The day my Facebook feed went feral

Let me show you how not to write a Facebook post.

Almost a year ago to the day, I wrote a post warning that cryptocurrency was in a bubble.

See, at the time, there were a lot of hairy claims being spruiked by investment newsletters, like:

“$642,245 for every $10,000 invested?”

“This could turn $500 into $42k.”

“A potential 629% gain if you buy on tomorrow’s opening.”

(Note the artful disclaimers in each headline: the question mark, ‘could’, and ‘potential’.)

Basically, I suggested that buying cryptocurrencies shouldn’t be confused with investing in income-producing assets (like shares and property), and the frenzy that was occuring was really “just a punt”.

And the fine people of the internet thought deeply about my reasoned argument, considered it intently, shrugged their shoulders, and went back to stalking their ex on social media.

Actually no. My Facebook feed went feral.

At the time, there weren’t just cryptocurrency converts, there were crypto-crusaders who were openly aggressive to anyone who dared question the new paradigm:

“Well this is what clutching straws looks like when you’re slowly becoming irrelevant.”

“You need to either adapt to change and accept crypto as a legitimate investment or be disrupted … the winds of change blow upon you.”

“Maybe stick to telling bogans not to buy $100k Landcruisers, Mr Barefoot.”

And that just was the start!

Little did I know it was about to get a lot worse.

You see, on the day I wrote the Facebook post, the price of one Bitcoin was $US7,022.

Over the next 30 days two things happened:

First, the price rocketed to an all-time high of $US19,783.

Second, the crypto-crusaders crucified me every single day … it went from a few snarky replies to 1,870!

And fair enough too: as the price went exponential, my post, frozen in time at a much lower price, made me look pathetic. (Undeterred, I doubled down in December — a week before the all-time high — and warned people again not to buy Bitcoin. That only served to make people completely lose their minds: “YOU HAVE NO CREDIBILITY!”).

Now, 12 months on, as I sit and type this, Bitcoin is trading at … $US4,450.

Its price is down 30% this month, 50% in the last six months, and almost 80% since December.

Let me be clear:

Right from the outset I have said that I believe that blockchain technology will eventually transform entire industries and, at some stage, online payments. However, the truth is that right now many of the cryptocurrencies are junk. And while Bitcoin is more established than other cryptos, its see-sawing price is preventing it from being used as a widespread dependable currency.

Bottom line? At this early stage of the game, it’s still very much a punt.

However, I also never said that punting doesn’t sometimes pay off. After all, those people who cashed in after those 30 days last December would have made a killing. The trouble, of course, is knowing when you’ve won.
With the pokies it’s easy — when you hit the jackpot, the lights flash, the music chimes, and you hit ‘collect’.

But no lights flashed when Bitcoin hit $US19,783. Hopefully some of the crypto-crusaders hit ‘collect’, yet, judging by the fever on my Facebook post last December, I doubt many did.

Then again, we Aussies are the biggest punters on the planet. UK-based global gambling analysts H2 Gambling Capital put Australia’s average loss per adult at $1,324 over the last year, the highest in the world.

So, I’ve learned two things since I wrote that post a year ago:

We love a punt in this country. And no one likes a killjoy.

Tread Your Own Path!