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Jamie Dimon, Warren Buffett have the last laugh on new-age money Bitcoin

Bitcoin's price has tumbled to near $4,000, down 30 per cent in a month, 50 per cent in six months and almost 80 per cent since December

Lionel Laurent | Bloomberg 

Warren Buffett-led Berkshire Hathaway's stock portfolio was valued at more than $135 billion at the end of June
Warren Buffett

turns 10 this year, but there’s not much to celebrate. Its price has tumbled to near $4,000, down 30 per cent in a month, 50 per cent in six months and almost 80 per cent since December.

The crypto-currency experts, who clearly didn’t see this coming, are blaming all sorts of temporary culprits — from jittery markets to “hard forks” (jargon for radical technical changes in a ) But they’re kidding themselves. This is a long-term unravelling of all of the lies, exaggeration and populist fantasies that drove last year’s market mania.

was meant to make all of its investors rich, something that held particular appeal to a millennial generation hungry for a financial boost in a world of crushing student debt, income inequality and low quality jobs. It was meant to be free of Wall Street’s corruption and the US government’s meddling technocrats. It was meant to be secure, with a price that would go ever higher. For the hardcore evangelists, it would reward its acolytes when the inevitable financial apocalypse arrived. The dollar was destined for scrap.

And it was meant to show that we should all stop listening to fuddy-duddy “experts” like Jamie Dimon, Warren Buffett and Jack Bogle. The old closed ways of investing would be usurped by the buying power of the masses.

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Unsurprisingly, none of this has come to pass. The bubble of 2017 — mercifully short and economically contained — has enriched only insiders such as mining companies and crypto-exchanges, and the early birds and tech elites who cashed in at the right time.

For the patsies who arrived late to the party, it has been a tool of financial impoverishment. About $700 billion has been wiped from the value of digital money since January.

First Published: Thu, November 22 2018. 01:47 IST
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