Everyone Hates Bitcoin, I Hate Bitcoin, So I Bought Some

Going back into Bitcoin with a small position.

A little over a year ago I disclosed having bought a few shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). I bought in the middle of its parabolic run before Thanksgiving and sold it after just two weeks with a 44% gain. I bought it as a lottery ticket thinking that it could easily go to zero but that if it went as high as some thought, well I didn't watch that happen from the sideline having invested time into learning about it. It went up so fast that it was obviously unsustainable which is why I sold so quickly. My writing about it has been fairly consistent if you have to dabble, make sure the risk you take is asymmetric such that a wipeout won't hurt you but if it skyrockets you could benefit.

That aspect hasn't changed in the last year. I also still believe that the idea of safer more efficient transactions promised by cryptocurrencies will come but that we are not there yet. For many months I have asked publicly on Twitter why all of the attributes ascribed to Bitcoin won't instead accrue to some yet to be created cryptocurrency while Bitcoin goes to zero. Lately, I have come to believe that unlike the previous 80-90% drops for Bitcoin, there is no wave of new speculators to come in and bid it back up. This creates a big obstacle for it to overcome in order to make a new high. I Tweeted that sentiment out the other day and someone replied that there are still 7.4 billion people left to discover it. I came back with an article from eleven months ago about how popular Bitcoin was in Africa.

The recent slide in Bitcoin has taken the price pretty far below the cost to mine it. This implies, but does not guarantee, that something has to give. Either the cost will come down which is a good bet at some point (maybe already happened) or that the price will (should) go up but that is more of a potential short-term catalyst. The long-term catalyst is what all the touts say it is. I have no idea if they will be right and I am plenty skeptical, as I have been all along but the touts could be right.

I decided last night that I would buy a little GBTC personally (not for clients) taking what I believe as an asymmetric risk. I put in less than one Roth IRA contribution. If it goes to zero, it won't damage my financial plan but if it goes to any of the ridiculous numbers put forth by the extrapolation (touts) last year, then it would be enough to meaningfully benefit our finances.

Who knows how long I will actually hang on if it goes up. If Tom Lee somehow turns out to be right and Bitcoin gets to $15,000 by year end (has he backed off of that yet?) I'm probably going to take that and be gone again. If it goes up a lot over a longer period of time I could see selling off a little at a time periodically but it all depends and again, this could be a total bust. As a side note, I would need a lot convincing, an awful lot, to think Lee isn't hurting a lot of people with his touts. If memory serves he's been very wrong about a lot of things over the last decade or so including Bitcoin it would seem.

A few minutes after I bought GBTC this morning, Joe Weisenthal Tweeted out the latest BusinessWeek cover.

​I have no idea whether this rises to the level of contrarianism that The Death Of Equities from the early 1980s was but if it is then that was just a lucky coincidence. I want to be very clear that zero is on the table here as an outcome as it was a year ago when I did a similar trade.

Disclaimer: The information, statements, views, and opinions included in this publication are based on sources (both internal and external sources) considered to be reliable, but no ...

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Michele Grant 5 years ago Member's comment

The problem with #bitcoin and other #cryptos is that without regulation, safeguards and oversight, it will never succeed. And yet the lack thereof is precisely why so many people are attracted to it.

Angry Old Lady 5 years ago Member's comment

Yes, criminals in particular!

Kris Andersen 5 years ago Contributor's comment

The problem that I see with cryptos is that if central banks allow crypto futures, then there's nothing to stop countries from dumping the dollar as the world's reserve currency and adopting the crypto. What do you think would happen to our $21T debt if that were to happen?

Samantha Wolf 5 years ago Member's comment

Very interesting, I hadn't thought about that.

Moon Kil Woong 5 years ago Contributor's comment

Cryptos don't have a chance of replacing US treasuries. For one thing they don't pay interest. For another thing is that they are all getting devalued faster than regular money because although each one has limits on how many new ones come into existence, every month there seems to be more and all of them increase their count.

Their main issue is general acceptance right now and convenience.

Terrence Howard 5 years ago Member's comment

Very true.

Judah David Powers 5 years ago Member's comment

BTC's issue is that the market became so diluted during the meteoric rise that even joke coins designed to make fun of the very idea were accepted and purchased. The market will have to cool off first, so that it can consolidate and have a sustained rise, rather than skyrocketing on the back of press coverage and the "hodl gang."

Bindi Dhaduk 5 years ago Member's comment

So what do you invest in, if anything Judah?

Roland Murphy 5 years ago Member's comment

So true. I remember reading at the beginning of the year how #Dogecoin was created as a joke and had just hit a $2 billion market cap. Crazy. $DOGE-X

Ayelet Wolf 5 years ago Member's comment

@[Judah David Powers](user:82828), I just read that #Litecoin might be making a comeback. $LTC-X


Dan Nicholson 5 years ago Member's comment

I'd have to agree with this statement. #Crypto is still too volatile for me, at least until there are more safeguards in place and maybe an ETF. But it is the future.

Adam Reynolds 5 years ago Member's comment

Wow, had no idea #Bitcoin was so popular in Africa!