Paul Krugman: Blockchains, What Are They Good For?

Paul Krugman in the New York Times:

A year ago Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were selling at record prices, with a combined market value of around $3 trillion; glossy ads featuring celebrities — most infamously Matt Damon’s “Fortune Favors the Brave” — filled the airwaves. Politicians, including, alas, the mayor of New York, raced to align themselves with what seemed to be the coming thing. Skeptics like yours truly were told that we just didn’t get it.

Since then the prices of crypto assets have plunged, while a growing number of crypto institutions have collapsed amid allegations of scandal. The implosion of FTX, which appears to have used depositors’ money in an attempt to prop up a related trading firm, has made the most headlines, but it’s only one entry on a growing list.

We are, many people say, going through a “crypto winter.” But that may understate the case.

More here.