The Growth of Cryptocurrency

Ethan Servatius, Writer

Your forehead becomes damp with sweat, your palms begin to clam up as you grip your phone harder, fingers tensing, stomach clenching, you rapidly refresh your Robinhood account waiting for your Dogecoin investment to go from a whopping two cents to four cents.

This is the absurd reality many zoomers found themselves in this past winter as stocks became an item of the public, all you needed was a social security number and to be 18 or over (or having a friend who is willing to let you borrow his identity).

Now for the question more important than “what is crypto,” why the internet guinea pig generation is suddenly interested in, what could be, the world’s newest economic development.

According to young investor and Loyola Academy senior Ariana Callaghan, “Cryptocurrency is a good way to diversify one’s portfolio, it is a growing industry, and I will be keeping an eye on it and its future,” which is true.

Crypto is a brand-new industry and it is never a bad idea to spread your eggs throughout your baskets. However, this did not explain why there is such a young audience for crypto. This sounds like the response of a level-headed and logical investor, not the non sensical thought process of the same generation that created such depravities as the E meme.

For this answer I had to turn to a different crowd, not one of logical, experienced investors despite being only seniors in high school, but one with a lust for chaos and disorder.

Naturally, I began to talk to investors of the notorious Dogecoin, the claimed “coin of the people” backed by such icons as Elon Musk, Guy Fieri, and Elon Musk.

Dogecoin was initially created in 2013 by IBM software engineer Billy Markus and Adobe software engineer Jackson Palmer as a joke. Their goal was to mock the hype of cryptocurrency while making a coin accessible to the common folk who do not fully understand how to navigate the blockchain.

During its initial release Dogecoin was worth less than a cent but today holds strong at a little bit above 50 cents due to the increased popularity because of the subreddit r/wallstreetbets, a subreddit dedicating to predicting which stocks will blow up next. Investing in Dogecoin soon became an internet trend.

“It’s about rebellion” said Reddit user and Loyola Academy senior Ozy McEvoy, “young people throughout history have always looked for ways to go against authority, this is a way to rock the boat on Wall Street.”

Dogecoin has become a symbol of what crypto could be, a currency free of government control.

But is this possible? Can a currency exist and function if it is not backed by an economic superpower? “All of these current coins are bubbles that will pop,” said McEvoy, “these coins are very volatile because their value is not tied to anything except public opinion.”

Callahan also said, “Crypto belongs to the people but as it grows in popularity it will catch more attention from the world powers.”

Time will only tell the tale of crypto, but my advice would be to invest…or don’t, who knows what will happen.