Bitcoin or Ecigs? Which is more evil?
Because Bitcoin has to be evil right? I mean it's used to trade drugs, guns, old copies of Glamour magazine, in evil, digital lairs like the Silk Road. Surely it must be a Ponzi scheme dreamt up by a Bond villain who is right now sitting in his executive chair, stroking a white, fluffy cat. Waiting for the right moment to push the button, wiping out Trillions of bits of money and plunging the Worlds economy back into a Malthusian
But what about E-cigarettes?
Does the "E" in E-cigarettes stand for EVIL? Are they the creation of Satan in some hellish plot to enslave our children to the flavour of Butterscotch, nicotene and then on to crack? Are ecigs really crack pipes in disguise, a plot by North Korea to weaken our armed forces by getting them all addicted to Strawberry Dream flavour.
According to some of the sensationalists stories out there regarding both subjects you would thing that both come from the skin flakes of Lucifers dried warts.
Recently Bitcoin and e-cigarettes have been in the news, attracting negative publicity. Both subjects are rising as a subject of interest, according to Google Trends.
Bitcoin trend in the last 12 months
Ecigarette trend in the last 12 months
The Reality of E-cigarettes
Both subjects have a loyal and active fan base, both are considered a challenge to the status quo and challenging entrenched, traditional business.
Because of lack of regulation and law not keeping up with the technology, an aura of the Wild West has grown up as the image for both subjects, whether deserved or not. Mavericks, charlatens and progressive thinkers have been attracted to both, creating a rich an interesting body of news reports.
News loves new trends and up and coming social movements which shift the goal posts, but especially they love tapping the primal part of the readers nature and reporting something which may be dangerous. With ecigs they like to tap the "destroying children angle"
Typical headlines are:
- Are e-Cigarettes Safe? - Medical Discovery News
- E-cigarettes' growing popularity poses danger to kids - USA Today
- E-cigarettes to be banned for under-18s - Telegraph
- Don't be fooled by e-cigarettes! - Media room - News ...
They report it because people like to quickly know what is dangerous for them and their children. Often without learning the details which can completely change the actual danger. The reality of the danger to children is often quite different, when researched. Ash, the UK anti smoking pressure group commissioned a report on the dangers of children smoking
Look how Meanwhile The Wright Stuff, UK discussion based TV show asks the question, "Are Eciggies Evil
?", which raised a lot of debate in the Ecig forums and blogs. By framing the question in that way the media are muddying the waters and the viewer who has not extensively researched the subject will come away confused or at worst thinking that Eciggies are indeed evil.
Common myths about E-cigarettes include:
They are addictive - Wrong, it's what you put in them that's addictive, if you chose nicotine then you will be addicted to nicotene, but you don't have to chose to vape the drug.
Nobody knows what is in an E-cigarette - Wrong, reputable companies which make the juice for E-cigarettes will always disclose ingredients. As there is not yet regulation you may be at risk if you buy from a place that is not trusted.
Vapor from e-cigarettes is as bad as secondhand smoke from a tabacco cigarette - Wrong, what the e-cigarette produces is a vapor, not smoke and it has no smell, or a lingering odour
.... and so on.
There are many more myths about the E-cigarette which we can explore in another article. But what about those evil Bitcoins?
The myth of the bad boy Bitcoin
Bitcoin really scares a lot of traditional business a lot. Whilst still a microbe on the elephant of Global finances, Bitcoin has now reached a market capitilisation of around $7.5 Billion, to some of us that is a lot of money, however in the Forex markets for example, $4 Trillion gets traded every day.
For a new currency to reach such capitalisation when backed by nothing more than the crowd (traditional currencies used to be backed by gold) is truly remarkable and it is giving the media something to really get it's teeth into.
These stories are only in the past week as I write this
Fortune (blog) - 6 days ago
- Drug site Silk Road wiped out by Bitcoin glitch
- CNN - by Jose Pagliery - 3 days ago
- Are Bitcoin Pricing Fluctuations Growing Pains or the Beginning of the End?
- Motley Fool - 5 days ago
- This is Pretty Bad News For the Bitcoin Community - PolicyMic
- Bitcoin's amazingly bad, but kind of great, week - Salon.com
- Money Network's Demise: Bad News for Bitcoin -- Daily Intelligencer
As with Ecigs, the news media likes to tap into that Primal brain part that made us run from Sabre Tooth Tigers. When we read about danger, it's the same part of our brain which springs into action, hopefully making us click through to the story. And so we tend to only read about the sensational, and easily digestible stories rather than the well researched articles which take in the complexity of the subject.
But of course it works both ways, when danger is reported it could actually be happening, like the dangers of storing your Bitcoin cash in an exchange like MtGox. Losing your life savings which have been invested in Bitcoin is a real thing, and people may laugh at these people in the same way they laughed at those hundreds of years ago who funded ships to sale to the spice islands. Sometimes it takes these fearless types to force through discoveries and the betterment of the human race.
It's this exploration mind set that has galvanised these intrepid, first movers into helping build a digital currency out of nothing.
Is it a bubble? Like when a tulip bulb in Holland was exchanged for a house? Only time will really tell and it can be argued that a digital currency, backed by the crowd rather than a centralised government is far more useful to the World than a tulip bulb.
In the past few months there have been numerous stories that could give Bitcoin a bad name, and yet it is still rising in value, these include:
Bitcoin executive arrested
Silk Road 2 loses $2.7m in bitcoins in alleged hack
Customers of the online marketplace, Silk Road 2, lost their bitcoin in a recent hack. The Bitcoin were held by the marketplace as transactions were taking place. But in a recent report, the owners of Silk Road 2 have said they will return all the money and hinted at the fact that if an employee was involved it wouldn't work out well for them.
Bitcoin Exchanges not giving money back
My Gox, one of the most trusted Bitcoin exchanges has suspended withdrawals
to deal with technical issues. Causing some to go to extreme measures to try get their money back.
"Kolin Burges was a software developer in London until the end of last year, when his vast Litecoin holdings suddenly went lunar. Concerned at the prospect of a Chinese New Year crash he moved much of his wealth back to Japan and Mt. Gox
, only to find it locked in there around the same week"
Apple Hates Bitcoin
When Bitcoin fanatics heard about the fact that Apple has removed one of their favourite Bitcoin Apps, from the iTunes store they went postal
on their expensive iPhones.
Bitcoin still holds value against the haterz, even with all the recent bad news it is currently trading at $613.98 on condesk.com