Brief Bitcoin Followup

Quite some time ago I did an explanation of Bitcoins, how they work (sort of), why they’re interesting, and why, or not, they matter.

At the time I mentioned that a bitcoin was worth roughly $15, and said it probably wasn’t a good idea to toss too much money at them. Six months or so later, a bitcoin is worth about $2.80, and they’re still trending downwards. ┬áSo, yeah. If you stayed away, that’s probably a good thing. I’d still stay away.

It’s worth pointing out, though, that even a meagre $2.80 is vastly higher than it was worth a year ago. During the spring of 2011 it received a huge boom in publicity which is mostly what inflated the price. Since then it’s had a few crashes but has mostly been trending down as the attention to it fades, or even turns negative. It all got into this weird state where people looked at it like a tax-safe investment, and although at some point in the future a digital currency might make for a feasible investment along those lines, that was a radically inappropriate view to start with.

In the meantime, bitcoin essentially remains a fancy crypto-PayPal. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not the money-Jesus people started making it out to be.