Summary of A Short History of Crypto Euphoria

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From Holland’s tulips in the 1630s to the global financial crisis of 2008, speculative investments that have gone bust share several features, identified by the late economist John Kenneth Galbraith in his 1990 book, A Short History of Financial Euphoria. The IMF’s Andreas Adriano pairs Galbraith’s wise pronouncements with the modern-day enthusiasm over cryptocurrencies. Through Galbraith, Adriano draws some thought-provoking parallels with previous bubbles. While never giving investment advice, getAbstract nonetheless recommends this engaging essay to fans of bitcoin and other virtual money.

About the Author

Andreas Adriano is a senior communications officer at the International Monetary Fund.



A bubble starts when people see a new opportunity as a game changer and ignore fundamentals. Speculation and leverage intensify as waves of followers flock to a can’t-miss route to quick riches. Then all ends badly for the majority of stakeholders. Is this the inevitable fate of investors in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies? The late economist John Kenneth Galbraith’s insights shed light on whether the precedents set by past financial bubbles foreshadow the future of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Galbraith made the following observations:

  • “The thought that there...

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