Bitcoin envy, the ultramodern malaise. News reports are full of this magic internet money’s rocketing value – currently $16,000 – and Facebook is dotted with people who picked some up at $500, $50 or even 50 cents.

But the cryptocurrency ship hasn’t yet sailed. In the volatile market of alternative cryptos, relatively unknown alt-coins such as ripple, litecoin and ethereum regularly shoot up by hundreds of per cent in a matter of weeks, and plummet just as fast.

Bitcoin envy has brought in vast sums of new money, dollar-eyed investors taking a Las Vegas gamble on which of the more than 1,000 alt-coins might rocket next. In September the cryptocurrency market cap was $137bn.

Today it’s $800bn. It’s a blockchain gold rush.

In mid-December a Facebook friend well-versed in crypto tipped Cardano’s ADA, which at 21 cents was just the tip I was after. Little did I know I was riding unarmed into a lawless digital wild west, where fortunes are made and lost on a tweet and every shill, trickster, bot and conman is using all the unregulated tricks in the book to make a fast buck. Read more from theguardian.com…

thumbnail courtesy of theguardian.com