Suffice it to say, for now, that I have my doubts about any ‘virtual’ currency. At some point, for some things, bricks and mortar are indispensable. And I think money is one of them.
That said, I don’t think the idea of a virtual currency is worthy of mockery. The nature of money is poorly understood by just about everyone: politicians, journalists, lawyers, and even economists at the Fed.
It’s easy to naysay after the fact:
The uncomfortable fact for Bitcoin believers is that every major prediction they’ve made has yet to come true. And as time passes and the inevitable fizzle-out of Bitcoin becomes visible, those believers will splinter. More will drop out of the cult. And the ones who remain will only grow more convinced, more zealous, more eager to share the good news.
Well, this is what happens with all kinds of investments. Investing is an interesting business. Commitment is an important part of any successful venture. At what point does commitment become folly, more of a cult-like devotion than a rational appraisal of the merits of an idea or product? There is no really good answer to that question. It depends on too many things. There are ideas that turn out spectacularly after decades of seeming failure; more often, there are seeming successes that blow to smithereens because there was never anything there in the first place.
The article appears in the New York Magazine. New York qua New York has a personal stake in quashing economic and particularly monetary innovation, and most particularly anything that threatens to decentralize and fragment the financial “industry”, over which New York currently has a monopoly.
New York Magazine is pretentiously protecting its turf, in other words.
But that doesn’t mean I think Bitcoin is going anywhere. In fact I don’t.
Update: This is terribly sad, a 28 year old woman dead. Or maybe it’s suspicious. But I don’t want to go there this morning.