Well, they could be, but wont.
A little background on Bitcoin, from PSFK:
Bitcoins are a virtual peer-to-peer currency that can be sent and received directly from their site, or via and escrow service or currency exchange. The benefits are that your coins can’t be frozen, tracked or taxed, and transaction costs are very low.
And a few of the key considerations for whether or not they’ll take over the world, from the Launch Conference article:
1. Bitcoin is a technologically sound project.
2. Bitcoin is unstoppable without end-user prosecution.
3. Bitcoin is the most dangerous open-source project ever created.
4. Bitcoin may be the most dangerous technological project since the internet itself.
5. Bitcoin is a political statement by technotarians (technological libertarians).
6. Bitcoins will change the world unless governments ban them with harsh penalties.
It’s that last one that may really prevent Bitcoins from catching on. Sure, there will be a subculture of subversive users who build up the Bitcoin economy. But on the whole, for Bitcoins to really make a real significant dent, it will be necessary to have them be completely legal – and this will never happen. Governments will ban them, people will block them, and unfortunately, they may only be used for grey and black market transactions.
However, I would love to see a virtual currency like this catch on, and to witness how world governments and world economies deal with it. In the end, I think we may come out on the other end cleaner and more efficient.
My Bitcoin BTC Address: 1Li4nEywPj42YeW5oGLg96vvPqTW5uvtcW