Bitcoin is a direct reaction to the financial crisis of 2007/2008. Supporters of cryptocurrencies claim to have reinvented not just money, but revolutionized the entire economy by creating the internet of value.
The boom in the number and price of cryptocurrencies seems to prove them right. However, critics argue that cryptocurrencies are merely speculative objects that remain rather useless as currencies.
Moreover, the most widely used consensus mechanism consumes enormous amounts of energy. If VISA used the Bitcoin Network, world power consumption would double.
However, even if cryptocurrencies were to fail as a means of payment, the technology and the barely predictable potential of an Internet of value remain.