SEC to scrutinize public companies getting overnight bitcoin makeovers to cash in on cryptocurrency hype


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/22/blockchain-name-game.html


#2

I can understand the SEC taking a closer look at companies who switch their business model to a cryptocurrency- or blockchain-based one. That the SEC also feels it must scrutinise companies that simply change their names without changing anything else just shows the extreme level of stupidity in operation for this bubble.


#3

Time to start up “A company for carrying on an undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is. Except that it involve blockchain in some way.”, I think


#4

Is this from the post of a couple days ago? A method by which we may embiggen ourselfes thus Attaining Gigantic Dimensions. Is that you Robert Boyle?

#42

also, blockchain cryptocurrency argle bargle blockchain enabled yada yada


#5

Surely my new fund where the value of the coin is tied to the value of a basket of stocks picked by a cat will pass muster.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/frederickallen/2013/01/15/cat-beats-professionals-at-stock-picking/

I thought of tying a fund to the value of sticks picked by a Shroedinger’s cat - but investors balked at checking their balances.


#6

Recently I’ve had two friends, who never cared about investing before, suddenly start talking about how they “want to get in on this Bitcoin thing.”

Which makes me think I should start investing in canned goods and huge sacks of rice and beans.


#7

ohhh, they want to get IN on Dunning-Krugerrands do they? Well, I happen to have some choice cryptoblingblingzaboing neeewhomp! cryptocurrency I might want to sell them…nahhh, it is too scarce, not for the little people.


#8

Messing with federal securities law is what got Martin “Pharma Bro” Shkreli in trouble. Because that usually amounts to stealing from rich people. They don’t like that.


#9


#10

Oh God I thought that was a joke but it seems to not be


#11

Worked for Dogecoin


#12

IIRC, that’s based on one of the prospects bubbling up during the South Sea Bubble.


#13

From Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay

Summary

But the most absurd and preposterous of all, and which shewed, more completely than any other, the utter madness of the people, was one started by an unknown adventurer, entitled “A company for carrying on an undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is.” Were not the fact stated by scores of credible witnesses, it would be impossible to believe that any person could have been duped by such a project. The man of genius who essayed this bold and successful inroad upon public credulity, merely stated in his prospectus that the required capital was half a million, in five thousand shares of 100l. each, deposit 2l. per share. Each subscriber, paying his deposit, would be entitled to 100l. per annum per share. How this immense profit was to be obtained, he did not condescend to inform them at that time, but promised that in a month full particulars should be duly announced, and a call made for the remaining 98l. of the subscription. Next morning, at nine o’clock, this great man opened an office in Cornhill. Crowds of people beset his door, and when he shut up at three o’clock, he found that no less than one thousand shares had been subscribed for, and the deposits paid. He was thus, in five hours, the winner of 2000l. He was philosopher enough to be contented with his venture, and set off the same evening for the Continent. He was never heard of again.

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/24518/24518-h/dvi.html#south-sea (relevant quote starts bottom of 53)

Other than Mackay’s book, we appear to have no other mention of this but it’s too good a story to pooh-pooh on that score.


#14

But I just saw a thing on Yahoo, “Cryptogenius Says Bitcoin is Dead, Predicts Next Big Cryptocurrency.”

Wait. . . is that YOU? You’re the “cryptogenius”??!!!

I’m afraid all I can offer is the family cow, but I will take as many magic beans as you can spare.


#15

Just look at it


#16

Kidding aside, said “Cryptogenius” pictured in those ads is actually a past Boingboing contributor named James Altucher…


#17

Ah yes, Mr. “I’m Homeless* and Carry All My Possessions**.”

(* pay no attention to all my wealthy friends and family with expensive couches and guest rooms)

(** pay no attention to my small bank card with its huge balance!)

Why am I not surprised that he’s now changed his personal brand to that of “crypto-genius”?


#18

How much are the bitcoin coins we see in all the photos accompanying bitcoin articles worth in bitcoins and actual money?


#19

Most of them are props and novelty items that aren’t worth much. Some of them (e.g. Casascius) had a tamper-proof hologram on the back covering the key for one actual Bitcoin. This story tells what it was like to try cashing one out (physical coin or not):


#20

Just look at it.