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‘Mr. Money Mustache’ comes out swinging against bitcoin

Personal finance guru says investors should keep their whiskers away from the cryptocurrency

Is bitcoin good, or is bitcoin bad?

Operating under the nom de plume Mr. Money Mustache, Peter Adeney is the Colorado-based personal finance blogger who puts forward a gospel of financial ideas built on strategically living below one’s means for sake of cutting costs. Collectively referred to as “mustachianism,” these ideas form a financial framework that Adeney himself used to retire at age 30. Nowadays he proselytizes his brand of money wushu in blog format.

Mustachianism has certainly found its audience — Adeney boasts 85,000 Twitter followers and 100,000 Facebook fans. Devotees flock to his site to read his takes on topics that run from skepticizing one’s relationships with the automobile to the “weakness” of luxury. This month the thought leader addressed cryptocurrency.

“No, you should not invest in Bitcoin. The reason is that it’s not an investment,” writes Adeney in his January 2 post “Why Bitcoin Is Stupid.” A lightly edited version of the post appears in today’s Guardian (doing away with the expletive that opens the original), but both texts defend the distinction between investment and speculation and sternly warn the reader against confusing the two.

Mr. Money Mustache’s argument easily boils down to the soundbyte that “bitcoin’s price is fundamentally unpredictable, which makes it a terrible investment decision.” The financial strategist has established a large audience by favoring slower-paced bets on surer outcomes over cryptocurrency’s notorious high-risk-high-reward scenarios.

Bitcoin’s future price is uncertain in the same way that the future in general is uncertain—no one knows what will happen next. A price change is merely the reaction to some initial, external action that held some market impact. Adeney’s position now joins cryptocurrency’s wide swath of advocates and detractors, collectively presenting every side of the topic.

Either “Bitcoin is good” or “Bitcoin is bad,” sure, but in both cases we’re left to wonder what do with it (and the family of blockchain technologies coming with it) now that it’s here?

In the case of the Russian Federation, the country is set to legalize cryptocurrency in a way that would be the American equivalent of buying and selling Bitcoin on the New York Stock Exchange. Meanwhile, in neighboring giant China, the government has not only banned cryptocurrency completely, but is redoubling its efforts to crack down on those who buy and sell such digital assets.

There’s little consensus on this stuff yet. From internet persona to major world power, bitcoin futures vary wildly.

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Dylan Love is an editorial consultant, contributing reporter, and fiendishly curious technology enthusiast. He owns no cryptocurrencies.