Bloomberg Businessweek

After the Crazy, the Reality

Everybody wanted a piece of Bitcoin. But what did they think they were buying?

Bitcoin was worth $3,300 on Dec. 11. That’s amazing, considering that cryptocurrency was created out of nothing 10 years ago. But it’s also depressing to many, because a year ago, Bitcoin’s value hit almost $20,000 in what could prove one of the most dramatic economic bubbles in world history.

The fallout has been stark. “Mr. Satoshi, the CEO, [is] not showing up to provide any kind of explanation … #Shame #Refund,” lamented one frustrated crypto enthusiast online, apparently misinformed about the role of Bitcoin’s unknown, pseudonymous inventor.

The sentiment, and the many like it, show how far we’ve come from Bitcoin’s dreamy beginnings. For much of its first decade, cryptocurrency was a form of digital populism, fueling a belief that it would be used to fight greed,

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