Image: ISTOCK
Image: ISTOCK

Lance Boyle doesn't really know who he is

They called it the "crypto crash", the smug, sneering bastards. It was the first time that Bitcoin had stumbled since its headlong gallop into the blue following the Great Segwit Event of 1 August.

The bulls were running until the PBOC (People's Bank of China) put a mighty panda paw over the market last Monday and said: '已经足够!' (That's 'enough already!' - Google translate.)

America's leading business magazine, Fortune, responded as all self-respecting news organisations would, with a listicle: '7 reasons why China banned ICOs'.

An ICO is: "An unregulated means by which funds are raised for a new cryptocurrency venture. An Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is used by startups to bypass the rigorous and regulated capital-raising process required by venture capitalists or banks." (Investopedia)

The top reasons: ICOs are out of control, many are scams, they're a dangerous mania, they were forged in hell by Lucifer's central banker, etc.

But the real reason is this:

"China is an epicenter for cryptocurrency mania. In the first half of the year, China-based ICOs raised about $400m through 65 offerings with more than 100,000 investors, according to a report from the National Internet Finance Association of China. That puts the country in a particularly precarious position if and when the crypto boom comes crashing down."

It's not clear how bad this crash was/will be. By Thursday, the dead cat was bouncing. Or coming back to life and zooming up to the stars in a Superman cape.

And can one trust Fortune these days? See screenshot of "Most popular on Fortune" to the right. Yes.

When the same Kim Kardashian story dominates first and second on the Fortune charts, you have to wonder whether it knows its Bitcoin from its Buttcoin.

So I turned to the venerable Financial Times of London, where Miles Johnson offered this view:

"There are many today who believe the vertigo-inducing rise in value of bitcoin — up 643% in the past 12 months and more than 4,000% over five years — represents the greatest parabolic bubble of modern times, and one that is primed to suddenly and violently pop."

Miles goes on to caution, however, that betting against a bubble is generally not a good idea. Especially when that bubble is expanding rapidly. You don't want to be that one guy that shorted Apple in 1987.

Still, there is madness afoot. Here's a video wrapping up some of the dodgy ICOs that have come and gone.  "Coinye West" was actually a thing for a while.

So China has acted. What will the rest of the world do? Is this the beginning of the end? Or the end of the beginning? I'm with Churchill on this: 

See? It all makes perfect sense, right?


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