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As Value of Cryptocurrencies Falls, a Lot of New and Risk-Taking Investors Are Suffering Immensely

Published by Slashdot on Wed, 22 Aug 2018


After the latest round of big price drops, many cryptocurrencies have given back all of the enormous gains they experienced last winter. The value of all outstanding digital tokens has fallen by about $600 billion, or 75 percent, since the peak in January, according to data from the website coinmarketcap.com. The New York Times: The virtual currency markets have been through booms and busts before -- and recovered to boom again. But this bust could have a more lasting impact on the technology's adoption because of the sheer number of ordinary people who invested in digital tokens over the last year, and who are likely to associate cryptocurrencies with financial ruin for a very long time. [...] By many metrics, more people put money into virtual currencies last fall and winter than in all of the preceding nine or so years. Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency brokerage in the United States, doubled its number of customers between October and March. The start-up Square began allowing the users of its mobile app, Square Cash, to buy Bitcoin last November. [...] Kim Hyon-jeong, a 45-year-old teacher and mother of one who lives on the outskirts of Seoul, said she put about 100 million won, or $90,000, into cryptocurrencies last fall. She drew on savings, an insurance policy and a $25,000 loan. Her investments are now down about 90 percent. "I thought that cryptocurrencies would be the one and only breakthrough for ordinary hardworking people like us," she said. "I thought my family and I could escape hardship and live more comfortably, but it turned out to be the other way around." [...] In the United States, Charles Herman, a 29-year-old small-business owner in Charleston, S.C., became obsessed with virtual currencies in September. He said he now felt that he had wasted 10 months of his life trying to play the markets. While he is essentially back to the $4,000 he put in, he has soured on the revolutionary promises that virtual currency fanatics made for the technology last year and has resumed investing his money in real estate. "I guess I thought we were 'sticking it to the man' when I got on board," Mr. Herman said. "But I think 'the man' had already caught on, and had an exit strategy."Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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