Crypto: speculation for the poor
They are in no way currencies, even if the infatuation and the global greed of gain bestows upon them the flattering label of “cryptocurrencies”, in a doomed-from-the-start attempt to lend them credibility and attract punters. You need to have a tough heart and stomach to trade in such currencies with unprecedented volatility. They are in reality nothing more than an instrument – an umpteenth one – of pure speculation that has no intrinsic value! Buy a property and you will still have it if the market tanks. Buy shares on the stock market and you will still be part owner of the company if the market collapses. Buy Bitcoin and you’ll be throwing your laptop in the bin if its value evaporates (as is currently the case) because this tool is just a bit of code that you can do absolutely nothing with and that someone else at the other end of the pyramid just had the bright idea of selling.
This widespread hysteria in fact tells a banal story that has happened before many times. It reflects a collective contagion that has in the past swelled the valuation of assets that are far more tangible than cryptocurrencies – that in turn are as ephemeral as a summer romance – but are also just as banal as a game of musical chairs where the number of seats are limited and the only people who can win are those who sell up first. This market – that is now worth a few trillion dollars and euros less than it did before, having been largely devalued these last few months – only has any value thanks to other players who are okay pushing it higher and higher.
Worse still – and far more worrying still is that crypto has prospered on a breeding ground of young and precarious speculators and investors who didn’t have the means to trade on the stock or in the property markets as it was too dear for them. Let us be realistic and honest: in a climate where new generations are much worse off than their predecessors, and in a situation where it seems so easy to make money by speculating thanks to deregulation and the complete liberalisation of capital flows, crypto has sold a dream to young people, who found in it an ideal way to distinguish themselves from their predecessors. In a world where inequalities are aberrant, where the great majority of young people over the world can now be qualified as the new poor, the one and only weapon at their disposal allowing them to make a mark for themselves has been crypto. This scam was able to persuade them that they could follow in the footsteps of the rich and the powerful by taking advantage of an avant-garde instrument as a side hustle.
Alas for these young people and for the helpless, for whom crypto was literally an ideology so much so that they swore by it and it alone, rich investors have got even richer because it’s them alone who found themselves in the handcuffs of these platforms and this sham of a market. Today, thousands of gullible investors are suffering head-on and right up to their last penny this latest avatar in the era of a rampant capitalism that only knows how to prosper off the backs of the most vulnerable cadavers. It remains those who can afford to lose the least who are the ones to have been wronged and ruined.