Until recently, the mental images I got from the word “cryptocurrency” consisted of bitcoin billionaires and people using it to buy drugs and hitmen on the dark web. Then before I knew it, everyone around me was in on it and insisting I board the gravy train. The FOMO kicked in and after a bit of research, I scattered a couple of hundred into a few different coins and watched my money almost double in the space of a week. But things quickly changed when Elon Musk and China turned their backs on bitcoin. Just like that, the market plummeted.
At the time of writing, my total has dipped below my initial investment, so if I sold now I would make a loss. I’m holding out for a turnaround but if there isn’t one I’ll be fine, because I only put in as much as I was willing to lose.
Not everyone can say the same. Following the dip, social media went into meltdown with people mourning the loss of money meant for things such as early retirement or deposits on property. A friend who had been inclined to impulse-buy a few hundred pounds worth of coins, saw her portfolio dip dramatically. She’s not sure she’ll be able to make the rent next month. The debates were endless — will the market rebound or fall again? Should we withdraw now and count our losses or hold on for dear life?
The whole situation reminds me of the GameStop fiasco this year which saw a group of retail investors beat Wall Street at its own game and make profits in the tens of thousands. The wider online community caught wind and many people blindly followed the crowd and buy GameStop shares. Price dips after the hype were inevitable.
Of course growing interest in crypto and the stock market among us common folk is a positive thing. For too long the world of finance was closed off to the uninitiated but now we can all get in on the action. Cryptocurrency, however, is not for the faint-hearted. The sooner you figure out your appetite for risk, the better. I almost caved and put in large sums of money when coins such as Ether and Cardano were at an all-time high. In hindsight, losing that much would have been devastating.
If it’s money you would otherwise have spent on nights out or shoes, there’s probably no harm in investing. But if you’d struggle to pay for both crypto and rent with one paycheck, or you have pressing financial goals, perhaps sit this one out or opt for more stable options such as bonds or government ISAs. Those of us who still have the appetite to ride out the crypto crash are only just keeping our nerve as it is.
Kevin Spacey’s return shows cancel culture is nothing more than a naughty step for Hollywood’s sexual predators
Kevin Spacey has been cast in his first film role since being accused of sexual harassment in the wake of the Me Too movement. When the allegations came to light, he was very appropriately dropped from productions and “cancelled”, but it looks like cancel culture is nothing more than a naughty step for Hollywood’s sexual predators. Unless offenders end up behind bars like Weinstein, some time under the radar seems to be enough before they return. We can argue about whether leopards change their spots or how effective rehabilitation is when it happens, but I’m most concerned for the cast and crew who risk working in an uncomfortable or unsafe environment — and the victims of abuse in the film industry who were either blacklisted or too traumatised to continue their careers. Something to bear in mind next time we feel tempted to slam cancel culture.