Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency you’ve Googled a few times but still don’t quite understand, is having an awful day on the heels of a dazzling week.
After hitting a record valuation of $19,857 per coin, the currency has dropped in valuation by more than 30 percent, which is actually up from the 44 percent it had plunged below its peak value on Friday morning. Other cryptocurrencies are foundering, too.
The crash has been so drastic that Coinbase, one of the leading Bitcoin marketplaces, halted buying and selling of the currency on Friday morning.
Those who caught the Bitcoin wave early — as in, a few years ago — are doing just fine amid the chaos, and the currency is still up 1300 percent in value this year. It’s the latecomers to the craze who are suffering, and loudly.
If only they’d listened to … everyone.
Economists have been warning to anyone who would listen that Bitcoin is, to put it bluntly, a fad.
“The soaring price of bitcoin is likely the result of an unsustainable speculative bubble, according to the vast majority of private-sector economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal,” the paper reported earlier this month, in one of many such evaluations over the last few months.
“Bitcoin is nothing more than crypto-tulip bulbs,” Sean Snaith, director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Competitiveness, told the Journal.
But has humanity listened? Nope. Instead, Bitcoin has gone fully mainstream, penetrating some unlikely corners of the moneyed universe:
The lesson here, as always: Forget the naysayers. Buy, buy, buy!