Quoted from pezpunk:
i don't think bragging about wealth is an effective move anywhere. i grant you Pinside is richer than your average forum, but i disagree that it's necessarily more intelligent. there is not as strong a correlation between wealth and intelligence as rich people tend to think there is. some of the smartest people i know are actually pretty poor (and i know a lot of very wealthy people).
"intrinsic value" is a loaded term. a dollar has no intrinsic value, either. do you avoid consuming electricity to make dollars?
and the truth that most people don't want to admit is neither does gold. gold's use in industrial applications is completely trivial relative to its market value. and you know what? a long history of being used as a store of wealth does not constitute "intrinsic value" either. that's just tradition. furthermore,"intrinsic value" is a completely useless term, wielded solely to hypocritically bolster older currencies against newer ones. it's also useless in practical terms: if the world ever reaches a cataclysmic point where financial system collapsed and the only currencies worth anything were those with "intrinsic value", then three quarters of us would likely be dead already from the nuclear holocaust anyway. i want to make it clear that my investment portfolio is utterly unconcerned with planning for that eventuality. similarly, my portfolio strategy is not based around the possibility of alien invasion, zombie apocalypse, or the sun spontaneously exploding, either. my future financial plans are for the world i'm actually likely to be living in.
gold is backed by nothing more than tradition. dollars are backed by the institution of the U.S. Government. Bitcoin is backed by the blockchain and its distributed public ledger. ultimately, though, all three only hold value as a result of abstract human concepts, and the truth is that worldwide momentum is, in practical terms, far more important to their value than any other factor.
this is wrong. there's no self-selection at work in this particular case, only because bitcoin has risen over 1,000% in the last year. just about anyone who has taken part is a wild success story right now. it's almost impossible, over the last few years, to have not made a huge profit margin on whatever you've put in. of course, past performance is not indicator of the future! i'm NOT saying it is impossible to lose money or that it will go up forever! and i want to re-iterate (for the hundredth time on this thread) that it's a high-risk investment that could go down at any time and in my opinion shouldn't make up a large percentage of anyone's investments. but the point is, there are probably very few people here sheepishly holding their tongues because they've lost money on bitcoin - if you've been in at all over the last few years, you're almost automatically up by a ton. (well, unless you lost the keys to your wallet or were the victim of theft or something).
edit: actually it has been down from its all-time high over the last couple weeks, but over the last year, it is still up over 1,000%.
dude anyone with the qualities you are describing is destined for ruin no matter what. yes, people with uncontrollable gambling addictions should not gamble. point taken i guess? most people aren't gambling addicts, though.
i hope you have the exact same level of absurd vitriol and fatalism for mutual funds and the stock market, because they are pretty much the same thing. retirement funds are all evil, deadly, suicide-inducing gambling addictions if you're addicted to putting all your money into high-risk ventures. yes, ANY market can go up and down. that's what makes them investments. there are plenty of high-risk mutual funds, hedge funds, and stocks available to anyone with a 401k.
the advice i've always received from financial experts is that a healthy portfolio contains a variety of safe and risky investments. if your friends lost their asses by betting the farm on all risky stuff, i'm sorry, but they're stupid. my mining represents less than one tenth of one percent of my total net worth. Do not blame me (or bitcoin) for dipshits being irresponsible with their money. I've been both preaching and practicing pretty responsibly, i think.
hopeless gambling addicts are not my responsibility, and are kind of irrelevant to this discussion.
investing in cryptocurrency is on the extreme risk / extreme reward end of the investment spectrum. nobody should be basing their future financial security on it. for me, mining coins has been a fun and extremely profitable endeavor. i'm happy to chat about it or share what i've learned. but if someone else ignores my advice and ends up broke ... i am not going to blame myself.