US stocks got clobbered on Monday. Gold trended in the opposite direction, moving back above the $1,600 mark. And Bitcoin, the topic of conversation for those forward-looking tech geeks and up-to-no-good anarchist types, held steady above $30 per coin.
Hardcore proponents of the cyber currency don't pay much attention to the day-to-day noise. It's largely irrelevant, they reckon. When all is said and done...when the last of the 21 million or so coins are mined...that's when the real fun will begin.
The currency is mathematically limited in supply. Provided demand continues to grow, the value of the coins will shoot up as fresh supply dries up and eventually...stops.
Speculation about the potential value of a single coin varies widely. We've heard wide-eyed forecasts running into the many thousands of dollars. That's why enthusiasts are scrambling to build their stash now, before the price rockets.
Get rich or die mining, as they say.
Maybe that's just crazy talk. But we've got a soft spot for crazy. A little nonsense now and then, wrote Roald Dahl, is cherished by even the wisest of men.
Besides that, time marches in one direction only...and the cyber nerds and anti-statists believe they've got the clock on their side. With every passing month and year, they argue, more and more people come to accept - nay, prefer - a currency that is not dependent on the whims and folly of central bankers.
In the war of currency attrition, they're prepared to wait it out...to watch as the government-issued paper around them begins to burn...leaving their cyber currency to stand tall...divisible down to (for now) eight decimal places.
We have no idea what tomorrow holds, Fellow Reckoner. But one must admire the conviction of these fringy individuals. They are embroiled in an age old battle of man vs. state, liberty vs. control, freedom vs. slavery. Bitcoin just happens to be their weapon of choice.
Of course, the important thing to note about free market folk is that they're nothing if not self-reliant. They prefer to sink or swim on their own.
In the case of bitcoin, our guess is, they will.
The cyber subject actually came up a few weeks ago. Your editor was hosting an asado here in Buenos Aires...
'You gold bugs,' we heard a friend exclaim, 'you're sooo pre- bitcoin!'
'You don't bury them in your backyard,' she continued. 'You don't have to smuggle them across borders hidden in the seams of your coat. You don't need to vault them in some far off jurisdiction. That's the whole point!'
for The Daily Reckoning Australia
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About the Author
Joel Bowman is managing editor of The Daily Reckoning. After completing his degree in media communications and journalism in his home country of Australia, Joel moved to Baltimore to join the Agora Financial team. His keen interest in travel and macroeconomics first took him to New York where he regularly reported from Wall Street, and he now writes from and lives all over the world.