Monday, December 16, 2013

2130 Coin of the Realm

There's this thing called Bitcoin. From what I understand, it's basically a way of dealing in virtual money and/or using real money to purchase virtual money. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could use it as currency in alternative life universes online?

You want to get better at a particular virtual reality online video game and so you buy yourself some extra health points, or possibly magic. Or maybe even a bigger sword or temporary invulnerability so you can get past the pack of zombies and make it to the next level.

Money in this sense acting like a cheat code so you can move on and get more success, and more perks, even if you aren't that good at something. Wow. It could make virtual life more like real life. 

Bitcoin, the company that facilitates this semi-imaginary money, has been under fire from the feds recently because it's being used by some nefarious folks to launder money. The Treasury Department is worried. Because, you know, the South American drug cartels and remnants of the Cosa Nostra are so tech savvy and all. 

Anyhow, in a classic case of one hand of the federal government not knowing what the other is doing, lawyers for the Federal Election Commission are recommending the agency approve the virtual currency as "in-kind contributions to federal campaign committees." Political campaigns couldn't spend or donate the Bitcoins directly, only after they've been converted into U.S. dollars.  

So, back when I played role-playing games, you could build up extra life points if you did something really awesome in the game. Wouldn’t it be great if you could convert those points to Bitcoins?

I like the idea of killing mindless zombies to get my candidate elected. Congress so often acts like a pack of mindless zombies now. 

America, ya gotta love it.

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