Date
13 November 2018
Lack of faith in global financial institutions post 2008 has fuelled a huge interest in cryptocurrency and blockchain, and where there’s a will, a way often emerges, notes Peter Sabine. Photo: Reuters
Lack of faith in global financial institutions post 2008 has fuelled a huge interest in cryptocurrency and blockchain, and where there’s a will, a way often emerges, notes Peter Sabine. Photo: Reuters

HODL: A fool’s game or long-term vision?

No, this is not some kind of weird spelling mistake. “HODL – Hold on for dear life” is a term that has kept investors going through hard times. If Winston Churchill was still alive (and invested in Crypto) he most likely would have said: “We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall HODL”.

The digital currencies fever of late 2017 and early 2018 is now officially dissipated, and cryptocurrency investors are starting to panic. Well, some are. Cryptocurrencies have gone up and down in value for a while and so long-term investors are unfazed by seemingly huge drops in value.

HODL is a term well known in the community – keep calm, carry on and under no circumstances panic-sell. Well, it is easy to say that if you are someone who entered early and not a retail punter who has lost a huge amount of money at the expense of the long-term investors. In that case, treat it as a lesson in failure or HODL – you will be rich in the future, or will you?

The fact is – no one knows. It’s a reason why global economist Nouriel Roubini called Bitcoin the “Mother of All Scams” and named blockchain as the “Most Over-Hyped Technology Ever” in a testimony to the US Congress. The NYU professor may have rustled some feathers, but many would agree with him.

“It is clear by now that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies represent the mother of all bubbles, which explains why literally every human being I met between Thanksgiving and Christmas of 2017 asked me first if they should buy them,” said Roubini.

“Scammers, swindlers, criminals, charlatans, insider whales and carnival barkers (all conflicted insiders) tapped into clueless retail investors’ FOMO (fear of missing out), and took them for a ride selling them and dumping on them scammy crappy assets at the peak that then went into a bust and crash – in a matter of months – like you have not seen in any history of financial bubbles.”

‘What about blockchain?’ supporters may cry. Roubini has the answer: “Now that the crypto bloodbath is in full view the new refuge of the crypto scoundrels is ‘blockchain’, the technology underlying crypto that is now alleged to be the cure of all global problems, including poverty, famines and even diseases… Blockchain is the most over-hyped – and least useful – technology in human history: in practice it is nothing better than a glorified spreadsheet or database.”

Having reported on blockchain for the best part of 2018, the technology comes across as at times world changing and other moments nothing more than a fancy Excel file. Only time will tell – regardless of the outcome, there is little doubt that lack of faith in global financial institutions post 2008 has fuelled a huge interest in cryptocurrency and blockchain, and where there’s a will, a way often emerges.

You either go down with the ship, or rise to the surface triumphant. Whatever the answer, I’m HODLING.

– Contact us at [email protected]

RC

EJI contributor

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe