That Coincheck heist was beyond any bank robbery in real life, and while Coincheck is refunding the stolen money, they didn't get the actual stolen funds back. No one knows who took it, and the security measures that monitored where the money went have since been removed, because crime-solving is hard. The money is never coming back, and seems to have mostly been funneled into the deep, dark, dirty web.
In fact, over $9 million per day gets scammed in the world of cryptocurrency. Which is a lot, right? Like, I don't have anywhere near that much money, so it seems like a lot to me. But it's par for the course in this realm, until someone figures out a way to make it harder to steal. But even that probably won't stop hackers from just using your WiFi to hijack your device when you're sitting in Starbucks, forcing your machine to mine cryptocurrency for them using a process not even your computer fully understands.
Companies Are Rebranding To Jump On The Bandwagon
Imagine if you sucked super hard at life and decided you needed to shake shit up to not suck, so you let everyone know that you were putting suck on the back burner and changing your name to Artemis Bitcoin FinTech Blockpunch. Would that make you a better person? The question is rhetorical, because of course it would. And businesses know this, which is why so many of them did almost exactly the awesome thing I just mentioned.
Consider the Long Island Iced Tea Company, a boring if not fairly straightforward name attached to a business that made the titular beverages. And then they changed their name to Long Blockchain Corp, causing their stock value to increase sixfold. They literally did nothing else. They didn't implement any changes or discover a bunch of enchanted rubies in the cellar. They announced they were going to become a cryptocurrency business -- something any small beverage company is of course set up to do at a moment's notice -- and that they would buy 1,000 Bitcoin mining machines, or what the layman might call "computers."
Here's the kicker: They never bought those machines, because you can't float them in vats of iced tea, and even if you could, who cares? The stock already went up! Now to keep that sweet interest flowing, they say they're going to partner in the future with a blockchain company and something something profit.
SkyPeople Juice International Holding recently shook their shit up by becoming Future FinTech. The company, most famous for making juice -- because as I already established, beverages and Bitcoin go together like beverages and Bitcoin -- switched gears and saw a triple increase in stock prices! But unlike Long Blockchain, Future FinTech didn't promise to mine Bitcoin, or work with anyone who does, or actually anything of the sort. They want to get into e-commerce and commodities, which is kind of what they already do, but now with a new, hip name. But their stock still increased because it sounded to others like they were going to do something. What they do say is that they're "a financial technology company and integrated producer of fruit-related products," which maybe is how Fruit Roll-Ups were invented. That's the power of rebranding in the world of cryptocurrency.
Kodak announced plans to start their own cryptocurrency (which they've since pushed back) that would somehow protect the works of photographers, and their stock shot up like a rocket. There was even a company that used to make sports bras which decided one day to become a cryptocurrency consulting firm called the Crypto Company, and they saw their stock explode 57 times over. And then the SEC shut down trading for the business, because as it turns out, people get oddly suspicious when a bra company becomes a multi-billion-dollar cryptocurrency firm out of nowhere.
It Wastes A Ton Of Energy
I mentioned earlier that cryptocurrencies are "mined." Basically, imagine an invisible resource that can only be extracted using lots of complicated math that requires thousands and thousands of computers. Well, because of all of those machines running around the clock, a single Bitcoin transaction has been estimated to use as much energy as your house will use in a week.
Now, the metrics on Bitcoin waste are hard to pin down. Most come from one Digiconomist article that makes a lot of assumptions, but it's also not outright making stuff up. Whether it's the entire amount of energy used by Greece or Iraq in a year, it's still taking a shit-ton of power to create nothing whatsoever. And a lot of that is being used and generated in China with fossil fuels, for that extra, secret layer of "fuck you" to everyone else.
In theory, with software improvements, Bitcoin could become more energy efficient and maybe stop burning buildings down, which is literally a thing that has happened more than once. But for now, one estimate had Bitcoin using power equivalent to what 30 1.2-gigawatt nuclear plants generate, all day every day. Do you know how many times that could send Marty McFly back to 1985? Fuckin' several.
Some are trying to mitigate the waste. People are setting up mining operations in the Arctic so that the overheating is less of an issue. One dude is using the excess heat from his mining PCs to grow tomatoes, while others have just decided to use it to heat their homes -- and those are just recovering small amounts of the energy that gets wasted as heat radiating from the processors.
We may go around talking about how badly baby boomers screwed over the planet with their SUVs and heated pools, but at least they didn't burn up several coal mines' worth of energy on what may turn out to be an ephemeral get rich quick scheme.
You're honestly just better off putting your money into a literal piggy bank. It's probably more secure.
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For more, check out 4 Reasons Bitcoin Hoarders Are Screwed and 6 Everyday Objects You Had No Clue People Once Used As Money.
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