In late 2017, cryptocurrencies were one of the most-discussed topics at many festive season dinner parties. Tales of visionaries who’d racked up fortunes on the back of bitcoin’s meteoric rise stoked the euphoria. And, they said, there was more easy money to be made. As it turns out, the bubble was already preparing to burst that December. Initially, crypto advocates claimed it was just a "correction", and a chance to buy more. But as 2018 wore on and prices fell further, enthusiasm waned. Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, has now lost more than three-quarters of its value since its high of R264,825 on local exchange Luno in December 2017. Today, it is trading at R58,452. According to, the combined market capitalisation of all cryptocurrencies fell from $573bn to $129bn in 2018. There are numerous reasons: panic selling, tighter regulations and several high-profile hacks among them. But either way, those who bought at the top have felt the pain, and those who e...

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