Mainstream media bashes bitcoin when it falls vigorously. And it bashes bitcoin when it rises powerfully. It even bashes bitcoin when the coin goes stable. In the end, they bash.
The latest bitcoin price jump gave the mainstream media plenty of room to discredit the asset’s inorganic market moves. Joining the bash club latest was The Motley Fool. The US media firm on Sunday published an article – or more sort of a 500-word question, titled “Is Bitcoin just a big April Fool joke?“. Author Alan Oscroft questioned the reason behind bitcoin’s April 2 spike, in which the asset attracted about $12 billion worth of fiat money in just an hour.
“Why would the price suddenly jump on 2 April, from around $4,000 the previous day, and then hover around the $5,000 level for the rest of the week?” – wrote Oscroft.
Insulting Bitcoin Community
Despite the article’s straightforward approach in raising a legitimate question, its attempt to abuse the entire bitcoin community – as if it was a devil’s cult – was disappointing. Oscroft called bitcoin traders “weirdos” by not calling them weirdos. At the same time, he treated stock traders as a rational hoard of investors. The comparison followed years of criticism discussing bitcoin investors’ moth-like nature to get themselves burned at the hand of an asset that has “no intrinsic value,” and no credible use-case.
Then again, the Motley Fool forgot to mention that if bitcoin was as worthless as Tulip bulbs then why the global banks, governments, and every other financial giant was trying to extract its underlying technology, the blockchain. If it had no relevance in tomorrow’s business world, then why Nasdaq, Fidelity, VanEck, and NYSE were working days and nights to build an infrastructure around it.
True, traders are speculators. But they are as much as investors as a venture capitalist who decides to put a large sum into a startup with a nominally-working test model. The only difference is distributed ownership. Traders are long on a technology that, as they believe, would change the course of finance. These investors could gain as much as they could lose. But that doesn’t take away their right to speculate. It’s the same everywhere – that’s the core nature of speculation.
Volatility is Natural in a Distributed Network
So there is an investor who is holding $100 in multi-billion bitcoin network. And then, there is an investor who is keeping his $1 million in the same distributed technology. The fun part is that everyone is welcomed to run or support this network – poor or rich alike, without permission. Bitcoin, perhaps, is the first historical evidence of distributed ownership of a big financial/recordkeeping company.
That pretty much explains the wild fluctuations. Unlike a company, bitcoin is a network of many minds, with many agendas – just like a democratic country. The reason why bitcoin investors are so used to bitcoin jumping/dropping 20-30 percent in a day is the same. They understand that such swings do not hamper the running of the network itself, which transfers ownership of value across a decentralized network and maintains its information on a public ledger. The product works no matter its value goes up or down.
Distributed ownership also keeps working in the background. It doesn’t happen in a centrally-operated company. So there is no point of comparing one with the other. Those who love stability have no place in the bitcoin network. The bitcoin network is chaotic, but it’s surging anyway. It’s a startup that knows no boundaries. Its so-called test model is working without breaking a sweat in the past ten years – and being an open-source project, it would keep developing.
The Motley Fool’s latest piece chose to or unintentionally ignore the prospects behind people’s investments. I don’t blame them. Every new technology deserves skeptics as much as it deserves supporters. Criticism allows technologists to find flaws and work on them. As a result, the technology itself come back better and more valuable.