Why Nostradamus Followers Believe He Predicted Cryptocurrency

Nostradamus: prestidigitatious prognosticator, pretty good French medical doctor, black hat aficionado, and ... the original crypto bro? Don't worry. At least Michel de Nostredame, history's most widely-cited doomsayer who lived from 1503 to 1566, won't be banging on about how you, like, totally need to invest in Ethereum, my guy; it's the future. Unfortunately, because the future is now — at least from Nostradamus' perspective — we do have to worry about some of Nostradamus' believers raising the crypto banner. Thanks to the inherent, shall we say, "cryptic" nature of Nostradamus' prophecy, some folks believe that he not only predicted the rise of Hitler, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, etc. (via Insider), but the existence of cryptocurrency. 

But before we get into details, it pays to remember that when Nostradamus wrote 1555's "The Prophecies," he likely meant it to be vague. As History explains, he'd spent almost a decade running from inquisitors who wanted to torture him for commenting on a church statue. He didn't want to draw the ire of those very humorless folk again. This is why people can interpret his predictions in whatever way they want. 2021's predictions included zombie apocalypses and excellent metal lyrics like (via the New York Post), "Fathers and mothers dead of infinite sorrows / Women in mourning, the pestilent she-monster / The Great One to be no more, all the world to end," and, "Rain, blood, milk, famine, steel, and plague." And 2022? Welcome to crypto land.

Late to the crypto party

So what lines from "The Prophecies" do some people say refer to crypto? Century VIII, quatrain 28, states (via the New York Post), "The copies of gold and silver inflated / Which after the theft were thrown into the lake / At the discovery that all is exhausted and dissipated by the debt / All scripts and bonds will be wiped out." Basically, take enough words that seem to circulate around our modern monetary system — gold, silver, inflate, debt, bond, etc. — and you've got a nice stew that sounds maybe-kinda-sorta related to the demise of fiat currencies and the rise of cryptocurrencies. But be forewarned: Nostradamus wrote in French. Any English translation is going to reflect the biases, era, and vocabulary of its translator.

But even if people believe these lines refer to cryptocurrency, so what? Crypto isn't new, not by far. As Cryptovantage explains, cryptocurrency was first conceptualized way back in 1983 by American cryptographer David Chaum, who talked about a decentralized, software-based, "anonymous cryptographic electronic money" that he dubbed Digicash. He finished his prototype in 1995, and by 1998, we had the precursor to Bitcoin — Bit Gold. And now? CoinMarketCap lists the current values of thousands of various cryptocurrencies. As of June 2022, there were over 19,000 different cryptocurrencies in existence, as CNBC reports.

In other words: Nostradamus is late to the crypto party. If any economic bubble is going to burst, at this point, it's going to be crypto itself.

2022 is a very fun year

Like most of Nostradamus' more attention-grabbing writing, the cryptocurrency bit comes across as doomy and gloomy. But if you skim through "The Prophecies" — available in full on sites like Global Grey — you'll find no less than 122 mentions of "death," 110 mentions of "blood," 76 mentions of "fire," 33 mentions of "murder" and "murdered" combined, 31 mentions of "evil," and so on. Why no talk about Keanu Reeves, huh? In other words, there's a lot of apocalyptic horror to choose from.

On that note, 2022 seems to be a particularly horrific year, like 2021 before it. Moving beyond cryptocurrency takes us into some truly metal — even power metal — "Dungeon and Dragons"-themed song lyrics. As the New York Post says, we've got, "The Moon in the full of night over the high mountain / The new sage with a lone brain sees it / By his disciples invited to be immortal / Eyes to the south. Hands in bosoms, bodies in the fire." These lines, Nostradamus followers would say, are talking about AI, because sure.

On the more realistic side, we've got, "So high the price of wheat / That man is stirred / His fellow man to eat in his despair." All cannibalism aside, of course, if you pick a random year, there's going to be some problems with the price of food somewhere on Earth. Current worries in the U.S. about what Forbes calls "stagflation" don't help the situation, however.