The Multi-Billion-Dollar Question

Full Disclosure: Before I get into this, know that I’m a cryptocurrency skeptic, even if Microsoft did infuse it with credibility. I just can’t see how something with no intrinsic value, created out of thin air and fueled only by hope and greed, can have a secure place in “real world” economics. Some critics call it a Ponzi scheme, the next dot-com bust, housing crash and 17th Century “tulip mania” phenomenon rolled into one giant fizzle. I just read an interesting Politico article that points out the “Emperor’s new clothes” aspect of the situation (hold that thought).

I decided to ask whether the cryptocurrency craze will survive the next five years. I used my “Simple Yes or No” spread and the Golden Universal RWS deck (which seemed entirely appropriate given the the context).

I chose the Wheel of Fortune as the Significator because of the highly speculative nature of the whole affair. The answer I received was very direct and didn’t take long in revealing itself. The Significator came up as the fourth card in the very first series of pulls, landing in the “Maybe No Trending Toward No” position. (For what it’s worth, although it isn’t a formal part of the reading, the “No” card toward which the Wheel is headed is the 6 of Pentacles reversed, suggesting “empty pockets,” and possibly “being fleeced.”)

All images copyright Lo Scarabeo, Torino, Italy

This is where it gets interesting. There was only a single card in the “foundation” pack beneath the Significator, and that was the Emperor, the paragon of law and order. The Emperor may suddenly realize that the high-flying cryptocurrency crowd has absconded with his robes, and will step in with regulatory vengeance to get “Caeser’s due” from the flagrant opportunists. In short, I see a possibility that cryptocurrency will be regulated into oblivion, as seems to be happening in China. On the other hand, the Emperor may simply decide that it’s “too big to fail” and just sit back and let it go on unabated. But my bet would be that there’s too much money and risk involved to keep the regulators’ long nose out of it.


Postscript: In looking at the 9-card “top layer” of the layout, I’m thinking that it may be useful to read all of the visible cards as a broader story rather than just focusing vertically on the cards in the Significator’s pack. Here it looks like opportunity and value are leaving the scene as shown by the reversed 6 of Pentacles, reversed 8 of Wands and reversed 8 of Pentacles, with the reversed Devil and the 7 of Swords suggesting deceptive doings, and the 9 of Swords denoting an “investors’ nightmare.” The Page of Wands at the center makes me think that youthful optimism and enthusiasm can find no fault with the model (after all, in their experience the stock market has never failed to rebound), and the Knight of Cups looks like the whole thing is being offered “on faith” while the Page pretends not to notice. Not a pretty picture.

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