Coding is wild, y’all. Literally one simple mistake like not capitalizing a letter or hitting the wrong character can result in the loss of over $55 million in cryptocurrency. But, what is it even worth? From what I understand, some currencies are backed up with gold. My question is why is gold valuable other than it is rare and shiny? Are humans really so dense that the most valuable form of exchange we could come up with is a shiny metal? I think it is a psychological placeholder. It’s a practical system of IOU’s that can only work if a large amount of people partake. We derive value from the things that it represents, or the things we can exchange it for. In the Spanish film Don’t Tempt Me (2001), a burglar says, “Money’s just paper, but it affects people like poetry.” With this in mind, I realized that cryptocurrency might actually be worth something after all. It has become this sort of buzzword that everyone talks about even though not many people actually use it. It’s no wonder it caught over $10,000 on the stock market. The variability in its value makes me skeptical as to how dependent we can be on the new currency. Also, some people claim that cryptocurrency is “too big to fail” and rave about how secure it is, yet it only takes a single misplaced character in a coding sequence to result in a catastrophic heist. I don’t know of a ton of places that currently accept Bitcoin (except Subway!), but it still feels far off from the common American dollar. It’s going to take a long time and a lot of changes before Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies become widely accepted.
P.S. I can’t believe we are done with the freshman seminar! I am going to miss our philosophical discussions, passionate rambling about tech news, relatable tangents over Internet culture, and, of course, the awkward silences. Thank you Professor Waldo and Professor Smith for a wonderful first semester!