Bitcoin is always more fun when it’s down in the dumps. When the price languishes for weeks on end and people start to question whether they should bail on the whole crypto-whatsit-mathingy, it is often the best time to take observations.
Prices are determined on the margin. What that means is that the price of something – anything – is relayed to the world in the market place, but that it is only a function of the interplay between buyers and sellers. Precisely, most salable items are not on the market, but they are still subject to the public perception contingent on prices paid for their contemporaries.
People don’t like hoarders. I’ve never understood why. A hoarder is a person you can trust; somebody with self discipline who is willing to sacrifice satisfaction today for greater satisfaction later. Hoarders are careful and risk averse. They don’t often bother people.
Today, price is important, because despite the echolalia of the “price is not important”-ists, price is both a trivial and profound matter. To most, the prices of items are somewhat… disgusting. Most people are consumers. To the entrepreneur, to the manufacturer, to the importer, to the investor, to the venture capitalist, the price of an item is a singular signal, an unobscured view into the substance of a good, a window to opportunity. The price doesn’t lie.
Because the price doesn’t lie, it makes fiddling with prices counterproductive. When central banks set targets for interest rates, they fix the price of the most valuable good on earth: money. With their help, prices can deceive even the most cunning mogul.
Bitcoin is down in the dumps, relatively speaking. Obviously it depends on your timeframe whether you are looking at a 60% haircut or a 10,000% gain. To anybody who cares about the price, I encourage you to laud the hoarders, the people like me. Since 2011, I have managed to accumulate a portion of coins, lose 20% through terrible trading (for anybody who thinks it is easy, it’s not, and I was genetically engineered to be a trader), invest another 20%, 90% of which will be written off at a loss, and keep the rest.
This brings me to my psychological disorder. The coins I have, I cherish. I respect them. Other than a supremely alluring investment opportunity, few things can wrench my “bitties” from my hand.
Some criticize the “buy and hold” Bitcoiners. After all, they are riding on the backs of the entrepreneurs. They are enjoying a free lunch at others’ expense; they should be reprimanded for it, and it’s a shame. But the critics forget that the bitcoin price is set on the margin. The only reason that the companies being started have any chance of success is because people like me are willing to keep their coins off the market, safely tucked away – in some cases, indefinitely.
I have a psychological disorder. It’s called hoarding bitcoins, and it’s making you rich. That new Ferrari: I can afford it. The 10,000 square foot house on the waterfront: I can afford that too. But instead of buying these things, I’m going to take one for the team. To those of you who do not suffer from the same irregularity, rest easy. I’m making you rich, and you shouldn’t be ashamed about it.
We hoarders are a bit weird, but very determined, and – most importantly – abundant.