In fractions of a second measured in metric time, $97 million dollars is poof, gone, with a simple click of the mouse, as the DNA of code and minion to a devious hacker infiltrates the soft digital underbelly of a crypto-exchange. And this isn’t a victimless crime, as daring investors put their misplaced faith in precariously unreliable cyberwallets drowning in a sea of unregulated waters as individuals hope and pray to the will of probabilities, that being part of a large school of minnows, will avert a fatal encounter with a shark resulting in a lucrative payday for a crook and money lost forever.
Within a innovative and questionably sustainable monetary system based on speculation, rather than a tangible commodity, where the brute force amount of verified transactions dictate value, the volatile nature of the cryptocurrency marketplace piques the imagination with all the guarantee of cashing in on a Vegas sporting book parlay bet. The “tough luck” mentality of the gamble, only sets to attract more investors. This is a product of an iridescent fantasyland and the progeny of the fast food era, where expectations of lightspeed performance remain as unrealistic as the devaluation of privacy and the forgiveness of sloppy accounting.
For every success story circulating on TikTok and YouTube profiling a millennial’s ascension to great wealth, there exists thousands of nightmarish experiences shared by the great second wave of buyers insatiably and instantaneously hoarding unproven penny Bitcoin variants through second party smartphone apps. Cryptocurrency investing sites such as Coinbase, and Robinhood, tie directly into the checking or savings account of end users, and the businesses act as brokers for the entire array of digital money with transactions fees based on purchase amounts. The explosion in popularity surrounding the easy to access and prevalent, but risky investments, has forced traditional financial institutions to reevaluate their operating parameters to accommodate cryptocurrency holders, and experts are brainstorming on solutions to address the complex issues surrounding compatibility and regulation. At time of publication, the price per Bitcoin was at a fraction over $48 thousand, as the currency has weathered a stringent ban in China and a government crackdown on mining operations within the Communist regime.
In working towards a minimum level of consumer protections, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS), an international organization that recommends policy and standards in which pecuniary entities regularly adopt across the board, places the Bitcoin family in the highest risk category of cryptocurrency investments. Banks are being urged to match dollar for dollar a client’s e-currency deposit as calculated by minimum capital required in protecting their firms from the schizophrenic nature of the current marketplace. The stunning Risk Weighted Percentage Rate of 1250% does not elicit a wealth of confidence among banking leaders, as the unknowns far outweigh optimistic short-term projections. Not bad for a currency given value through the merits of an ingrained thought experiment, and not a precious metal.
In the absence of a federal presence and the subsequent fear of severe consequences, as easy as shooting fish in a proverbial barrel, the keystone predators simply lay in wait for the next big score, being careful not to antagonize the rogue players of the dark web, including dissident governments and criminal organizations. As the “hello world” of electronic ecosystem is a perfect environment for an array of financial crimes, law-abiding citizens continue to spend their hard earned money in epitomizing the gravitational pull of hysteria superseding logic. The lottery-like vibe indirectly funding the criminal underworld, instead of a state government, is an apples and oranges comparison of malaise, but the inherent anonymity of the Bitcoin microclimate certainly eliminates the possibility of a paper trail in pursuing digital bandits. But the theory that the majority of investors are merely window dressing for one of the most devilish grifts in modern history is not so far-fetched, as the possibility that the late and the eccentric Jon McAffee and others orchestrated their own widespread scam in profiting from consumer fears in pawing off anti-virus software under false pretenses.
The $97 million mentioned above that was liquated from a Japanese crypto-exchange, marks the latest in unrelenting series of plundering due to abysmal security protocols, that are apparently a walk in the park for nefarious hacking groups to successfully storm and plunder. Between the disturbing amount of breaches with zero chance of recovery, and lost passwords, it is estimated that $4.5 billion yearly falls into the hands or wallets of crooks, and a staggering 20% of mined Bitcoins exist only in digital purgatory and will probably never be recovered. If that pair of sobering realities is not enough to deter future prospectors, a developing trend is the use of fake news to dictate a surge or fall on cryptocurrency exchanges.
As the wise phrase summarizing the digital realm of “don’t believe anything your read of the internet.” has been lost in the generational backwash of social mutations and dwindling attention spans, certain electronic coin owners are aggressively exploiting the system for personal gain, acts that would land an individual significant jail time in manipulating the stock market. While the majority of global retail chains have yet to integrate Bitcoin payment options into their infrastructure, the cryptocurrency world waits in anticipation for the initial corporation to break the ice, and the voracious entities inhabiting the rarified air at the top of the food chain, or the nexus of the server farm, are patiently awaiting the inevitable and decadent feast.
In a tale that encapsulates all that is good and bad about the ecommerce world and social media, Yahoo News reports that a bogus press release was unleashed, claiming that Walmart and Bitcoin fork, Litecoin, were joining forces in a collaborative venture, in launching Litecoin payment options at the cash register and online. The fake news immediately went viral, resulting in a temporary market fluctuations resulting in Litecoin’s price skyrocketing by 25%, before it was revealed that the whole thing was a gigantic hoax. In a 25-minute period the Bitcoin variation spiked to nearly $234 dollars, and minutes later plummeted to a 5% decrease. During that chaotically frenetic window of time, somebody obviously scored lucrative profits, due to the destabilization caused by the intriguing falsehoods contained within the felonious PR message. Hence is the nature of the brave new world, and the Chinese phrase of, “May you live in interesting times,” has never been more applicable than in the contemporary future shock adventure piloted by instant gratification.
While standards of privacy have incurred a perceptible drop, a proportionality that linearly decreases with age, a similar phenomenon is apparent within the financial world, as the younger generations do not seem to be deterred by poor security performance and other detrimental factors plaguing the the cryptocurrency matrix. This naive arrogance which has led to the Reddit-infused run on Gamestop, is not an indication that the world is going to hell, but is a stern warning to traditional customs and their custodians, that social Darwinism is speeding up the wheels of change and tempering expectations must follow as to avoid a mental breakdown after spending a day lurking on social media.
This editorial powered by Duckduckgo.com