Sometimes life shows you what absurd really is. This is one of those times.

I’m talking about the phenomenon known as Bitcoin, a monetary system based on computation, complex algorithms and — let’s face it — communal delusion. You’ve probably heard about this funny money, digital tokens that can be sent securely from computer to computer, with records kept though an online accounting system known as blockchain.

(My colleague Nathaniel Popper has been writing great stuff about it.) Millions of people now have accounts with Coinbase, the leading marketplace for digital currencies. And the rush into the market has helped push prices up.

At the beginning of last year, you could pick up a Bitcoin (not literally, because they’re virtual, DUH) for about a thousand bucks. Its gyrations briefly brought its price near $20,000, according to, which tracks such things.

Good times. No bubble is too big to burst. Read more from…

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