New outbreak of Crypto Fever feared

Monday 30 May 2016

Early indications suggest that the coming months could see the rapid spread of a condition not seen since 2013.

Warning signs indicate the possibility that another outbreak of crypto fever could surface in the coming weeks and months.

After the previous outbreak, at the end of 2013, some critics suggested that the virus had been all but eradicated. Now, it appears that it may simply have been rendered temporarily latent in the population, waiting for a trigger. Fears are that a further outbreak could be significantly more widespread than earlier epidemics, which tended to have been confined to relatively small subsections of the population.

Crypto fever

Crypto Fever: no known cure, though interventions have been successful

‘Essentially wiped out in the civilised world’

‘Crypto fever was essentially wiped out in the civilised world,’ one expert commented. ‘We know that there have always been pockets of it in reservoirs such as bitcointalk, which has never been properly sanitised, but there was very little risk of that spreading to the general population. We now have reason to believe the disease has adapted to find ways around that. The long bear market of 2014 and 2015 made it very hard for it to survive, but the problem is that means only the toughest strains have persisted and multiplied.’

Whilst previous bouts have been fairly straightforward and have run a predictable, if swift and brutal course, crypto fever has mutated in recent months and become a significantly more complex phenomenon. ‘You’re no longer seeing just bitcoin perma-bulls,’ another veteran of the scene explained. ‘The scene has grown markedly more complicated, with multiple strains and then variations on those strains. Take Ethereum, for example, which itself can be seen as a distant relative of the bitcoin virus. Those infected with Ethereum may well have also come into contact with separate entities in the same ecosystem, such as DAO and Digix.’

Evolution

One reason for the new wave of infections is the ability of crypto viruses to evolve and find new host targets that were previously immune to older versions such as bitcoin. ‘Libertarians, geeks, the odd city trader who lost his way - those days are gone. This is potentially a threat to almost everyone now. Older people and those who live in isolated communities with poor internet access still have a degree of protection but it now seems like it’s only a matter of time before this becomes endemic.’

Symptoms of crypto fever are as diverse as the strains that represent it, but may include enlightenment, cycling rapidly between excitement/despair, risk-taking behaviour, wildly fluctuating balances, preoccupation with specialist internet forums, undisguised contempt for the banking system and, in the worst cases, anti-social hours, days’ long disappearance from normal life and severe bruising to the F5 finger.


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