There once was a fisherman from a small Mediterranean coastal village in Malta.
He sailed out one day and had great luck, catching 300 pounds of bass and rock cod.
That evening he sold the fish to a fish broker in exchange for hard currency.
The next morning the broker, in turn, sold the fish to a wholesaler, in exchange for future credit.
The wholesaler, in turn, sold the fish to several merchants in exchange for building products.
One of the merchants sold some of the fish to a farmer in exchange for grain.
The next day, the farmer, who bought more fish than his family could eat, sold several of the fish to a neighbor in exchange for labor.
The neighbor ate the fish, and got sick.
The neighbor went back to the farmer and said, “I recant my promise for labor, the fish were not healthy for eating.”
The farmer went back to the merchant and said, “I want my grain back, the fish was spoiled.”
The merchant went back to the wholesaler and said, “Please return my building products, the fish were not suited for consumption.”
The wholesaler went back to the broker and said, “I am cancelling your credit, the fish were not eatable.”
The broker went back to the fisherman and said, “I want my hard currency back, the fish you sold me made people sick when they ate it.”
The fisherman just shrugged his shoulders and replied ….”No, you cannot have your money back. Who ever said they were ‘eating’ fish. They were just ‘trading’ fish.”
Moral of the story: There are grand claims being made about the extraordinary future for Bitcoin and other cryptos. Just consider some of the claims of the cryptomaniacs: Cryptos are going to take over the world; the future of global finance/commerce belongs to Bitcoin and (name your favorite 8hitcoin); cryptos will bring governments to their knees; Bitcoin will become more valuable than all the Gold that has ever been mined; and, cryptos will replace all fiat currencies. To some degree these claims may become true. But for now Bitcoin has gained almost no traction as a functional medium. In fact, Bitcoin (and the other cryptos) have almost entirely been a vehicle for price speculation. As such, at least at this time in history Bitcoin and its distant cousins are very little different than a pile of dead fish.