Cryptocurrencies than can make millionaires in minutes are justification enough to get of bed at 5am to gamble
Bitcoin envy, the ultramodern malaise. News reports are full of this magic internet money’s rocketing value – currently $16,000 – and Facebook is dotted with people who picked some up at $500, $50 or even 50 cents. But the cryptocurrency ship hasn’t yet sailed. In the volatile market of alternative cryptos, relatively unknown alt-coins such as ripple, litecoin and ethereum regularly shoot up by hundreds of per cent in a matter of weeks, and plummet just as fast. Bitcoin envy has brought in vast sums of new money, dollar-eyed investors taking a Las Vegas gamble on which of the more than 1,000 alt-coins might rocket next. In September the cryptocurrency market cap was $137bn. Today it’s $800bn. It’s a blockchain gold rush.
In mid-December a Facebook friend well-versed in crypto tipped Cardano’s ADA, which at 21 cents was just the tip I was after. Little did I know I was riding unarmed into a lawless digital wild west, where fortunes are made and lost on a tweet and every shill, trickster, bot and conman is using all the unregulated tricks in the book to make a fast buck. And this was undoubtedly my first rodeo.