Bitcoin Plunge - Adam Davidson

  • Aired:  04/17/13
  •  | Views: 27,539

The host of NPR's "Planet Money" describes what shady people do with bitcoins. (4:14)

>> Stephen: I DON'T UNDERSTAND.

HOW DID THIS UNREGULATED

IMAGINARY CURRENCY INVENTED BY

AN ANONYMOUS HACKER AND BACKED

BY THE FULL FAITH AND CREDIT OF

YOU-TUBE COMMENTS EVER GO WRONG?

HERE TO TELL ME, PLEASE WELCOME

ONE OF THE HOSTS OF N.P.R.'S

PLANET MONEY, ADAM DAVIDSON.

ADAM THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING

HERE.

ALL RIGHT.

OKAY.

ADAM, SO WHAT CAUSED THIS CRASH,

OKAY?

WAS THERE A BIT-COIN BUBBLE?

>> WHICH CRASH AND WHICH BUBBLE

Stephen: THE CRASH THAT JUST

HAPPENED THIS PAST WEEK WHERE IT

WAS AT $266 AND WENT DOWN TO $56

OR SOMETHING.

>> IT WENT UP TO 100 AND DOWN TO

60 AND DOWN TO 95 JUST TODAY.

>> Stephen: AT THIS MOMENT DO I

BUY OR SELL BIT-COIN, THIS

SECOND?

>> NEVER BUY BIT-COIN WOULD BE

MY ADVICE

>> Stephen: IT'S A HOT NEW

THING.

YP SHOULDN'T I BUY THE THING

THAT IS SOMETIMES WORTH

SOMETHING?

>> IF YOU DO HAVE MONEY THAT YOU

HAVE NO NEED TO USE EVER AGAIN

IN YOUR LIFE AND YOU WANT TO SEE

WHAT HAPPENS WITH IT, THAT'S A

REASONABLE INVESTMENT BUT

THERE'S ABSOLUTELY NO WAY TO

KNOW WHAT IT'S GOING TO BE WORTH

IN FIVE MINUTES LET ALONE FIVE

YEARS.

>> Stephen: IS THERE ANYWAY OF

KNOWING WHAT GOLD IS WORTH

BECAUSE GOLD IS... WHAT IS GOLD

WORTH?

GOLD JUST TANKED.

THE WORST DAY IN 33 YEARS.

>> THE PROBLEM WITH THINKING TOO

MUCH ABOUT THESE QUESTIONS IS

YOU START THINKING, WAIT, WHAT

IS MONEY?

WHAT IS VALUE?

>> Stephen: ADAM, WHAT IS MONEY?

WHAT IS IT?

WHAT DON'T I GET ABOUT BIT-COIN?

HOW IS IT NOT MONEY?

>> WELL, IT IS MONEY.

I LIKE MONEY.

BUT MONEY THAT HAS A VERY LONG

HISTORY OF BACKING BY A

GOVERNMENT LIKE THE UNITED

STATES GOVERNMENT THAT HAS

HUNDREDS OF YEARS, TRILLIONS AND

TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

>> Stephen: HOW DID BIT-COIN GET

WHERE IT IS IF THERE IS NOTHING

BEHIND IT, HOW DID IT GET THERE?

>> IT IS AN UNBELIEVABLY COOL

COMPUTER PROGRAM.

IT HAS FIGURED OUT ALL SORTS OF

THINGS ABOUT HOW TO CREATE TRUST

AMONG WEIRD STRANGERS ON THE

INTERNET WHO WILL NEVER MEET

EACH OTHER.

>> Stephen: THAT SOUNDS LIKE A

PYRAMID SCHEME OR SOMETHING.

COULD THERE BE SOME GUY AT THE

MIDDLE OF THIS WHO CREATED IT

WHO IS JUST RAKING IN ALL THE

CASH AND EVERYBODY ELSE IS IS A

CASH.

>> THE GUY IN THE MIDDLE OF IT

OR THE GUYS OR THE GIRLS OR THE

COMPUTER

>> Stephen: WE HAVE NO IDEA WHO

MADE IT.

>> WE KNOW A NAME BUT WE KNOW

NOBODY IS CALLED THAT.

SOMEBODY OUT THERE SAYS...

>> Stephen: IT SOUNDS LIKE A

FAKE NAME.

THERE A PLACE WHERE BIT-COIN IS?

>> IT'S KIND OF LIKE BIT-TORRENT

IN THE SENSE THAT IT IS ALL...

>> Stephen: ALL PORNOGRAPHY.

AND GAME OF THRONES.

>> Stephen: WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH

IT OTHER THAN TO HAVE IT?

CAN YOU DO THINGS WITH THIS?

>> YES, THERE ARE WAYS TO USE IT

TO BUY AND SELL

>> Stephen: WHAT ARE PEOPLE

BUYING MOSTLY WITH IT?

>> DRUGS, CREDIT CARDS.

ILLEGAL

>> Stephen: YOU CAN BUY DRUGS

NOW THOUGH?

WHAT'S THE VALUE OF BUYING DRUGS

WITH BIT-COIN.

>> FOR SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO DO

SOMETHING SHADY OR SOMEONE WHO

IS JUST A FANATIC APT EYE

GOVERNMENT LIBERTARIAN IS

THERE'S NO WAY TO TRACK YOU.

IF YOU USE YOUR CREDIT CARD

ONLINE THEY CAN FIGURE OUT WHO

YOU ARE.

>> Stephen: NO ONE BUYS DRUGS

WITH A CREDIT CARD, MAN.

LIKE $20.

YOU KNOW, NO ONE IS TRACING

THAT, YOU KNOW, NOTHING, YOU

KNOW, TUNE IN.

CASH IS UNTRACEABLE.

>> CASH IS UNTRACEABLE BUT YOU

DO HAVE TO MEET PEOPLE.

TODAY I WANTED TO BUY BIT-COINS

SO I CAN TELL YOU WHAT IT WAS

LIKE.

AND WHAT I FOUND WAS A GUY NAMED

TRADER 675 WAS WILLING TO MEET

ME FOR CASH SO THERE WOULD BE NO

TRACEABLE, YOU KNOW, NO CREDIT

CARD TRANSACTION

>> Stephen: YOU'RE ON THE N.P.R.

RIGHT?

>> OKAY

Stephen: DO YOU GUYS TAKE

BIT-COIN IN EXCHANGE FOR LIKE

TOTE BAGS?

DO YOU GUYS TAKE IT AS A

DONATION?

>> WE DON'T YET.

Stephen: MAYBE, IF BIT-COIN

GETS THERE, WE KNOW BIT-COIN HAS

MADE IT.

>> THAT'S A GOOD POINT

Stephen: THANK YOU SO MUCH

FOR JOINING ME.

HOST OF N.P.R.'S PLANET MONEY

ADAM DAVIDSON.

WE'L

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