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Bitcoin is a faith-based financial asset for a populist era

来源:FT中文网    2017-12-05 07:25

        As the price of bitcoin hit $10,000, the cryptocurrency’s supporters took to Twitter last week to boast of their triumph. “You, a Wall St trader: spent years in school learning the minutia of finance, 10 years of 100-hour work weeks, never see your family, super excited about your 10 per cent returns this year,” one enthusiast wrote. “Me: a Bitcoiner: read some books, s*** posted on Twitter, ate some steaks, enjoying 900 per cent returns.”        随着比特币价格突破1万美元,这一加密货币的支持者们上上周开始在Twitter上炫耀自己的胜利。“你,一名华尔街交易员:数年寒窗苦读金融理论,10年每周工作100小时,没时间陪家人,对今年10%的回报感到超级兴奋;”一位比特币发烧友写道,“我:一个比特币玩家:读点书,灌灌水,吃着牛排,就获得了900%的回报。”
        This trolling social media comment perfectly captures the mutual disdain between professional financiers, who have mostly watched bitcoin’s rise with a mixture of puzzlement and horror, and the hardcore of true believers who view owning cryptocurrencies as a disruptive act of financial iconoclasm.        这一找骂的社交媒体评论完美地展现了专业金融家与比特币的核心虔诚信徒之间的相互鄙视,前者很大程度上对比特币的崛起感到困惑和恐惧,而后者将拥有加密货币视为一种金融领域破除偶像崇拜的颠覆性的行为。
        Those who are trying to explain bitcoin’s popularity and behaviour through the spectacles of mainstream finance are committing a simple analytical error: they are attempting to apply fact-based analysis to an asset that is impervious to it.        那些试图透过主流金融的滤镜来解释比特币的流行和走势的人士,正在犯一个简单分析法错误:他们试图将基于事实的分析应用于一种不受现实影响的资产。
        Bitcoin is a faith-based financial asset for a populist era.        比特币是民粹主义时代一种基于信仰的金融资产。
        Speculative manias have occurred throughout history. The study of bubbles has greater value in informing us about the state of the societies in which they occurred than any lasting financial lesson. The Tulip bubble in the Netherlands occurred during the Dutch Golden Age, when the country was the world’s leading economic and social power, and the ability of an investment to defy gravity was easy to believe.        人类历史上经常出现各种投机狂热。对泡沫的研究比任何持久的金融教训都具有更大的价值,它可以让我们知晓出现泡沫的那些社会的状态。荷兰的郁金香泡沫发生在荷兰的黄金时代,当时的荷兰是世界领先的经济和社会强国,人们很容易相信一种投资能够一直上涨。
        Bitcoin’s price is not being driven by anything resembling conventional financial logic, but in part by the same forces that have delivered the political shocks of the past two years. Like populist politics, belief in cryptocurrencies and “trustless networks” have chimed with a collapse in confidence in traditional forms of authority and a disdain for experts. Unwavering belief in bitcoin’s story is powered by the crowd-fuelled authority of the internet.        比特币的价格并非由任何类似传统金融逻辑的东西所驱动,而是在一定程度上由导致过去两年发生的政治冲击的种种力量所驱动。像民粹主义政治一样,对加密货币和“不可靠网络”的信心伴随着对传统权威形式的信心崩溃和对专家的蔑视。众多网民支撑起互联网的权威,这种权威支撑起对比特币故事毫不动摇的信心。
        Financial professionals who fail to comprehend why someone would risk their wealth investing in bitcoin when it appears to them so obviously to be a bubble can be compared with the political analysts who believed it was impossible the UK would vote to leave the EU.        那些无法理解为什么有人会冒险拿自己的财富投资比特币(在他们看来显然是一个泡沫)的金融专业人士,就像曾认为英国不可能投票退出欧盟的政治分析人士一样。
        The global financial crisis severely discredited the banking system. In the world of investment there has been a breakdown in confidence that expert professional investors and advisers know what they are doing. The rise of passive investment is occurring at a time of criticism of years of excessive fees and poor performance of the mutual funds that millions are relying on to fund their retirement.        全球金融危机严重破坏了银行体系的信用。在投资领域,对于专家级专业投资者和顾问知道自己在做什么的信心已经崩溃。被动投资的兴起是在对多年来的高额佣金以及共同基金业绩不佳的批评中出现的,数百万人依靠这些基金提供退休金。
        When an expert such as Jamie Dimon, the head of the largest bank in the US, warns that bitcoin is dangerous, crypto true believers regard such warnings with the same disdain directed at experts ahead of the UK referendum.        当美国最大银行的负责人杰米•戴蒙(Jamie Dimon)等金融专家警告比特币危险时,比特币的真正信徒抱以鄙视,就像人们在英国退欧公投前鄙视进行预测的专家一样。
        Like bitter political spats on Twitter, any criticism of bitcoin is greeted by this cohort as inherently corrupt in its motivations, while any alternative opinions are used as evidence that merely confirms existing beliefs.        像Twitter上激烈的政治口角一样,对比特币的任何批评都被比特币忠实信徒视为内在动机存不纯,而任何其他的观点都被用作证据,进一步支撑了现存的信心。
        Sceptical financial professionals appear to similarly underestimate what can be seen as a millenarianism devotion that inures them to the conventional psychology of investment: the fear of losing money.        持怀疑态度的金融专业人士似乎同样低估了一种可以被视为“千年主义”的信仰,这种信仰让他们适应了一种传统的投资心理:对赔钱的恐惧。
        The most dedicated of bitcoin supporters — those who refer to themselves as HODL-ers, or those who will hold on whatever happens to the price — see their survival of previous crashes in its value as a point of pride. The devout hold the value and future of bitcoin is a matter of faith, a Manichean battle between believers and sceptics.        最坚定的比特币支持者(自称“HODL-ers”,即那些无论价格涨跌都坚定持有的人士)把他们挺过了之前的币值崩盘看作一种骄傲。这些虔诚的信徒将比特币的价值和未来视为一种信仰,一种信徒和怀疑论者之间的摩尼教式斗争。
        To this most extreme acolyte there is noble glory in the act of owning bitcoin, even if it results in a debilitating loss.        对这群最极端的支持者而言,拥有比特币是至高无上的荣耀,即使它导致惨重损失。
        Vast amounts of attention will inevitably be devoted to the wild swings in the value of bitcoin in the coming weeks.        在未来几周,大量注意力将不可避免地投向比特币价值的剧烈波动。
        Decades from now — whether bitcoin still exists or not — it may be that its significance is seen less as a financial asset and more as a speculative barometer of the political forces that are shaping our times.        几十年后——无论比特币是否仍存在——比特币作为衡量塑造我们时代的政治力量的投机指标的意义,或许将超过它作为一种金融资产的意义。
        Miles Johnson is the FT’s capital markets editor        迈尔斯•约翰逊(Miles Johnson)是英国《金融时报》资本市场主编

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