The economy must be about to swirl down the drain if get-rich-quick shows are popular

Hell, yeah! I’ve got no talent, no skills, no significant assets, but I want to become a millionaire, so I guess I need to get myself to one of these Real Estate BitCoin Expos. You’ve seen these sorts of things before — “motivational speakers”, “self-help gurus”, people who are little more than self-aggrandizing salespeople like the contemptible Tony Robbins who rent out convention halls and sell themselves to gullible people. This one combines a couple of buzzwords to peddle…nothing.

Another ingredient: faith.

Let’s toss in a graph to get that pseudo-science vibe going. I do wonder what “moneyness” is, and how a bar chart with no units that compares bitcoin to cowrie shell trading is going to inspire confidence.

Add one more ingredient: celebrity. This “expo” had Sylvester Stallone come out and give a speech that said nothing about bitcoin, but was just Sly…selling himself.

Now we dance.

All the crap above was noted by Kerry Taylor, who attended one of these expos and is a “Money Blogger. Speaker. Author. @OnTheMoneyCBC Contributor. Globe Contributor.” Also, apparently, a skeptic who is going after real problems and real frauds.

I think I’d like to hear her speak about con artistry like the Real Estate Bitcoin Expo. You could probably learn something from her, unlike the slick used car salesmen of the expo.

Also, Sylvester Stallone: you cheap hack.


  1. says

    Gotta hand it to ”em, they’ve managed to distil neoliberal capitalism down to its purest form. Take something of no value, add large quantities of bullshit, perform no actual services, produce no actual goods, then declare the something to have magically increased in value.

  2. says

    Yeah. The even bigger irony is that bitcoin is kind of like a “super stock”, in some respects. Recent article I read by someone that had played around with it involved a guy that had a “lot” of money, put in about $5,000, and managed to get out again with about having doubled his money (after a lot of insane idiocy just trying to exchange it at all, including a level of documentation to do the initial trades which even your bank won’t ask for. So much for being anonymous. lol) Thing is, he “got out” near the end of a plunge that took it from an estimated value of something like $10,000 per actual bitcoin to $1,000, or something like that. Mostly, seems to me, that the only people that use it now, due to the lack of things, like a way to make sure someone doesn’t steal it from the real owner, is either being really rich and paranoid, to the point where you go out of your way to find places to buy things with it, some cases of people using it because existing banks won’t deal with them (this including a few sex workers, who under current laws are often not themselves doing anything illegal, but their clients are), and/or running complex bitcoin mining operations, which can net you a few hundred a month, as long as you have something like $20,000 of unused computer equipment laying around, which you don’t need for anything else, to hammer at the encryption, so as to steal individual bitcoins from the pool they all exist in.

    Its an interesting concept, with gaping holes in the design, and no regulation, but.. apparently, if you have no choice but to use it, for some reason, or you have a lot of money, its.. maybe profitable. That, or you are part of the pyramid scheme selling it to those putting in a few hundred here and there as an exchange rate of like $100 per .00001 bit coins. Then, you make money in the “exchange” costs, or by later robbing the bank via decryption. lol

  3. blf says

    Re @1, Also consumes stuff of value. E.g., the power consumption of the equipment used to generate new instances is now a subject of serious concern, Bitcoin’s energy usage is huge — we can’t afford to ignore it:

    The cryptocurrency uses [sic] as much CO₂ a year as 1m transatlantic flights. We need to take it seriously as a climate threat

    Bitcoin’s electricity usage is enormous. In November, the power consumed by the entire bitcoin network was estimated to be higher than that of the Republic of Ireland. Since then, its demands have only grown. It’s now on pace to use just over 42TWh of electricity in a year, placing it ahead of New Zealand and Hungary and just behind Peru, according to estimates from Digiconomist. That’s commensurate with CO₂ emissions of 20 megatonnes — or roughly 1m transatlantic flights.

    That fact should be a grave notion to anyone who hopes for the cryptocurrency to grow further in stature and enter widespread usage. But even more alarming is that things could get much, much worse, helping to increase climate change in the process.

    Burning huge amounts of electricity isn’t incidental to bitcoin: instead, it’s embedded into the innermost core of the currency, as the operation known as “mining”. In simplified terms, bitcoin mining is a competition to waste the most electricity possible by doing pointless arithmetic quintillions of times a second.


    And in addition, it is known to have embedded child p0rn, Child abuse imagery found within bitcoin’s blockchain (Grauniad edits in {curly braces}):

    Researchers discover illegal content within the distributed ledger, making possession of it potentially unlawful in many countries

    German researchers have discovered unknown persons are using bitcoin’s blockchain to store and link to child abuse imagery […].

    The blockchain is the open-source, distributed ledger that records every bitcoin transaction, but can also store small bits of non-financial data. This data is typically notes about the trade of bitcoin, recording what it was for or other metadata. But it can also be used to store links and files.

    Researchers from the RWTH Aachen University, Germany found that around 1,600 files were currently stored in bitcoin’s blockchain. Of the files least eight were of sexual content, including one thought to be an image of child abuse and two that contain 274 links to child abuse content, 142 of which link to dark web services.

    “Our analysis shows that certain content, eg, illegal pornography, can render the mere possession of a blockchain illegal,” the researchers wrote. “Although court rulings do not yet exist, legislative texts from countries such as Germany, the UK, or the USA suggest that illegal content such as {child abuse imagery} can make the blockchain illegal to possess for all users.”


    Basically, if one doesn’t care about the planet, and supports the raping of children, then this is another barrel of abusive crimes one would like.

  4. says

    It will be interesting to see how many Bitcoin “true believers” show up in this thread by the time I get back home this afternoon.

  5. bryanfeir says

    Yeah, I was seeing posters of this around the subway here in Toronto for the last several weeks. Needless to say, I had no particular interest in going. It was all so obviously ‘the real way to get rich quick is to sell get rich quick schemes’, and I had already known that.

    As for Bitcoin, well, any currency only really has value insofar as the people using it agree that it has value. Bitcoin just has no other source of value.

  6. weylguy says

    Around 1976 I was invited to a “business meeting” by a co-worker, who was evasive about the whole thing but assured me that the sheer brilliance he saw in me would guarantee my interest. Boy, was I stupid — it turned out to be an Amway enlistment party. One of the speakers was an astronaut (can’t remember his name), and all I could think was that NASA must not pay their folks very much.

    Bitcoin and Amway — still making suckers.

  7. Matrim says

    Honestly, I’m mostly just offended by the poor design of that subway ad. Who made that thing?

  8. unclefrogy says

    yes that is as clear a signal as the economy ever makes. You can try to time the market closer to the absolute top but the odds of getting burnt are steeper the longer you wait. sell what ever bitcoin and the like you have while you can easily do it now, it may go up for a while yet but not forever!
    they are still selling credit reverse swaps the ones that took us down just a few years ago.

  9. zetopan says

    “Sylvester Stallone: you cheap hack.”
    Stallone never had to *act* stupid in any of his movies, likewise for his endorsement of anything.

  10. billyjoe says

    My son made $100,000 on Bitcoin before pulling out $40,000 and losing the rest. You have to hold your tongue sometimes. It’s a losing strategy to talk about valueless activity when someone has $40,000 sitting in his pocket. :(

  11. Crudely Wrott says

    Really? Fireworks and lousy, amateur, irrelevant pseudo-rock music? Flashing lights and high volume noise?
    Anything that requires these sales techniques in order to entice the great unwashed to throw their dollars and their underwear at the stage is something that has no intrinsic value. Hey! Wanna buy some time shares?
    The true test of anything remotely resembling coin of the realm is to first establish two things. Who will accept your coin and what are they willing to give you in exchange?
    So far, the answers are that not many vendors at all will accept your dream as payment for actual goods and services. Those who claim they will are blatantly trying to sell you more of the coin. Because, of course, how else are you gonna get filthy rich?
    In a similar vein, Facebook is still “free”.

  12. Muz says

    Ross and Carrie recently did a visit to the Real Estate Wealth expo. Before the bitcoin part was added admittedly, but it sounds like basically the same stuff with “bitcoin” sprinkled throughout. Well worth a listen. They also got some legal analysis about the investing snake oil found therein.

    My favorite bitcoin quote was from Mark Blyth “If you have to explain to people why something is money, it’s not money.”