Uncommon Sense

January 25, 2022

Crypto—Digital Greed

Filed under: Culture,Economics,Reason,Technology — Steve Ruis @ 8:52 am
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You have probably read here that I think capitalism needs to be on a leash, a leash held by government (of the people, by the people, for the people). If the leash is absent, capitalism is very, very destructive. Why? Because greed, that’s why. Capitalism places no limit on human greed.

You may also have read that the stock markets are a negative drain on the economy. The reason for that is that most sales are of already existing stocks, so the sales are based upon speculation, what the economist call “rents.” You take your money and let somebody else use it and you charge rent, interest, or whatever you want to call it. The problem is that nothing of value is being created, it is pure speculation, e.g. “buy low, sell high.”

Precious metals are often the subject of markets. When you buy a precious metal, such as gold, silver, palladium, etc. your are making the purchase in the hopes that the value of that material will go up, again speculation. Some buy gold as a hedge against inflation, that is they think its value will be eroded less than other assets, but again, this is a speculative endeavor. Nothing new is being created.

But at least gold and silver and whatnot have some pragmatic value. I have gold and silver both in my teeth right now. And this computer has connections that are gold plated. Of course, the adage that you can’t eat gold applies, but that can also be applied to some foodstuffs. (We all know what a lousy cook Grandma was.)

Then along comes cryptocurrency, or “crypto” in the jargon. This is a digital currency not tied to any government, so possibly it appeals to anarchists, but it is clearly a speculative endeavor, solely a speculative endeavor. There is no pragmatic function that it provides.

What it does provide is the speculative gambler’s rush thinking about how much money one could make buying and selling “crypto.” There is even a lampooning commercial now of a crypto holder thinking he is a millionaire and ten minutes later he is dejected because he is not a millionaire. This happens again and again. Wow, the experience of being a fat cat without needing a fortune to experience it! (The commercial is for a tax preparation service.)

So crypto, underneath all of the other justifications is just a rentier’s casino, allowing the little people to get in on the rich people’s game, making money without creating anything of value to society.

Interestingly, the religious people who are constantly bemoaning the values of our culture sinking into the cesspool of time, are completely quiet about crypto.

And why are economic endeavors that create nothing of value used so frequently in discerning the “health” of economies? The economy would be stronger, much stronger, if these endeavors didn’t exist.

5 Comments »

  1. I certainly agree with that.

    I toss crypto currency into the same basket with NFTs, both are things that are basically entirely imaginary. They have absolutely no tangible value and they could vanish entirely just as quickly as they appeared. I think both are an indication of just how irrational our whole economic system has become.

    Liked by 3 people

    Comment by grouchyfarmer — January 25, 2022 @ 10:34 pm | Reply

  2. Going to be interesting to see how all this pans out over the next 10 years.

    Liked by 4 people

    Comment by john zande — January 26, 2022 @ 4:44 pm | Reply

    • If you are panning for crypto, expect that all you will get is a lot of hot air.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — January 27, 2022 @ 1:55 pm | Reply

      • Nooooooo, I am an observer. All my money goes to the animals. One day, maybe, I might have some for myself.

        Liked by 2 people

        Comment by john zande — January 28, 2022 @ 3:36 am | Reply

        • :o) hey, I am an animal, too! But never been subjected to animal cruelty . . . except for, you know, Donald Trump.

          Liked by 2 people

          Comment by Steve Ruis — January 28, 2022 @ 10:45 am | Reply


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