Reading Jack and the Beanstalk to one of my children at bedtime the other night it struck me that there were parallels with the rise of Bitcoin. The analogy perhaps is not perfect but the two stories share elements.
In this centuries-old fairy tale, the impoverished Jack is sent by his mother to go to the market to sell the family cow – which has some value because it produces milk. On his way to market, he meets someone who persuades him to exchange this source of value for a handful of beans – which apparently have no value at all. Arriving home he proudly shows the beans (cryptocurrencies) to his mother who angrily throws these worthless beans into the back garden.
Next morning they wake and discover that the beans have grown into a giant beanstalk (soared in price). Jack climbs the beanstalk and finds himself in a castle of an unfriendly giant – you choose who that might be in the cryptocurrency parallel universe.
This giant cries out:
I smell the blood of an English man.
Be he alive, or be he dead,
I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.
Jack hastily beats a retreat but not before he retrieves a bag of gold, an enchanted goose that lays golden eggs, and a magical golden harp that plays itself, all of which the giant had stolen from Jack’s family. And then he chops down the beanstalk, the giant falls to his death, and Jack and his mother live a prosperous life.
Jack’s prosperity owes its start to the magical beans – but he lives richly thanks to the gold he has retrieved from the giant.
There is evidence to suggest that this folk-tale, or variants, was being told centuries ago. In other words, our ancestors believed gold had value.
The moral of the tale for me is that magic beans can be sown and might lead to fortunes, but ultimately it’s gold that counts.
That’s why I created Glint, and earnestly believe that gold will outlast the latest magic bean frenzy.
Until next week.