For cryptocurrency fans, the dream is dying.
This time last year Bitcoin, the biggest of the cryptocurrencies, was riding the wave.
Pumped up by hype, hope, and signs that old school banking was taking the issue more seriously, the price was approaching $20,000.
Crypto fanboys, some of whom had stuck with the new asset from the very beginning,
were sitting on riches and declaring the imminent death of the fiat money system.
Online chat rooms where the crypto community shares tips and experiences were stuffed with people
claiming to have bought Harley-Davidsons, or even houses, with their new found wealth.
Some chat rooms even talked about how to get your grandmother to invest in crypto.
Now the price of Bitcoin has tanked to under $5,000,
slayed by regulatory pressure and a persistent onslaught of warnings from seasoned officials and central bankers.
In mid-November the European Central Bank’s Benoit Coeure called Bitcoin the evil spawn of the financial crisis.
Famously, Augustine Carstens, general manager of the Bank for International Settlements, the central bank for central banks,
called it a combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme, and an environmental disaster.
The drip, drip of warnings and investigations all around the world has worked, making it harder for crypto to draw in new money.
Now, it appears to be going pop.
Suddenly, civil war is breaking out on those crypto fanboy chat rooms,
with some original Bitcoin adherents blaming other Alt coins for the route.
Good riddance to them, one user declares. It looks like there will be only one true coin standing. Ha.
Now mostly, this has left scars only amongst those hopeful crypto buyers, but the ripples are spreading.
Take the semiconductor sector, for example. Stocks there have taken a serious hit of late.
And while the main driver there is the fear of peak iPhone, another is the appearance of peak crypto.
Suddenly, loading up on hardware for mining crypto coins is less appealing. And that chips away at the demand for chips.
It’s a cold, dark heart that has zero sympathy for those who’ve spent their life savings on crypto coins.
Some in those chat rooms are fretting about how to afford to buy Christmas presents for their kids.
But it does look like time for everyone, from naive investors to financial regulators,
to start to learn some serious lessons about how get rich quick schemes can spread so fast in this social media age.