Dopey Tries to Convince Grumpy to Switch to Bitcoin Mining
Updated: Apr 20
Once upon a time, in a small cottage, deep in the dark woods, dwelt the Seven Dwarves.
For many years, each morning, the little men would merrily tromp to the local mine, pickaxes on their shoulders, to dig for gold and/or diamonds, depending on if you believe Walt Disney or the Grimms…until one day when Bashful noticed the supply of precious materials was dwindling. However, due to his extreme social anxiety, it took him several months to work up the courage to alert the others, by which time the deposit was almost completely tapped out.
This caused a great disturbance amongst the small miners. Many an evening was spent huddled around the kitchen table, arguing over what should be done.
“Well I think we need to focus on conscious manifestation through the development of our timeless and formless essence identity,” Happy said one evening. He was deeply immersed in the work of Eckhart Tolle and had spent many hours on Zoom in workshops with the diminutive but influential German elf.
“I think we should pivot toward renewable forms of energy production,” said Sneezy. “I’ve been researching the use of hypo-allergenic sludge and bioluminescent jellyfish.”
“I hear there’s a lot of money to be made investing in the development and sale of remedies for the plague,” Doc offered.
“I say we start making our own hooch,” slurred Boozy.
“What if we switched to bitcoin mining?” Dopey quietly asked. The conversation ceased. All eyes turned to Dopey.
“What the hell is bitcoin mining?” Grumpy snarled.
“As near as I can understand it,” Dopey slowly began, “you use your computer to solve a really hard math problem. The first miner to solve the problem gets the bitcoin. However, you need a very powerful computer, or, to increase your odds, a great many powerful computers which in turn require the energy needed to power a small country. As bitcoin is a Proof-of-Work asset, unlike other cryptocurrencies, I think the ASIC system would be…”
“Did anyone understand anything of what he just spewed?” asked Grumpy, cutting Dopey off. “I know I sure as hell didn’t. And what exactly does a bitcoin look like?”
“Oh, well, that’s just it,” Dopey said brightly. “It’s a digital currency. There is no actual coin. But currently, the value of one bitcoin stands at $48,000.00. No, wait a minute, make that $13.46. Sorry, looks like it’s $17,199. Ah, hang on, now it’s…”
“So let me get this straight,” Grumpy interrupted. The rest of the dwarves braced themselves. “Using a computer, any 10 year old can try to solve a math problem and earn an imaginary couple of bucks that hold their value for about as long as Sleepy here can stay conscious after his evening edible.”
“High ho indeed,’ Sleepy drowsily agreed.
“Well,” Dopey pondered, “if you think about it, our currency is already mostly digital. When’s the last time you reached for some cash and realized you haven’t touched actual money in weeks? We haven’t been backed by the gold standard since, um, King Richard banished it in 1971. Really, the Federal Bank Lords have simply been spray painting rocks ever since.”
He waited as the dwarves took that in, then added “Oh, and unlike the rock thing, there will only ever be 21 million bitcoins.”
“How is that even possible?” asked Doc.
Dopey hesitated as he considered how to explain this next part. “Um, because the guy who invented it said so? But no one really knows who he is and he hasn’t been heard from in over 10 years, so…”
He sat thoughtfully for a moment. “Now that I say it out loud, I can see how you might have some doubts.”
“I don’t know,” said Happy. “This kinda reminds me of my Scientology days. Talk about some weird imaginary shit.”
In a final attempt to convince them, Dopey said, “To sorta quote Schopenhauer, ‘Any new idea passes through 3 stages. First, it is ridiculed by Grumpy. Second, it is violently opposed by the entrenched economic hegemony. Third, it is accepted as being a pretty good way to hold onto your money if you're fleeing a Russian invasion.’”
A long silence ensued as the dwarves considered all their options.
“I vote for the sludge and jellyfish,” muttered Grumpy.
by Christine Stevens