Agorism Cashes In! Some Perspective on a $500 (and Soaring!) Bitcoin

Over the weekend the privately designed and created digital
currency/investment vehicle (it was designed as the former, seems
to be working more effectively right now as the latter) hit an
exchange value of over $500–closing at $528.32–on it most prominent exchange, Mt. Gox. (And
as of the minute I write this, already up to $640 today.)

You first probably heard of Bitcoin from one of your kooky
friends, in the wilder ends of agorist economics (end the Fed,
escape the State, black markets rule, you can buy drugs with them
anonymously online!) and/or high-tech futurism (new technologies
are giving us wider and wilder freedoms from state control than you
could ever know.)

The value of Bitcoin in dollar terms survived its
first supposed bubble back in April
 (when it topped off at
$266 before falling to $65 within a week), and the
shutdown of Silk Road
, its most prominent use for actually
buying goods and services

Lots of alarming reports arose about people having their
Bitcoins stolen, or the
system being gameable
, or Bitcoin
exchanges disappearing overnight

Despite all that, in the short term at least, believing in the
wild future seems like it was a very, very smart idea. There are
various scruffy festivals and conferences I attended in 2011 where,
if even half the people there were putting any money where their
mouths was, the assembled wild-eyed dreamers easily have a market
cap exceeding $40 million today.

For some perspective: if you dropped a grand on Bitcoin the
first time (I believe) it was mentioned here at Reason,
April 20, 2011
, it would have been worth around $4.4 million

If on the day Reason.TV first
ran a video interview with Jerry Brito
about Bitcoin, for those
who trust the image more than word, on June 1, 2011, you had spent
a thousand bucks on Bitcoin, you could have turned that yesterday
into $54,465.

If, on the day that Wired magazine confidently declared
that Bitcoin was through–“The Rise
and Fall of Bitcoin
,” out on November 23, 2011–you spent a
grand on the dead digi-currency, that would have been worth
$221,982 yesterday–a lot of gift subs to Wired.

if you bought in the first time we wrote at Reason
about Bitcoin’s
first known appearance in a lawsuit,
on August 15, 2012, you
could have cashed that out yesterday for $39,873. 

If you dropped a grand at the height of the April “bubble,” on
April 10 this year, right before it all seemed to come crashing
down, that would have been worth $1,986 yesterday, nearly doubling
your investment.

If you had dropped that grand on May 21, the day
my Reason article on government attempts
to regulate
or stymie Bitcoin appeared, that would amount to $4,292

If you had put a grand of U.S. fiat money into Bitcoin the day

before the Silk Road bust
–which you might recall led
many to think a death blow had been struck to the currency–you
could cash out that grand yesterday for $3,657. If you had dropped
a grand on Bitcoin a mere month ago, that would be worth
$3,139–substantially more than tripling in a month. 

(All estimates
based on the day’s high via this chart
 for the buy price,
and yesterday’s close of $528.32 for the sell. And remember, this
morning it has soared another 20 percent or so. This morning.)

What any of this means for the future of Bitcoin as either
currency or investment vehicle is uncertain, of course as past
performances are no result of future guarantees and all that. And
as anyone will tell you, wild fluctuations in value aren’t really
the best quality for something you want to use as a currency, as
opposed to an investment vehicle. But it is worth noting that
academics have found
that even reports of the occasional hack, scam, and theft of
Bitcoin seems to have no effect on its market capitalization or
worth, and hacker types are doing their best to make sure Bitcoin
can stay largely anonymous, though means
such as “dark wallets.”

But that lots and lots of people are putting their money into
their belief that private, largely anonymous, state-free, black
market friendly, digital currency vehicles are the wave of the
future at the very least should put a smile on the shade of Sam
Konkin, libertarian
movement father of agorism
 and hopefully put a lot of
change in the pockets of his fans.

Reason on

from Hit & Run

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