Dec. 22--I am convinced I can start my own currency. And maybe start my own country later.
Where does this confidence come from?
If humankind can invent something like the bitcoin and it attains actual value, then anything is possible.
Understanding what a bitcoin is might be tough for the common man. To some, it has become a legitimate form of currency.
To others, it seems like a bit of pure fiction, but where greed and imagination have created a valuation almost as good as gold.
You see, a bitcoin is not an actual physical coin made of metal -- gold, silver, copper or tin. Nor is it a paper bill like a dollar, peso or euro. Nor is it a currency of any nation, although it derives its value from the U.S. dollar. It is a currency that exists only in the ether of the Internet.
The bitcoin became operational in 2009, with 12 million imaginary metal images becoming available to the public. A year ago, a bitcoin was worth $13, whereas at one point its worth was rivaling gold at $1,200. And it doesn't involve a karat.
The question is, how will bitcoin survive when it is not supported by a gold standard or by a nation's treasury? It seems its inflated worth could disappear quickly if it got negative publicity or a government began to regulate it or not recognize it.
What is to prevent me from starting my own bitcoin, if I don't have to be supported by a nation's treasury or back up its value with physical collateral?
What would be a good name for my invisible coin of wonder? The Troute half dollar, Burlington bullion, the Leopold, Mississippi Moolah or Catfish Cash.
I make 10 million Burlington bullions available at 50 cents apiece. I pocket the $5 million and let the market of public opinion take over in terms of the invisible coin's worth. I'll retire to a Caribbean island, while Internet investors play with my imaginary money. Most assuredly, mankind's penchant for the new and for greed will have Burlington bullion skyrocketing in value as fast as Kate Upton's popularity.
You may think I jest, but really what is to prevent an individual or even a corporation from creating their own version of a bitcoin? For whatever reason, the bitcoin appears to be legal and hasn't drawn much trouble in the courts.
There are websites and retailers accepting bitcoin as legal tender for product purchases.
A Las Vegas developer said he was willing to sell his $8.75 million mansion for bitcoins. That could be a foolish proposition when a Boston University professor is predicting the virtual currency could plummet to $10 in the first half of 2014.
All that inflationary profit that investors have experienced could virtually disappear into the night like the ghost of Christmas past. Then they are neither stuck with a piece of metal or paper, but an illusion of worth.
It is not surprising that someone finally invented a virtual currency, because a lot of Americans' everyday lives takes place in fantasy land. Instead of visiting a bowling alley, you can roll an imaginary ball down a lane in a game on your Nintendo Wii console.
Instead of learning to play guitar, you can strum on a fake one in Guitar Hero, and instead of hitting the dance floor at a local night spot, you can stay in your living room and move to the latest steps from a dance video game.
With each passing day, we seem to be taking reality out of our lives and filling it with fantasy.
And the bitcoin is just another "bit" of fantasy that we've given credence to in dollars and cents.
My prediction, is the American public will come to its "sense," and realize the bitcoin was a fun little experiment -- like the Edsel, New Coke and Harley-Davidson perfume. All flops in their own right.
China already has made a move to restrict the bitcoin's usage, which could trigger the ultimate collapse.
I should hurry up and develop the Burlington bullion before the American public wises up. I can collect my $5 million for the sale of 10 million imaginary Burlington bullion, sit in my Jamaican cabana and laugh when the value of my imaginary currency goes poof into the wind.
Next after that is to create my own country. How does the Realm of Rex sound?