punchline

11:45 Apr 20, 2018
This question was closed without grading. Reason: No acceptable answer

English to English translations [PRO]
Bus/Financial - Economics / Bitcoin
English term or phrase: punchline
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-04-19/what-bitc...
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Maybe that’s why Warren Buffett once said the idea that Bitcoin had “huge intrinsic value” was a “joke”—there’s no earnings potential that can be used to estimate its value. But with $2 billion pumped into cryptocurrency hedge funds last year, there’s a lot of money betting the punchline is something other than zero. If Bitcoin is a currency, and currencies have value, surely some kind of stab—even in the dark—should be made at gauging its worth.
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Isn't punchline the key part of a joke? This meaning doesn't seem to fit in with the context at all.
Karen Zeng
China
Local time: 06:37


Summary of answers provided
5 +4Crucial element
Joris Lenstra


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


35 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +4
Crucial element


Explanation:
Dear Karen Zeng,

I found two dictionary references (Merriam Webster & Oxford Dict.) that state that the meaning of punchline is more than only the twist at the end of a joke:

"the sentence, statement, or phrase (as in a joke) that makes the point"

"The final phrase or sentence of a joke or story, providing the humour or some other crucial element."

I think here it means to say that all this money invested in crypto currencies is betting on the fact that the essential intrinsic value of these currencies is something other than zero; although it’s not clear what this value is. Hence, also, the ‘stab in the dark’ towards estimating this value.
This whole paragraph is about the question whether or not these currencies are worth anything, hence ‘punchline’ as crucial element.

I believe that the author used punchline for a couple of language plays with boxing references: 'punchline', 'stab (in the dark)', and humour references: ‘joke’ in the first sentence and ‘punchline’.

Hope this helps.


    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/punch%20line
    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/punchline
Joris Lenstra
Netherlands
Local time: 00:37
Native speaker of: Native in DutchDutch, Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Jack Doughty
10 mins

agree  philgoddard: Nothing to do with boxing, though.
1 hr

agree  Lian Pang
3 hrs

agree  Lingua 5B
20 hrs
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