A case of balls to the wall

Financial Mail - - DIAMONDS & DOGS -

It was late in 2017 when in­vestors of a cer­tain age be­gan to suf­fer the symp­toms of cryp­toglaze. This in­volved a gen­eral shut­down of the synapses oc­ca­sioned by a lec­ture from a true be­liever about why crypto was go­ing to take over the world, why blockchain was the most im­por­tant in­ven­tion since the wheel and why fiat cur­ren­cies were about as much use as Fiat cars from the mid1970s. Cryp­toglaze was use­ful be­cause it al­lowed the suf­ferer to bear the brunt of the lec­ture while of­fer­ing no more than the oc­ca­sional grunt in re­turn, but while the price of bit­coin and its more es­o­teric com­padres con­tin­ued to fly, the true be­liev­ers were in the as­cen­dant.

Un­til, of course, it crashed, which it has been do­ing with re­mark­able vigour all year. This is not just the sort of low-speed fen­der-ben­der that you might see in the more mild-man­nered sub­ur­ban car park, it’s a balls to the wall, high-oc­tane For­mula One ex­plo­sion from the era be­fore any­body had even thought of safety reg­u­la­tions. Bit­coin has plum­meted from not far shy of $20,000 to just over $3,000, and there’s no sign of any­body step­ping in to stop the rout.

Com­men­ta­tors such as Nouriel Roubini have been hav­ing a field day, de­scrib­ing crypto as “the mother and fa­ther of all scams and bub­bles”, and blockchain as “the most over-hyped and least use­ful tech­nol­ogy in hu­man his­tory”, while pre­dict­ing that bit­coin should drop to zero, if not slightly lower, due to the neg­a­tive en­vi­ron­men­tal ef­fect of min­ing the coins. What­ever else you might say about crypto, it cer­tainly de­liv­ers in the white-knuckle de­part­ment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.