US Congress Think Tank Claims Bitcoin Is Used Mostly as ‘Investment Vehicle’

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Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies are used as a speculative investment tool and not money, a report by United States think tank the Congressional Research Service (CRS) claimed on May 10.

As part of an investigation into cash usage in the U.S., the report, dubbed “The Potential Decline of Cash Usage and Related Implications,” appears to forecast a reduction in paper money as contactless card payments increase.

Researchers also analyzed other forms of payment, including cryptocurrency, be it public, private or issued by a central bank.

Taking bitcoin as its prime example, the CRS nonetheless draws conclusions which have become commonplace among government sources.

“Although price data on Bitcoin illustrates the public interest in and overall demand for this cryptocurrency, it is a poor indicator of how often it is being exchanged for goods and services (i.e., how often it is being used as money),” the report reads. It continues:

“Certain analyses appear to show that digital currencies are not being widely used and accepted as payment for goods and services, but rather as investment vehicles.”

As Cointelegraph reported, analysis from software company DataLight last month painted an entirely different picture, claiming bitcoin was already poised to usurp both cash and card payments worldwide. All that is needed, its authors wrote, is for bitcoin’s development to continue in its current vein.

“If it maintains this pace, in another 10 years, it will surpass all competition,” they summarized.

Others remain less convinced, with entrepreneur and serial gold supporter Peter Schiff extensively examining bitcoin’s future potential as money with “The Bitcoin Standard” author, Saifedean Ammous, in an online debate last week.

A day before the CRS report’s publication, meanwhile, U.S. senator Brad Sherman called on Washington to ban cryptocurrency altogether over fears it contributed to the undermining of U.S. political power.