Crypto now has a higher valuation than all paper U.S. currency

A big milestone in a week that was chock full of them

Photo by BestPicko via Flickr under Creative Commons license

Re-sharing below the latest edition of #Web3 Weekly, my regular newsletter about decentralization. If you’d like to get it in your inbox every Sunday, subscribe here.

Crypto is now bigger than the U.S. dollar by at least one major metric.

The global valuation of cryptoassets topped $2.4 trillion last week, led by new all-time highs in ether and dogecoin, as well as a modest bump for bitcoin. That now makes the crypto market slightly bigger than the amount of paper U.S. currency in circulation, at $2.2 trillion, according to data published Saturday in the Wall Street Journal. (Note: WSJ’s story is paywalled as usual, bless their hearts. But you can see a similar crypto-dollar comparison from veteran markets analyst Jim Bianco for free here.)

Cue crypto heads’ favorite rants about inflation versus deflation, whether bitcoin will someday replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, and so on.

We should also note here that a broader measure of U.S. money supply called M2, which includes bank balances and other forms of the dollar aside from paper greenbacks, remains way bigger than crypto for now, at nearly $20 trillion. But still.

It’s more than a little ironic that one of naysayers’ favorite criticisms of crypto — that you “can’t hold it in your hands” — is now effectively moot. By this very standard, crypto has now won. It’s only the dollar’s own intangible manifestations that make it bigger at this point.

The rest of the week’s headlines:

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Head of Content & Writer Development at Capsule Social. Also publish the newsletter #Web3Weekly. Former reporter for WSJ, Washington Post, and Vice.