Youth Fever for Cryptocurrencies

Within what has been the Global Money Week 2021, days ago at the College of Economists of Catalonia we had a conference with various educational centers in Barcelona in which the dean of the College, Oriol Amat, the director of the Institute for Financial Studies participated. , Josep Soler, and this server. Global Money Week is an initiative organized by the OECD with the aim of educating young people, from an early age, of the importance of financial education. So our illustrious audience were fourth year ESO and first year high school students, and to which the General Council of Economists tries to give a full and enthusiastic response.

This annual proposal aimed at our young students who are still in their training stage and are beginning to consider the approach they will give to their higher studies, aims to train them within the framework of a financial and economic culture, allowing them to have a minimum of knowledge. However, as Orio Amat pointed out, the economy has not yet been the axis of their lives. The time will come. Now the important thing is to train and gather knowledge that will shape the education of the young generations.

After our brief expositions of rigor talking about the economy, the current situation, monetary policy and other topics, we enter the undoubtedly most interesting part, the one in which the young students promote an enriching discussion. I suppose that some questions had been prepared in advance with their teachers and others would be improvised according to our explanations. The meeting, how could it be otherwise, had to be online, unlike in previous years when the kids visit the headquarters of the College of Economists, which facilitates that at the end of the session fluent dialogues can be established. Personally, I enjoy these occasions in the same way that I do several days a week with my students at the Faculty.

When the dialogue with the students began, the fashionable topic immediately jumped up and that, apparently, they are passionate about: cryptocurrencies, are in vogue in tangential financial markets, impregnated with virtuality and about which only wonders and glorious are told returns achieved in dark times like these. Therefore, it is understood that youthful fervor for the phenomenon of cryptocurrencies.

Be aware that the expensive Ferris wheel will stop and may collapse
There, the three speakers agreed: you have to walk with leaden feet, not be enchanted by those juicy profits that are aired , flee from unknown worlds and distrust little-known origins and with non-existent guarantees from financial organizations. Warren Buffet, a reference when it comes to investing, and known as the Oracle of Omaha, does not like cryptocurrencies. He claims that bitcoin is a hoax and "rat poison squared", considers cryptocurrencies as high-risk investments and not as a safe haven, worthless and predicts that this story will end badly.

What's behind cryptocurrencies? What assets protect them? What tangibility oozes behind its virtuality?

The experience is full of stock market euphoria, of unstoppable and vigorous rises in the prices of certain things and, later, of falls from the top of the precipice that lead to the purest ruin. Bitcoin is not a currency like the dollar, the euro, the yen, the Swiss franc. It does not enjoy endorsement or guarantees of any kind, nor is it a reserve. It belongs to a virtual atmosphere. Behind cryptocurrencies there is no central bank, a financial authority, a regulator, a regulation, some guidelines, some rules of prudence, some limits.Everything is based on speculative efforts that, as always, can turn out well or can end with tragic overtones. Periodic real estate crises bring unpleasant experiences. However, and if you act within logical references, tangible assets always remain. The problem is the speculative spirit, the speculative effervescence. Therefore, knowing how to invest and knowing how to finance yourself is essential. And be aware that at some point the expensive Ferris wheel will stop and perhaps collapse.

Digital money equals less freedom and more control of our lives
However, one thing is crystal clear. Virtual money is gaining positions. Big technology companies are already immersed in this groundbreaking facet. Even Tesla deals in bitcoins. And although cash cannot disappear, or at least that is what we say today and central banks assert, digital money knocks on the door. The European Central Bank is already in the process of launching the digital euro. And the Fed is treading on the same ground. And the metal of all life is disappearing from our lives.We handle less and less cash. The invisible money, which coins the invisible expense, which are those small monthly payments of a few euros that each month we are charged in our bank accounts for enjoying certain services, gains positions. The digital euro will be an investment vehicle that will have the backing and guarantee of the European Central Bank. Although obviously, more digital money equals more control of our lives, less freedom of movement and, on the contrary, more cash means that our lives and finances are less controlled.

Anyway, be that as it may, the kids seem more interested in the games and profits of cryptocurrencies than in the structure of the gross domestic product and the monetary policies of central banks. We only talk about losing money with cryptocurrencies Oriol Amat, Josep Soler and who subscribes? However, we explain the precautions with which to act when investing, especially in cryptocurrencies. And I add by way of postscript that if years ago, in those meetings with young students and high school graduates, the subsequent debate ran through football channels, today, and I refer to the facts, the world of cryptocurrencies is heading. Something is changing??

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