Eleven Minutes With Jacob Silverman on Investing in Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies and the Absurdity of Tech in General


Jacob Silverman is a staff writer for The New Republic. He covers tech, foreign policy and the occasional corporate grift. Silverman just wrote a story that caught my eye, “Even Donald Trump Knows Bitcoin Is a Scam: Bitcoin provides entreé to a wildcat market dominated by fraudsters. The ex-president clearly recognizes his milieu.” In it, he wrote:

In the ideologically tinged Bitcoin battle, one need not be either a fanatical coiner or a fiat nut. Nor does one have to abide by Trump’s jingoistic economic policy to understand that a currency backed by the state carries certain benefits, and an inherent stability, that will never be found in a volatile digital currency invented by a still unknown creator, which is backed by nothing more than code and the faith of its holders. With its dramatic swings in recent weeks, Bitcoin has, yet again, proved its unfitness as a currency and its continued resemblance to something more like a wildly manipulative multilevel marketing scheme.

Full disclosure: I have dabbled in cryptocurrency trading, with a mix of modest success and bigger failure. But I’ll keep trading, and for a simple reason: I know the field is filled with fraudsters, but it’s legal and there is a chance that I’ll make a pile of money — I bought Dogecoin at less than 6 cents a few months back and it’s valued at 33 cents as of a few minutes ago — and zero chance I’ll lose a lot of money — I invested $500 in Doge, and I’m not putting in a penny more. Sure, cryptocurrency trading is speculative, scammers abound, it’s environmentally destructive and may destroy the world, but journalism generally pays shit so I have to look elsewhere to supplement my meager pay. If the world must be destroyed in order for me to get rich, so be it.

So, remember, “To Get Rich is Glorious,” as China’s former leader, Deng Xiaoping, once said. What could possibly go wrong?

To find out, check out my conversation with Jacob right now.

Episode 16: Jacob Silverman
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Politically eclectic DC-based investigative journalist and CEO, Chief Sleaze Purveyor (CSP) and Creator of WashingtonBabylon.com.