Bitcoin: A subprime bubble for the rich – How to Invest in Bitcoin

Does it matter if bitcoin is in a bubble? That depends.

My problem with the gold bugs has always been this: If your imagined apocalypse of “fiat” dollars comes to pass, what next? Would the grocery store or well-prepared neighbor accept your gold bars or Krugerrands for cold cuts, bread and water? Why? In that doomsday — and a currency collapse would be just that — they would have something far more valuable and useful than metal.
Still, gold retains a timeless value because people assign it that. The same has been true in modern times with the dollar. It’s only a piece of paper. But people believe.
Bitcoin is not backed by “the full faith and credit” of the U.S. government, but its enthusiasts want it to become the digital equivalent of gold, or even more. The currency (?) or commodity (?) passed $10,000 on Tuesday and $11,000 today. Let’s call it a medium of exchange or a store of value. Is this a bubble? Count on it.How to Invest in Bitcoin
How to Invest in Bitcoin
Many of the features of bitcoin that appeal to the digerati also make it dodgy — and used by criminals. It’s not a real coin, but an asset that lives online, held in digital “wallets” and transacted through “blockchains.” It’s highly decentralized and not subject to regulation or federal insurance. (So, to add to the gold bug’s dilemma, you’d need a functioning internet in the apocalypse and a seller willing to take “a bitcoin” for that $11,000 loaf of bread).
At least one bitcoin enthusiast says people should investin the medium, even in a bubble, because it’s leading to a technological revolution. Unfortunately, this is not like 19th century railroads (where people lost many fortunes) or the 20th century automobile or aircraft industries. It won’t create useful products or abundant jobs. Might it revolutionize transactions? Maybe. The Federal Reserveis thinking about a digital currency. I still watch people pay with paper currency in the age of plastic.
Another way to think of bitcoin is that it’s another way the wealthy can play games to get richer — because for some, more than enough is never enough. And when the roof falls in on the greater fool, who cares? One problem is the opportunity costs — what we could do as a civilization if the incentives were aligned with investing in healthy, job-creating enterprises. Another is contagion of the larger financial system. Nasdaq plans to launchtrading in bitcoin futures next year. Follow that dark alley and a bitcoin collapse would get nasty.
As usual, the people most hurt will be the ones who don’t even know about bitcoin.

Source: Seattle Times

Verizon will launch 5G home internet access in 2018

Only in a handful of areas, though.

Verizon’s 5G wireless will soon become a practical reality… if not quite the way you might expect. Big Red has announced that it’s launching residential 5G broadband (that is, fixed-in-place wireless) in three to five markets starting in the second half of 2018. Most details aren’t nailed down at this point, but the rollout will begin in Sacramento, California.

It’s no shock as to why Verizon is showing its cards so early. The carrier is in fierce competition with fellow incumbent AT&T, which has also been trialing 5G and hopes to deploy it nationwide by the end of 2018. Verizon wants you to know it’s keeping pace and will have a real, publicly available 5G service ready to go within a matter of months.

No, this isn’t the cellphone access you might be looking for, it’s still an important milestone. It’s not just that 5G is extremely fast, promising hundreds of megabits per second — it’s that its latency is low enough to improve very time-sensitive tasks like action gaming and multi-user VR. How well it works in real-world commercial service is yet to be determined, but home 5G may be the first fixed wireless that’s about as responsive as a good landline connection.

Source: Verizon