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Is FOMO Driving the Bitcoin Boom? Why not? YOLO.

Is FOMO Driving the Bitcoin Boom? Why not? YOLO.

December 6, 2013 • By  •

When the Silk Road, previously the world’s largest online exchange of illegal goods, shut down in October, many speculated that it would also mean the end of Bitcoin, the anonymous, digital currency that the site ran on. But a funny thing happened: nothing. The value of Bitcoin dipped with the news, falling slightly to around $200, but it has ballooned ever since, breaking the $1,000 mark for a single coin and attracting more buyers than ever.

With current prices hovering around $1,000 (a recent dip was caused by the Chinese government banning interaction between digital currencies and banks), Bitcoin is marching toward the mainstream. It’s not so much that the illegal enterprises based on the currency have disappeared—in fact, several competitors to the Silk Road have popped up in its place—but rather its reputation has changed from being mysterious contraband to a great investment, and everyone wants a piece.

Fear of missing out (FOMO, for short) is shorthand for that feeling you get on the Internet when you can witness in real time everyone but yourself doing awesome stuff. It’s seeing a snapshot from a Kanye West concert on your friend’s Instagram, or a Facebook album of a party you weren’t invited to. It’s also the feeling that the Bitcoin boom inspires, as Adrian Chen writes in a recent New York Times op-ed.


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This entry was posted on December 7, 2013 by and tagged .

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