By Brett Arends, MarketWatch
Mwaah-haaah-haaah! Gotcha, suckers!
Bitcoin /zigman2/quotes/31322028/realtime BTCUSD -0.26% turned around and slammed the betting public’s fingers in the door — yet again — on Thursday, crashing more than $3,000, or 23%, from the previous day’s peak in a matter of hours.
The cryptocurrency’s sharp turnaround came after days of big gains had started to draw the Main Street speculators back into the trade.
Funny how that works, isn’t it?
We should have known something was up, because the “bitcoin analysts” had started appearing again across the media.
Is there an easier title anywhere than “bitcoin analyst”? All you need is a plausible manner, a good line in jargon about “digital currencies,” “nodes” and the like ... and the ability to appear in public and talk total nonsense until someone tells you to stop.
The bitcoin analysts have come out of hibernation in recent weeks, as the cryptocurrency — left for dead in 2018 — had apparently started rising from the dead again.
Bitcoin nearly quadrupled this year, rising from $3,700 to Wednesday’s $13,850, with most of the surge coming in the past few weeks.
Naturally, the bitcoin analysts were appearing everywhere pretending they knew why this was happening.
“Oh, it’s all about the next ‘halving,’ ” they said.
Sure it is, Jack. (Don’t ask what the “halving” is.)
“Oh, it’s a bet against the dollar.”
Of course it is, Jill. “Bitcoin” is a safe-haven bet against the greenback, didn’t you know?
“Oh, it’s because Facebook /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite FB -0.14% is ‘legitimizing’ the digital currency ‘space’ by launching its own currency, ‘Libra.’ ”
Yes, sure, that’s what usually drives up prices in an open market — an imminent, massive increase in supply from a much bigger competitor.
“Oh, it’s to do with ‘institutional buying.’ ”
Sure. Pension funds everywhere are loading up on bitcoin. I can’t wait to see the lawsuits in about five years’ time.
Naturally, this latest round of explanations came with the usual auction of outlandish predictions. Bitcoin is going to $20,000. It’s going to $100,000. Pick a number. Have a guess.
You can’t be proven wrong, for the same reason you can’t be proven right. There is no “right” answer.