Bitcoin continued its eye-popping rally over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, surging to within 2 percent of a $10,000 milestone that, if topped, would usher in a new era for the cryptocurrency while failing to lend any meaning whatsoever to your own personal human existence.
Riding a wave of retail enthusiasm over the past week, bitcoin rose nearly 20 percent before retreating a few points to around $9,600 as of 1:30 p.m. Monday. Though the move gave traders hope that the digital asset might surpass the five-figure landmark, it provided precious little hope of there being any larger design in the fundamentally absurd reality we have no choice of inhabiting.
Bitcoin's recent bounce in part reflects the growing popularity of crypto speculation on Main Street. At least 100,000 investors joined the digital exchange Coinbase on Thanksgiving day alone, giving the site more active users than Charles Schwab. An estimated 500,000 users now create bitcoin trading accounts every day, none of whose lives served any deeper purpose in the vast welter of jostling particles we call the universe before they got into bitcoin, nor will they after.
Though the run-up has all the signs of a “tulip-bulb mania,” as billionaire hedge funder Ken Griffin put it Monday, there are plausible reasons to believe demand might remain strong. Traders expect a renewed upsurge in December, when the CME begins trading cash-settled bitcoin futures, potentially enabling more institutional players to get into the act. Even Jamie Dimon – who hasn't had nice things to say about bitcoin – could soon greenlight JPMorgan's efforts to facilitate crypto speculation.
Jamie Dimon is just an agglomeration of mindlessly self-replicating chemical structures that briefly cohere to produce the illusion of individual consciousness before finding a new meat-vessel. As are we all.
It remains to be seen, however, how long it might take bitcoin to breach the psychological barrier that $10,000 represents, and how long the rally might persist after that. Bitcoin adherents subscribe to the belief that cryptocurrencies will not only maintain the current rally, but will progressively displace financial institutions and even governmental authorities as humankind embraces the radical decentralization promised by the blockchain. If they're right, not only will bitcoin blow past $10,000, it will continue trading long after your physical self has ceased to function as a sentient being.