Blockchains, or why Bitcoin is not a Tulip

Skeptically, but with some audacity, I took five thousand dollars out of my savings account and bought a fraction of a cryptocurrency, the popular Bitcoin. I became owner of 0.42625601 bitcoins. After one week going through clearance to complete the transaction at CoinBase, my broker of choice, I looked at the value of a Bitcoin. In one week, I had made a two thousand dollars profit, exactly 40% of my original investment. Surreal. The twenty-first century version of the Ponzi scheme that overwhelmed the Dutch with their Tulips in the sixteenth century. “It is a bubble just waiting to burst”, all bank portfolio managers I spoke to have argued. Had I caught it just before doom? Or is it months or years away and, in spite of so much volatility, I had been a winner that week.

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