An executive with Horicon Bank urged business community members to “pay attention to the utility, not the price” when weighing the pros and cons of cryptocurrencies.

Bob Van Kirk, the bank’s vice president of treasury and commercial payment solutions, spoke yesterday during a Wisconsin Technology Council luncheon in Madison. He gave an overview of cryptocurrencies alongside AmpliPhi founder Spencer X. Smith, a cryptocurrency investor and social media consultant.

Both speakers explained how these largely decentralized currencies differ from traditional currencies as a virtual medium of exchange rather than a physical one. Bitcoin, which Van Kirk said makes up around 40 percent of all cryptocurrencies, supposedly cannot be manipulated by regulators such as central banks. All transactions conducted with the virtual currency are logged in an “immutable ledger” maintained by many networked computers.

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