London — The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) just told the cryptocurrency world it is not ready for prime time — and as far as mainstream financial services go, may never be. In a withering 24-page article released Sunday as part of its annual economic report, the bank said Bitcoin and its ilk suffered from "a range of shortcomings" that would prevent cryptocurrencies from ever fulfilling the lofty expectations that prompted an explosion of interest — and investment — in the would-be asset class. The bank, an 88-year-old institution in Basel, Switzerland, that serves as a central bank for other central banks, said cryptocurrencies were too unstable, consumed too much electricity, and were subject to too much manipulation and fraud to ever serve as bona fide mediums of exchange in the global economy. It cited the decentralised nature of cryptocurrencies — bitcoin and its imitators are created, transacted, and accounted for on a distributed network of computers — as a fundame...

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