Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told CNBC on Wednesday that bitcoin reminds him of currency issued during America's Colonial past that ultimately proved worthless.
Greenspan compared the high-flying cryptocurrency to 1775 Continental currency that was worthless by 1782. In the in-between years, however, the money allowed patriots like George Washington to buy armaments and other supplies.
Continental money was so-called fiat currency. Declared legal tender by the Continental Congress, it derived its value from the amount of paper notes available and the demand for them rather than by the backing of a commodity such as gold or silver.
"A significant share of it was creating real goods and services" despite the fact that it was ultimately worthless, said Greenspan, who mentioned he was co-writing a book about American history.