The fallacy that drives so many people to invest in bitcoin once drove millions into pyramid schemes.
It all comes down to a very rudimentary misunderstanding of what money is and how it works. From last to first, Capitalism is not derived from the idea of Capital; Capital is a product of Capitalism where Capitalism is a product of the more abstract Capitalization.
Which of course comes down to a misinterpretation of Capitalism.
I know it’s a hell of a coincidence that the root of the word is Capital, but I assure you the source of Capitalism is Capitalization….not Capital as in money or any other asset. Money is just a way of keeping score; it’s a value representing the trust in that score combined with what the score means which is relevant to further production. The more disassociated with reality that score gets the less it matters and the more debasement of what little value it had in the first place. In other words…inflation.
So far the cryptocurrencies have done exactly what one would expect. The moment the mining gets too time consuming or expensive; a new currency is formed. There is no limiting principal to this. It’s celebrity worship applied to a brand name with no company backing it as though the lack of accountability makes it more attractive. Soon as one gets burned the herd hops over to another pyramid to watch the old one crumble.
Using bitcoin as a fun way to exchange money is one thing. Investing in it like it’s gonna be your retirement savings is about as irresponsible as it gets. Especially if you have kids.
Like a baseball diamond with no games; the park tickets don’t have much more than novelty value. Trading on cool branding isn’t enough to sustain anything for very long. What’s worse is building new parks is wasteful and futile if they never bring joy to children or contribute to the local community.
Cryptocurrency isn’t wealth generation all on its own; it’s wealth dilution and redistribution.
The chances are high that the first few famous currencies will become like baseball cards for teams that no longer exist. There’s some collector value there, but not the global revolution in commerce being promised by the evangelicals. Is blockchain cool? Of course, it has some interesting features. It’s much more interesting as a technology broadly than specifically as a currency.
Commerce is already peer to peer. It’s the most anthropic thing in our lives outside of our own families. Money is certainly manipulated by many holders, but it’s not the root of the economy anymore than the game stats in the newspaper are baseball. Baseball is Capitalism and the trusted game stats in the paper is the currency. All the trading based on the stats in the “markets” is the delivery of value created by the capitalism of those baseball games into the community.
Money is the root of all evil; not all economics. The economy is the collective good that overcomes the selfish evil that is often manifested by those who would manipulate the money toward a special interest.
As we all know the moment those stats start getting fudged. The moment the teams are getting stacked or players are throwing games or owners start promising specific scores…that the end is near. That the “currency/trust in the stats” will collapse as will respect for those who publish the data. Those who depend on the financial activity surrounding those games will suffer. Recovery is possible but difficult and very time consuming.
As with all money in a capitalist framework, it only works when the game is honest enough that trust in the outcomes is high enough that exchanges based on those reported outcomes is profitable… enough of the time. Those who make the mistake of believing money is based entirely on the authority of those who control it or in bitcoin’s case, popularity and name recognition, not only miss the point of why money exists in the first place… they also have no idea how to deal with unstable economic conditions that they’ve foolishly invested in.
Be a producer; build new wealth.
There is only one way known to all mankind that reliably builds the wealth that things like bitcoin promise. Work for it. Capitalize on the opportunities that naturally present in your life; develop the capacity to get a solid return from those opportunities. Be honest; be strong and build trust in your own currency.
You want to get rich? Hit a home run and make a child wonder if that ball will ever come down again.
Next Up: Our Deadly Sins