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The Bitcoin Crash Will Kill The Trump Demographic

One common feature shared by both groups is distrust of experts


We know that if you voted for Trump, you are more likely to be less intelligent, less educated, poorer and more rural.  I will argue that this leads to a further feature — distrust of experts — which is required to be a supported of either Trump or Bitcoin.  This suggests that the Bitcoin Crash will kill the Trump demographic.

Note that I said “more likely to be []…”  We are talking about two curves here.  It is not certain that you are less intelligent and poorer etc.  It would not be an objection here to say “I have a PhD and I am rich and I voted for Trump.”  To say that would be to commit the Anecdotal Fallacy, which I argued yesterday is also a major feature of the Bitcoin bubble.

Only Amateurs Do Not Expect a Bitcoin Crash

One of the notable points about Bitcoin is that there are no professional, experienced or institutional investors who have invested in Bitcoin.  If that changes, we should all become seriously concerned.

Everyone who holds Bitcoin is an inexperienced amateur.  I put this to a Bitcoin enthusiast, and received the following reply.

Mark Cuban invested big into Unikorn. Peter Thiel invested into bitpay which is a wallet company. Mike Novogratz (former president of fortress investments and partner at Goldman Sachs) runs Galaxy Investments (almost exclusively crypto). Tim Draper bought 30,000 btc in 2014.  And Bill Gates: there are no definitive articles on how much BTC he holds but he has plenty of quotes talking about how it’s the future

I will now show why none of that works.

Mark Cuban and Unikorn

The first point to make here is that it is odd to cite Cuban here since he is on record as saying that Bitcoin is a bubble.  The other problem is that Unikoin, the token involved in this ICO, is not Bitcoin.  (I also believe that almost all of the other ICOs are fraudulent, but I would need a lot more space and time to show that.)  Finally, Unikoin will apparently permit sports betting, so while I do not recommend that, it at least has a theoretical source of value.  Bitcoin does not.


Novogratz and Galaxy Investment Partners have invested into the huge and under the radar Worldwide Asset eXchange (WAX).  This is like selling shovels to miners in the Klondike gold rush.  (Reportedly, Trump’s grandfather ran a Klondike brothel.)  Selling shovels is a great business to be in, irrespective of how many of the miners or Bitcoin holders go bust.  So this again is not an example of a major investor holding Bitcoin.

Tim Draper and 30,000 btc

Photo by Worldspectrum on

This is the only one of the examples which approaches being serious.  We must take it seriously because Draper reportedly invested serious money: $18m.  And he is actually holding Bitcoin as opposed to backing exchanges.  The caveats though are manifold.  First, he lost 40,000 Bitcoin in the Mt Gox fraud, and the fact that this did not give him pause makes me think he is an esoteric thinker.  Secondly, a lot of his remarks concern enthusiasm “for the technology”.  It is very important to keep a clear distinction between Bitcoin — a Ponzi scheme — and the block chain — a very interesting technology.  Thirdly, this is one man against every investment bank, hedge fund, regulator and all the other expert investors in the world.

Discrediting Experts as Diagnostic

I have in fact been told that my 20 year experience of successful investing is a disadvantage, because it means I am unable to understand the “glorious opportunity” allegedly represented by Bitcoin.  There are in fact some advantages to disadvantages, as I argue in my new book:

— but that isn’t one of them.

Bill Gates and the Bitcoin Crash

This is an excellent example of muddled analysis and poor understanding of the importance of precision and sourcing one’s quotes from reputable sources.  (It is no coincidence that Bitcoin supporters and Trump voters alike disparage proper news sources like the New York Times and prefer websites with manufactured quotes.)  We are not actually given a quote from Gates which is the first problem.  

But secondly, it is highly likely that even if Gates thinks the blockchain is the (part of) the future, he is not holding any sizeable numbers of Bitcoin.  Why would he? He does not need to to look at blockchain technologies and he knows that a Bitcoin crash is inevitable.

A distributed transparent ledger, which is what the blockchain is, is indeed a highly interesting piece of technology which would have many very useful applications.  As just one example, imagine replacing property registers with blockchain.  Myriad opportunities for money laundering and corruption would disappear, and be replaced with an efficient technology. The fact that Bitcoin is also built on the blockchain is irrelevant.

Conclusions: Bitcoin Crash Will Kill The Trump Demographic

So none of the arguments described above succeed. They do nothing to deny that the Bitcoin Crash will kill the Trump demographic.

People in this country have had enough of experts

This is actually a quotation from a pro-Brexit politician, but we see the same pattern across the Brexit “debate,” in Trump vs Clinton, in global warming and in MMR Vaccine/autism.  In each case, you need to believe that you are right and anyone educated or with specialist knowledge is wrong.  You also need to believe that those people are lying to you — for no obvious reason.

The quality of the arguments raised by Bitcoin proponents can be seen to be extremely poor.

So now you can decide.  If you invest in Bitcoin, you are lining up with the people who mistrust experts.  If you voted Trump, you did the same thing, because you are probably a climate change denier.  So I think there is a very strong likelihood that many Trump voters are also holding Bitcoin.  

And they are going to pay a heavy price for both decisions. The only thing that will save them somewhat is they are poor. So they won’t lose that much in absolute terms. But it might still be a lot for them.

See Also:

The #Bitcoin Bubble Is Caused By The Halo Effect

The #Anecdotal Fallacy And The #Bitcoin Bubble

Bad Arguments for the Permanence of Bitcoin

The Psychology of Successful Trading: see clip below of me explaining my new book!

By Tim Short

I am a former investment banking and securitisation specialist, having spent nearly a decade on the trading floor of several international investment banks. Throughout my career, I worked closely with syndicate/traders in order to establish the types of paper which would trade well and gained significant and broad experience in financial markets.
Many people have trading experience similar to the above. What marks me out is what I did next. I decided to pursue my interest in philosophy at Doctoral level, specialising in the psychology of how we predict and explain the behaviour of others, and in particular, the errors or biases we are prone to in that process. I have used my experience to write The Psychology of Successful Trading. In this book, I combine the above experience and knowledge to show how biases can lead to inaccurate predictions of the behaviour of other market participants, and how remedying those biases can lead to better predictions and major profits. Learn more on the About Me page.

19 replies on “The Bitcoin Crash Will Kill The Trump Demographic”

Given that one PhD was in particle physics and the other was in philosophy, you are obviously wrong. A better argument for you, rather than trying to show that a science specialist with a lot of degrees doesn’t know anything about science, might be to actually show that I don’t know anything about science. Point to something I say which is scientifically false.

The suggestion I read Popper is presumably intended to say something about the falsification of hypotheses. I don’t think I need any further instruction on that.

And again you make assumptions you think are correct. You also make this error in several other articles. I am sorry but for that I can’t take you in serious. Don’t be offended, but always try to learn of feedback.

I am not trying to say you don’t know anything about science (assumption). Probably you do know.
Take the following:
“”One of the notable points about Bitcoin is that there are no professional, experienced or institutional investors who have invested in Bitcoin.”
You can’t make an asumption like that. There’s no way you can ever prove this. This is just an example.
You have a strong opinion about what’s going on in the world. That’s all right, but be aware it will not always be the true.

By the way I also have a lot of experience as an investment banker for more than 20 years, I also have a fascination for philosophy, so I think we have a lot in common.

You said precisely that: that I don’t have a clue about science and that I made false assumptions.

is immediately falsifiable though. All that is required is that someone names a professional investor who is invested in Bitcoin. The fact that no one has done that makes it look likely that it cannot be done. I don’t need it to be a proof in any case. The claim that the overwhelming majority of professionals think Bitcoin is a bubble will suffice

Why didn’t you just go look up any information about the demographics of Bitcoin users? You’d quickly find that most survey’s show Bitcoin investors lean liberal. Granted they will be self selected samples, but it more than brings your thesis into question. Bitcoin started among tech circles which lean left so it is no surprise.

That’s a good point. You are the first person to challenge my argument as opposed to say I am an idiot or my two PhDs are valueless. The very rarity of your sort of response tells me that all of the Bitcoin enthusiasts who did send me abuse are distrustful of experts. You are right to think that Silicon Valley leans left. If you have some data I will look at it. I would also expect tech people to be able to tell the difference between “bitcoin is a good investment” and “the blockchain is an interesting technology.” I guess I am more interested in why it is that people can make such a major mistake, whatever their politics. There is also a major strand of the right which thinks the Fed is a conspiracy against the populace, and sees Bitcoin as a way to counter that. This post is one of four on the blog I wrote on the psychology of Bitcoin investors; even if I am wrong on this narrow point, I think we still need to understand the cognitive biases driving this bubble and that is what I propose over the four posts.

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