The older I get, the less I understand. Most of problems come from grandchildren and their electronic toys and gadgets. Communications passed me some years ago when I lost the technology race to things like iPods, iPads and iPhones. No need to worry, I thought, I still know a lot more than the kids. But now I find that there are other things I don’t understand.
One of them is called “virtual money”, some sort of new-fangled thing that I cannot get my head around. I spend a fair amount of time surfing on the Internet. I read newspapers and magazines from around the world; I look for articles that interest me, watch a bit of sport and so on. Lately I have become aware of an ad that keeps popping up on different websites promoting something called ‘Bitcoin’. “Click here to get full information” it says. So, after a couple of weeks of resisting, I finally clicked.
Bitcoin turns out to be a virtual coin that you keep in a virtual wallet. You cannot hold it or bite it. It costs real money and one can supposedly cash it in for real money. The first time I clicked, it cost about 1,000 shekels. Then I noticed that the price increased every few hours. I started noting down the prices and to my amazement the price doubled in 5 days. To my further shock on the fifth day, Bitcoin featured in the headlines of a CNN newscast that I happened to be watching, meaning that the thing is actually out there somewhere.
Yesterday the price dropped dramatically but as I write this it is on the way up again. Can someone please explain what’s going on? Should I have bought when I first saw it? Should I buy it now or have I missed the bus? Will it keep going up? Is all a huge cyber-scam? Who is making the money?