Crypto markets are not reeling this week because China is “cracking down on Blockchain.” Tokens have been getting slammed since the summer because most of them are unnecessary, and because the need for coins that may offer some utility is not as imminent as buyers thought it would be. This is most obvious with King Crypto, bitcoin, whose purported use-case as a store of value is not looking very compelling.
The risk-reward in bitcoin has always been an extreme one, which is why its biggest proponents/salespeople assigned astronomic price targets to it. Widespread adoption is an extremely low-probability event with an enormous payoff if the stars align. And let’s be clear: the things that need to happen for the world to turn to bitcoin – complete central bank impotence, widespread currency debasement, falling equity markets and the abandonment of traditional gold – means betting on bitcoin is essentially betting against the house. Hence the “short bankers, long bitcoin” meme. To say bitcoin will offer a 100x return yet also say it’s a highly probabilistic event is inherently contradictory and hugely dishonest.
The market is now realizing this. As the global economic slowdown of the last nine months shows signs of stabilization and the Federal Reserve sees no need for more interest-rate cuts, the case for bitcoin is taking body blows. None of the stories about adoption are turning out, big tech giants from Facebook to Google are doing everything possible to dominate electronic pay and finance, and projects designed to make bitcoin a means of exchange are either slow, fruitless, or both.
In short, the house does not look like it’s in a losing position just yet. And so bitcoin ...