Where’s cracked bitcoin skepticism as bitcoin keeps soaring? Some people kill time at the airport by browsing duty-free shops.
I decided to shop for bitcoin. But first, there are two things you should know about me: I tend to be almost as afraid of losing money investing as I am of flying. On some level, I figured one fear might cancel out the other. So last Thursday, while waiting for a flight to Nashville, I pulled up a popular application called Coinbase that can be used to buy and sell bitcoin. 10,000 for the first time a couple days earlier, before retreating somewhat. News of bitcoin’s rapid rise was everywhere, including on CNN.
For 15 minutes at the airport, I refreshed the price of bitcoin over and over, watching as it gained and lost hundreds of dollars in a matter of minutes. I called out the price fluctuations breathlessly to my wife, who gently encouraged me not to be an idiot, before returning to her magazine. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon recently called bitcoin a “fraud” and suggested people who buy it are “stupid. Warren Buffett called bitcoin a “mirage” in 2014 and warned investors to “stay away. We want to hear from you. And yet bitcoin has climbed more than tenfold since Buffett’s warning. Earlier this month, one college friend casually told me over drinks he’d made tens of thousands of dollars investing in another cryptocurrency.
He said he hoped it would be worth enough one day to buy a house. 9,500, I pressed buy, defying the wisdom of two finance titans and my wife. My wife’s opinion of me has reportedly decreased by the same amount. It’s an investing frenzy, plain and simple. 1,000 on the first day of 2017. There’s a long list of factors people may point to in an attempt to explain this.
Regulators have taken a hands-off approach to bitcoin in certain markets. Dozens of new hedge funds have launched this year to trade cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Yet a key reason the price of bitcoin keeps going up is, well, because it keeps going up. Small investors like yours truly have a fear of missing out on a chance to get rich quick. And when the value of your bitcoin doubles in a week, as it did for me, it’s easy to think you’re a genius. But you can get burned assuming it will keep skyrocketing. Some investors have likened the bitcoin hype to the dot-com bubble.