In a Q&A, which is posted on the New York Fed's website, the economists question bitcoin's utility, arguing it will never be as easy to use as the current central bank-backed fiat money, pointing to a host of concerns — not the least of which surrounds trust. But they don't write bitcoin off, seeming instead to applaud the ingenuity while simultaneously dismissing its potential.
That the economists decided to pit bitcoin, etc. against fiat money is okay, and spending is certainly a key application of cryptocurrencies. But even Brad Garlinghouse, chief executive of XRP-fueled cross-border payments startup Ripple, isn't against fiat money. It's not always cryptocurrencies versus fiat currencies.
And in their argument, the NY Fed economists seem to take the tack that bitcoin and the others are gearing up to compete more directly with fiat currencies in the future, giving the trust and convenience argument to centralized fiat money given its head start in these areas.