Bank Systems & Technology is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


04:26 PM
Kathy Burger
Kathy Burger
Connect Directly

The Bitcoin Bubble Explained, Colbert-Style (Video)

The comedian analyzes the volatile online currency.

Discussion of Bitcoin -- the anonymous peer-to-peer open source virtual currency -- has been everywhere the past couple of weeks, as the electronic currency’s price jumped to nearly $250, plummeted to $50, and then regained “value” of about $120. To some extent it’s another case of the mainstream media jumping on the bandwagon of a hot topic. It also reflects the dynamic payments landscape being reshaped by mobile and non-bank competitors. Whether you think bitcoins are just another bubble-driven commodity, no more than a means for buying illegal drugs online, or the wave of the payments future, many bankers no doubt are trying to determine if they represent the proverbial opportunity or risk to their own franchises.

Leave it to Stephen Colbert to cut through the chatter about bitcoins with his own brand of high-octane, self-interested analysis. In a segment about bitcoin trading that aired last week on The Colbert Report, Colbert posed: “If you don’t know what Bitcoin is -- want to buy some bitcoins?” In explanation of how bitcoins work, he noted, “Bitcoin has worth just because a bunch of people on the Internet agree it is worth something … Imagine if the Federal Reserve was taken over by Gamestop.”

For more hard-hitting analysis, view the video here:


Katherine Burger is Editorial Director of Bank Systems & Technology and Insurance & Technology, members of UBM TechWeb's InformationWeek Financial Services. She assumed leadership of Bank Systems & Technology in 2003 and of Insurance & Technology in 1991. In addition to ... View Full Bio

Register for Bank Systems & Technology Newsletters
Bank Systems & Technology Radio
Archived Audio Interviews
Join Bank Systems & Technology Associate Editor Bryan Yurcan, and guests Karen Massey and Jerry Silva from IDC Financial Insights, for a conversation about the firm's 11th annual FinTech rankings.