What type of assets are crypto tokens?

Crypto assets are securities contracts for speculative investments. This definition excludes stablecoins which are a form of debt product or deposit product.

Crypto assets are not currencies because they cannot fulfil the definition of money.

Crypto assets are not financial assets because they have no claims on income cashflows, underlying currency or commodity, or risk transfer between counterparties.

Crypto assets are not commodities because they have no intrinsic value needed to fulfil any productive economic activity or human need. Any hypothetical definition of their use value as a commodity depends on circular logic and is thus absurd.

Crypto assets may also be a form of art under the fuzzy definition of "artistic intent".

See the assets comparison chart for an overview of how crypto asset compare to traditional investments and currencies.

Comparables

While crypto assets are securities contracts, they are a pathological form of a zero-income security because they have no underlying asset or cashflows. Thus crypto assets have no direct correspondence in traditional markets, but have several pathological equivalences of traditional assets with absurd premises or terms.

References

  1. Krugman, Paul. 2018. ‘Bitcoin Is Basically a Ponzi Scheme’. The Seattle Times 30.
  2. ———. 2021a. ‘Technobabble, Libertarian Derp and Bitcoin’. The New York Times 21.
  3. ———. 2021b. ‘The Brutal Truth About Bitcoin’. The New York Times 21.
  4. Taleb, Nassim Nicholas. 2021. ‘Bitcoin, Currencies, and Fragility’. ArXiv:2106.14204 [Physics, q-Fin], July. http://arxiv.org/abs/2106.14204.
  5. Shri T Rabi Sankar. n.d. ‘Cryptocurrencies – An Assessment’. Reserve Bank of India. Accessed 2 March 2022. https://rbi.org.in/Scripts/BS_SpeechesView.aspx?Id=1196.
  6. Cembalest, Michael. 2022. ‘The Maltese Falcoin: On Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains’. https://privatebank.jpmorgan.com/content/dam/jpm-wm-aem/global/pb/en/insights/eye-on-the-market/the-maltese-falcoin.pdf.
  7. Bindseil, Ulrich, Patrick Papsdorf, and Jürgen Schaaf. 2022. ‘The Encrypted Threat: Bitcoin’s Social Cost and Regulatory Responses’. 7 January 2022. https://www.suerf.org/docx/f_88b3febc5798a734026c82c1012408f5_38771_suerf.pdf.
  8. Walch, Angela. 2017. ‘Blockchain’s Treacherous Vocabulary: One More Challenge for Regulators’. Journal of Internet Law 21 (2).
  9. Corradi, Fiammetta, and Philipp Höfner. 2018. ‘The Disenchantment of Bitcoin: Unveiling the Myth of a Digital Currency’. International Review of Sociology 28 (1): 193–207. https://doi.org/10.1080/03906701.2018.1430067.
  10. Computerphile. 2018. Why Bitcoin Is Not Cash - Computerphile. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9HH_dFcoLc.
  11. Diehl, Stephen. 2021. ‘The Intellectual Incoherence of Cryptoassets’. 7 November 2021. https://www.stephendiehl.com/blog/crypto-absurd.html.
  12. ———. n.d. ‘The Case Against Crypto’. Accessed 17 February 2022. https://www.stephendiehl.com/blog/against-crypto.html.
  13. Weisenthal, Joe. n.d. ‘Bitcoin Is a Faith-Based Asset’. Accessed 2 March 2022. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-21/bitcoin-is-a-faith-based-asset-joe-weisenthal.
  14. Silverman, Gary. 2021. ‘Crypto Has “No Inherent Worth” But Is Good to Trade, Says Man Group Chief’. Financial Times, 26 July 2021. https://www.ft.com/content/9275baf4-0422-43a1-b8c9-9317882ca874.