Bitcoin (2009) is a four star videogame about watching the numbers go up or down. Even if you have not bought it, you can still participate by speculating on whether the number will go up or down on cryptowat.ch.
There are some very committed bitcoin gamers who have “created” their own subculture, mythology around whether the numbers will go up or down, a mythology that consists of, as far as I can tell, four prophecies:
1) that it — the number — will definitely be going up soon, because the technology (‘blockchain’) is good; 2) that it will definitely be going down (but by not that much) soon, because the technology is good, but also flawed (“this is just a correction”); 3) the technology has no bearing on whether it goes up or down because the only thing people care about is the number going up (“sodl”); or 4) actually you should by this other version of bitcoin because it is super magic bitcoin that is better than bitcoin and you can also huff it, and also the guy who made it is an autistic genius who picks his nose, so, even though bitcoin will die, its tech will live on and be in demand (to the moon).
Me, personally, I think the number for everything will go down, because nobody cares about the technology, they only care about the number going up. I am number 3). Why?
Most people who start to play the number game notice that all the numbers for the supposedly different versions go up and down at exactly the same time. There are many explanations for this but the one that makes most sense to me is this: that the market treats all bitcoins (‘crypto’, short for ‘cryptocurrency’) the same, so when demand goes up, it goes up in terms of ‘demand for crypto’ and that is what’s reflected across all coins. All the other explanations are weird and stupid. That is the best one. And an economist told me it, so it must be true, because economics is a science. So we can probably cut out 4).
The second thing people notice is that the market is a load of dishonest shit. This manifests in volatility. There is a lot of fake trading and spoofing and painting the tape and wash trading and fake walls and fake currencies and shitcoins and ICOs (my favourite is bananacoin, that I personally investigated and found to be, you guessed it, complete bullshit), which make the market too volatile for bitcoin to be a store of value (it’s “purpose”, ostensibly) — and since the market cannot be regulated, there will be no remedy to this, regardless of which coin the market eventually decides to hold. Further, there are dedicated players of bitcoin who act together to manipulate the market. They operate in a chatroom called “whalepool” (or whatever), and other networks, in which they plan, when, exactly, to pump and dump bitcoin. This problem can never be fixed because, as I said, there’s no way to regulate this behaviour. Thus, bitcoin will be volatile for as long as people are able to coordinate amongst themselves, and its value is able to be speculated on i.e. forever.
The result is that whenever a transaction is made, say, in exchange for a good, you risk losing or gaining a great (great!) deal from minute to minute, contingent on the whims of a small group of currency holders (‘whales’), or the exchanges, who trade on each other’s exchanges, and also print fake money to spend on bitcoin.
What else? Last year the number went up quite a lot. It went from a small number to a very very big number. That was good for people who like seeing the number go up. Some believed the number would keep going up, forever, and told their grandma to put lots of money into the bitcoins (“invest”)… now poor grandma is losing a lot of money, hitting her grand-kiddlywinks. Oh dear! So, the long-short is this: I don’t think grandmas worldwide are going to be bitcoining again any time soon.
And: what most people don’t know, is that the bitcoin number might have been first forced up by a power user on mountain gox, a now-dead exchange, so that they could get out of the game for quite a lot of money, or keep making money from bitcoin, by making the numbers go up or down and then “betting” against that. Hmm. One might infer from this initial jump that, of course, bitcoin is definitely “worth” what it is today for legitimate reasons and is not easy to manipulate whatsoever.
Currently, there is another moutain gox called bitfinex, who it would seem printed a lot of bitcoin money (‘tether’) and then used that money to make bitcoin go higher and higher, and then even higher! Also they lied about co-owning tether, at first. Then a big nob of theirs accidentally admitted it. And then he unadmitted it. And then a twitter person (‘Bitfinex’ed) went and looked at the paradise papers and found, as he suspected, them to be co-owned. Now that’s what I call legitimate! Anyway, they can’t keep printing money (800 million $ at the start of this year, 2.2 billion $ overall) now, because the US government is angry at them with their spectacles pushed right up.
For some reason, concurrent to this lack of new tether printing, the price of crypto is falling. What an unsolvable mystery!
(Also, some speculate bitfinex are shorting bitcoin currently to pump their reserves, and thus back tether.)
Anyway, regardless of the facts above, cheating at bitcoin is, to some people, fair, because it is not illegal (yet), and libertarian ideals are something worth mortgaging your house over.
The bitcoin game is a libertarian’s paradise: it is completely unregulated (as aforementioned), and thus is perfect and self correcting, as Milton Friedman and Ayn Rando imparted into our meek little mortal’s brains.
To ‘butters’ (players of bitcoin), cheating, lying, distorting, is ok, in the free market, because regulations are not freedom: they are regulations.
Instead: freedom is being at the mercy of corrupt, insolvent exchanges; freedom is warming the planet for internet coins; freedom is amassing large amounts of capital that so that you can rig markets, all of which is totally fine and good for bitcoin, because that’s the price of bringing down the useless banks and filthy obsolete fiat currency (as used by the illuminati).
Now. Hmm uhh what was I talking about?
Bitcoin the game is so popular something of a cult has formed around it. This is because bitcoin promises to allow people whose wages have gone down (around 10% in real terms) since Margaret ‘milk snatcher’ Thatcher was queen to get them back so that they might be able to retire without starving to death or freezing to death or not having an NHS to death, an NHS which is failure according to Donald ‘Bigly’ Trump, the leader of the Westernest nation with the worstest healthcare.
Bitcoin, it is said, will go up in value indefinitely, because it has such a revolutionary technology, and that is why you should HODL (this is bitcoin speak for never cashing out; “you don’t lose if you never actualise your losses” so it goes). Also, the same people, though, will tell players, perhaps in the sidebar of the largest bitcoin internet gathering, for example, to invest ‘wisely’ because you cannot possibly know that it will go up certainly (but it definitely will). This is known, to some, as cognitive dissonance. And it goes, a little something, like this:
- Only invest what you can afford to lose.
- You will not lose because bitcoin is going to the moon and we will all be driving lambos.
- Don’t mortgage your house.
- Bitcoin will go up and we will be driving lambos to the moon.
- It’s your own fault you got rekt for investing more than you could afford.
- But also really it is actually going to the moon so you’ll be butthurt with FOMO if you sell now to pay your rent lol.
- Buy low, sell high.
- This is just a correction, it will shake out the weak hands.
- Shut up about tether: it’s just FUD.
- Don’t let your emotions dictate your trading! Ignore FUD!
- Why can’t I get my money out of Bitfinex!
- Next stop: the moon!
- So glad I bought in at 9600k again!
- Shut up noobs, its not about the money, I’m in this for freedom from the banks.
- Illuminati did it.
- Can’t believe this is over.
- I don’t care, I’m hodling regardless.
(and so on.)
Regardless of all this, To The Moon (2011) is a videogame that is sad. I am awarding it three stars out of four, because it has given me excuse to talk about bitcoin, the superior game.