"What the hell is wrong with you people?"
...is a question I find myself asking every, single time I read an article about Bitcoin, blockchain and/or cryptocurrencies in 2018.
You'd think Bitcoin's ~60% plunge from the absurd December highs at $20,000 would have made it abundantly clear to everyone that the easy money in this global farce has already been made, unlessin' you're lookin' to pioneer your own ICO scam.
But as noted on Friday evening, when I took a rather critical look at Xapo's Pete Najarian-assisted efforts to convince institutional investors to bury their Bitcoin in a literal mountain vault complete with pulse-sensing fingerprint scanners (you know, to make sure spies can't cut off your arm and use your detached hand to access underground cold storage facilities), there's still quite a bit of interest in this supposedly "burgeoning" industry.
That, despite the euphoria having generally deflated in lockstep with Chris Larsen's make-believe fortune (which at one point was on par with Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook riches) and despite the fact that regulatory concerns continue to mount because you know, rampant fraud and tax evasion, and such.
In a true testament to the notion that it's going to take more than regulation and a 60% decline in the value of the most "valuable" valueless valuable to snap you people out of what I'm still holding out hope is but a bout of transitory madness, the fourth annual Consensus conference is expected to draw nearly 8,000 attendees this week, up from just 2,700 last year.
Speakers include Jack Dorsey and, appropriately, Jim Bullard (if Jim can't get people to buy the dip, then nobody can).
The specifics here are predictably laughable (I mean, above and beyond how prima facie laughable it is that nearly 8,000 people including Fed officials and the most prestigious financial news media outlets on the planet are going to waste entire days of their lives talking about something that has no value and isn't, in any real sense, real).
For one thing, tickets are going for between $1,500 and $3,000, prompting Ethereum co-founder (and man who is sick of hearing you talk about "Lambos") Vitalik Buterin to boycott the entire event:
Additionally, this clown show is apparently going to feature SEC and CFTC reps who will talk about how they're going to maybe/maybe not regulate this whole thing out of existence. Here's Bloomberg, from their preview:
Regulation will undoubtedly be an overarching theme, as financial watchdogs around the world have recently doubled down their scrutiny on digital currencies. Representatives of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission will be speaking.
And the city is co-signing this bullshit (from Bloomberg again):
Blockchain Week was launched in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation in an effort to showcase the city as an up-and-coming center for blockchain companies. There will be a job fair on May 16.
Yes, a "job fair." Maybe you can interview for a position as an "amputated limb checker" at one of Wences Casares’ decommissioned military bunkers or perhaps there are opportunities for ambitious Millennials with otherwise useless psychology degrees that would be willing to console Thomas Lee when Bitcoin inevitably crashes to zero.
Oh, and speaking of Thomas Lee, he's onboard with his colleague Mister Doctor, when it comes to Bitcoin going to $36,000 sometime in the not-too-distant future and guess what he thinks the best near-term catalyst is? If you said "Consensus conference", you win a worthless digital token.
“We expect the Consensus rally to be even larger than past years,” he wrote, in an actual note to "clients" last week.
But perhaps most worrying for Bitcoin bulls is the following passage from the first Bloomberg piece linked above:
Then there are the afterparties, including a bash hosted by payment firm Ripple that will be headlined by rapper Snoop Dogg at a secret location in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District.
If that's not a sign that the crypto crowd is failing to keep pace with modernity, then I don't know what is.
When it comes to headlining events convened to worship the "Most Expensivest Shit”, everyone knows 2 Chainz is your man.
After all, as recently as December 16, he was "looking like a big ole Bitcoin"...