Good morning, it's Paul here.

It's another quiet day today, with the market winding down for Christmas. There are still some interesting things going on though.

Bitcoin mania

My view on this remains unchanged - that blockchain technology sounds fascinating, and could have multiple, game-changing uses. However, that doesn't mean that Bitcoin, and other crypto-currencies, are actually worth anything. Just because there is a limited quantity of something worthless, doesn't mean that it becomes worth anything. In the long run, once this bubble has burst, I see Bitcoin being worth zero, and is likely to be banned by Governments wanting to stamp out something that is mainly of use to criminals. People say that it can't be banned. Of course it can - Governments just pass laws making it illegal to hold, or transact in crypto-currencies. That seems the likely end game to me, eventually.

Here's an amazing statistic (source: CNBC) - the total market cap of the 1,300 (and rising) crypto-currencies has risen 30-fold in 2017 to $600bn. So this is now one of the largest financial manias that the world has ever seen. Bear in mind that these things have zero intrinsic value. What could possibly go wrong?!

I see that there are manias in individual stocks which claim to be doing something to do with crypto-currencies. Again, another classic sign of a bubble. The same thing happened in the late 1990s - numerous share issues occurred in junk companies jumping on the internet & tech bandwagon. They typically resulted in 90%+ losses for the punters who believed the hype.

Here is a list of UK listed companies which seem to be jumping on the blockchain bandwagon - not exactly high quality companies! I see several opportunistic spivs in that list, which confirms my existing thoughts on cryto-currency mania.

In terms of how blockchain mania is going in the USA - as you would expect - our excitable cousins across the pond are going crazy over it. This short article mentions Crypto Co, which listed, and rose 2700% in its first month, valuing it at $11bn. The SEC recently suspended its shares. Another similar company, Longfin, rose a similar percentage, leading to its CEO/Chairman publicly stating that the rise was not justified.

So, it's all an absolutely classic financial bubble, which is inevitably going to end in disaster -…

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