Sunday, November 28, 2021

Bitcoin, Beanie Babies and Pokemon Cards

One of the most prescient things I ever read was somebody pointing out that Beanie Babies were not inherently "collectable" because they were made of materials that did not age well.

At the height of the mania, grannies and pre-teens were planning to make a killing on Beanie Babies because they were guaranteed to double in price every year. Who was making that guarantee and how they intended to backstop that guarantee was never made clear to me.

Pokemon cards were worse. How hard can it be to counterfeit a printed piece of cardboard? And cardboard is not the most durable material in the world, either.

I look at cyber-currencies and cannot help but wonder, how are they any different than the digital equivalent of Beanie Babies or Pokemon Cards.

I have no intention of investing in cyber-currencies. There are too many other useful items I can invest it....items I understand and know how to use.


  1. I buy the ETF GBTC and CBTC. Buy when they are low, sell when they are high. Both are tied to BitCoin, and both have made money as they are fairly volatile. Buy when BitCoin is low and sell again when it is high.
    So far, on an investment of $10K I have made 21 in the past year, and still have the seed money.

    BitCoin is a tradeable thing, and like most tradeable items, varies in value.
    At any given point it is not the inherent value, but rather what someone else will give you for that item. A dollar bill has no inherent value either, really. It is only what you can trade it for that gives it any value. Same Same BitCoin.

  2. The Pokemon craze was/is based on baseball cards.

  3. There are blocks and blocks of 'zombie' bitcoin. Someone lost the post-it with the password, threw away the wrong hard drive, etc.
    How will we know when real quantum computing is realized?
    Those blocks will come alive, start being traded, and all hell will break loose.
    Bitcoin and the like rely on encryption and it can, and will eventually be broken.

  4. You don't really own it unless you can hold it in your hand--ken

  5. Or put another way ... if they can tax it, they can take it. If they can take it, it isn't really yours.

  6. I have a few Pokemon cards my mother bought for me when I was much younger, they stay in one of my treasure boxes despite being worthless. I would rather collect game cards because they actually have skilled artwork put into them, unlike sports cards.

    Adult artwork of Pokemon is where the money is. Rules 34, 35, and 36 of the internet.

    Almost all baseball cards that aren't pre-1965 are effectively stove kindling. Even if they were given away for free they aren't worth the cost to have them shipped.

    I inherited a baseball card collection from extended family and it contained NFL cards too. These are the dealer boxes when the card shops made out rich by overprinting everything once the collection craze started. I'm only keeping the oldest cards from 1968 - 1982 ish, the rest are kindling for my greenhouse heaters.

    Digital currency is just a piece of information that can be traded from one person to another, it serves perfectly fine as currency. Almost anything can be a currency, even in Diablo 2 the in-game gold was worthless so people used a rare ring drop called Stone of Jordan or "SOJ" for currency.

    Bitcoin has NO WORTH, it is not "MONEY" but it does have value inherent to its utilitarian uses and independence from governments and banks. It is as private or as revealing as you make it. It's great for people who have been de-platformed by PayPal and other merchant processors. My own de-platforming by PayPal is inevitable but my merchant processor is a little more aggreeable; it also has support for crypto wallets TMK. I have my own crypto system in place, though disabled for now, so I don't get the rug ripped out from under me by services I don't like to exclusively rely upon.

  7. How do you take possession of and trade your cryptocurrency when the grid or internet goes down? Until I get a bulletproof answer to that, I'll stick to precious metals and items that can be bartered.

    1. Disclaimer: Nothing in my comments constitutes advice of any kind.

      Crypto can be sent by radio and cell. Every other house had their own transmission antenna in Afghanistan, even in the slums along the Helmund. The well to do had generators or solar panels. Cell and radio exist even in Africa.

      The blockchain is not restricted to any one country and even if all of the western world collapsed, the currency will continue in others. I recall some Swiss banks keep a current blockchain record in their vaults.

      Should civilization collapse to the point where even radio and cellular networks no longer function and institutional commerce has been destroyed utterly; gold and silver will provide such little benefit that they might as well be dead weight. Beans, Bullets, Bandages, armor, tools and the smarts to use em will rule the day.

      TMK, most cellular towers have a generator and three day supply of fuel, it will be a priority to keep them fueled. If it gets ugly, they might be guarded to prevent theft of the generator and fuel. Handy knowledge to have.

      Diversifying stored wealth is the best way. Some BTC, some gold, some guns, some stored food, some land, some functional knowledge and skills, etc.

      If truly every aspect of the grid went down, absolutely all technology failed, then it's either the end days of the tribulation or something worse and only Jesus can save you / your best investment / insurance.


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