I’m trying to figure out bitcoins and namecoins. I find them endlessly fascinating. Bitcoin is a commodity masquerading as a currency, and so few people seem to understand this that I am having high hopes for myself, I suspect that I might have a slight bit more insight into what money really is than most of the people I meet. Namecoins, I don’t even understand yet. They are, apparently, a DNS registry system masquerading as Bitcoin, which means they are a way of allocating internet names….as a currency. That’s some meta shit. That’s, like, the fourth derivative.
online information -> name -> namecoin -> commodity -> currency
You are literally buying and selling names.
I…find this fascinating.
Bitcoins are selling short strings of letters and numbers. Essentially what they’re selling is collector’s value — only you can have one particular string of characters, and some are worth more than others.
This is not a currency, though it is going to be able to work as a currency because it is actually pure conceptual barter. This is a thing that, as an artist and writer, I understand. I’ve always been able to trade strings of characters for food and durable goods. The foundation of currency has always been this theoretical to me. In a better world, we’d be trading little bits of jpegs of Picassos. But instead we’re trading the one thing that we know nobody else has, which is the exact same sequence of 1s and 0s.
I’ve long suspected that the internet would find a way to lift the yoke of economics from us. This might could maybe be the way.
The way it works right now is, I write something today, I get paid on Friday, it takes three days for the Paypal transfer to get to my bank account. Soon that time will collapse to zero. Soon I will be able to sit down for a meal, write an article during that meal, get paid at the end of the article, and pay for the meal with it.
If Facebook were to do something crazy like institute a system where every “like” was worth 0.0000001 Bitcoins, you would quickly see the economy shift to something very…interesting. I think that would work out for the artists and the creatives.
Oh, I forgot, that will never happen, the Winklevoss twins are heavily invested in bitcoins, and they hate Zuckerberg and all that. Well, maybe Google will do it. Oh Internet daemons I beseech thee! Hear my prayer and grant me one ten thousandth of a Bitcoin for each like that someone casteth on my page and I shall toil in the vineyards most faithfully for thee.
What could go wrong?