I lost a fortune in bitcoin

Have you bought great Christmas gifts to your friends and family thanks to Bitcoin? I did.

It was definitely the best Christmas of my life: unusual perfumes, Lakers tickets, countless toys. Nothing is too good for loved ones when you are a bitcoin tycoon.

When I was buying gifts in mid-December, the Bitcoin train hummed on all cylinders. The OG cryptocurrency had risen from under $ 1,000 per coin in early 2017 to more than $ 19,000. With the advent of futures (contracts that allow Wall Street types to bet on price), daily coverage on CNBC, and the major exchanges adding hundreds of thousands of trading accounts, it looked like the crypto revolution would be in full swing.

For me, checking the Bitcoin price became a natural reflex, almost like a blink of an eye. Every look would hit me with a little dopamine jolt. Friends began to find my “check btc” texts unbearable. I even gave solemn yelps on occasion. The best way to describe this ecstasy is: it’s no better than the best sex I’ve ever had, but it’s definitely better than all the sex I’ve ever had. And the feeling stretched for hours. Who wouldn’t register there?

It wasn’t just because I was making money. It was a justification. Bitcoin had been on my radar since 2014, and I had started investing a significant portion of my savings in it in early 2017. I believe the blockchain – Bitcoin’s underlying decentralized ledger where all transactions are validated by its user network – is a breakthrough technology. And the ability to send large amounts of money across borders quickly and relatively cheaply is a great advantage.

All the weak remnants of my Catholic upbringing had been replaced. Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious founder (or founder) of Bitcoin, was now my messiah. Others also joined my new religion.

It doesn’t matter that I didn’t take a cent of my paper winnings off the table to pay for these gifts. As someone who has made some absolutely overwhelming investment mistakes in the past decade, you’d think I knew better. But I’ve been too busy strutting around Los Angeles like that cocky Pete Carroll GIF.

Rational thinking was for the birds. I wasn’t one of those pesky Bitcoin millionaires flaunting my newfound, enchanted life on Instagram. I wasn’t even close to a millionaire. Still, if you’re a writer in your twenties carrying a crippling amount of student loan debt (Fight On, USC), the sudden change in wealth was mentally comforting. Living a debt-free life was not a fleeting dream or the result of being married into a wealthy family. It was on the horizon now.

And then inevitably came the crash.

After browsing $ 20,000 per coin in December, Bitcoin climbed about 50 percent. The reasons are for a variety of reasons: fear of government raids, the emergence of bootleg scammers, and futures contracts betting on falling prices, to name a few. Just yesterday, Facebook banned advertising for cryptocurrencies in order to weed out “misleading or fraudulent advertising practices”. And you can’t forget Paul Krugman’s seemingly biweekly cryptocritical column. All of this contributes to market sentiment. When newcomers – who shopped for $ 17,000 in the December run-up – panic and decide to sell at a loss, it pushes the price down. As simple as that.

Since then the momentum in my step has been replaced by a limp. Bitcoin is notorious for its rapid price drops – and jumps – and I’ve already weathered several corrections. But this one was the most heartbreaking. The euphoria that came with the habitual review of the Bitcoin price has now been replaced with headaches and swear words. Just seeing the words “tulip bulbs”, “bubble” and “Ponzi scheme” makes my blood boil. The same friends who asked me in December if it was too late to get into Bitcoin are now pestering me and asking if it was time to get off the ship.

How can you visualize that? Let’s use “King Homer” for the ailing Homer clinging to his one week old sandwich. Bitcoin is my one week old sandwich:

And yet, despite the month-long migraines it caused, that massive decline did little to contain my Bitcoin enthusiasm. If anything, I’m as bullish as ever. In crypto parlance, I am “hodling” (an intentionally incorrect spelling of “hold”, like when holding my investment). Here you say I’m stupid. And you are probably right.

But this is not a technology that is going to go away anytime soon. More than 1 million people have already signed up to trade Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on Robinhood’s trading app. Coinbase, the largest US exchange, has more accounts than Charles Schwab. From a technical point of view, advances like Lightning Network and SegWit are gaining in importance. Samsung makes chips to “mine” Bitcoin so that users can review blockchain transactions and be rewarded with Bitcoin. Wall Street joins the party. And international demand, from Japan to Korea to Venezuela, remains high.

My belief in my new religion has been tested last month … and I’m still sticking to it. I just eat a lot of ramen in the meantime.

8 eye-catching gadgets at CES 2018, from storytelling robots to augmented reality glasses (photos)

  • Vivo touch screen

    Tech companies have gathered at CES in Las Vegas to showcase their latest gadgets for 2018. From Samsung’s massive 146-inch TV to the first smartphone with a fingerprint sensor – see what we’ve noticed so far.


  • Samsung The Wall CES

    Samsung has taken the big screen to a whole new level. “The Wall” is literally taller than most walls and comes in at 146 feet wide. The picture is also noticeable as the MicroLED display is a huge step forward over the LED screens found on most televisions. If you want to cover your living room wall with “The Wall”, it will come out sometime in 2018, although the company hasn’t even put up a standard price for it yet.


  • Rokid AR glasses CES

    Rokid’s AR glasses highlight the main reason TheWrap continues to be optimistic about AR compared to VR. In short: functionality. Put on one of those Wi-Fi enabled glasses, look someone in the face and you will be met with their social media profiles and contact information. It’s a bit Terminator-esque. The San Diego-made glasses will arrive later in 2018. Rokid didn’t want to price it just yet, but said it will be “competitive” with VR headsets like Oculus, which go for around $ 400.


  • Avatar Mind Robot CES

    Dolls are out, robots are in. At least that’s what AvatarMind wants parents to believe. The China-based company showcased its three foot tall robot, intended as an educational toy for children of the 21st century. The bot sings lullabies and reads stories, among other things. They’ll cost around $ 1,600 to $ 2,000 when they launch in the U.S. later this year.


  • Vivo touch screen

    Samsung and Apple lost the fingerprint sensor race to Vivo. The Chinese smartphone maker has placed the scanner directly on the front of its nameless phone. Similar to signing in to the gym, simply place your finger on a blue dot at the bottom of your locked screen and it will open. It is the first smartphone to integrate the technology.


  • AiO Da Vinci printer Trump

    XYZ’s 3D Da Vinci printer shows that you can make almost anything in minutes … even a bust of President Trump if you want.

    Getty Images

  • Sony speaker CES 2

    Sony is showing its three new “Extra Bass” SRS speakers, which cost between $ 100 and $ 250. The Bluetooth-enabled speakers have a battery life of 24 hours.


  • OmRon table tennis

    The Japanese-based Omron electronic censors can mirror human movements by creating a ping pong partner with artificial intelligence. Unfortunately, you can’t buy this for practice in the basement. But the technology of the global corporation is used by US companies like Tesla, where it helps with the assembly of their cars.


  • Naughty America AR CES

    Finally, save the adult content. Mashable recently pointed out that porn makes up 60 percent of the top virtual reality sites, and the industry is now turning to augmented reality too. Naughty America, a San Diego-based studio, is showing an upcoming AR app that will allow fans to sit next to their favorite adult actors.


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The first smartphone with a fingerprint sensor can also be seen

Tech companies have gathered at CES in Las Vegas to showcase their latest gadgets for 2018. From Samsung’s massive 146-inch TV to the first smartphone with a fingerprint sensor – see what we’ve noticed so far.

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