Dec 10, 2017

The case that bitcoin is a bubble

A man uses a Bitcoin ATM in Hong Kong. Photo: Kin Cheung / AP

The case against bitcoin, stated concisely by the Economist:

"It seems that every day, Bitcoin seems to hit a new high. But the reported price can move up and down by $1,000 or so within a few hours. This might have made it a great investment for those who got in at the right price and are nimble enough to get out in time. But it doesn't make it a useful means of exchange. When the price is rising fast, those who use bitcoin will be reluctant to part with it; when the price falls, those who sell goods will be reluctant to accept it."

Bitcoin as bubble: "This blogger remains convinced it is a bubble. Indeed its exponential rise only reinforces the argument. The beauty of bitcoin is that its intrinsic value is impossible to determine and that makes any value plausible to true believers. This is not the same as saying there is no merit in electronic currencies or blockchain technology; of course there is. But the range of prices which can be found on cryptocompare shows this is a narrow, illiquid market."

Go deeper: Read the whole article for an excellent Monty Python reference.

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates: WHO says returning to normal too soon will undermine sacrifices

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Europeans and Americans are desperate to move beyond the worst of the coronavirus crisis and return to something approximating normal, but the World Health Organization is cautioning that moving too fast will undermine the sacrifices made so far.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed over 94,800 people and infected more than 1.5 million globally as of Thursday, per Johns Hopkins data. The United States, the United Kingdom and France are in the eye of the storm, while Turkey has seen a sharp rise in new cases.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 14 mins ago - Health

Federal court temporarily blocks coronavirus order against some abortions

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled on Thursday that clinics in Texas can immediately offer medication abortions — a pregnancy termination method administered by pill — along with patients nearing the state's time limits on the procedure.

Driving the news: The decision comes after federal appeals court ruled 2-1 on Tuesday in favor of an executive order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that prohibits abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 16 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The view from the other side of the coronavirus peak

We'll soon be crowding into cafes it's 1954 in Rapallo, Italy. Photo: LIFE Picture Collection via Getty

Europeans and Americans are desperate to move beyond the worst of the crisis and return to something approximating normality, but the World Health Organization is cautioning that moving too fast will undermine the sacrifices made so far.

Where things stand: Nearly every country on Earth is still seeing their caseload increase, and a recent uptick in Singapore shows that apparent victory over the virus can be fleeting. But several countries are providing reason for optimism.

Go deeperArrow29 mins ago - World