Cybercrimes and the Internet D AV I D WA L L
The mid-to-late 1990s was a time of considerable opportunity for virtual innovators. The share prices of the dot.coms shot through the roof and attracted “blue chip” investments, making the new virtual ventures seem all the more viable. During this period, value became firmly attached to ideas, rather than things, and for a few golden years the heightened market optimism confused the “virtual” with the “real”. A scenario emerged, reminiscent of Tulipmania in Holland during the seventeenth century (Moggach, 1999) and the South Sea Bubble in the early eighteenth. Widespread optimism over this ebullient market drove investment in ventures that were not only non-viable, but were not due to recoup for some considerable time. Furthermore, many of the assumptions about market growth and technological development which underpinned the stock valuations were themselves rather poorly founded. But this same optimism also drove further technological developments, and looked to make happen the original prophecy.