To wit, a deposit-bearing instrument of last resort, and the ability to demand taxes payable in that currency. That those two things are the basis of our belief that a given currency actually has value.

    1 · May 16, 2012

  • Mosheh P.

    Ken, is your argument that BitCoin is not a currency because the government's don't want it to be?!

    May 16, 2012

  • Malcolm A.

    Thanks for the links. All currencies and exchanges are at risk of being hacked. If anyone has any links on strategies to prevent this, please let me know. Thx

    May 16, 2012

  • Kenneth B.

    Although it's nice to know that at least someone thinks it's valuable enough to steal!

    1 · May 16, 2012

  • Antonio D.

    Well, theft has little bearing on whether something qualifies as currency.

    May 16, 2012

  • Chris W.

    Great talk. Here's hoping for a tech-savvy, good fundamentals, rogue state with a laissez-faire treasury, or nothing to lose, to peg to BitCoin. Like maybe a post-Israeli attack Iran. Then we'll see.

    May 15, 2012

  • Francis K.

    Excellent talk - the speaker had an appropriate (ie. copious) body of knowledge on currency to present this discussion, the domain-specificity was refreshing. All in all, a very interesting discussion.

    May 15, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Good talk, very illuminating!

    May 15, 2012

  • Benjamin S.

    Super interesting and engaging presentation

    May 15, 2012

  • Mark D.

    Great talk. Would love a follow-up in six months or a year if anything has changed.

    May 15, 2012

  • Ryan Y.

    Excellent talk from a speaker who was clearly knowledgeable about the subject. Great discussion at the end too.

    May 15, 2012

  • Kenneth B.

    Thanks to everyone that attended last night - it was a blast! Really great questions, great conversation. I appreciate everyone's interest. See you at the next meetup

    May 15, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Best single talk I've been to through meetup.

    Thanks Etsy, thanks Mobile Commons, thanks Ken!

    1 · May 14, 2012

  • Malcolm A.

    @Joly, Thanks so much.

    May 14, 2012

  • Joly M.

    @Malcolm. I intend to tape, will take maybe a few days to edit.

    1 · May 14, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    May 13, 2012

  • Malcolm A.

    Will this be taped? If someone is taping it, please let us know how we can access it. I am scheduled to work...and I need the currently accepted currency:( Thanks

    May 13, 2012

  • Francis K.

    I am so excited for this.

    May 13, 2012

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