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What Can Bitcoin Buy? No More Heroin, but Baklava and a Dinner Date. Economy Oct 10, PM EDT. By Marc Hochstein and Stephen Pair. What can Bitcoins. Bitcoin is up more than percent since the pandemic, Ethereum, For the "PBS NewsHour," wiser perhaps, but not much richer. Salon, The Outline, BreakerMag, Christie's of London, Art|Basel, The PBS NewsHour, Via this market you can buy, bid on, and offer punks for sale. BEST FOREX TRADING IN PAKISTAN KARACHI
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But we don't have it anymore. I'm sorry. Man: Right. To get to — to get the transaction go through. For cash, you can pick up designer bags by the dozen, a pair of Shaquille O'Neal's hard- to-fill shoes, even this Poppin' Fresh pendant whose provenance can be traced to Boston mobster Whitey Bulger. But to do a bitcoin deal — Man: You sign up an account and then we can meet over there at starbucks and we can transfer money at that time. Paul Solman: Well, why can't we do it here in the store?
Dylan McDermitt: Regulation at this point, we can only sell and charge a small fee. But buying? Not at this point. Paul Solman: But we can do it outside, at the local bar or the local cafe here? Dylan McDermitt: Yes. We pay 90 percent as well. Paul Solman: Yes, only 90 percent of market value, plus a small transaction fee. And yet, despite all the hurdles to using it, bitcoin, and its underlying Blockchain technology, are seen as fat city.
Consider the recent rash of conversion experiences. Women: Welcome to Hooters! Paul Solman: In January, a company with nine Hooters franchises put its loyalty program, the Hooters Hoot Club on a Blockchain, and its stock price jumped 50 percent. Richard Thaler: I'm no expert on bitcoin. Richard Thaler: But it's very hard to know what its intrinsic value is and it's very hard to know what it's legitimate use is.
It certainly looks like a bubble to me. Paul Solman: Vikram Mansharamani, who taught a course at Yale on bubbles, agrees. Vikram Mansharamani: It reminds me of the Internet phenomenon, the Internet bubble, where people would add the dotcom and their stock price would go flying up — exactly comparable in my eyes. Richard Thaler: But you know, bubbles sometimes keep going up.
Paul Solman: So, is bitcoin a bubble that's already bursting, plunging by two-thirds in just a few months? Or a great investment that's up more than fold in the last five years? Mansharamani's book, "Boombustology," looks for bubbles through several lenses. Vikram Mansharamani: The first lens is microeconomics. Normally, when you have higher prices for a good, you should see less demand.
When higher prices generate more demand, we have a bubbly dynamic that results in higher prices generating more demand, generating higher prices, et cetera. Paul Solman: In other words, instead of turning off buyers, the rising prices are attracting them, triggering another lens: buying an investment on credit. Vikram Mansharamani: Are people borrowing money to invest in something because they are so sure it's going to continue rising?
And in fact, we've seen that recently. Lens three, people want to believe. Paul Solman: The psychology of irrational exuberance. Vikram Mansharamani: They want to believe in a new story, a new era, a new dynamic. This is a common phenomenon. We saw this back in the s with radios and cars.
Gox filed for bankruptcy. They did say they have some assets, but they also have a lot of debt. So, right now, it's looking like customers of Mt. Gox who were using Mt. Gox as their Bitcoin bank have lost their savings, which is — which is really sad for a lot of people who had a lot of money there. He wasn't shy about his pessimism or skepticism for it. How are other countries around the world and possibly their central banks positioning themselves to not just Bitcoin, but other cryptocurrencies?
And they are pointing to things like Mt. Gox, saying, we need regulation. We need some kind of oversight of businesses that are involved in Bitcoin. So I think this will give them more fodder for calling for that kind of regulation. New York's — New York's financial regulator said that they want to issue bit licenses for Bitcoin businesses, where they will be audited and checked and make sure that there is nothing like what happened with Mt. Gox, where people's Bitcoin just disappear overnight.
On the one hand, it could slow things down, which is exactly the opposite of what Bitcoin proponents want. On the other hand, it could add some legitimacy to these currencies. But people who have gotten in later, who are more interested in the kind of legitimate uses of Bitcoin to, you know, avoid transaction fees when sending money, are pretty excited about the idea of these businesses actually having some kind of oversight.
It seems that there are arguments on both sides, one saying that is actually going to make the system stronger, then the other saying this is the beginning of the end. Gox was for a long time the largest exchange. It was kind of the only place where you could go to buy Bitcoin. But, as the value of Bitcoin has risen, it has attracted other exchanges.
So there are very big exchanges in China, for example. There's one in Slovenia. And here in the U. So there are other players in the Bitcoin market now. So a lot of people are saying that Bitcoin is just going to route around Mt. Gox's failure. It just clears the field for other, more legitimate companies to operate. Other critics say, you know, this is — in terms of mainstream — mainstream adoption and new people entering the Bitcoin market, this is going to be very scary for them, the idea that you might buy a bunch of Bitcoin, and then overnight see them disappear.
It's sort of the gold to — there is a silver, there's a copper out there, right? There is Litecoin. There is Dogecoin. These are basically currencies where they have copied the Bitcoin code and then modified it in some way.