A Minute with McIver

Bitcoins and Quatloos

In "The Gamesters of Triskelion," an episode from the original Star Trek series, Kirk and the gang go up against Galt, and the glowing blobs of brain-like tissue known as the Providers. They delight in watching puny humans fight to the death. Kirk and Shanna duke it out for awhile, and eventually the Providers see things Kirk's way. End of story.

Kirk was eventually able to reason with the gamesters.

The Providers wagered with "quatloos," which, if bitcoins are any indication, could someday become legal currency here on "Class M" planet Earth.

So what exactly is a bitcoin? I've been reading an article on bitcoin intrigue in the Wall Street Journal, and I just can't wrap my mind around the concept. I know it's a "virtual currency," that some Internet merchants accept as payment. The article says "transaction costs ...are generally cheaper than those with credit cards or debit cards."

OK, but how then do you translate bitcoins into legal currency you can use to buy a dozen eggs?

Bitcoins are created through a series of complex computations, called "mining." I will guess it's like a digital printing press. It's the rush to mine more bitcoin that has competitors all in a bundle. Some bitcoin mining companies are in fact selling bitcoin to investors for real currency.

All I can say is, you never know what's coming next. Send me $10 and I'll send you 10 quatloos. What a deal.

HVACR CONTRACTORS: IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW, EXPLAIN BITCOIN TO ME WHEN YOU 'GOT A MINUTE.'

THE CONTRACTOR WHO PROVIDES THE EASIEST-TO-UNDERSTAND DESCRIPTION OF BITCOIN WILL WIN SOME CB PRIZES, WORTH AT LEAST 1,000 QUATLOOS.

 

 

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