Actually, it isn’t a word; it’s an acronyn: Fear of Missing Out.
I love it. My vocabulary upgrade came during a long conversation with my soon-to-be nephew Jason, who works in finance.
How did we get to bitcoins? I don’t remember, but I know I asked him…Whaa?*
*Translation: what is a bitcoin anyway?
Jason is terrific at explaining obscure financial considerations very clearly. So I now understand what a bitcoin is and feel comfortable in explaining it to anyone who doesn’t understand this stuff.
What is a bitcoin? It is…nothing. It doesn’t exist. It would be entirely mythological except that multitudes invest in this nothing.
I could go further but sense you won’t give a damn, won’t be investing in bitcoins, don’t care, sink into advanced disgruntlement when you see the word “bitcoin,” so…never mind.
Now, let’s go back to the beginning and discuss FOMO. Because the reason bitcoins — which don’t exist — are purchased despite the attendant surreality is because all sorts of people are affected by Fear Of Missing Out on the new, hot thing, the new way of making vast amounts of money with very little money.
Ergo, the reason there is such a thing as a bitcoin– and by the way “bitcoin” is one specific name for this non-existent thing; there are other similar things with different names — is because when the thing started, one bitcoin (which, you remember, doesn’t exist) was initially valued at something like $12. (Valued by whom, you might be asking? Good question.) At some point thereafter, the value of this thing that doesn’t exist went up because people heard about it and went into states of FOMO and bought in, thus swelling the value.
Give or take whatever happened in the last few minutes, you can buy, i.e., invest in, one non-existent bitcoin for around $15,000, or $20,000.
So, if upon hearing about this non-existent bitcoin thing you were inundated with FOMO and bought 1000 of the things at $12, and held onto their non-existence until today (give or take thousands of dollars and a few minutes in time), you might be worth…
FIFTEEN MILLION DOLLARS! Unless you hold onto them for a few more minutes and the value goes from $15,000 to $10,000 — which could happen in a heartbeat — and you are (so sad) now worth a mere ten million dollars.
Or maybe you sold at $15,000 and will now have to worry about capital gains taxes. Which I also understand but will not go into, thus saving you stürm and drang on this eve before New Year’s Eve.
I am the antithesis of a greedy person, but when Jason and I moved on to Fantasy Football and he told me about a friend of his who’d paid $20 to play, came in third one weekend and won $250,000…I had a really scary moment of FOMO.
Thanks for asking, I am recovering. As best I can.