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Bitcoin The Almighty Buck The Media

Bitcoin Just Surged Past $4,000. TechCrunch Explains Why (techcrunch.com) 154

Saturday night TechCrunch reported the following about Bitcoin: 24 hours ago the cryptocurrency was trading below $3,700. About an hour ago it surged passed $4,000 and has no signs of stopping. It's now trading around $4,135.00. For reference, a week ago Bitcoin hit an all-time high as it passed $3,000 for the first time... So the million-bitcoin question is, why now...?

Two weeks ago Bitcoin went through a hard fork, and came out essentially unscathed... A few days later Bitcoin locked in SegWit, a code modification that fixes malleability issues and frees up space in blocks, allowing for more transactions to be stored in each one. These two code-related developments have helped boost conference in Bitcoin's future. Another reason -- the ICO frenzy. The amount recently raised via initial coin offerings have now (at least temporally) topped amount raised via early stage venture capital. Just last week Filecoin raised $180 million in a few hours. Most investors have to convert fiat currency to bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies to participate in ICOs, which could be driving up the price (and providing some investors with their first taste of bitcoin). Another reason -- Wall Street's new obsession is bitcoin.

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Bitcoin Just Surged Past $4,000. TechCrunch Explains Why

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 13, 2017 @01:39PM (#55003643)

    Simple.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      So, same reason we elected Obama, basically.

      In 2008 I realized that in investment, fashion, social justice, or politics, it doesn't matter what you know or how smart you are. If everyone else goes the opposite direction, you either gotta follow them, or you lose.

      Actually, probably the only place where being "right" actually matters more than being in the majority, is in some obscure academic areas on arxiv (mathematics of multi-dimensional manifolds?)

  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Sunday August 13, 2017 @01:46PM (#55003669) Journal

    ICO frenzy? Dot-coin bust? I have to be honest. I didn't think it would run this long. Well-played, guys; but nobody rings a bell at the top. However, we probably haven't hit the stage yet where we have Uber drivers giving hot ICO tips. If there's a counterpoint to the "nobody rings a bell" claim, it's the ol', "got out when the shoeshine boy offered a stock tip" story.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by jtara ( 133429 )

      However, we probably haven't hit the stage yet where we have Uber drivers giving hot ICO tips

      One of the parking valets in my building (get over it! We have parking valets because we have unassigned tandem parking...) gave me a hot ICO tip (Etherium) that I shoulda coulda heeded.

      I think he made enough to make-up for his past online gambling losses.

      Indicators of the 2001 stock-market bubble that I caught:

      - personal trainer giving stock picks
      - walked past two rows of cubicles at work on the day of the market t

    • History doesn't repeat but it rhymes. Last time, the crash involved somewhat viable companies and ideas that were vastly overfunded and overvalued. This time round, I see nothing but tulips and outright scams. Just look at that filecoin thing. I wonder if, in a few weeks, they'll have part of their supply of coins "stolen by hackers" as well, or if they'll syphon the money out in other ways and simply fold. Or perhaps some other idiot will buy them.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        History doesn't repeat but it rhymes. Last time, the crash involved somewhat viable companies and ideas that were vastly overfunded and overvalued. This time round, I see nothing but tulips and outright scams. Just look at that filecoin thing. I wonder if, in a few weeks, they'll have part of their supply of coins "stolen by hackers" as well, or if they'll syphon the money out in other ways and simply fold.

        Yes. If you've been paying attention, a very large percentage of Bitcoin exchanges have gone under after losing some/all of their bitcoins to "hackers", or, they just disappear and take everyone's money with them.

        In order to make money from bitcoin/filecoin/ethereum/whatever, you have to be able to sell it for real money. And that's the problem. When the FBI shut down Silk Road a couple of years ago they seized 144,000 bitcoin (then worth $122 Million). Today, it would be worth $576 Million. Except nob

        • Just finding someone willing to give you $4000 for one bitcoin is not all that easy.

          This is an attempt at humor, I assume?

        • by ncc74656 ( 45571 ) *

          Just finding someone willing to give you $4000 for one bitcoin is not all that easy.

          Umm...Coinbase [coinbase.com], perhaps? They probably don't even have the absolute-best pricing; they're just easier to deal with than many.

        • Just finding someone willing to give you $4000 for one bitcoin is not all that easy.

          Yes it is, just go to Gemini (or any other trading platform and you can buy and sell BTC to your hearts content. I do. Each time I sell - someone else is buying my overpriced, worthless bitcoin. Each time I buy I purchase the other person's overpriced, worthless bitcoin.

          It's very, very easy. Just as easy as buying APPL, GOOG or MSFT.

      • So, the last bubble was houses, not stocks.

    • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
      You used to be able to buy a house for a tulip. We have a long way to go yet... there is a lot of greed out there.
    • However, we probably haven't hit the stage yet where we have Uber drivers giving hot ICO tips

      I think we actually have hit that point. I see people everywhere (gaming forums, investment forums etc) saying buy bitcoin and you are guaranteed to be 40x or 100x better off in 12 months times. They perceive no possibility of a permanent downturn or collapse and believe it can only go up. This is the same thinking that happened prior stock market crash in 2000 as well as the housing bubble.

      • Over a long enough term it can realistically only go up. It is deflationary after all. Bitcoin is used to actually transact and exchange value and every day there is less actual bitcoin in circulation as people throw away temperatory wallets with small bits left on them and lose passwords and hard drives, etc. That doesn't prevent speculation bubbles that soar and pop though. People who bought during the last bubble at $1200 were hurting when it crashed back down to $600 and didn't recover until a few month
        • Over a long enough term it can realistically only go up. .

          absolute bullshit. It can totally collapse to be worth nothing from which it would be unlikely to recover with so many competing offerings, a single vulnerability or large enough scam could easily trigger that or it could continue to grow, at the moment it is still pretty much an each way bet.

  • just different group, this time it's geeks (though the Wall Street gang is getting in on things I see).
  • Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds [amazon.com]

    No affiliate link, just a public service!

  • Why now? (Score:5, Funny)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Sunday August 13, 2017 @01:53PM (#55003701) Journal

    Because the world is fucking coming to an end. The guys with nuclear launch codes are waving their dicks at each other, the bees are all dead and Nazis are marching in the streets with tiki torches from their moms' backyards.

    So why shouldn't wealth be made out of nothing? Me, I'm holding out for TrumpCoin.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      trumpcoin is going to be amazing. it'll be the best coin, it's gonna be tremendous. tremendous;
      • by jtara ( 133429 )

        trumpcoin is going to be amazing. it'll be the best coin, it's gonna be tremendous. tremendous;

        • Obverse: dual silhouettes of Putin over Trump
        • Reverse: tiny hands

        ... with a beautiful golden finish.

        • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )

          trumpcoin is going to be amazing. it'll be the best coin, it's gonna be tremendous. tremendous;

          • Obverse: dual silhouettes of Putin over Trump
          • Reverse: tiny hands

          ... with a beautiful golden finish.

          It's something the likes of which the world will never see.

    • So why shouldn't wealth be made out of nothing?

      Aside from currencies not being actual wealth themselves, most modern currencies aren't any more substantive than bitcoint. They're all essentially commodities with the only real advantage over bitcoin being that they're legal tender. Ask Zimbabwe [wikipedia.org] or more recently Venezuela [slashdot.org] how much something their currency is made out of.

      • Bitcoin is not a currency its a commodity.

        http://www.win-vector.com/blog... [win-vector.com]

        Why don't you read up on what drives hyperinflation. Hint its not 'printing money' its what money in circulation can buy. Printing money is false cause of hyperinflation wrongly associated because its the wrong response to an underlying problem. 'printing money' is a bulls**t non-specific term that does not really mean anything. (Can cover one or more scenarios which can be quite similar but also quite different).

        Zimbabwe: give

    • > Me, I'm holding out for TrumpCoin.

      Already exists: https://coinmarketcap.com/curr... [coinmarketcap.com]

      Predictably, it is pretty worthless :-).

  • by MMC Monster ( 602931 ) on Sunday August 13, 2017 @02:17PM (#55003807)

    Wall Street's obsession isn't BitCoin. It's blockchain technology. They're seeing it as a cure for thousands of unrelated issues.

    BitCoin isn't even their focus. The software is freely available. They're looking to make their own forks (multiple) of LiteCoin and go from their.

    Source: Friend is a Vice President at a Wall Street firm. I can't talk to him for five minutes before he moves the conversation to blockchain technology.

    • Actually, Wall Street's obsession is in enriching themselves from the next greater-fool bubble. Bitcoin serves that role nicely.
    • Corda [corda.net] is way more interesting tech than any of these "me too" crypto coins.

    • you do realize VP at a Wall Street firm is everyone above entry level, right? I mean that literally.

      • My friend told me as much. He said he's got three levels between him and Jamie Dimon.

        That being said he also has a 3 acre property with a 7000sq foot house in Long Island, so I'm thinking he's just being modest. He's a nice guy once you get him to talk about anything but blockchains.

  • One Bitcoin is still only about 10% of the value of a single tulip bullb in 1636/7. Got someway to go yet.
    • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
      Not to mention that money is significantly easier to come by today than it was in the 17th century. There is a heck of a lot of money out there. Too much, according to some. I expect one day you'll be able to buy a small central american country for one bitcoin before it collapses.
      • Monetary Base = Reserve balances + vault cash + cash in circulation.

        M1 = Cash in circulation + Private-bank checking accounts of non-banks, non-federal, non-official foreign economic units.

        Best to question by what measure is money "significantly easier to come by today than it was in the 17th century"

        A currency issuer (government) drives use of currency by spending (issuing) and taxing (deleting) in said currency (enforces this by all legal and ultimately military means) and has not changed since 17th cent

        • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *

          A currency issuer (government) drives use of currency by spending (issuing) and taxing (deleting) in said currency (enforces this by all legal and ultimately military means) and has not changed since 17th century (or before).

          Countries have never issued so much debt - spending money they essentially don't have - as they do today. So yeah, the total amount of money in circulation is greater than ever before. Currency is no longer beholden to any standard - gold or otherwise, so there is no limit to the amount of money a government can create and spend. The only limit is how long it takes before the currency collapses.

      • Before bitcoin or the small central American country collapses?

    • But you could actually eat your tulip bulbs (or plant them and get a flower) no matter what their price in Guilders.

      When Bitcoin goes away, it will leave the way it came in: nothing but imagination.

      • In that sense, a tulip bulb is more useful than a bar of gold. Still, bars of gold have been able to retaining their value for thousands of years.

  • These coins are in massive bubble right now from speculators and are on rather shaky ground legally as they enjoy legislatures ignorance on how the whole thing works.

    As a store of value, cryptocurrencies are trash. As a speculative investment vehicle, you can damn well be sure some of us are flipping each leg up for profit.

  • I mined two bit coins about 7 years ago on my workstation at the office. When I quit my job, I took my non-work hard drive with me. It's in a box sitting in the garage.

    If I dig it out, I still remember the password of my wallet. If I recover those coins, are they still valuable or has the currency changed in some way that would render the wallet obsolete?

    • They're worthless. A liability in fact. Luckily for you though I'm destroying some of my own later. If you chip in, say, 30 bucks for gas and expenses, I'll take your as well.

    • by namgge ( 777284 )
      Why bother? They belong to your ex employer anyway.
  • are holding up the price. It's funny to think that if drugs were legalized the value of bitcoin would probably halve and if (when?) the governments get around to cracking down on ransomeware that'll take the other half.
  • Corporations, government agencies, hospitals and more are stockpiling Bitcoin because of Ransomware attacks. That's 100% the explanation for the rise in value. This is why we need to make owning, buying and selling bitcoin illegal. If we made it illegal, these organizations would be forced to sell destroying it's value. If it's valueless, and no one is legally able to buy it, then the Ransomware attacks will go away. Cash is much, much harder and more dangerous for Ransomware writers to collect.
    • I think making bitcoin illegal is tantamount to making ideas illegal.

      It may need regulation, public education about what it is and is not, you don't want people getting defrauded by common perception. But, if people want to pay money (an imaginary construct itself ever since moving off the gold standard) for a imaginary construct/concept, why should that ever be made illegal?

  • Liquidity (Score:5, Informative)

    by Registered Coward v2 ( 447531 ) on Sunday August 13, 2017 @04:27PM (#55004315)
    How easy is it to turn bitcoins into Euros, Pounds or Dollars? A cursory search shows limits of around 3000K $ per day, so even 300K worth would take about 3 months, and 3 million $ around 3 years. It would seem to be a forced buy and hold investment with a lot of downside risk if it crashes; or even if a lot of people start cashing out which would drive the price down. Is there an easy way to turn say 1 million of bitcoin to Euros, Pounds or Dollars? You want to get out before a large sell order drops the price significantly. can exchanges cover say 1000 people pulling out 3000k at once? Will they commit to the price at the time of the request or recalculate the value due to a price drop?
    • I'm not sure if I'm reading this many digits correctly, but I'm seeing a market cap of 68 billion dollars for it right now.

      That may not define the ability to pull money out quickly but my understanding is, it can be pulled out quicker than it used to.

      Also some may be opting to pull it out into gold or other things, there are now gold for bitcoin places, I know someone who buys his bitcoin mining stuff with, you guessed it, bitcoins.

      Agree entirely however that the simple act of pulling it out, does reduce th

      • Also some may be opting to pull it out into gold or other things, there are now gold for bitcoin places

        There is even a gold-backed blockchain [goldguard.com] (you can read my little write-up about it here [steemit.com]).

        Bitcoin may be in a bubble. But honestly most of the hype is not around Bitcoin itself. Bitcoin is not a store of value, and offers little utility. Other blockchains are doing more useful things. The Ethereum blockchain is finding many powerful uses, but as its price as a coin as somewhat settled recently, people are less interested in trading it.

        The Bitcoin bubble will eventually burst. The best blockchains, those that

        • The Bitcoin bubble will eventually burst. The best blockchains, those that provide real utility, will live on.

          Bitcoin is not static. The software can be upgraded to include new features. In fact, later this month, some features will be added to increase utility. On the other hand, bitcoin is a bit more conservative, which also adds value and security. Other blockchains can try out new ideas quickly, and if they turn out to be working great, the bitcoin blockchain can "steal" them.

    • by JcMorin ( 930466 )
      You can convert them to USD and Euro pretty instantly, the issue would withdraw it as exchange have daily/monthly limit. Tips: you can trade on more than 1 exchanges. The same rules would apply if you try to withdraw 1 millions $ in cash from the bank. The problem is not Bitcoin, it's the legacy system.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      easy is it to turn bitcoins into Euros, Pounds or Dollars? A cursory search shows limits of around 3000K $ per day

      Duh - you're looking at pleb-tier retail services. Do you think Wall Street cashes out at Coinbase?

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      According to some market volume [bitcoinity.org] data I found >100k Bitcoins or $3-400 million change hands every day on all the exchanges in total, so the market should have no problem cashing out a million in a day. If you can find an exchange that'll let you place a single million dollar order is another story, but if you really want to they'll probably let you.

      Will they commit to the price at the time of the request or recalculate the value due to a price drop?

      Any price you get from the exchange will be the last traded price. It is not an offer and there's no guarantee you can trade at that exact price. A market orde

      • Assets staying within an exchange are not the issue here. As long as they are staying within the exchange's ledger then it is all just numbers being transferred from one line on the exchanges accounting books to another. The question is how much liquid assets does the exchange have to cover monetary withdrawals. As Greeks found out during the banking crises, numbers on account are meaningless if you can't actually make withdrawals. Daily withdrawal limits of a few hounded EU were placed on the entire bankin
    • 3000 K$ / day = 3,000,000.00 $ / day? :)
  • Its not a 'currency' never has been does not in any way fit the definition of a currency its a virtual commodity. Get over it. http://www.win-vector.com/blog... [win-vector.com] If anything the last 6 months has shown why its too volatile for normal people to contemplate getting into. Of course welcome wall street ponzi-scheme into the mix, its like a big homeopathic cures conference, no shortment of excited con-artists. Eventually the gig will be up. This will happen when some governments legislate, taxes it in some form
  • by AbRASiON ( 589899 ) * on Sunday August 13, 2017 @05:43PM (#55004719) Journal

    Here's some data which essentially completely confirms a lot of it is money laundering.

    News from late Nov 2016
    https://www.google.com.au/sear... [google.com.au]

    Reaction to said news (click 1 year on the chart)
    https://www.worldcoinindex.com... [worldcoinindex.com]

    .
    .
    .

    Now, see this news also, Feb 2017
    https://www.google.com.au/sear... [google.com.au]

    See the reaction in other digital currrency markets (again, click the 1Y chart)
    https://www.worldcoinindex.com... [worldcoinindex.com]
    https://www.worldcoinindex.com... [worldcoinindex.com] -- *(!!)

    Now, finally look at your local property prices, especially if you live in Vancouver, Toronto, London, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland.
    Any way money can be gotten out of China, it will be by the wealthy / ultra wealthy. The change to my city in the past 5 years, is .nothing. short of utterly astounding. I repeat, *utterly astounding*, to the complete and utter detriment of the locals under 40 / 50 who don't own a place, they're boned. no chance now.

    *
    Regarding litecoin, this one is .particularly. telling, that coin was the "b tier" coin to bitcoin, the silver to gold if you will. Like bitcoin, it had a big run several years ago and then, it died off to a stagnant level, logically so too, why should there even be more than 1 digital currency?
    So here's a coin which has settled to a flat, sensible price, then due to talk of China making some moves against BTC exchanges in Feb 2017, is suddenly .booming.insanely. in Mar 2017.
    Most of the world buy their goods from there, we're sending our money to China en-masse, immense amounts of it, the wealthy there, are in turn getting out of the country and picking up the premium property around the world. Can't blame them to be honest, devastating for some of the locals though (myself included)

    • NOTE: I forgot to mention,

      My post does not imply it's the only way people are getting money out of China, nor does it imply that it's the only reason BTC and digital currency is booming. I do however strongly believe it plays a big, big part in it.

  • Need to short this thing.
  • by Spy Handler ( 822350 ) on Monday August 14, 2017 @12:55AM (#55006199) Homepage Journal

    I'm starting to think the Fed is largely responsible for fueling the current bubbles, including Bitcoin. Artificially low interest rates, expansion of the money supply, Quantitative Easing in its various iterations (version 1, 2, 3, and now 4 coming).

    Ever watch the movie Big Short? It explains the 2007 housing bubble but puts the blame on evil bankers and their subprime loans + mortgage-backed securities. Well yes the bankers are greedy and probably evil, but the movie misses the point -- the ultimate driver of the bubble was Fed flooding the market with easy money. If the cheap money wasn't there, bankers wouldn't gamble so recklessly. Then once the housing bubble took off and home prices just kept going up, loaning more of the cheap money to low-income people with no hope of ever paying it back seemed OK because house prices were rising so fast that the equity in the house would cover everything. Of course they didn't consider the possibility that housing prices might fall...

    Fed should not have the power to set interest rates, interest should be determined by free market forces. Note how they *never* set the interest rate above what would be a reasonable market rate, it's always below.

    • Well, I guess it would be nice to have an alternative form of money with a hard cap on the amount of coins, so you can store your wealth without having to worry about the Fed making it worthless.

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