Tim Knight Blog | Deconstructing the Crypto Genius | Talkmarkets
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Tim Knight has been charting and trading since 1987. His first stock trade was, in fact, on October 19, 1987 – the day of the crash – which perhaps goes a long way explaining his disposition ... more

Deconstructing the Crypto Genius

Date: Monday, November 26, 2018 12:28 AM EST

James Altucher, the self-described “crypto genius”, is someone about whom I’ve written in the past, but as I gaze upon the smoldering landscape that used to be the thriving cryptocurrency industry, I feel compelled to write on this topic again, since I think Altucher’s marketing efforts a year ago speak so much about the nature of the crypto craze at that time.

To be clear, I have no axe to grind. I’ve never lost money with the guy. Never had any kind of personal or professional relationship. Never met him. But, like virtually all of you reading this post, I’ve seen his face countless times on ads (especially late in 2017 and early in 2018) touting the surefire investment power of crypto. He became, in the words of the press, the “face of Bitcoin” (I guess all the other faces were taken).

Altucher is definitely a man who could be described in totally opposite ways, all while being completely honest. You could, for example, talk about him as a successful entrepreneur, popular author, widely-followed podcast host, and multimillionaire venture capitalist. Every one of those things would be true. You could, with just as much honesty, describe him as a man with multiple failed marriages and relationships, a person who by his own admission blew tens of millions of dollars and was at the brink of suicide, and a man who has created businesses that have drawn the wrath of customers and the Better Business Bureau alike. All true. It depends on how you want to spin things.

The “long form” advertisement that he put on the web about a year ago, which you can see for yourself here, definitely leans toward the positive spin. I wanted to break this down, piece by piece, because frankly the entire thing really pisses me off. I will say at the outset that maybe he made every single reader of his a fabulous fortune. You betcha. I have no evidence otherwise. But the content of this ad really rubs me the wrong way, and I wanted to publicly bitch about it in front of the world.

Let’s begin at the top:

Silicon. Valley. Insider. Listen, Jimbo, I’ve lived in Palo Alto since 1984, and I’ve been obsessed with the place for years before that. It’s been the center of my life. You aren’t a Silicon Valley “insider”. I mean, I know this place stone cold, and I’d never be arrogant enough to claim such a title. Have you ever visited here more than a day or two? Having some acquaintances who live in Mountain View isn’t that big a deal.

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