Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The American Conservative: Christopher Whalen - Bitcoin: The Most Impressive Speculative Bubble In Modern History

The effusive praise for this cryptocurrency is nothing but self-generated flimflam.

No messing here, Christopher Whalen, an investment banker, says Bitcoin is fraud. 

Stripped down to its basic elements, bitcoin is a classical fraud, a form of high-tech gaming that has captured the imagination of millions of greedy and gullible people around the globe. Participants exchange a legal tender dollar or some other real asset, for example, for a share of the limited supply of bitcoins at whatever the current price may be at the time. The participants exchange something for nothing – namely bitcoin, which have no intrinsic value or yield, but which trade over the world of ethernet, outside of the regulated world of banks and financial payments.
Bitcoin is an old fashioned fraud clothed in the new age wonder of technology. Promoting bitcoin is not so much about a new asset class as its is a class of felony, yet civil authorities have so far been unwilling to shut it down. Bitcoin is perhaps the most impressive speculative bubble in modern history and one that will tolerate no contradiction since it gains credibility as the price soars ever higher.
“The world’s social media platforms and financial markets are abuzz about cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings,” Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton said this week. “There are tales of fortunes made and dreamed to be made. We are hearing the familiar refrain, ‘this time is different.’”  
Although the SEC has begun to regulate offerings on cryptocurrencies in the US, the Commission does not regulate the tokens themselves. From an investment perspective, the only reason to hold bitcoin is the belief that a greater fool will pay more tomorrow than you did today.
But as the crowd pursuing the bitcoin opportunity grows, and the price measured in dollars or euros or yen rises, the ability of responsible observers to convince true believers that they are participating in a vast pretense diminishes. Indeed, the success of bitcoin has generated numerous copycat cryptocurrencies that have been sold in public offerings to equally credulous “investors” around the world in a growing carnival of securities fraud.
When James Dimon, Chairman of JPMorgan Chase, suggested correctly that bitcoin is a fraud, he was quickly shouted down by his own bankers and customers. Some of Wall Street’s largest investors, hedge funds and institutions have taken the speculative plunge. There is even a futures contract on bitcoin that now trades in Chicago!

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