Sign in

Marker
Pop business for the intelligent reader. A publication from Medium.

Crypto

In Marker. More on Medium.

Money Talks

The latest collectible boom is fueled by speculators, not enthusiasts

An illustration mock-up of a phone with an Ethereum “coin” in a Bubble-Bobble style game design. The coin is pointed at a variety of bubbles that contain different art icons or internet memes.
An illustration mock-up of a phone with an Ethereum “coin” in a Bubble-Bobble style game design. The coin is pointed at a variety of bubbles that contain different art icons or internet memes.

If every era has its quintessential collectible, something that speaks to the historical moment and becomes a seeming route to riches, ours is clearly the “non-fungible token” (or NFT). Over the past year, NFTs — which include, among other things pieces of digital art, digital cards featuring NBA highlights, and limited-series music albums, all recorded on the blockchain — have become objects of obsession and financial speculation, fueling hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions, the biggest of which happened just a couple of weeks ago, when a 10-second video clip created by digital artist Beeple sold for $6.7 million…


Money Talks

Bitcoin’s recent 25% plunge illustrates why it will never be a true currency

An illustration of a conceptual Bitcoin placed behind clouds in the sky as a rainbow crosses the sky.
An illustration of a conceptual Bitcoin placed behind clouds in the sky as a rainbow crosses the sky.

On May 22, 2010, a Bitcoin developer named Laszlo Hanyecz bought what may have been the most expensive meal in human history when he paid someone 10,000 Bitcoins to pick up and deliver him two pizzas from Papa John’s. Given that one Bitcoin is now worth more than $30,000, those pizzas cost, in retrospect, somewhere north of $300 million.

Nowadays, of course, no one would think of shelling out Bitcoin for something as mundane as a pizza without thinking first about how much money they might be giving up in the future. In the years since Hanyecz’s splurge, Bitcoin has…


Read Like a Boss

An early developer of the cryptocurrency Zcash on how Steven Levy’s ‘Crypto’ inspired her interest in privacy

This is part of the Marker series “Read Like a Boss,” where founders, CEOs, and leaders in business reflect on books that revolutionized their thinking, framed their career, or aided them in a crucial business decision.

Crypto starts with the story of how Whit Diffie invented public-key cryptography. He became fixated on cryptography as a means to preserve privacy in the digital age. Diffie worked for years as a solo researcher, driving back and forth across the country, finding people who could help him understand the hidden science of cryptography. His goal was to come up with a way to…

Marker

Pop business for the intelligent reader. A publication from Medium.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store