Stuff You Need to Say When People Talk About Bitcoin



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‘Stuff you need to know about bitcoin’ is the very first suggestion Google handed out as we typed ‘Stuff you need…’. Talk about intuitive.

So, bitcoin. It’s the word that’s on everyone’s lips and it can divide a room faster than Moses could part that old red sea. Bill Gates called it a “techno tour de force”, and William Shatner dubbed it a “cyber snob currency”. People either live for it, loath it or get a lost expression on their faces whenever it’s mentioned. If you fall into the last category, never fear. Like most things in this world, you don’t have to understand it to be able to talk about it.

So, let’s forget about the birds and the bees of bitcoin and instead work out what to say whenever it’s brought up in conversation.

Keep in mind, too, that none of this is actual financial advice. Rather, it’s social suggestions around what to say to a.) avoid a three-hour lecture from anyone on bitcoin and b.) make out like you know even vaguely what you’re talking about.

Let’s dive straight into this crypto current affair…

When they try to explain bitcoin to you…

You... must have, in a weak moment, revealed you know nada so now you need to make an excuse to leave the conversation or change the topic. Or both. Our favourites – and they’re tried and tested – include medical emergencies and the Internet sensations that are Dr Pimple Popper and Trivia HQ. Our vote is for the latter. Bone up on it here.

When they tell you how filthy rich they are now…

You... smile and nod. Like Ronan Keating sang, “you say it best, when you say nothing at all”. But for your own sanity: if it seems like more than a small fortune and you want to rush out and sell everything you own – including Grandma – and cash in for bitcoin in the hope of getting on the bandwagon, keep in mind you don’t know a.) how much they invested initially, b.) how much they’ve lost and c.) if they’re truth-tellers or liars liars pants on fire. Crypto currencies go up – and down – in a real hurry. You can make money, you can lose it, but you never really know until you turn that asset into cold hard cashola.

When they talk about bitcoin as a currency and tell you all the magical things they will buy with their new-found fortune…

You... quote this fun fact: a few days back, online payment gateway Stripe (similar to Braintree) bowed out of the bitcoin-accepting business, interesting for one of the biggest players in internet payment. Like The Independent recently asked, “What's the point of Bitcoin if you can't buy things with it?” (You always look smarter if you reference things you’ve, ahem, read.)

Another fun fact / respected reference for you: according to Entrepreneur Magazine, the first bitcoin transaction was in May 2010, when a hungry programmer "successfully traded 10,000 bitcoins for pizza." At today’s value, that slice of goodness cost him $139,728,041.53. Probs still worth it.

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