Bitcoin pips ruble as worst currency investment of 2014

The ruble may be having a bad year, but it's not the worst.

Mark Blinch/Reuters/File
A Bitcoin sign is seen in a window in Toronto in May 2014. After skyrocketing to more than a thousand dollars in price late last year and attracting worldwide attention, bitcoin, a digital currency, has lost momentum in its quest to become a widely-accepted payment method.

I wrote a short post looking at Russia's economic and currency woes today and got to wondering about how the ruble stacks up against the worst currency bets of 2014 (so far at least).

The answer is "pretty bad." But rest easy, Mr. Putin: You're not number one. Here's a list of 2014's worst performing currencies measured against the dollar, using Google Finance data. (Yes, I know that Bitcoin isn't a "real" currency, but try telling that to the enthusiasts on Twitter.)

1. Bitcoin: -53.7 percent

2. Russian ruble: -50 percent

3. Ukrainian hryvnia: -47.9 percent

4. Ghanian cedi: -26.9 percent

5. Argentinian peso: -23.8 percent

6. Colombian peso: -20.5 percent

7. Syrian pound: -19.6 percent

8. Norwegian krone: -18.6 percent

9. Swedish krona: -15.7 percent

10. Chilean peso: -15.1 percent

Bitcoin's been on an interesting ride since its value surged last year. Here's a graph that tries to explain the psychology of asset bubbles by Hofstra professor Jean-Paul Rodrigue (explained here):

And if you click through here, you can see the performance of Bitcoin since 2013, though you'll have to set the date ranges yourself.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.