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Cryptocurrency Bitcoin, the growing market (VOA)

Fed up of standing by watching while others make and lose fortunes on cryptocurrencies? Now you too can make and lose a fortune!

This columnist realised it was time to tackle this topic when a news report said more than 1,500 Bitcoin-like cryptocurrencies had been launched and a reader asked me for advice on starting his own.


Easy, I said. Whose head would you like to be on it? He chose his own, which showed me that he had no idea what a cryptocurrency was. They are not physical coins, so don’t have anyone’s heads on them.

Also Read: Is investing in Bitcoin safe? Get the basics first!

Never mind. Most people don’t understand these things. This is good.

Things you can sell to unsuspecting friends as Bitcoins: 1) game arcade tokens; 2) foreign coins; 3) toy medals; and 4) chocolate money.

But one of my more serious colleagues is starting his own cryptocurrency; so I know the system.

1. Download the main coin mining software from a website called Github, then hire a nerd, as you have to tweak the programme (with C++) to make it unique.

2. Think of a theme. It is impossible to be too wacky. For example, one person made a crypto-coin called “Offerings to Cthulhu”, named after an alien from a 1928 sci-fi story. You’d think that was too silly to work, but it is going strong after several years.

3. When people start buying your currency, sell them all and run away as fast as you can.

If the last part of this process reminds you of anything, it should. It is the same technique used by people working for criminal gangs (“banks”) for pushing evil scams such as sales of stocks and shares, unit trusts, investment bonds, Ponzi schemes, etc.

Also Read: Interesting facts you should know about Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency gold of 21st century


It’s an exciting field. In January this year, the value of Bitcoins was going up and down so fast (in a $10,000 range) that you had to discuss it with a live price tracker in your hand. Here’s a typical conversation:

ME: “I’ll buy your car for one Bitcoin.” HIM: “No way! This car’s worth more than… $9,845.” ME: “More than… $11,245? No, it isn’t. That’s a good price.” HIM: “Okay, you got a deal.” ME: “I’m now transferring to you one Bitcoin.” HIM: “Wait. This is only worth… $7,231.” ME: “Too late, Byeee.” [Drives off.]

Bitcoin analysts say the number of new coin issues is accelerating so we’ll each have our own currency in “the mid-to-long-term future”, meaning a week next Tuesday. Shopping will be challenging.

Also Read: Status of Bitcoin in India

SHOPPER: “Do you accept Flurgles?” SHOPKEEPER: “Yes, but your change will be in Oogliewooglies.”

What to call your coin? All the cool names have already been taken, including Mysterium, Einsteinium and BitBean. Others are odd, like the Melon, or desperately unimaginative, like the Namecoin.

I reckon it’s time to stand out and get attention by using an ironically humorous name for your new Bitcoin. Four suggestions: 1) SweetLittleNothings; 2) Don’tBuyThese; 3) Moneypits; and 4) IdiotTokens.

Okay, hands up who’ll buy an IdiotToken from me? And no, you can’t pay me in crypto-coins. I want hard cash. I may be an idiot but I’m not stupid.


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The aim of the book is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

By Siddhi Jain

Delhi-based author Pritisha Borthakur is set to release her new book, 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories'. The 1,404-word children's book was put together to address a new kind of societal debacle in the family system. The author says the aim is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.

Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.

Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background

four children standing on dirt during daytime 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race and even differences in background. | Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash


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