Can You Buy a Bagel with it?

Morgan Stanley Ideas Podcast

May 2018

As our lives become more digital, our money is becoming increasingly digital too. There are more than a thousand cryptocurrencies floating around and new ones seem to launch every day. But is this new form of money, one that only exists online, even a currency? What exactly gives cryptocurrencies value?

In this episode of the Ideas podcast, we head to the Berkshires to see what a local currency, the BerkShare, can teach us about the value of alternative currencies. We speak with the creator of BerkShares, Susan Witt, about creating a brand new currency, and we turn to local business owners to see that currency in action. How did BerkShares go from a crazy idea to a real form of money? And will the same ever happen for cryptocurrency? James Faucette, a Morgan Stanley Senior Research Analyst, looks at the similarities between cryptocurrency and BerkShares to question whether cryptocurrencies will ever be the new normal.