J.P. Koning, a CoinDesk columnist, worked as an equity researcher at a Canadian brokerage firm and is a financial writer at a large Canadian bank. He runs the popular blog.
Understanding is difficult. And so we cast around for the perfect metaphor. Bitcoin is email. Digital gold. eCash.
Here’s a new one. Bitcoin is ham radio.
Bitcoin is old-fangled. It takes days to download the Bitcoin blockchain, just like it took forever to download software back in 1994. In an age of instant email and real-time Zelle payments, a bitcoin transfer takes 60 minutes to safely settle. It’s more volatile than gold, a relic of our previous monetary system. Thousands of computers are constantly replicating each others’ work, making it vastly inefficient. And lastly, there’s no privacy. Like a medieval marketplace, everyone can see everybody’s holdings.
All of these features are anachronistic. But they do sum up to something unique. What exactly is that thing?