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Cryptocurrencies lost $20 billion of value overnight

Basically, don’t use them to pay for stuff, but they’re as good as horses to bet on.

Basically, don’t use them to pay for stuff, but they’re as good as horses to bet on.

What it means: Cryptocurrencies, online-only money that isn’t controlled by any government or central bank, are now worth $20 billion less than they were a couple of days ago.

Lots of people are treating this as NBD, because the values of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have rocketed all over the place since they were invented. What goes down (may) come up.

But it's not very useful for a thing that people are supposed to be able to use to pay for stuff. Currencies have to be reasonably consistent in their value to work as a means of exchange, otherwise a pint of milk could cost you £1 one day and £50 the next.

So nobody is really using cryptocurrency as currency, not least because loads of businesses refuse to accept it. But lots of people are using it as a speculative investment - basically, they’re placing bets on whether the value of various cryptocurrencies will go up or down. As a money-making method, it could make you a millionaire. But so could the Grand National.

Cryptocurrency-as-currency might not be completely down and out, however. Venezuela has just made a cryptocurrency legal tender. That would be better news for crypto-fans if Venezuela wasn't widely considered to be pretty terrible at understanding how money works. But hey, it's a start.

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Reader Comments

  • WhereAreTheVikings

    What a terrible, terrible shame. Western Civilization nurtured capitalism, and now capitalism is destroying it. And these young people seem to welcome the invasion of their homeland. The media and schools have been very efficient in wiping out all traces of blood and soil.

    • prollawalllynotahumanoid

      Capitalism isn’t the problem. It’s corrupt politicians taking bribes and kickbacks from Globalists and the Chinese.

      • WhereAreTheVikings

        Maybe I should have said crony capitalism. Although Italians importing Chinese to make “Italian leather” shoes is not crony capitalism. It is capitalism, pure and simple.

        • prollawalllynotahumanoid

          That would be crony capitalism and globalism combined. They aren’t concerned with the affect their policies have upon their citizens, the health and welfare of their society and culture or their economy. What it isn’t is fair-free trade to further national interests.

          • WhereAreTheVikings

            I’ve always seen them as one and the same, but perhaps they need to be named individually, just to bring home the point.

      • WhereAreTheVikings

        But now that travel is so easy and borders are virtually down through H1bs and the like, theoretically you can’t blame capitalists for the pursuit of cheaper labor, although I do heartily blame them not being more patriotic than that. Perhaps the emerging nationalism will force them to voluntarily do what they should have morally been doing all along, and that is employing business practices that preserve their countries and nationalities. The government should be doing everything it can to encourage that, to the extent that small government should do anything but guard the borders and strictly, drastically, limit immigration.

      • Henry Lam

        It is China with its corrupted mindset affecting the world.

        • prollawalllynotahumanoid

          No it is not. Capitalism is the fairest and least corrupt system of all.

          Socialism and communism is based on authoritarianism, coercion and police intimidation. It has and always will be rife with criminality, bribes and kickbacks.

          Corruption can be anywhere but it is the very basis of socialism and communism.

    • Henry Lam

      The government is too weak. They do not understand the mindset of communists and how they educate their people. Those communist people are only loyal to their country and could be dangerous. The immigration law should only accept those who accepted multiculturalism and taught from a democratic education system. This virus events clearly has shown how stupid to take China as a friend.

      • WhereAreTheVikings

        The government is not too weak. Just weak-minded about some things.

  • Gabi Rodrigues

    For how many days can a country maximum close their borders to foreigners maximum? Like now, with the virus, everyone is using 30 days. Can it be more?