MORGAN STANLEY: Bitcoin isn't a currency
Most regulators and investors view cryptocurrencies more as assets than actual currencies. Their values are too volatile and too hard to actually use for payment for most to consider them currencies. Our conversations with some merchants indicate that, while cryptocurrencies might actually be attractive for them to operate their businesses, they find that the cryptocurrencies are far too volatile to be used.
- ICO's, or Initial Coin Offerings: Instead of traditional public offerings or funding rounds, a handful of companies have begun offering investors digital tokens in exchange for cash. In on high-profile case, a tech startup called Aragon raised $12.5 million in less than 15 minutes in its ICO.
- China: There are strict limits on currency outflows in the country, and Morgan Stanley assumes many people are using cryptocurrencies as a way to bypass the limits.
- Korea and Japan: Bitcoin was just legalized by the Japanese government, so it makes sense that it would be gaining popularity in the country. "In Korea, however, there is not a clear explanation for the surge," the bank writes.