2021-03-05 15:20:00

Pet or crypto price inflation – which puppy are you on?

“Blood poured from my gunshot wound, an angel trotted over and laid next to me. My panicked screams calmed as I looked at her, even though it registered that the blood pooling around her tiny body was my own.”

These were the florid words of Ryan Fischer, Lady Gaga’s dog walker, after he was shot in Los Angeles recently and two of Gaga’s French bulldogs stolen.

The angel in this case was Gaga’s third dog Asia that wasn’t stolen, presumably because of its angelic properties, and comforted Fischer as he composed words in his head to make the most of his 15 minutes and future media ubiquity, via a visit to an expensive hospital.

After reading more about his experience on Instagram (Why? Argh!) I now know why some people seem destined for Private Eye’s Pseuds Corner.

There’s more. I don’t even know what ‘you literally saved my life and helped me take new-born walks’ means, but I look forward to Fischer’s forthcoming book and Netflix mini-series with horror.

Still, all’s well that endeth well. Fischer is recovering, Gaga offered a $500,000 reward, the market for French bulldogs plummeted and the dogs were returned safely. At time of writing, it is unclear if the money offered by Gaga was paid to anybody.

This astonishing reward for two animals only underscores the Western World’s obsession with owning pets, not only for companions during Covid, but all the time.

Insightful or infantile?

It’s as if those people have entered Philip Pullman’s world and His Dark Materials book where everybody has a ‘daemon’, an animal that is supposed to represent their outer-soul. Be that insightful or infantile, that’s for you to decide, but I’m nobody’s puppy.

Daemons can talk, but dogs can’t. Gaga’s dog-walker should be thankful for this, his daemon would surely have had words with him about his Instagram posts. “Less is more, dude! Woof-woof!”

This puppy love of the West for (usually) four-legged friends and the scourge of Covid means that the price of puppies has soared and has also created another force; the theft and, terribly, the farming of young dogs for money.

Anything sound familiar here? High prices, lack of security, farming (mining)? Yes, the comparison with cryptocurrencies and pet-owning is there for all to see.

The price of pets just seems to go up, but without any correction. Buy the bitch, not the dip, doesn’t yet exist as a maxim in the world of pets.

Where am I going with this? To be honest, at this point I don’t really know. It’s just an idea I had when I went for a drive earlier this week and didn’t have a dog to walk or a puppy to cuddle.

Oh yes, price inflation, value and security in the pet and crypto worlds. In effect, the pet market is a new market, one that had been growing slowly, but has now zoomed because of Covid and everybody is trying to catch up.

Criminals move fast, very fast and it’s only recently that owning crypto and putting it in wallets or exchanges has become more secure now that custodians have caught up with the hackers… to an extent. The kennels are much safer now.

Gaga’s steaks

Wherever there’s money, this battle always ensues. Gaga raised the stakes with her $500K reward, thus creating another new market where ransoms of similar accounts are likely to be demanded, rather like hackers setting Bitcoin ultimatums to restore hacked websites.

Dog farms and crypto mining is something for another day, but for newcomers to pet-owning and crypto, they do have something very much in common and that is volatility.

Whether it’s the 4am whelping of a new puppy or the lurch (er -haha) of crypto prices, it’s something that takes a lot of getting used to and takes time to play out. A pet is not just for Covid, as much as crypto is not just a gift for Christmas.

However, these markets will surely merge. If something is expensive and customers have profits to spend, the likes of Pets At Home or similar cults should get in now and start accepting crypto to pay for these domestic animals.

A match made in heaven. Crypto is man’s best friend during times of plague, what better way to spend it? However, the last word must go to Gaga’s dog-walker:

“I cradled Asia as best I could, thanked her for all the incredible adventures we’d been on together, apologized that I couldn’t defend her brothers, and then resolved that I would still try to save them… and myself.”

Just replace ‘Asia’ with ‘Bitcoin’ and ‘her brothers’ with ‘alt coins’ and we have the perfect symmetry between human and beast, crypto and pets.

Thanks, Ryan! Woof-woof! Buy The Bitch!


Monty Munford is a renowned Tech journalist and has his own podcast https://blockspeak.io and is the Co-Founder of the Sienna Foundation.

He WAS a keynote speaker/MC/moderator/interviewer at prestigious events around the world until Covid destroyed his conference speaking career… until 2023. He has spoken at more than 200 global events.

He was previously a weekly tech columnist for Forbes in New York, the Telegraph in the UK and continues to write regularly for the BBC, The Economist, The FT and… City AM.

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