Thu May 19 15:53:30 PDT 2011

bitcoin, five months later

Five months ago I wrote about upstart cryptocurrency Bitcoin. In the intervening time, they've gotten a lot of press, a meandering UR essay, and neat-looking physical tokens. They've also increased in value. A lot.

In December, one bitcoin was worth .21 dollars. Today, they're trading at seven dollars each, a 3270% increase. If you had bought $10,000 worth of bitcoins five months ago, it would be worth $327,000 today, phowar, dude. Like, whoa.

But past performance is no guarantee of future results. When a mainstream media news outlet puts "criminals" right in the title of a piece about a currency exchange, it's not a good sign that it will continue unmolested by very serious people in very conservative suits.

Even without official intervention, bitcoin still isn't a sure bet. Right now, in its nearly completely unmonitized state, bitcoin looks a lot more like a commodities market than a currency market. And commodities markets, as any foole kno, are twitchy, excitable beasts, prone to dramatic price shifts as bubbles inflate, then pop. Buying into bitcoin now would be pretty dumb. Or maybe not, you might not want to take my advice, seeing as how I didn't buy all the bitcoins I could find back in December.

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