This is the moment when those of you who know what a blockchain is realize that the world is in far more serious danger than you had assumed. Because, given my questionable cerebral capacities and lack of relevant experience, the best analogy to this statement would be Donald Trump running our country.
Those of you who have no clue what I’m babbling about, don’t fret. Just one month ago I was one of you, a happy individual roaming this planet, oblivious to the cryptic underground community prospering right under my nose. A community whose members have their own currencies (hellooo Bitcoin!) and rules and vernacular, throwing around terms like “shitcoin” and “hodl” like they are living inside of a video game. Except that said video game happens to be a powerful tech movement that is predicted to change the Internet as we know it.
Considering that the Cryptosphere is comprised of men who are set to become the next generation of Musks and Zuckerbergs, I consider it my due diligence to give you a quick 101 crash course. You know, just in case Marco Streng happens to be at your local coffee shop. Even if not, ‘blockchain’ is a buzzword and knowing about it is guaranteed to impress all the neo-luddites out there, so listen up!
What it is
To make this a tad more exciting, let me explain it as a Hunger Games-esque scenario. Picture the Internet as its own universe, run by a group of big bad guys called Google and Facebook and Uber. They pretend to be our friends but, in reality, they control everything we do on the Internet, monitoring our activities and charging us fees and cashing in by selling our data. Cool? Nuh-uh.
Now, picture a group of Internet rebels trying to seize the power away from these central authorities. Like all revolutionaries, they promise to give it to the people and make the Internet a fair place. How so? Because they will create a new system where everything is run on open networks, powered by something called blockchain technology. (The very same technology that allowed the creation of the first decentralized currency that everybody knows and wants – the Bitcoin!)
To fund their mission, our rebels are currently raising a bucketload of investment capital through ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings). While many of their ideas are legit and will lead to great things, others are kind of bogus and will probably land them on the streets / in jail in a matter of months. (How’s that for a 2017 bedtime story?!)
Who it is
Remember those guys in high school who always seemed to know exactly how to crack the academic system and get the copy of the next exam, granting them excellent grades and a stellar recreational substance budget? That’s them, ten years later. How about the bona fide nerds who preferred homological algebra to human interaction? That’s them as well. Throw in a couple of Wall Street retirees and teen wunderkinds and you pretty much have it. Oh, and Russians geniuses of course, because nobody likes math and money as much as my peeps!
Where to meet them
Slack or singles mixers, nothing in between. I’m actually not kidding. Last week, my new friends invited me to a Christian Singles Mixer on the Upper West Side, where two crypro cuties informed me that they would never go near an online dating app at the risk of giving up valuable personal data. However, they are really into Slack and Reddit so, if you know how to navigate those platforms, more power to you!
Mere mortals, don’t fear – blockies can also be found out in the Real World and lured in via code references. Which brings us to…
What to talk about
For the lazy woman: go to a coffee shop in an ‘up-and-coming’ neighborhood, pretend to forget your wallet and ask the waitress, loudly, if you can pay in Bitcoin. Repeat over and over until you get kicked out somebody reacts. Once they do, paraphrase my Hunger Games spiel and move on to other topics.
For the truly committed: buy a pack of Bitch ground coffee, bum an Adderall, turn off your phone for 48 hours and study Block Geeks like you are Charlotte York converting to Judaism. Come out feeling like the world as you knew it is a lie, guaranteeing that you will want to talk about nothing but crypto mining for the next month. Congratulations, you are now a Nerd Goddess!
(Oh, I was also told that “Slide into my Blockchain” works as a pickup line.)
Questions? Comments? I can decipher it all!