By William Essex
By William Essex

Bitcoin versus block-chain – have we put the cart before the horse?

Whilst it’s true to say that block-chain applications can sometimes be developed without Bitcoin it isn’t always the case. William Essex discusses the implications this has for the role of crypto-currencies in FX.

We have reached a turning point in the evolution of this article’s subject matter. In early May, Chris Skinner tweeted from the floor of a conference in Asia: “Another banker says Bitcoin bad, block-chain good (yawn).” The banker in question had just made what seems to be the most popular distinction in fintech today: block-chain, lot of potential; Bitcoin, not so much.  Skinner, author of Digital Bank and chairman of the Financial Services Club, hosts on his blog ( a Q&A in which Jeffrey Robinson describes Bitcoin as a “pretend currency” that is “traded as a pretend commodity”. Robinson, author of BitCon: The Naked Truth About Bitcoin, also says: “We need to separate the pretend currency from the block-chain. Every time someone speaks of the technological advancements, the Bitcoin faithful immediately equate it to a success for the pretend currency. But it’s not.” This is a problematic starting point, but a...continued

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