James Delingpole: Those bitcoin weirdos might just be right

bitcoinweirdos03 Jan 2014 / The Spectator – Here’s a thought to kindle a lovely warm glow of smugness and schadenfreude as we enter a new year: you didn’t lose your fortune in the great bitcoin bubble of 2013.

The reason I know you didn’t is because few Speccie-reading types of my acquaintance even understand what a bitcoin is, let alone how you might go about buying one, or why it might be important for the future of everything. So let me try to explain from the perspective of a fellow Luddite and techno-phobe.

You think about bitcoin, if at all, as one of those newfangled things that young people and child pornographers and hackers and other unsavoury types indulge in. It’s good for a blackly funny story — like the one about the Welshman who lost £4 million worth of bitcoin on his computer hard drive in a rubbish tip. But it’s not something you need to get involved with emotionally, let alone physically, because you don’t need to buy your drugs from the Silk Road, when there’s perfectly decent claret to be had online legally from Berry Bros. and Rudd.

Up to this point, I’d agree that your analysis is more or less right. And we haven’t even factored all the other reasons why you might want to avoid bitcoin — and its junior cryptocurrencies, such as Litecoin and Quark — like the plague. These include: the tremendous fiddle of buying the things; how pretty useless they are when you’ve acquired them; how hard they are to get rid of when the price starts plummeting; how vulnerable they are to theft by hackers; and the possibility that the authorities might suddenly clamp down on cryptocurrencies, as they have in China….. Read more


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