With the rush of new cryptocurrencies hitting the market, it was only a matter of time before someone took the craze to an extreme. What may have been harder to predict, however, was that this extreme would also involve some light blasphemy. Forbes reports that a new cryptocurrency called "Jesus Coin" has launched and is drawing substantial amounts of investor interest and attention. And yet, the currency itself seems to have been launched as a hoax or as a joke. With the success of a cryptocurrency as off-the-wall as Jesus Coin, is this the latest and surest sign that the whole industry is a massive bubble that is waiting to burst?
The Basics of Jesus Coin
According to Forbes, the launch of Jesus Coin was initially intended as satire by a group of friends. However, shortly after the ICO of the coin, investors became legitimately interested in buying up tokens. The homepage for the coin suggests that "Jesus Coin has been developed as the currency of God's Son. Unlike morally bereft cryptocurrencies, Jesus Coin has the unique advantage of providing global access to Jesus that's safer and faster than ever before." It's hard to imagine that this and other statements about the cryptocurrency were not written in jest, and yet the dollars have poured in.
The website continues by stating that the main benefits of investing in Jesus Coin are supposed sin forgiveness through outsourcing, "record transaction speeds between you and God's son," and an estimated market capitalization of about $50 billion. Jesus Christ is the given founder and CEO of the company, according to the website, with Judas Iscariot and Saint Peter named as trustee and public relations officer. And yet, in spite of the tongue-in-cheek attitude of the currency's website, investors continue to buy coins.
The benefits of Jesus Coin, in the company's own words:
- Sin Forgiving – Jesus Coin is negotiating with churches to outsource sin forgiveness.
- Transaction Speeds – Record transaction times between you and God’s son
- Predicted to Achieve $50bn Market Cap – Predicted by Peter (not the disciple).
Forbes reports that Jesus Coin is fully compliant with the ERC20 ethereum token standard, with one token of ether being equivalent to 12 Jesus Coins (JC) as of the ICO. The total number of JC will be capped at 13 million. The ICO began on September 12 and continues to December 25, another inside reference. Trading will begin two days after, on December 27. Whether or not Christians would agree with the founders that "Jesus would be pumped to have his own coin" is a matter of debate.
Regardless of the specifics of Jesus Coin, the rise to prominence of a cryptocurrency that was created as a joke suggests that investors may be too eager to invest in any coin that comes along, regardless of its actual merits or value. That is one of the surest signs of a bubble mentality. Forbes acknowledges that there are only 180 paper currencies recognized by the United Nations in the world, and yet there are more than 1,000 cryptocurrencies as of this writing, with the number growing all the time.