Blockchainbased next internet millionaire
For most of the history of blockchain-based currencies and assets, the story has been all about Bitcoin. In roughly the past 12 months, the number of cryptocurrencies listed on CoinMarketCap. As of the June 4 snapshot, there were cryptocurrencies and other digital assets listed on the main CoinMarketCap page.
Between January 3, — the first snapshot of — and June 5, , the number of cryptographic assets listed on CoinMarketCap grew from to , an increase of about 56 percent in almost exactly 18 months. As the chart shows, the pace of growth in the number of crypto-backed assets is itself growing. Based only on the listings on CoinMarketCap, 80 percent of the growth in the number of cryptographic assets over the past 18 months took place since January 1, By , most of the forks were off of Litecoin , which is based on Scrypt.
Remember the goofy, meme-based Dogecoin? That was a fork of Litecoin. The goal was to create cryptocurrencies as valuable, or at least as lucrative, in the short-run, as Bitcoin. If the forkable, derivative-by-design nature of cryptocurrencies explains the breadth of the ecosystem, what explains the growth in value? Part of it is surely market speculation, and another part of it is that cryptocurrencies and other blockchain-based assets do have real-world applications today.
But another part comes from cryptocurrency entrepreneurs wising up to the fact that their little upstart protocols, in order to be valuable, needed to have an ecosystem built around them. That, of course, takes time and money. There are two ways of approaching this. Once their new cryptocurrency hit an exchange, and thus had a price, this private stash of coins would then have value, enough to sell for Bitcoin or fiat, which could then sustain a project until the ecosystem of wallets and services around their cryptocurrency became self-sustaining and community-driven.
Today, though, the fundraising mechanism of choice appears to be the initial coin offering. As Alex Wilhelm explained in an article for TechCrunch:.
Although the mechanics of ICOs have been in practice for several years, the name and label for initial coin offering events has only gained some currency recently. Altucher is just one of a growing number of internet self-help gurus that have embraced bitcoin as the future, a way for you — yes, you — to get rich. It's a pitch built on a dangerous combination: Dreams of riches and ignorance of a new, highly volatile market.
As the price of bitcoin has soared in recent months, Altucher's face has begun to pop up all over the internet to promote his get-rich-quick-off-bitcoin plan.
His likeness is now so common around the internet that people are starting to notice him. Banner ads, YouTube ads, paid search results — he's become the "bitcoin ad guy. This isn't terribly surprising. Neeraj Agrawal, director of communications at Coin Center, a cryptocurrency policy thinktank based in Washington, D. These are same investment advice schemes we have seen for decades in the stock market but now in a shiny new cryptocurrency wrapper," Agrawal wrote in an email.
Why does the Bitcoin ad guy look like Ted Mosby in college? Altucher may have inadvertently turned into something of an internet joke, but his career as a self-help author and financial expert were once reasonably legit. A New York Times profile from August called him a "former tech entrepreneur, venture capitalist and financial pundit [who] has reinvented himself as a gimlet-eyed self-help guru.
That was before he jumped on the bitcoin boom. He's also started a "Crypto Trader" newsletter that claims will "be your guide through the explosive digital currency market and find you the best currencies to invest in today. This ad was in a NYTs article about Bitcoin plummeting. Altucher's sudden internet celebrity comes just as the bitcoin boom appears to have peaked. The cryptocurrency has turned once-flailing business owners into millionaires and fueled dreams of overnight fortunes built on bitcoin's seemingly unstoppable rise.
Google searches for bitcoin now outpace searches for the Kardashians. A frenzy like bitcoin is inevitably followed by scammers and bullshit artists who prey on misunderstanding, confusion, and dreams of sudden riches.