John Oliver on cryptocurrency: ‘Youre not investing, youre gambling’

The comic discussed Bitcoin and digital finance in detail, pointing out the pitfalls and how literally nobody knows how its going to develop

John Oliver gave audiences a detailed introduction to the world of cryptocurrencies in this weeks episode of Last Week Tonight with a cautionary reminder of the pitfalls.

On his HBO show, the British comic started by talking about bitcoin. Everything you dont understand about money combined with everything you dont understand about computers, he said as a description.

Oliver covered the much-publicized rise of bitcoin in comparison to how it was viewed not long before. Just a few years ago youd only hear about bitcoin from that one guy in your office who wouldnt shut up about it, he said.

But its not been without hiccups. A bitcoin conference stopped taking bitcoin, which is a red flag since thats the one place youd think it would be accepted, he said. Its like when I tried to pay for access to the Republican National Convention using Ronald Reagans dusty skeleton bones.

He expanded his discussion to cryptocurrency in general and spoke about how tokens are required to start one and how one company made $35m in 30 seconds after obtaining some.

Normally when someone makes that much money that fast they did it by walking up to Bill OReilly, sitting in silence for 26 seconds and saying I recorded our phone calls, he joked.

Oliver continued: Many people are buying coins for no reason other than other people are buying them.

There have been a multitude of companies getting into the game yet some have already faltered. I am not saying that every cryptocoin is a scam, just as Im not saying that every blockchain company is bullshit, he said. What I am saying is: in a speculative mania, it can be very hard to tell which companies are for real.

He used an example of a company raising massive amounts of money via cryptocurrency without actually having an idea of what their business is yet. The point is: if you choose to invest in the cryptocurrency space, just know that youre not investing, youre gambling. Which is fine, but you should know that is what youre doing and prices do go down, he said.

He ended by warning: The important thing to remember here is: this is a brand new, very complicated space and literally nobody knows how its going to develop so you need to be careful and I know that sounds boring.

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