Last week we saw bitcoin, the great hope of cryptocurrency, skyrocket to over $13,000. It was in the vicinity of $3,200 as recently as December.
Why? Maybe it was Facebook’s new venture into creating its own digital currency, Libra — although, if that were to be successful, how it would offer any type of validation of bitcoin is beyond me, and a whole lot of smart people on Wall Street.
In fact, it might spell the beginning of the end for bitcoin. There are almost no major Wall Street investors of substance with meaningful track records who have invested in bitcoin.
To me, its fool’s gold. There are no financial statements, no balance sheets, no revenues or assets. There’s not even a physical product! This is unbridled lunacy in which some astute techies take advantage of what will ultimately be some very unfortunate people.
Real investors do meaningful, mundane, monotonous research in order to determine the viability of a company’s stock or a country’s currency. To do research on bitcoin, what is it you should even look at? You can’t even melt it down and use it for jewelry!
And who’s there when things go wrong? The Treasury, the FDIC or the Fed? Nope. And things have gone wrong numerous times.
Plus, what’s the advantage of using it, unless you’re doing something illicit or illegal? Why not use PayPal, Apple Pay, Venmo or conventional debit or credit cards?
Facebook’s Libra at least has the backing of Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and a few others, and the way it’s been initially described, there are accounts with assets or credit scores behind each transaction.
But even so, Libra seems a solution for which there is no problem — although it will benefit Facebook’s bottom line.
On the other hand, bitcoin — which I call the Tinkertoy currency — is just insanity. Apparently, a whole bunch of people urgently need a financial literacy education, not to mention a great big dose of common sense.
Eulogy made by Jonathon Trugman