The Virtual Currency Scam

bitcoin

Bitcoin. (JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Psst, hey buddy – wanna buy some Bitcoin?

It’s the hottest thing going, make you rich fast, but you’d better get on the train now. Trust me, would I steer you wrong?

Yes, the virtual currency scam that has been the toast of the get-rich-quick-without-lifting-a-finger crowd for the past few months appears headed for wherever it is that Ponzi schemes go when they die.

According to the New York Times, “a decline in virtual currency prices that began before Christmas has picked up pace in recent days as concern has grown that governments could crack down on the new industry. For a time [yesterday], the price of Bitcoin dipped below $10,000 — taking it down to about half what it was at its peak last month.”

Keep in mind, this is still a thousand percent higher than Bitcoin’s price at the start of last year. But you can see the trendline for this and other cryptocurrencies, and I’ll give you a hint, it’s not upward.

So, what is a Bitcoin, you may be wondering?

Again quoting the Times, it’s a “digital token – with no physical backing – that can be sent electronically from one user to another.”

There’s no central bank overseeing these transactions, no Fort Knox full of gold or federal agency backing them up with cash.

That sort of security is for squares.

No, Bitcoin and the rest are symptoms of a familiar disease – the belief that you really can hit it rich with no real effort, that with cunning and a smart broker “helping” you, you too can strike gold and buy your way out of real life.

Down at the federal prison in Butner, North Carolina, Bernie Madoff is surely contemplating the meltdown and thinking: gee, there really is one born every minute.

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Keller @ Large

Keller @ Large

Jon Keller is a WBZ TV & Radio political analyst. Read more

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