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Bitcoin is not a 'credible competitor' to the dollar, Fed's Kashkari says

  • Bitcoin and other digital currencies don't represent a significant threat to the U.S. dollar, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said.
  • Bitcoin remains the clear leader in the space, with a market cap of $249 billion that is more than double its next closest competitor, ethereum.
Neel Kashkari, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
Mark Kauzlarich | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Neel Kashkari, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

Despite the competition heating up within the burgeoning digital currency world, none of the products represent a viable threat to the U.S. dollar, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said Tuesday.

Cryptocurrencies have been experiencing a huge boom over the past year, with the rolls of those coins with more than $1 billion in market value exploding from less than 10 just a few months ago to 44 and counting.

While they may represent threats to each other, they don't pose a danger to the U.S. currency, Kashkari said.

"I don't see bitcoin as a credible competitor to the dollar in the United States of America, and the reason is the barrier of entry to you creating your own coin and me creating my own virtual currency ... is zero," he said during a public appearance in Minnesota.

Bitcoin remains the clear leader in the cryptocurrency space, with a market cap of $249 billion that is more than double its next closest competitor, ethereum. Though bitcoin's price has been in sharp decline lately, it remains up more than 1,500 percent over the past year, most recently trading above $14,600.

Kashkari acknowledged that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may take on a greater role globally in the future, but he said for now they remain a question mark.

"So there's all these new alt coins being created every day, and while you may say there's only so many bitcoins that are going to be mined, if it gets muddled with all these other alt coins you can still have inflation, because you don't know which ones to trust," he said. "I just think this has a long way of going before we know how this shakes out."

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