Thursday, May 01, 2014

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Despite Niche Usage, Bloomberg Now Tracks Bitcoin (And Second Life Hype History Keeps Repeating)

Bitcoin virtual currency

Bloomberg terminals are now tracking Bitcoin because, well, because why not:

The company explained that it decided to add the Bitcoin information in response to growing interest among its 320,000 clients, and because Bloomberg sees virtual currencies as an innovation and an underdeveloped market. Bloomberg also acknowledged that the verdict is still out as to whether Bitcoin will have a permanent place as a fixture of finance, writing: “Bitcoin may be the biggest technology innovation since the Internet or a fad whose crash will be as precipitous as its meteoric rise.”

A major, internationally respected business news source regularly tracking a virtual currency which still has extremely limited usage (now fluctuating between just 50-80K transactions a day)? That sounds vaguely familiar; didn't that also happen a few years ago?

Oh right, it did:

Reuters SL

When Reuters opened up an official bureau in Second Life in 2006, primarily to track business news in SL (including the value of the Linden Dollar, which Reuters also tracked with a ticker on its Second Life news site). And despite all that, failed to do much original reporting.

News tip for Bloomberg (or for that matter, Reuters or anyone else): The biggest story around Bitcoin is actually that it gets so much coverage, despite the fact that the virtual currency is hardly used as an actual currency -- and is not gaining users in any meaningful numbers.

More Bitcoin/SL hype parallels here, and even more here.

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Looking at it positively, it's a win for all crypto- and otherwise digital currencies. They all need legit entities offering insight and transparency. This is good for cryptocurrencies to come, like High Fidelity's.

Arcadia Codesmith

Every currency is Tinkerbell -- you need a theatre full of kids chanting, "I do believe in Bitcoin, I do, I do!"

That's just as true of the dollar. You've just had more kids chanting over a longer period of time.

Adeon Writer

I think you should be paying attention to Dogecoin.

I've never used bitcoin to this day, but I have paid a few people in Dogecoin.

Ciaran Laval

Largely agree here with Arcadia Codesmith.

In Terry Pratchett's Making Money, Moist Von Lipwig argues that Gold is pretty much useless, you can't eat it and you can't plant it, unlike a potato, which can be eaten or planted to grow more potatoes.

It's all about perception and in a day and age when more and more transactions are merely carried out by numbers on computer systems, the perception of worth has never been more based on faith.

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