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Mike Shedlock

Mike "Mish" Shedlock is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management. He operates the blog MISH'S Global Economic Trend Analysis and believes in the Austrian School of economics.


Bitcoin Silliness, Myths, and Fatal Flaws

7 days ago




Over the past months or so I accumulated a number of articles regarding Bitcoin ICOs (initial Coin Offerings) myths and hype.

Let’s also take a look at what I consider to be fatal flaws, one I have not seen discussed yet in articles, but the idea is easily understood.

Myth #1: BitCoin is the Next Gold

September 5, Bloomberg: Could Bitcoin be the Next Gold?

The idea is preposterous. There is no “next gold”.

Gold is gold, nothing else.

Myth #2: The Institutional Herd is Coming

September 4, Charles Hugh Smith via Zerohedge: Bitcoin, Sour Grapes, And The Institutional Herd.

Smith: What’s the value proposition in declaring BTC is in a bubble?

Mish: The bubble proposition value is the same now as declaring the housing bubble before it happened in 2004 and again more recently

Curiously, on September 12, 2017, Smith proclaimed Housing Bubble Symmetry: Look Out Below. I guess it’s OK to talk about housing bubbles but not Bitcoin bubbles? What value proposition is that?

Smith: Declaring Bitcoin a bubble is starting to sound like sour grapes.
Mish: Just like declaring a housing bubble is sounding like sour grapes? Right?

Smith: The point is institutional ownership of Bitcoin is in the very early stages. As bitcoin continues to advance, institutional money managers will be forced to buy in, just to avoid the fate of those who failed to buy Apple. Money managers buying now at $4,500 will look like geniuses when it hits $10,000, and everybody who dismissed BTC as a bubble at $5,000 will face a bleak choice–either get some bitcoin in the portfolio or prepare for a pink slip. When the institutional herd starts running, it’s best not to get trampled.

Mish: Institutional investors will be forced in? Really? They never embraced gold, silver, copper, the Euro on the way up, the Yen on the way up, or the dollar when it bottomed.

They never embraced gold, silver, copper, the Euro on the way up, the Yen on the way up, or the dollar when it bottomed.

It could happen, but realistically there is no reason to believe institutions will embrace Bitcoin. If anything, there is every reason to believe institutional investors will leave Bitcoin alone.

Myth #3: Bitcoin Can Never Be a Bubble

June 11, Coinspeaker: Here’s Why Bitcoin & Ethereum Can Never Be In A Bubble (No, really: digital bubbles are impossible) by Daniel M. Harrison, Editor-in-chief of Coinspeaker and Chairman & CEO of global investment company DMH&CO.

Yes, you heard that correctly. I am saying a bubble in digital asset valuations is completely practically impossible from any reasonable conceptual and logical – and especially, financial – standpoint. The reason? Market Bipolarity.”

The discussion is mostly incomprehensible non-logic that boils down to this amusing set of ideas.

1) the Theory of Reflexivity which belongs to George Soros;

2) my own observations of how different thinking participants act in capital market cycles;

3) annexing my understanding of the latter with my understanding of the function and affect of the Blockchain economically speaking.

Got that? Bitcoin can never be a bubble based on the author’s observations of a theory by George Soros.

He concludes “The innovation in and of itself has fundamentally radically altered the laws of economics, at least in its own sui-generic sense.

The article sounds like year-2000 “Gorilla Game” logic that said no price is too high to pay for a “gorilla”. Cisco (CSCO) was one of the alleged “gorilla’s”.

Silliness

There’s Literally A ‘Token’ Called “F*ck” That’s Up 370% In The Last 24 Hours

August 31, Zerohedge: There’s Literally A ‘Token’ Called “F*ck” That’s Up 370% In The Last 24 Hours.

Just Like Apple

August 26, MarketWatch: ‘It’s like being in Apple at 10 cents’

39-year-old ironworker Greg Salerno from Hoboken put $1,600 in bitcoin, and it’s now worth $20,000, prompting others at his workplace to come to him for advice.

“It’s like being in Apple (AAPL) at 10 cents,” said Salerno.

No, it’s not.

Keeping Up With the Joneses

That wasn’t the top, but we may have seen the top now.

Enter the WhopperCoin

August 26, ZeroHedge: Burger King Russia Introduces The “Whoppercoin” – The Fast-Food Industry’s First Digital Currency

The Whoppercoin was officially introduced on Aug. 22. Its introduction followed reports earlier this summer that Burger King Russia was planning to start accepting payment in bitcoin.

Predictions Abound

August 27, Wall Street Journal: Faithful techies think in coming decades one digital coin will be worth $500,000.

“Early Snapchat investor Jeremy Liew thinks Bitcoin will reach $500,000 by 2030. Tech eccentric John McAfee believes it’ll take only three years. That’s $1 trillion of digital coins. Now companies with an idea for applications built on top of these currencies are raising hundreds of millions through initial coin offerings. Is Bitcoin the greatest rocket ship ever or will it end up a giant smoking hole in the ground? Maybe coin owners should appeal for tax-exempt status if the IRS would consider Bitcoin a faith-based organization.”

Ridiculous Cryptocurrencies

Recall that Coinspeaker author Daniel M. Harrison said Bitcoin can never be a bubble because it “Fundamentally altered the laws of economics”!

By the same logic, the following ridiculous currencies can never be in a bubble either.

August 30, Benzinga: 10 Most Ridiculous Cryptocurrencies

  1. Dentacoin: Dentacoin is the brand new cryptocurrency designed by the global dental industry and already accepted as a means of payment at partner dental clinics. Dentacoin currently has a market cap of more than $2.9 million.
  2. Titcoin: Titcon claims to be the most popular cryptocurrency intended to be used for the adult entertainment industry. It hasn’t exactly taken off, with a market cap of only about $228,000.
  3. Dogecoin: Dogecoin was created as a joke based on the popular “Doge” internet meme. Somehow, Dogecoin now has a market cap of more than $232 million.
  4. Monacoin: Of course, if there’s going to be a dog meme coin, it would be ridiculous not to have a cat meme coin. Right? The cat meme Monacoin is particularly popular in Japan and has a market cap of $26 million.
  5. Trumpcoin: If you’re tired of the direction bitcoin and Ethereum have taken the market and want to make cryptocurrency great again, Trumpcoin may be right for you. Trumpcoin hasn’t gotten many votes from investors so far, with only a $386,000 market cap.
  6. Potcoin: Of course the cannabis industry has its own cryptocurrency. And of course it sponsored Dennis Rodman’s trip to North Korea. Why not? Potcoin has a market cap of $26.5 million.
  7. Legends Room: The Legends Room in Las Vegas is the first gentleman’s club in the world to have its own digital currency. Five thousand coins buys you a lifetime membership to the club. The current market cap for Legends Room is $3.0 million.
  8. Insanecoin: Nothing inspires confidence in an investment quite like having the word “insane” right in the name of your currency. Yet Insanecoin currently has a market cap of more than $2.4 million.
  9. Unobtanium: Unobtanium’s claim to fame is that it was designed to be the rarest cryptocurrency in the world, inspired by the fictional mineral that was the basis of the movie “Avatar.” While Unobtanium may be exceptionally rare, you can pick up a coin for about $76 on today’s market. Current market cap stands at $15 million.
  10. Useless Ethereum Token: The most absurd currency of all appears to be a protest against cryptocurrencies gone awry. What is a Useless Ethereum Token? “No value, no security and no product. Just me, spending your money”

World’s First Honest Ethereum ICO

Let’s dive further into the Useless Ethereum Token.

Let’s be honest—everyone’s tired of ICOs. They get hyped up for weeks, and then they launch and clog up the Ethereum network for days, Coinbase goes down for a while, and then “investors” see the new tokens lose most of their “value”. This ICO is going to be different.

“Might be secure, definitely not audited”

“Guaranteed Token Value”

Unlike with every other token sale on the market, I can guarantee here and now that the value of UET will not (in fact, can not) reduce during or after the ICO. They’re called Useless Ethereum Tokens for a reason.

Wait… is this a joke? Is it a scam?
Neither! This is real—and it’s 100% transparent. You’re literally giving your money to someone on the internet and getting completely useless tokens in return.

There are no “whitepapers,” no “products,” and no “experts.” It’s just you, me, your hard-earned Ether, and my shopping list.

Congratulations to the Useless Ethereum Token

Congratulations are in order. The Useless Token founder made $72,072 selling digital tokens guaranteed to be worthless.

As far as overall profit goes, that’s peanuts. On a percentage basis, however, the Useless Token founder made an infinite profit and everyone else lost 100%. Nicely done!

Magnificant Hype

Here is some of the most Amazing Bitcoin Hype to date. The article is lengthy so I will post some image clips.

Big News Big News

The big news on October 26 is pure speculative. Amazon may announce it will accept Bitcoin. Will it matter? I suppose it could matter, but what if it doesn’t.

Bitcoin Flaws

  • Bitcoin does not scale. Other digital currencies claim to scale.
  • There are no barriers to entry. Proof of the above is the sheer number of currencies. There are 800 over digital currencies. Most will eventually be worthless.
  • Government crackdowns. I said long ago China would crack down on digital currencies. They did. Most of the trading volume is speculation or capital flight out of China. I strongly suspect the crackdowns have just begun.

Crash

Amid calls that Bitcoin cannot or will not crash, Bloomberg reported just today that Bitcoin Crashes After Chinese Exchange Says It Will Halt Trading.

Unlike earlier “crash” reports, this one has a feel that it’s the real deal. Here is a screen shot of Top Crypto Currencies.

There are numerous pages. I showed only the first one.

Not to fear, I have it on high authority there can never be a bubble based on a modified theory from George Soros.

Top Weekly Losers

  • IFC: Infinitecoin down 79%
  • CCRB: CryptoCarbon down 89%
  • MAX: Maxcoin down 78%
  • MEC: Megacoin down 84%
  • MGC: Mergecoin down 87%
  • ZET: Zetacoin down 80%
  • XCN: Cryptonite down 82%
  • Tag: Tagcoin down 84%
  • ZCC: ZcCoin down 87%
  • BUN: BunnyCoin down 92%
  • AMIS: AMIS down 98% (87% today alone)

Down 50% or more in a week is a crash. Perhaps this will wake some people up. Perhaps not.

The big winner was COXST: CoExistCoin up 1000% (Market cap $0).

The more I look at this the more appropriate the “Gorilla Game” comparison seems. Amazon, not a technically a Gorilla but a “Godzilla”, survived a crash to $6 then recovered

Amazon, technically a “Godzilla” not a gorilla by Gorilla Game theory, survived a crash to $6 then recovered nicely, to say the least. The imitators did not fare so well.

Could it happen again? I suppose. Remind me to buy if Bitcoin goes back to $100.

If Wishes Were Fishes

If wishes were fishes the nets would be full. Do I wish I put $10,000 into Bitcoin or any of the other huge winners more recently?

Of course. But let’s be honest here. The odds that $100 has another chance of turning into $50,000 are very close to zero.

On that 1-2-3 chart are we at 2 or the top of 3?

Things typically do not blast 20,000 percent and then do it again. Is it possible? Yes. But more than likely, to make significant money from here, one has to risk significant money here.

Other Side of the Coin

James Altucher, crypto millionaire, is the author of the above ads. He turned $15 million into $0, then $0 into countless millions. He is a very bright guy. He was correct about Bitcoin and numerous other things.

But that ad smacks of investment seminars on how to flip a house right at the peak of the housing bubble.

Altucher also has a huge self-interest in getting people to buy digital currencies. He makes out huge time if the bubble continues. That is not an attack, it’s simply the truth. We all promote what we like.

Reflections on Hype and Top Calling

I cannot stand over-the-top hype. The constant barrage of hype on Bitcoin undoubtedly has some hoping for a crash.

However, hype sells (until it doesn’t).

Is this the top? I have no idea, but promotions of Bitcoin to $500,000 are more than absurd.

Blockchain Technology

Blockchain is an amazing technology with many practical uses, especially low-volume, high price transactions. Think mortgages, deeds, auto titles, and security transfers.

Digital currencies may facilitate things, but that is no reason to expect someone will pay $500,000 for a single Bitcoin.

Bitcoin vs Gold

I wrote about gold hype in Gold and Bitcoin Hype Hits Stratosphere (Part 1).

Consider this article, part 2.

By comparison purposes, Rickard’s target of $10,000 for gold is amazingly tame.

In my admittedly biased opinion, gold at $10,000 is far more likely than the equivalent move in Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is not the “next gold”. Gold is gold, nothing else.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock