The faecal parasite known as crypto is having another outbreak

You may have noticed that crypto disease is experiencing another outbreak. Warning signs are everywhere: scams are on the rise, Tether is being printed at the rate of $100m every 24 hours, and people are making ridiculous price predictions with rocket emojis again.


Cryptosporidium infection (cryptosporidiosis) is an illness caused by tiny, cryptosporidium parasites that live in water. When the parasites enter your body, they travel to your small intestine and burrow into your intestinal walls. Later, the parasites are shed through your poop, says Mayo Clinic . . .

In most healthy people, Crypto produces a bout of diarrhoea, and the infection usually clears within two weeks. But if you have a compromised immune system, Crypto can be life-threatening without proper treatment. Other symptoms include stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever.

That's right. "Crypto” is short for cryptosporidium, and is a nasty fecal parasite that is often caught in public swimming pools (the master picture was not just gratuitous vulgarity). It causes not just diarrhoea, but also nausea (a symptom we have experienced) and fever (a symptom we have observed).

The CDC (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is having to put out a warning because "Crypto-related illnesses” are on the rise, and can sometimes cause death. (See Quadriga CX.)

Gives the term "shitcoins” a whole new nuance doesn't it? Turns out that we're not the only ones to have cottoned on to that, though. From crypto(currency) news site CCN:

Soz guys, too late. But we did already know about it. See here, from a December post in which we argued that the term "cryptoassets” is a misnomer:

Here at Alphaville, we often just call the market "crypto”, but unfortunately, that word is already kind of taken. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had to put out a "Summer Kick-Off Reminder About Crypto” back in May, in which it warned that "crypto is the leading cause of waterborne disease in humans in the United States”. (Hat-tip David Gerard.)

It turns out, rather beautifully, that "crypto” is a parasite that can infect humans — both literally and figuratively. It is the word commonly given to the microscopic parasite Cryptosporidium, which can cause respiratory and gastrointestinal problems, and can be passed on via the stool of animals.

We were just waiting for another opportunity to write about it. And, now that crypto has had a massive dump, it felt right.

So let's stop with all the Faecebook-coin [sic] mud-slinging, even if Libra does seem a bit crap. Clearly, what's crucial here is that regulators take a scattergun approach. If they shove too much FUD down everyone's throats, they'll just end up provoking runs.

Additional reporting by David Keohane

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