Far from taking off as a new currency, the true value of Bitcoin lies in its potential to transform existing payments networks, say Goldman Sachs analysts in a comprehensive report into the budding crypto-currency.
In a report drawing on contributions from Goldman analysts and outside experts, Bitcoin's value as a currency is widely derided, largely because of its volatility.
Say Dominic Wilson and Jose Ursua from GS market research: "Put simply, if you hold cash today in most developed countries, you know within a few percentage points what you will be able to buy with it a day, a week or a year from now.
"There is no obvious mechanism that ensures that bitcoin will achieve that stability."
Eric Posner from the University of Chicago dismisses Bitcoin as a credible alternative to fiat currencies, arguing that the entire libertarian attitude is incorrect and that government control of the money supply is vital to a stable economy.
However, contributors to the report do see promise in the ledger-based technology that underlines crypto-currencies.
Roman Leal, Goldman IT services analyst says that the Bitcoin network successfully bypasses some of the money transfer hurdles traditional banking systems face, making it simpler and cheaper to move funds, particularly across borders.
Leal argues that the biggest hurdle for Bitcoin is in maintaining these advantages as traditional payment players reduce their profit margins and potentially co-opt the technology.
"While it is too early to tell how banks and payment processors will react to the threat of Bitcoin, we believe that it is only a matter of time before major incumbents develop a digital currency strategy," concludes Leal.
Could Bitcoin and the flood of crypto-currencies be as transformational for the world of currencies as the World Wide Web? This is the question we'll be asking at Finextra Future Money, a two-day event in Canary Wharf exploring the new wave of innovation sweeping across the financial services sector.