Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver devoted an entire segment on March 11th to explaining Bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrency for mainstream TV audiences. But his explanations and examples were often far from flattering.
Like any new trend in technology, especially where it’s related to finance, it’s wise for consumers to be both savvy and wary. The world of cryptocurrency is a whole new frontier, the “wild west” of a bold new financial market. There is a tremendous opportunity for making a fortune, and there is just as much opportunity to be robbed blind, according to Oliver and others who view the new world of cryptocurrency a little askance.
He sites crypto-catastrophes like bitconnect and dogecoin, as well as schemes literally advertising to create PnD (pump and dumps) of individual currencies. He is right that the world of cryptocurrency is unregulated and comes with a high amount of risk, but that’s true for any investment with a high rate of return.
On a positive note, his segment did include some simple explanations of what bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies are, which might actually open the door for consumers who have been hesitant to dip their toes into the market. He had a lot of praise for blockchain technology and its potential future applications.
In the end, he mocked the “#HODL hashtag and instead advised consumers to be #CRAEFUL and join the #CRAEFULGANG, an intentional misspelling of ‘careful.’ He’s not wrong. It’s solid advice to only invest what you are willing to lose, and to practice due diligence of research before buying.
No one can know how one technology and opportunity can take off or flounder. Still, the crypto-community seems firmly on the side of taking the risk and holding on with both hands.