An Everyman’s Guide to Understanding Cryptocurrencies

by Charles Hugh Smith
Of Two Minds

Cryptocurrencies have a role that could increase as global currencies are devalued.

When an asset rises by almost 30% in a few weeks, it tends to attract attention. Recently, that asset was bitcoin (BTC). The price of BTC in dollars rose from $454 on May 23 to $590 on June 6th. (NOTE: BTC has since jumped by $70, from $580 to $650.)

When an asset doubles in a matter of a few months, it tends to attract attention. The cryptocurrency Ether (part of the Ethereum platform) doubled from around $7 in April to roughly $14 in early June.

Are these cryptocurrencies mere fads? Or are they potentially game-changing alternatives to the conventional currencies such as the U.S. dollar, Chinese RMB, Japanese yen or European Union euro?

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