Im mixed up Inside already, although I want to avoid the Entire World of bitcoins, writes the author Julian Baggini
“If it works, I will give you a thousand quid.” Until recently, I had heard words like these in heist films from the lips of violent mobsters, uttered in dingy boozers or back roads. However, an unthreatening middle-aged man sitting opposite me in a south London craft coffee shop said to me it. The only South American narcotic involved was my Guatemalan white.
If you’re after quick money today, there’s no need to choose the risk of international organised crime when there’s lots of it flying about: cryptocurrencies and blockchains. Both worlds aren’t so far apart. Among the principal attractions of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and Ether is that they facilitate money laundering. But those want not while backers aren’t mafiosi but investors, looking for drab non-executive directors like me, filthy even a fingernail.
I was advised that the company aimed to raise tens of thousands of pounds in the upcoming few months. “Look it up,” the man opposite told me. I did. Despite their title, initial coin supplies are earnings of non-physical tokens of fresh cryptocurrencies. I find this overwhelming: you invent a money and get folks to present your money. Quantitative easing could be printing money, but it is being guaranteed by authorities.
It might seem like sorcery, however according to Miko Matsumura, co-founder of this Evercoin Cryptocurrency Exchange, we’re now seeing about 30 fresh ICOs per day, increasing over $3bn this season.
I was way out of my depth, without thinking about it however you do not turn down an easy million pounds for nothing. My first thought was that my interlocutor was a fantasist, but he also provided a good mention: a bona fide, respected academic and entrepreneur who had an option on the future company and said my man was “the right type of mad”. Fair enough: the people today making the money are more inclined to be nerds than sensible bank supervisors.
No longer is the old adage “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is” reason enough to dismiss these get-rich schemes. Even my prospective accomplice admitted cryptocurrencies were sort-of Ponzi schemes, albeit lawful ones that many have already successfully played. Bitcoins a year purchased for about $ 1,000 are worth over $11,000 today. The recent history of finance and international banking has shown us that as long as people believe something is true for long enough, the shameless, the roughest and the lucky can make fortunes. If you know when to leap before it crashes on to the shores of sanity — a rationality is in driving the tide of irrational exuberance.