The first rule of gambling is that you’ll be down way more times than you’ll be up. The second rule is that you need to remember gamblers will tell you all the details of their run of wins and profits in the casino and somehow skip over all the previous losses.
That’s why crypto fans would just as soon forget last weekend, or spin it as a short-term correction, and a great chance to buy more… Last weekend, Bitcoin briefly dropped to $34,042. That’s a 50 percent loss since the high of last November, and a loss of $600 billion. In aggregate, crypto gamblers (including Ethereum, Solana and Cardano) lost a trillion bucks.
When you buy US dollars, the exchange may go up or down fifty cents or a buck for every $100 you buy. So, calling crypto a “currency” is, to me, a joke when it can change in value by half inside two months. But it’s kind of like pot: Vast numbers of 18 to 30-year-olds want to try it – and that’s a large group of crypto buyers right now.
Is it better that crypto had a massive drop for millennials to realize this isn’t investing, it’s gambling? I hope so. To paraphrase Kenny Rogers’ song: You gotta know when to hold them – know when to fold them – know when to walk away – know when to run. Bill Maher on Real Time (HBO) said it best last Friday:
“I think I know why you’re happy this week. It’s because you didn’t invest in crypto… I was hoping for this – it’s horrible for the environment and it’s just f’n stupid! It crashed like a rock. It lost almost a trillion dollars. I mean, people in the metaverse are jumping off virtual buildings! And you know who got it the worst? Millennials. Because they thought it was cool. And now they’re like – wait – you mean it was a bad idea to put all my savings into an imaginary currency with a dog on it? But you know what’s doing good? The ACTUAL economy.”
Investing takes time, patience, very little active trading, and is more turtle-like than meteoric. But at the end of the day, when you want to retire, you’ll actually have something substantial. An S&P 500 index fund is adventure enough. Crypto won’t get you there – sorry. Can it become something resembling a legitimate online currency? Maybe in a decade or two. Among other things, that would take massive government regulations across the globe. If it’s only regulated in a few countries, transactions would just move to offshore jurisdictions without those regulations. Right now, it’s the must-go place for people (crooks) who need (not want – need) anonymity: Drug dealers, crooked third-world leaders, ransomware hijackers getting paid, arms dealers doing their transactions and the likes. Sure, some – ok – very few – businesses accept crypto. But I would suggest that’s more for the publicity than any real quantity of business. Count me out wanting to be in the same “currency” or world as those people.
Update 4/12/22: A Great line from Bill Maher on last week’s Real Time (HBO): Miami is hoping to become the crypto capital of the world. Makes sense. Because, like crypto, Miami won’t be around in 20 years (with global warning).