Cryptocurrency and the stock market have made the news lately because of a Reddit forum, WallStreetBets, taking on a large hedge fund. Elon Musk also tweeted about Dogecoin, causing the cryptocurrency’s worth to increase.
Jarrett Oldenburg, a political science student at St. Thomas University and semi-frequent investor, has mixed feelings on cryptocurrencies.
Oldenburg said there are millions of cryptocurrencies that appear every day. Most of them are risky investments, but ones like bitcoin and ethereum tend to increase, making them a safer investment.
“There are no real safe investments, cryptocurrencies are risky, but as far as ones like Dogecoin go, it’s a meme cryptocurrency,” said Oldenburg.
Anthony Myatt, an economics professor at the University of New Brunswick, said he believes cryptocurrencies won’t become a viable currency in the future.
“The government and the central bank would never allow cryptocurrencies to take away [their] sovereign power,” he said.
Myatt said one way to help the issue could be to actively raise and enact taxes on Wall Street. He said the government could impose a stamp duty tax on trade. The tax could be a hundredth of a per cent because large sums of money flow through every day. That money could then be used to aid COVID-19 relief efforts or green energy.
“The climate emergency, for example, we should be talking about that. This is all just a distraction. This is us twiddling our thumbs while Rome burns,” he said.
Tyrique Hamil, a fourth-year economics and international relations STU student, said he’s concerned that Dogecoin could potentially be a scam.
“In bitcoin, you have miners and you have all of these other people who have networks and stuff like that,” said Hamil. “Dogecoin doesn’t really have any of that. It’s basically just a meme right now. I don’t see it going anywhere,” he said.
The recent skyrocketing of the worth of the GameStop stock price took the internet by storm. Many invested in the failing business in order to push back against large hedge funds that were trying to put GameStop out of business.
Matthew Polstra, a STU graduate, said he is concerned people will lose money investing in GameStop.
“I don’t really care about the billionaires at the hedge funds. Who I care about are the people that have been almost tricked into thinking that it’s them fighting against the billionaires, when in reality, there’s a lot of rich people at the top who are going to take advantage [of the people at the bottom].”
Polstra said he worries the situation with GameStop has almost created an economic bubble, a situation where a stock or even an entire economy has a lot of money behind it, without any substance to back it up.
“I think shorting companies is a pretty big predatory practice in the first place,” he said. “I don’t really think that should even be allowed. I don’t think the situation should have even [happened in the first place].”
Oldenburg said the regulations in place on hedge funds should be more enforced.
He said he worries that if regulations are added or older ones are enforced, they might not do what they were meant to in the first place.
“I think this might lead to more regulation. But I’m very cynical about it, and I think it will be regulation that would hurt groups like Reddit or just individuals and limit what they can do.”