The Bitcoin Dream Is Dead

Bitcoin’s recent 25% plunge illustrates why it will never be a true currency

OnMay 22, 2010, a Bitcoin developer named Laszlo Hanyecz bought what may have been the most expensive meal in human history when he paid someone 10,000 Bitcoins to pick up and deliver him two pizzas from Papa John’s. Given that one Bitcoin is now worth more than $30,000, those pizzas cost, in retrospect, somewhere north of $300 million.


Smart investors know that when it comes to investments or life in general, nothing is guaranteed. In fact, anyone who guarantees returns of any kind with 100% certainty is a giant red flag.

Smart investors look for asymmetric bets. This means they look for opportunities that have a downside of what’s invested but an upside that is 10x-100x or more.


Simple. Investing is a numbers game. Most investors have losing investments on a regular basis. You can’t win them all. But… if for every losing investment you make up for at least 10x on the upside with your winners, you’ll end up very very wealthy.

Cryptocurrencies are an asymmetric bet.

On the downside they could go to zero and you can lose what you put in.

On the upside, they could return 10x, 30x, 50x, 100x or even more.


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Bitcoin’s recent 25% plunge illustrates why it will never be a true currency

Bitcoin was, after all, not designed to be a speculative asset. It was designed to be a currency, a new medium of exchange that people could, and would, use to transact daily business with each other. (That’s why we call it a cryptocurrency.)

When Bitcoin was first introduced to the world in 2008 in a white paper, its mysterious creator, who dubbed himself Satoshi Nakamoto, described it as “a purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash [which] would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.”

He billed Bitcoin as “an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party,” like a bank or credit card company. And that’s exactly what Hanyecz was doing on that day in 2010: sending an electronic payment directly from himself to another person without any third party being involved. He may have unknowingly made a terrible investment decision, but he was using Bitcoin exactly as it had been designed to be used.

It’s easy to forget now, but Bitcoin’s promise in those early days was that it would be a new currency, one that could challenge the hegemony of so-called fiat currencies like the dollar (which are issued by governments) by being untraceable money that would allow people to conduct business cheaply and anonymously. And because Bitcoin was designed to have a fixed number of coins — it will have 21 million coins by 2140, and then no more — people could use it without worrying about inflation debasing its value. It was a kind of cyberpunk fantasy that enchanted many. As recently as 2018, Twitter CEO and Square founder Jack Dorsey said, “The world will ultimately have a single currency. I personally believe that it will be Bitcoin.” Even today, you can still find pundits who trumpet Bitcoin’s revolutionary possibilities and point to things like PayPal’s plan to offer its merchants the ability to transact in cryptocurrencies in 2021 as evidence that radical change is afoot.


The more people hoard Bitcoin, treating it as a speculative asset, the less appealing it seems as a currency.

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