Bitcoin is defined as digital money within a decentralized peer-to-peer payment network. It is a hybrid between precious metals with intrinsic value and fiat currency backed by a monetary authority. This paper analyses the question of whether Bitcoin is currency or investment and more specifically, what is its current usage and what usage will prevail in the future given its characteristics. We analyse the statistical properties of Bitcoin and find that it is essentially uncorrelated with traditional asset classes such as stocks and bonds. The analysis of transaction data of Bitcoin accounts shows that bitcoins are mainly used as an investment and not as an alternative currency. Currently Bitcoin is “small” relative to the size of other asset classes and thus does not pose an immediate risk for monetary, financial or economic stability.

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