For as long as I remember coins have only really been useful to European countries, old men in the grocery store with change purses, and little kids who had piggy banks. For everyone else, they’re simply a pain in the ass that takes up pocket space and leads to the purchase of unhealthy vending machine snacks. That was, of course, before the birth of the most powerful form of coined currency since the Chuck E. Cheese token. The Bitcoin.
I guess we should start by attempting to define what the hell Bitcoin actually is. I looked it up and discovered it’s a Crypto-Currency based on something called a block-chain which creates unique digital “coins” that are worth about $15,000 a piece for what seems to be no good reason whatsoever. I guess that’s OK since Its supposed to be more of a commodity than a currency, although it’s also a currency, and it can magically make you very rich, or incredibly poor, depending on how many you have and at what point in time you acquired them.
I also learned that they aren’t accepted at any store you will ever shop at, but if you are planning on laundering money or buying cocaine in bulk, they seem to be a pretty sound investment. Oh and you can’t just withdraw them like normal money, they have to be redeemed. But don’t worry, there is a simple 22 step process to guide you through your journey, which surprisingly involves converting them to Chuck E. Cheese tokens halfway through. Might not be a bad idea to cash out right there and go get that top shelf prize your kid is always whining about.
Their value also seems to fluctuate wildly, ranging anywhere from $8,000 to $19,000 depending on what day of the week it is. This would mean if you bought at Bitcoin at $8,000 and used it to buy socks, two days later the value of a coin could be $30,000 and your socks would have cost you more than your car. Sounds awesome, where do I sign up?
You also don’t get any physical money you can lock in a safe or put in a bank that is protected via insurance or any other safety features. It just sits in a digital wallet or on the magical “block-chain”, out there on the internet, for anyone to try and hack. Once they do (And they will. One of the biggest coin exchanges lost $64 million worth of Bitcoin in a hacking attack), you are completely screwed. You see, there is no way to track the person who took them, no agency to try and get them back, no way to get a refund on your $19,000. You are simply left with regret, ulcers, and if you are married, a pretty sweet set of divorce papers. But hey, Bitcoin, am I right!? BITCOIN!!!!
Since all of this seemed like something my 7 year old son would make up to somehow get me to buy him more toys and not an actual thing a sane adult would be dumb enough to get involved in, I decided to take it to the streets and see who was buying these things. Here is a sample of how every conversation goes with someone who is pro Bitcoin:
Me: So what do you think of Bitcoin?
Them: Its amazing. A currency free of the banking system that can make you tons of money. Its the future, it will be everywhere.
Me: Why is it worth so much money if I can’t use it to buy stuff at basically every store I go to?
Them: Well, its more of a commodity really. You invest in it, like Gold.
Me: I thought you said its the currency of the future? What is it backed by? How do I get my money if want to convert it to, you know, actual usable money?
Them: They have websites where you can do that, but you can only get 1 cashed out per week, you can’t convert it directly to dollars, and there is a fee to cash it out. But its only like 20%. Its backed by the block-chain, you see, its a crypto-currency so its, you know, encrypted. Like the internet but more safe. Oh and you can mine it by being the first person to solve super difficult math problems.
Me: Mine it? Challenging math problems? I have to do this on top of the job I do all day that pays me in…wait for it…ACTUAL MONEY! Why the hell would I want to do that? This all sounds terrible and stupid. Do you own any of this stuff?
Them: Not yet, but i am really thinking about investing in it. You can really make a fortune.
The main takeaway is none of these people actually own any Bitcoin. None of them. They’re all just Bit-curious and haven’t taken the plunge. I think its because deep down they realize how stupid it is, and more importantly, don’t want to hear their wife tell them how fucking stupid they are for losing their life savings buying magic beans for the next 25 years of their life. That would be a fate worse than death and there is no commodity in the world that could convince me to take that kind of chance. Unless it involved Chuck E. Cheese tokens. Skee-Ball can be very soothing.
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