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Senior Member
Posts: 2,228
Reply with quote  #1 

I hear that bitcoin has doubled in value in the last 2 months and it is now worth $2400 a bitcoin.  (At least, that was true as of the date of the Fortune article, below)

I have also heard that it is very volatile.

Although it is also true that it has gotten more competitors.

Also, if you bought bitcoin in the beginning, you would have made even more money.

One problem with bitcoin: If  you pay for your airline ticket with bitcoin and want to cancel it----it's my understanding you can't really do that.  It's not like a credit card (this is what I hear, anyway).  I'm not sure how retailers are supposed to handle bitcoin refunds.

Has anyone heard of ethereum?  (Which has also increased in value alot.  Can you believe it increased 2800% per cent in a year?   Wow.)

With all the tech minded people from the North I would have thought we would have had alot of bitcoin investors on this board---I seem to recall there were some.

2 reporters from Wall Street Journal just wrote a book on bitcoin----The Age of Cryptocurrency---which I will be interested in reading, when I get the chance.

I hear that the Japanese government recently approved bitcoin as a way of making payments---which has bolstered its credibility.

On the other hand, the Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange scandal may have deterred many investors.

According to Wikipedia:

Mt. Gox was a bitcoin exchange based in ShibuyaTokyo, Japan.[1] Launched in July 2010, by 2013 and into 2014 it was handling over 70% of all bitcoin transactions worldwide, as the largest bitcoin intermediary and the world's leading bitcoin exchange.[2][3][4][5]

In February 2014, Mt. Gox suspended trading, closed its website and exchange service, and filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors.[6][7] In April 2014, the company began liquidation proceedings.[8]

Mt. Gox announced that approximately 850,000 bitcoins belonging to customers and the company were missing and likely stolen, an amount valued at more than $450 million at the time.[9][10] Although 200,000 bitcoins have since been "found", the reason(s) for the disappearance—theft, fraud, mismanagement, or a combination of these—were initially unclear. New evidence presented in April 2015 by Tokyo security company WizSec led them to conclude that "most or all of the missing bitcoins were stolen straight out of the Mt. Gox hot wallet over time, beginning in late 2011."[1

fter Mt. Gox I tended to write off bitcoin as speculation.  And I didn't have enough of a technical background to convince myself that it wouldn't happen again.  Or maybe government regulation might somehow put it out of existence since it is rumored to be used by criminals, etc.  The recent worldwide ransomware scare, for example, used bitcoin as the preferred payoff method.  Will there come a point at which world governments say "enough is enough" and put it out of business?  That seemed a risk from the very beginning.  Why would the world governments permit an easy way to collect on a criminal enterprise?  BTW, this is why those offshore asset protection schemes never worked---so long as a judge can put you in jail and force you to cough up the offshore assets it isn't exactly a bulletproof scheme.

I'm a bit surprised that bitcoin doubled in value after this scandal.  I don't quite get it---why wasn't this Game over?  Everyone loses things from time to time----but to lose over 850,000 bitcoin---that's quite an oversight.  And Mt Gox wasn't a marginal player----as mentioned above they handled 70% of the bitcoin transactions by 2014 when they closed down.   Do I want the risk I might have to go to bankruptcy court in a foreign country?   Seems like a real serious risk.

I understand that the total # of bitcoin is like 21 million bitcoin which can be created by 2040---and within 1 year something like 80% of the available supply will be in circulation.

But then again I don't have the technical expertise to comprehend bitcoin.

And some retailers like it because its fees aren't as high as visa or mastercard---though its volatility  is something of a problem.  I heard there was a restaurant in san diego and some other retailers that accept bitcoin---is that just a publicity stunt or a gimmick?

Given its volatility, undertaking any kind of long obligation like a loan in bitcoin might be a disaster since the amount owed could change radically over the life of the loan.

Also, there are over 800 kinds of cryptocurrency, but only a handful like bitcoin have any real market value.  

What is really fueling this value runup?  I could see some figuring that if you have to run a medical marijuana business this might be a better solution than trafficking in cash since normal banks won't touch that.

The odd thing is that since 2014 (when Mt. Gox went bust) there hasn't been any more widespread acceptance of bitcoin to justify the renewed confidence that a doubling in value would represent. 

It's also a very public medium----even those behind the ransomware they could trace the ransom payments being made to a specific bitcoin account.

The appreciation overall has been stunning----it started at 8 cents in July of 2010 and is now worth 2900 (an all time high)---now that is what I call appreciation!
Ethereum has likewise been very profitable.

It appears that Bitcoin was worth around $1000 and is now worth almost $3000 in 2 months.   So I have happened on bitcoin at the time of great volatility.
I hear that alot of those who originally invested are sitting on the sidelines waiting for apprecation and that maybe alot of hedge funds are making this as an investment.

I don't know anything about technical, but if you look at the price curve it seems suspiciously similar to the housing price curve as it reaches toward the top of the market.  (Bitcoin has increased 5 fold since last June).  Looking at the chart, if someone had invested in bitcoin on 3/26 their money would have almost tripled by now.

The question is are there going to be enough fools who will jump on the bandwagon at this point?----recognizing that the # of bitcoins is limited and that by next year 80% of them will have been issued.

Anyone tracking this?


Senior Member
Posts: 610
Reply with quote  #2 

Not sure I get what gives Bitcoin it's value. Here is one with blockchain technology that is backed by gold. Sounds interesting in theory


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Senior Member
Posts: 1,001
Reply with quote  #3 
Onegram sounds great.  Non-traceable currency backed by gold.  Almost too good to be true.  Far better than US currency.  One troy ounce equals about 31.1 grams.  So a gram of gold, at $1,278 a troy ounce, would be worth around $41 or near a couple of twenties or a fifty.  Not a bad denomination, especially for large amounts.  The most appealing thing about electronic currency is that it is "electronic cash".  It is as untraceable as cash.  So criminals would certainly like it.  It is very dangerous to try to fly $1 million dollars cash out of the US.  Doing so with a couple mouse clicks is very appealing.  It's kind of horrendous, but large sums of cash are viewed as criminal.  If you get stopped on the freeway with more than $10,000 in cash it can be confiscated and you have to prove that it was legal.  There is no presumption of innocence.  Even if you are not found guilty of anything, the authorities will keep it.  Police also do this to suspected drug dealers and prostitutes.  I'll bet there are massive fights over who gets to keep this windfall.  Courts, police, cities or counties.  Kind of makes me wonder about those TV shows like Pawn Stars, American Pickers and car restoration.  "Would $26,000 cash buy it?" is a common question.  Apparently you could have the sum confiscated and maybe be arrested just for having cash.   

Senior Member
Posts: 2,228
Reply with quote  #4 
I don't know about onegram.  But I have heard that most of the 800 currencies are not publicly traded, there is no market for them, the aim of the creators is to inflate its value and then sell out---pump and dump.  In short, unless a cryptocurrency has a compelling argument in its favor, I would pass---and there are only a relative few of which that seems to be true.

They interviewed Vladimir Putin this week and he says Russia is going to adopt a cryptocurrency---I wouldn't buy into that one either.

Part of the deal fever may be coming from hedge funds chasing yield, and as indicated, there is always demand from the criminal class.  Also, I think there is considerable enthusiasm from techies---bitcoin does have military grade encryption and most of the thefts have been at what they call the wallet level---people not protecting their passwords or clicking on emails, etc.   Theoretically you can trace any theft since it's a public medium,though it doesn't seem to have helped Mt. Gox retrieve the 600,000 bitcoin they lost.  (They retrieved 200,000 somehow.)

It's kind of spooky that the Mt. Gox theft started in 2011 and wasn't detected until several years later---Ouch.

But its volatility is notable----recently it hit an all time high, but now is down something like $240 (and may be back in record territory by lunch today).  Who knows how to determine its value?

Bitcoin and Ethereum may be overpriced----who knows?  But at least they are well known and there is a market for them (unless there is a dark swan event).

In the time it took to make my post the value of bitcoin depreciated in value by $16---perfect for adrenaline junkies.
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