Saturday, April 6, 2013

Markets on the wild and wooly internet

Two data points, which I'm not going to try to analyze in detail just yet:
  • The market for Bitcoin, which proposes to be an online, anonymous currency, has been on a tear lately, doubling in the last month (at this writing), more than quintupling in the last two and increasing tenfold in the last four months.  Good news if you bought or received Bitcoin four months ago, scary news if you bought yesterday.  The word "bubble" has been cropping up more and more lately, along with the usual explanations why it's not a bubble.
  • Intrade, the online betting market which attempts to use the wisdom of crowds to predict events like elections and scientific discoveries, is closed while it tries to sort out some kind of financial irregularity and return to solvency.  The statements on the company's website are optimistic, and they may be right, but such things in general don't have a good record.
The whole point of markets like Bitcoin and Intrade is that they are not (as) subject to the regulations and restrictions of the conventional markets.  But that cuts both ways.

1 comment:

David Hull said...

Postsript: GizMag has a pretty good overview of Bitcoin, how it works and its pros and cons.