If anyone is sick of hearing about bitcoin but still hasn’t exactly figured out what it is, Adrian Chen has a great op-ed in the Times today that will both help you understand how it works and make you kind of regret not buying some when you first saw some jokey tweets about it:
Bitcoin fosters a particularly potent brand of FOMO. Recently there was the story of the Norwegian 20-something who discovered that his long-forgotten bitcoin, bought for basically nothing, was worth so much that he traded some of it to buy an apartment. Bitcoin holders have taken to posting screenshots of their swollen accounts. I know a guy who bought a few hundred dollars’ worth of bitcoin as a sort of joke years ago. Now he’s made enough to buy a nice car.
All I can say is that the crash is going to be great.
Chen, while fascinated with the whole thing, is a skeptic. A skeptic, that is, who notes that when he first wrote about the phenomenon on Gawker in 2011, he remembers each bitcoin being worth $9. At the time he wrote the article: $880. Probably more now.
This is a good fact to share with your parents when they ask you to pass the rolls tomorrow and then clear their throats and say something like, “So, son, have you read about this — what do they call it, Alice? The coins? On the internet, that those hackers use to buy drugs? They talked about it on the news the other night. Coinbytes? Bytecoins?”