E-money is becoming a financial asset subject to winds of speculation, reminiscent of the situation before the Dutch Tulip Crisis in the 17th century, Le Monde editorialist Stéphane Lauer explained in his column.
Forever Augustus. 380 years ago, this gorgeous tulip became the symbol of one of the most spectacular speculative bubbles in history. In February 1637, the spring in the United Provinces of the Netherlands had never been more hopeful. The bulbous Semper Augustus sold for a stratospheric 10,000 guilders, the equivalent of 5 hectares of land or a fine mansion on the edge of a popular Amsterdam canal. It was the climax of tulip mania, before it was considered it: a craze that was both brutal and unreasonable, leading to the demise of speculators who dreamed of becoming informed investors.
Ten thousand is also the threshold that Bitcoin has just crossed. Even if we stopped talking about florins and were talking about the dollar, it’s easy to compare the rise of cryptocurrencies to 17th-century gardening madness. In three years, the price of the lightbulb has surged 5,900%, compared with Bitcoin’s 3,300% rise over a similar period. However, in this case, it is not said that the boom period has been reached.
At the same time, e-money has all the characteristics of a 2.0 light bulb, and it is time for public authorities and regulators to address this issue before it is too late.
A complex process
Like Bitcoin, the reproduction of lilies is a complex and random process, justifying some attempts to use bladders for lanterns. Let’s start with some precise gardening. First, tulip seeds can only produce bulbs capable of blooming after seven to twelve years. The rarity of the flower then depends on the painting and the color of the petals – the gorgeous marble petals of Semper Augustus – which are acquired due to the presence of the virus. But nature can sometimes become as complex as computer algorithms because invaders infect not bulbs but seeds, making the breeding of new species an overly laborious process and fertile ground for speculation.
Bitcoin is the result of an equally complex process that involves internet users putting their computer equipment at the service of the crypto community by performing mathematical calculations to confirm and secure cryptocurrency transactions. In return, they are paid in bitcoins, which can then be exchanged using electronic wallets.