Hold on to Your Bitwallets, Folks

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The Guardian reports on the latest Bitcoin follies:

Bitcoin, the digital currency, lost more than $160 (£104) in value on Wednesday, just hours after hitting a record high. The currency hit a new high of $266 before falling to $105 and then bouncing back to $130. The fall is unlikely to put off speculators. Two months ago, a Bitcoin was worth $20.

….Wednesday’s wild ride came as someone gave away thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoins on Reddit, the social news site. News blog Business Insider calculated a Reddit user under the name “Bitcoinbillionaire” had given away $13,627.69896 worth of Bitcoins to Reddit users over the day. The mystery donor signed off with a quote from Ron Paul, libertarian politician and one-time would-be presidential candidate: “It’s no coincidence that the century of total war coincided with the century of central banking.”

So the monetary base of the Bitcoin empire dropped by about a billion dollars because someone gave away $13,000 on Reddit. And this is something we’re supposed to take seriously as the future of money? Seems a wee bit fragile, no?

For more on the techno-idiocy that is Bitcoin, Adam Serwer and Dana Liebelson answer all your questions here.

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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