When I wrote my prior post about Irish Gypsies, Bitcoins, and Rhino horns I hadn't really expected this to be a topic I could mine over and over (get it? Mining? That's what makes new bitcoins. Mining), and yet here we are. The suspects are the same, though. And actually, I think I saw in the news the other day that a Bitcoin exchange CEO was arrested for money laundering. Go figure, right?
It's funny, this whole "cryptocurrency" is really, really trying to take off. You may have heard of Dogecoins, but I discovered yesterday, more obscurely (in my eyes, anyway), that the thorium car people (Laser Power Systems) have a Thorium Coin, which comes in a weird full circle and actually mines thorium for the purposes of backing their digital cashola:
Instead of mining a crypto currency like Bitcoin, which takes electric power, internet bandwith and computing power, we actually mine real Thorium and rare earth minerals that make up the basket of securities that give the Thorium Coins it's real value.
Which may or may not entirely undermine (hah!) the entire purpose of cryptocurrency to begin with. I don't know. Money is made up anyway and if I think about it too much I want to go be a hermit someplace where straight up bartering is still intact. Theoretically, such a place is located where I can be barefoot and in the sun all day, but I think Internet might not be a reliable service in places like that. Ah well, I can dream. But I'll talk about the thorium car and those laser people more another day.
There are far more named cryptocurrencies than I thought there were, actually. In addition to Bitcoin and Dogecoin, there's also Ripple (named for the wine and/or the Grateful Dead song?), Litecoin, and Peercoin. Again, according to the Wikipedia article. I'd like my fake money to remain in real dollars in a bank account, thankyouverymuch. In a way, I guess digital currencies like this were inevitably going to exist, as we march ever nearer to our Neuromancer future.