The Purpose of Cryptocurrency: Let’s Debate


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It is fair game to critique cryptocurrency and argue how, and whether, it should be regulated. But asserting it has no purpose as money is simply wrong (“Crypto Is Money Without a Purpose” by Todd Baker, op-ed, Dec. 20). As an application of freedom and innovation to create an alternative to government-controlled fiat money, crypto’s reason for being couldn’t be more clear or noble.

Government money leaves the economic well-being of citizens subject to the motivations, competence and whim of politicians and bureaucrats. We see every day how reckless fiscal and monetary policy devalue the resources Americans have saved over a lifetime of work. Let’s debate whether cryptocurrency is, or ever will be, a viable alternative to government money. But no purpose? Hardly.

Peter Goettler

President, Cato Institute


I hope Mr. Baker’s excellent article on cryptocurrencies will be breakfast reading for all our regulators and lawmakers.

One of the best bits of investment advice I ever received was: Don’t put real money into financial instruments you don’t understand. The 2008 financial collapse was caused by collateralized mortgage obligations, or CMOs, which, it turns out, no one understood.

Does anyone at the Federal Reserve understand cryptocurrencies, in all their different forms, well enough to back them with the full faith and credit of the United States, its economy and taxpayers? If so, let them explain it on the pages of the Journal in words of one syllable.

If they don’t understand cryptocurrencies, then it is the duty of the Fed to shun them like mortal sin.

Dale McIntyre

Bartlesville, Okla.

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