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Disclaimer: My investment firm, Sovereign’s Capital, does not currently directly invest in cryptocurrencies. I own several in my personal account, including Bitcoin and Ether, which are mentioned in this piece and my firm may hold interest in funds or companies that either hold cryptocurrencies or adjacent enabling technologies. This newsletter is not an endorsement of crypto investments generally or investments in any particular coin, fund, or technology. Nothing here is investment advice and you should consult your financial advisor making any personal decisions about your holdings.

There are now more than 15,000 different cryptocurrencies. The global crypto market cap is more than $2 trillion, with Bitcoin alone at nearly $1 trillion as of this writing. The price of Bitcoin in October of 2013 was $196. Today, it’s more than $40,000, and many coins have experienced similar increases in value. Athletes, celebrities, and corporations alike have begun to dabble in cryptocurrencies…yet to most people, the cryptocurrency market itself remains a mystery.

So, what are cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether? For those brand new to—and mystified by—crypto, I’ll offer a few thoughts below, starting with what I think is the key question of the cryptocurrency market: Are Bitcoin and related cryptocurrencies actually currencies or money?

Read the full thing here.