The cryptocurrency bubble

It’s not like this is a shocker to anyone. Last year there were all the signs of a cryptocurrency bubble: https://medium.freecodecamp.org/are-we-in-a-cryptocurrency-bubble-a-comparison-with-the-2000-dotcom-bubble-a463d8dd8d8b

And this year, the bubble popped.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-29/bitcoin-falls-below-5-900-to-wrap-up-a-gloomy-2018-first-half

A few years ago one of my acquaintances made the observation that gold was hardly a stable form of wealth. He had a very good point that showed the price of gold against the US dollar over time over the last few decades. However I think he was missing the point, the variability in gold prices is directly linked to the instability of the value of the dollar (or any other currency).

The laws of supply and demand are very real, and dictate that there is not such thing as a “stable form of wealth.” You’ll only ever get current market prices for anything, whether that be a fiat currency issued by a government, a fiat cryptocurrency issued by a network of volunteers, or some physical commodity like gold or silver.

Now, does this mean that BitCoin and all other cryptocurrencies are worthless? No, it just means that the market is correcting the exchange rate. I doubt that cryptocurrencies will go away, they are very useful in conducting online transactions without using “official” channels like a credit card or bank. The lure of having online anonymity similar to purchasing things in cash is going to ensure that some form of cryptocurrency stays around for a bit longer.

I personally think that the biggest danger of cryptocurrencies is that there is essentially an unlimited supply of them, and Moore’s Law keeps saying that older standards will become trivially easy to generate (aka the mining part) so that newer standards will be needed to create scarcity. This creates a conundrum of needing a user base with trust in the currency combined with the right level of technology to make the cryptocurrency useful to that base.  Honestly in ten years I’ll be surprised if BitCoin is still the dominant cryptocurrency, although it is a possibility.

To me this makes cryptocurrencies an interesting problem for the prepper community. After all a cryptocurrency is essentially worthless without the internet, so any disaster scenario without access to the internet makes a cryptocurrency pretty worthless. However, if there is access to the internet, then there may be some utility to the currency, unless the other aspects of civilization (such as taking delivery of physical goods) is disrupted (very likely in any disaster scenario). So for now, cryptocurrencies are definitely less valuable than physical trade stuffs like gold or silver coins, or even a pile of cash (which may or may not be just as worthless as a cryptocurrency in a disaster).

Still, in times of normalcy there can be utility in a cryptocurrency for your individual situation. But like anything prepping related, diversify your assets so you don’t have all your eggs in one basket.

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