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经济学人:加密货币 新兴货币(01)

Finance and Economics

财经

Crypto-Currencies: New Money

加密货币:新兴货币

Bitcoin, its imitators and the risk of a crypto-bubble.

比特币,其仿冒者,以及加密货币泡沫风险。

It is hard to predict when bubbles will pop, in particular when they are nested within each other.

很难预测泡沫何时会破裂,尤其是它们互相嵌套的时候。

It helps to keep this image in mind when considering one of the biggest surges in asset values of recent years: the market value of all the world's crypto-currencies has trebled since the beginning of the year, and is now worth more than $60bn.

当考虑近年来资产价值最大骤增幅度时,它有助于记住这种印象:自从今年年初,世界上所有的加密货币的市场价值已经增加了两倍,且现已超过600亿美元。

Bitcoin is the best known of these currencies, especially after hackers this month instructed victims to pay ransoms in the anonymous digital cash in order to get their computer files decrypted.

比特币是最有名的货币,特别是在本月黑客指示受害者支付匿名的数字赎金以获得他们计算机文件的解密后。

Not that many bitcoins exist: there are about 16.3m of them, with only 1,800 new ones minted every day.

比特币并没有那么多:大约有1630万,一天只发行1800个新币。

But growing demand has pushed bitcoin's price to a record recent high of about $1,830, up from $450 a year ago.

但不断增长的需求推动比特币的价格达到了纪录最新高,约为1830美元,高于一年前的450美元。

Problems abide.

各种问题仍然存在。

Earlier this year some of the biggest exchanges, such as Bitfinex, experienced problems with their correspondent banks and were unable to pay out real-world currencies to account-holders.

今年年初,最大的一笔票据交换业务(如Bitfinex)与其合作的银行出现了一些问题,并且无法向开户人支付真实货币。

To get their money out, they had to buy bitcoin and exchange them elsewhere.

为了取出他们的钱,业内人士不得不购买比特币并且在其他地方进行交易。

Yet the market is becoming more mature: institutional investors, from family offices to hedge funds, have become more comfortable with crypto-currencies, says Mike Komaransky of Cumberland Mining, which arranges over-the-counter trades.

然而,市场更加成熟,坎伯兰矿业的场外贸易主任迈克称:从家族理财室到避险基金的各类机构投资人都对加密货币更加放心,他们安排着场外交易。

Other factors driving demand include fluctuations of China's yuan, the French elections and, in a small way, the ransomware attack (when The Economist went to press, only about $80,000 had been sent to the bitcoin accounts held by the hackers).

当然,推动需求还有许多其他因素,比如中国人民币的波动,法国大选以及一些小规模勒索软件的攻击。(当《经济学人》在出版的时候,只有8万美元被发送到黑客拥有的比特币账户。)

Counter-intuitively, bitcoin's biggest weakness—the system's limited capacity—has also increased demand for crypto-currencies.

反常的是,比特币最大的劣势——系统容量的限制,也促进了对加密货币的需求。

Its developers have argued for years about how to expand the system, which can only handle seven transactions per second, compared with thousands on conventional payment services.

它的开发者已经就如何扩展系统容量努力多年,与成千上万的传统支付服务比较,它每秒只能处理七笔交易。

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