The craze around Bitcoin and cryptocurrency is similar to tulip mania, where tulips in the early seventeenth century became wildly popular and expensive. Cryptocurrency is a new form of currency that utilizes the power of many to verify and authenticate payments or transfers among peers. As a decentralized currency, the value of a Bitcoin is not established by a government or central agency. This unconventional approach to money is undoubtedly controversial, but its own popularity could enable it to develop into a global currency. Still, it must overcome several key flaws within its own system. It’s becoming more and more difficult to justify using Bitcoin as a daily currency. The problem lies both in Bitcoin itself, and its network as a system of peers.

Much of the craze surrounding Bitcoin stems from the media. Shows like CNBC’s Fast Money promote buying without research, which has ended poorly for many who bought in during the rush to $19,000 a coin – the price of Bitcoin rapidly dropped to below $14,000 a day later. While early adoption of Bitcoin has proven to be a success, the coin will struggle to meet global demands if it becomes mainstream now.

The Bitcoin network, while efficient in the past, has become slow and expensive. Transactions between users require confirmations or verifications by other members of the network to agree that the amount of cryptocurrency was legitimately transferred from one to another. These confirmations are made by miners: regular people using powerful computers to solve complex mathematical problems and confirm transactions, who, in reward, receive Bitcoin.

The problem is, with so many Bitcoin transactions occurring every second and only so many miners to verify those transactions, demand for those miners is high. This results in confirmations taking several hours, and transactions carrying high fees to pay those miners. There just aren’t enough individuals who are willing to spend thousands of dollars on powerful computers to make profits off Bitcoin compared to the number of people who just want to buy something with the digital currency.

Many people have noticed Bitcoin’s lagging network speeds and fees, and in response have created several different “alternative coins,” which try to avoid the biggest problems of cryptocurrency. There are hundreds of alt-coins in trading, such as Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), and even Dogecoin (DOGE). Most, if not all of them, are faster, cheaper, and easier to use than Bitcoin. Reaching global recognition of these separate coins, however, will be nearly impossible.

There are around 89 companies that currently accept Bitcoin, and not many of them are integral to our daily lives. Even if every company were to accept Bitcoin, the unnecessary diversification of currency into alt-coins will ultimately limit cryptocurrency’s practical usage in day to day spending. All of these alt-coins will remain either specialized for certain institutions (Ripple is mainly used between banks to transfer funds instantly), or for the traders and investors.

Bitcoin has many problems, mainly within itself as a medium for exchange. The network isn’t ready to scale into a global currency and is becoming slow, expensive, and inconvenient. For now, Bitcoin will remain similar to stocks: something to invest in for both fools that buy in because of the hype and the media, and for smart traders. Though the media is boosting its popularity tenfold, that fame is going nowhere to turn Bitcoin, and decentralized cryptocurrency in general, into a futuristic solution for money. After all, who would pay for a dinner worth $200 with virtual, internet code that could be worth $300 a second later, or $100 the next?