The NYT published a Blockchain ‘Explainer’, here is what they got wrong

Crypto’s madcap, meme-crazed online culture can make it seem frivolous and shallow. It’s not. Cryptocurrencies, even the jokey ones, are part of a robust, well-funded ideological movement that has serious implications for our political and economic future

What I’m saying, I guess, is that despite the goofy veneer, crypto is not just another weird internet phenomenon. It’s an organized technological movement, armed with powerful tools and hordes of wealthy true believers, whose goal is nothing less than a total economic and political revolution.

The dollar is the world’s reserve currency, and dislodging it would be a huge, costly project that isn’t likely to happen any time soon.

Today, the most popular blockchains — Bitcoin and Ethereum — are slow and inefficient compared with traditional payment networks. (The Ethereum blockchain, for example, can process only about 15 transactions per second, whereas Visa says it can process thousands of credit card transactions per second.)

And, of course, for a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin to replace the dollar, you’d need to convince billions of people to use a currency whose value fluctuates wildly, that isn’t backed by a government and that often can’t be retrieved if it’s stolen.

“But few crypto fans would dispute that blockchains consume substantially more energy than a traditional, centralized database would — just as 100 refrigerators use more energy than one refrigerator.”

“Although virtual currencies are used for illicit transactions, the volume is small compared to the volume of illicit activity through traditional financial services.”

Jennifer Fowler, US Treasury.

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