Meanwhile, the true believers and veterans of the 12 year old digital currency industry insist that the underlying technology is real and transformative and eventually – finally! – ready to turn nothing less than the global financial system and the Internet as we know it on its head.
Everyone seems to be getting rich or selling a mark or predicting a revolution. Digital currencies are volatile, risky and prone to bubbles. Countless fortunes have been made and lost. In some cases, many people are already using blockchains – the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies – without realizing or understanding how exactly they work.
“Bitcoin mania is not a fad,” Wedbush Securities’ equity analyst Daniel Ives wrote in a recent release to customers, “it is the dawn of a new era on the front lines of digital currencies.”
That being said, cryptocurrency is now at least seen as a good place to park cash. Everyone has read the stories of teenage crypto millionaires – or the bitcoin-bought pizza that’s now worth millions. Not interfering in crypto-language means “having fun staying poor”. In other words, we are all crypto people now. Sip.
“Is that a bad dream?”
It’s hard to watch our index funds and 401 (k) tick up passively, predictably, and responsibly while an outsider to the art world named Beeple sells an NFT of a digital collage for $ 69 million. For many, the news of this transaction raised a simple question: why not me?
Mark Greenberg, a photographer, had this thought in March when he was auctioning an NFT of a previously unpublished portrait he took of Andy Warhol in 1985. When he saw the bids go up to $ 100,000, he was thrilled. He hadn’t been able to work much in the pandemic, and that money could help with his daughter’s upcoming wedding and the house he had just bought. But then he began to worry.
The bounty of his sale was stored in a digital account that only he had access to. What would happen to him if he, a 69-year-old with some health problems, suddenly dropped dead?