Future Tense Newsletter: Is the Bitcoin Bubble Going to Pop?

Bitcoin is on fire.


Greetings, Future Tensers,

Even if you’re not quite sure what bitcoin is, you might have noticed that the past week was a crazy time for the booming cryptocurrency. Between the first major exchange offering futures on bitcoin and massive spikes in Asian trading, rates for the currency jumped to more than 45 percent of its value just the week before. Naturally, this left early investors scrambling to remember their long-forgotten passwords to the encrypted currency (yikes).

But it’s not all good news: Josephine Wolff reports that the Securities and Exchange Commission has filed its first complaint regarding the currency. The complaint in question is against the cryptocurrency firm PlexCorps for consumer fraud. It’s worth remembering, though, that just 1,000 individuals own 40 percent of the bitcoin market. Our cryptofuture is shaping up to be just as unequal as our nickel-and-dime present.

Other things we read while trying to figure out how to get along with our roommate’s Alexa:

  • Net neutrality is still on the line: These horror stories from other countries without an open internet show us just how much danger we are in, argues April Glaser.
  • Pay gap: Microsoft is just the latest tech giant to be accused of discriminating against and underpaying female employees.
  • Paint by algorithm: Gabriel Nicholas speaks with artists about how artificial intelligence is transforming their work.
  • No Waze out: Navigation apps are great, but users are finding out that they might become dangerous when natural disaster strikes.
  • Problematic fave: Jacob Brogan explains why the internet now turns so swiftly on feel-good viral stories.
  • Peri-nope: Periscope knows some users are soliciting underage girls on the platform—so why can’t it fix the problem?

Hoping someone archives this,
Tonya Riley
For Future Tense

Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University.