On Friday I passed along a couple of emails from a frustrated Tom Tragett.
Tom’s an old-hand currency trader. He’s been around the markets for a long time. And he’s never seen anything like bitcoin.
It’s safe to say he’s not a fan. Bitcoin drives experienced markets people like Tom mad, because it doesn’t fit in with all his trading experience. It literally does not compute.
Tom went on a bit of a rant about bitcoin: about its crazy margin requirements… its unquantifiable nature… its immunity to technical or fundamental analysis… its volatility.
The thing about Tom though, is that he’s been smart enough to spot the “backdoor” way to play bitcoin. A trading opportunity with huge upside and far less risk. He’s good like that.
I asked you to email me with about it, half expecting you’d agree with Tom. But I had you wrong. Here’s Andy C:
Tom’s frustration oozes off the page. Exactly the sort of thing that helps to convince me this is a game changer.
Cryptos are digital gold. Two possible flaws are:
1) Serious assault by governments and bankers.
I’m not sure they can succeed, except by making cryptos unacceptable to Joe Public via the propaganda war that makes the association between Bitcoin and organised (and unorganised) crime.
That won’t actually kill it them, it will just leave them to thrive as an underground currency. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the recent ransomware hacks were part of the campaign. Why else pick on the NHS? What sort of pirate attacks a hospital ship when there are Spanish galleons a-plenty for the taking?
2) The next financial crash might have a serious disruptive effect on the internet without which cryptos can’t function.
There’s no telling the scale of the disruption we’re in for. If I was in the seriously wealthy class I’d be thinking in terms of the classic 10% physical gold and silver and 10% cryptos. Belt and braces: one or other or both will come up trumps after the apocalypse and if the crisis is not earth shattering one or other or both will do just fine anyway.
Tom’s funny. He’s been trading bits of paper for years and he thinks digital currency is hard to put a value on? Go figure! as the cousins would say.
Andy C is right that governments can’t stop these “underground currencies”. And that’s a pretty good argument for cryptos on its own.
But the 105 billion dollar question is, what use is there for cryptos apartfrom hiding stuff from the government?
Here’s another one from Darren B, who I reckon is more typical of most crypto investors. Why’s he buying? FOMO!
Where to start?
I’m a middle-aged family man, safely investing in ISAs and trying to find the goodness globally.
Safety in funds of funds, a bit of random gold in a lockup and a spread of motley fool inspired stocks.
Along comes bitcoin and shakes me up a bit.
I missed the internet revolution, when I was at the right age to see it but looking the wrong way (girls, drinking, property).
So my reason for interest in bitcoin is I don’t want to miss again.
So I look into it and see a few words and articles which make me think there is something in it:
Words I don’t really understand but have brands and banks tagged to them like there is a science lab cooking up goodies I don’t want to miss out on.
And each cryptocurrency has an exotic story, one is good for smuggling Chinese money, one being tested by Facebook as their currency of choice, one about to become the financial backbone of future trading and business deals.
So I’ve bought some. £5000 of stuff, bitcoin, ether, ripple, gnome (?!), ethereum classic (what?), litecoin (why?) and more (I honestly forget what I have, doesn’t seem important!).
And watched them jump up and down and up and down.
I’m hoping one becomes the big fish, one explodes into life with me riding on it.
Not bitcoin, I barely own a whole one.
But the others, I have some purely in case I miss the boat.
As it stands, they are worth £6345.
Last week they were worth £4788.
I’ve written it off already as a complete punt. While I cross my fingers and hope someone clever is going to do something really valuable with them. There’s no more to it. But reading the forums you’d think every single crypto is on the verge of world-changing “things”.
Between Tom, Andy and Darren we’ve got three big ideas about cryptocurrencies.
Tom says they’re unworkable…
Andy says they’re digital gold…
And Darren hopes they’ll make him rich.
There’s a lot more to say on this topic. Have your say at [email protected].