Bitcoin & Beanie Babies – The Gilmer Mirror
By Jim “Pappy” Moore
Bitcoin is everywhere on social media. For some, it is the wave of the future, which goes beyond the borders of countries and the whole world, dominating global economic issues. It is digital money, a Bitcoin having the value at which a seller will sell it and a buyer will buy it. In this sense, it is similar to gold or silver, with one important difference: both gold and silver have real commercial value in the world. They are minerals. They must be extracted, refined and put into usable forms. They have manufacturing applications. They have markets like jewelry. They are a global commodity that is sold daily on an ounce or gram basis.
Bitcoin is more like currency, like dollar bills, than gold or silver. It is not a product that has any real economic value beyond the scope of the agreement made by those who traffic in it. Currently, Bitcoin is selling for around $20,000 each in US dollars. About 9 months ago, Bitcoin was selling for around $67,000 each in US dollars. Two and a half years ago, Bitcoin was selling for around $3,000 each in US dollars.
What else have we seen in the last thirty years that has experienced such volatility? Baby hats. Small plush toys that originally cost the consumer US$2.50 have become highly sought after items. Demand has slipped for some of them. They were exchanged between those who invested thousands of dollars. The rise in values was part of a brilliant marketing plan by the man who made them. Everyday people started investing their life savings in Beanie Babies. Many spent thousands of dollars buying all the Beanie Babies they could find. An industry of Beanie Baby buyers has been created on the fly. Personally, I knew someone who had hundreds of them and thought he had turned his savings into something that would give returns of several thousand percent.
There are still Beanie Baby collectors out there and some items sell for thousands of dollars. But the boom is long gone. Many people ended up with Beanie Bears that held little value. Sizzle only goes so far and often doesn’t last.
Bitcoin has been a hot topic for the past two years. It has spread to a certain segment of the world’s population. Millions of people are in it. As Bitcoin lost 70% in value over the past eight months, its proponents preached “buy the dip!” Ask yourself: why would people invested in Bitcoin strongly encourage others to get into it if those people really believe it is heavily undervalued? Would these people not be swallowing the Bitcoin sold by sellers at much cheaper prices? Wouldn’t they encourage rummage sales and buy whatever they could get at the “cheaper” prices? But what if their goal was to get others to stay in Bitcoin, not sell? Can we deduce that these Bitcoin owners are simply trying to stop the bleeding on their investment?
I’m not impressed with investments that require owners to join a club of true believers, and from this rainbow and unicorn world they see value that isn’t really there. To me, it looks like a pyramid scheme, where those who come early make money, but those who come late don’t.
It’s my opinion. Yours may be very different.
Copyright 2022, Jim “Pappy” Moore. All rights reserved.