Magazine article American Banker

Daily Show's Jon Stewart Ribs Bitcoin, Big Banks

Magazine article American Banker

Daily Show's Jon Stewart Ribs Bitcoin, Big Banks

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Adler

WASHINGTON -- Comedy Central's Jon Stewart had some fun at the expense of Bitcoin and big banks Thursday night, suggesting pejoratively how the digital currency could take a page from the textbook of more established financial institutions.

Stewart did his take on the collapse of the Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, which went offline amid the apparent loss of over 740,000 bitcoins and suggestions of fraud.

"What is Mt. Gox, other than the place in a Dr. Seuss book where a Fox and a Drox share a Home in a Box?" he said on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Stewart was relentless in badgering Bitcoin, suggesting maybe the exchange's lost money could be found in the Trash directory of its computer desktop. He compared the virtual currency to once-popular digital pets that owners could keep on their keychain.

Bitcoin "only exists online. It is the tamagotchi of currency," he said. "That reminds me: I should feed mine. I got him 12 years ago.... I wonder how he's doing."

He later acknowledged the real acronym for the Mt. Gox exchange is "Magic: The Gathering Online eXchange", in reference to the exchange's original purpose of being a marketplace to trade cards from the Magic: The Gathering game.

"It started out as a place to trade Magic cards? So did my basement. Does that mean my basement is now a currency exchange?" Stewart said.

The comedian joked that Mt. Gox's demise is counter to how more mainstream institutions - such as Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs -- handle their dubious episodes. …

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