What Twitter and Bitcoin Have in Common

Twitter and bitcoin share a key similarity in that their success while it lasted was just hubris. Realize that both were birthed by a virtual medium capable of monetizing turds if there is any discoverable demand for them. Cardi B’s megahit single Wet Ass Pussy was proof of this. Twitter proffered turds in the form of members-only censorship that took delight in defecating on the Bill of Rights, particularly the First Amendment. But it took Elon Musk, with unlimited quantities of f**k-you money, to put a number on Twitter: $44 billion. Unfortunately for him, nearly all of it was for ‘good will’ that appears to have vanished. Nor is he likely to be consoled when it is discovered that the dark secret of Twitter’s overwrought ex-employees is that they can start a Twitter of their own with just a few mill, a rackful of servers and a dozen high school dropouts working from home, paid $20/hour to code.

Cute Little Bird

So what are the notoriously spoiled workers so disgruntled about? Leave it to an apparent millennial sympathizer reporting for The Wall Street Journal to excuse them with a high-minded quote uttered by no one in particular: “Employees said Mr. Musk pushed people to work well over 40 hours a week, but said they didn’t feel there was a compelling vision to justify it.” A compelling vision? Yeah, sure.  And exactly what lofty end did they see themselves serving under Jack Dorsey, Orwell’s darkest nightmare masquerading as a little blue birdie? Stay tuned to the blogosphere for more dithering on this and other topics of scant interest to folks who live in the real world. What should please the company’s make-believe workforce in any event is that Musk set an intergalactic record for overpayment.  If Twitter had changed hands for, say, a still-hugely-overvalued $40 million, no one would have given a rat’s ass what his plans are for the company.

Which brings us to bitcoin, another hubris-rocket fueled by insane excesses of speculative money and greed. Its sensational rise was based on a sexy story invented by, for all we know, a Hollywood flack: Bitcoin entered the space-time continuum via an algorithm written by a mysterious nerd-cum-rock-star known as ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’. His secret sauce was scarcity: there will never be more than 21 million bitcoin in circulation. An irony is that satoshi coinage inspired more than 2,000 cryptocurrency knockoffs, practically all of them rendered worthless by bitcoin’s nearly 80% plunge.

Teen Millionaires

When the bitcoin craze broke into a gallop in 2021 spurred by salacious tales of teen millionaires, it was on its way to becoming the Tulip-o-mania of this era, albeit on a global scale. The Murphy men who run our banking system cautiously signed on (even if Warren Buffett suspiciously did not), warming up the press and the rabble with luncheon speeches that lent bitcoin a veneer of respectability. No one seems to have noticed or cared that the banks themselves appeared to have no skin in the game. Their huckstering was meant to get bitcoin off the launching pad and solidly established in the firmament of Ponzis and shingles-and-siding hustles. Then, the supposedly smart money would rendezvous with the crypto mother-ship they’d helped create.

Alas, bitcoin’s pitch-men will have to start nearly from scratch now that the second-largest bitcoin exchange, FTX, has gone belly up in a scandal that is certain to widen. Its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, has gone from patron saint and second-largest Democrat donor to schmuck in less than two weeks. You can bet that he will resurface a few years from now, claiming to have solved the nation’s energy problems with cold fusion. By that time, bitcoin will have bounced its way down to zero, where all speculative manias eventually come to rest.

  • John November 23, 2022, 4:29 pm

    Looks like givig $48M to the Dems pays off. Fraud, but no arrest and speaking gig. YOLO

  • John November 22, 2022, 3:33 pm

    If you believe what Musket says you are really naive.
    Musket does not care about free speech, it’s a salvage operation. His was hired to save the corporation from closing as users were leaving in mass. Twhitler is part of their “plan” for profiling people among other things. As people were leaving they would have loose their centralize tech platform to others independent and out of control ones. They had do to something and regroup the cattle again, so they asked their puppet to come in to save it. He s a joker/double agent. Tesla is highly subsidized, because he is one of them. They are using him to make a show and bring people back in. End people are too gullible and even beg for their account to be reactivated. Now that is genius, make people beg to be back in the controlling centralize machine.

  • RICHARD CHARLES November 20, 2022, 7:40 pm

    There seems to be a recurring theme that goes back before 1929:

    In December 1928, Waddill Catchings led the formation of an investment trust, Goldman Sachs Trading Corporation (GSTC), managed by the partnership and listed on the New York Curb Exchange (later the American Stock Exchange and then NYSE MKT), with stocks trading at an initial price of US$104. This was to be the largest investment trust yet established, with capital of US$50 million, a cash surplus of an additional US$50 million and, ultimately, 42,000 shareholders.

    In early 1929, GSTC announced its intention to merge with the Financial and Industrial Securities Corporation. The news was greeted enthusiastically by investors, who pushed shares of the corporation up over 70 percent above their December 1928 issue price. Within three days, shares had more than doubled over their initial value (to $208).

    The success of GSTC led the firm to plan an expansion using the trading corporation stock to acquire American Trust Company of San Francisco. Catchings went further and in July and August 1929 formed two more trusts with an interlocking, highly leveraged ownership structure: the Shenandoah Corporation and the Blue Ridge Corporation.

    GSTC would bear the full brunt of the Crash of 1929. By January 1930, its market capitalization had fallen by over 50 percent to US$233 million and its share prices collapsed to US$40.94. By mid-1932, adjusted for splits, the stock ultimately fell to US$1.75 and capitalization was around US$40 million.

    99 % loss in three years.

    Just add zeros today.