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Bitcoin Tale. Chapter 3

The Endsville Apocalypse

NapkinLand… what a great place to live… where people can fully enjoy their peaceful lives with abundance of food, affordable shelter, and unconditional freedom. Where a unit of account is a glorious Bitcoin Napkin (BTC-napkin for short) which is stable, doesn’t cost much to print, and inflation and fraud-free. How terrible and ineffective were the previous versions of monetary systems. Feathers, coins, fiat currencies, and then the notorious bitcoin… They all tumbled down for various reasons. Or perhaps they were merely necessary precursors to the masterpiece unit of account — the BTC-napkin.

But not a single Kingdom of Heaven on the globe is immune to the devastating power of human vice. Open the doors, boys, and girls, the Endsville Apocalypse has come.

***

From 1 year of solitary sailing in Bermuda, back home to sweet NapkinLand. The plane landed 45 minutes ago and Chris is now outside, still awaiting an Uber ride. He looks around, confused, surveying a vast wasteland. Everything has changed. His plane, with no passengers boarded, has departed. 

A sound similar to the buzzing of a bee makes him turn his head. A small spaceship lands near him, and a man in a spacesuit appears, takes off his helmet, and steps down to alight upon the earth.

“Good evening, sir!” Chris exclaims, happy to finally see a friendly face — or any face at all, for that matter. “Would you be so kind as to explain to me what’s going on here? Where is everyone?”

“Good evening, my friend,” the suited man replies. “You have been away for some while, I would guess. It’s been nearly a year since Bonanza City started to dive into the darkness. The majority of people don’t work anymore, have sold their belongings, and now spend their days accumulating ever-rarer BTC-napkins — hoping that they will skyrocket in price and their fortunes will thus increase. And what is more tragic, people have completely lost interest in space travel. And so my dreams of colonizing Mars have been smashed by this damned Napkin craze.”

“How shall I get to the city? Is there any kind of transport vehicle except for your funkadelic flying machine?”

“This funkadelic flying machine,” the man says, “is your only hope to travel around the city and, quite honestly, to survive. This planet is doomed, and the only way to survive is to escape.”

Chris jumps onto the spaceship, and they get off the ground. As the spaceship approaches the downtown, Chris opens a ventilation window and is horrified as the smell hits him. An awful stench emanates from huge piles of garbage covering the sidewalks, alleyways, and even the streets.

“Now you know why I wear the helmet,” the other man explains. “Even down here.”

Shops, cafés, and restaurants were idle. There was no activity. There was no commerce. There was nothing.

Zombie-like creatures with signs of “Exchange BTC-napkins” were wandering down the streets, shuffling aimlessly.

Nothing remained of this once-flourishing place.

“I thought consumerism was the worst thing that could ever happen to us… all those smartwatches, sunglasses, fancy underwear. But now…”

“This is much, much worse, trust me,” the pilot said. “Anti-consumerism is a pandemic disease which makes people forget about real life. It starts as an uncontrollable desire to sell all their belongings and move to camps — also known as the “Taihuttu effect”. Afterwards, they greedily hunt for scarce napkins, hoping to exchange them for those even more scarce.”

“Human beings have always been chasing after collective illusions, it would seem,” said Chris in despair. “But wait. How is it that you’ve managed to escape this gambling hurricane?”

“I was too busy building my spacecraft, I suppose,” the other man offered. “I think if everyone had been working on his lifelong mission for common good, such catastrophe wouldn’t be possible. That’s my opinion, anyway.”

As they fly above the very Starbucks café he used to frequent, Chris sees a crowd of Napkin Zombies. He asks the other man to land. The pilot advises against it, but Chris is insistent. He wants to see first-hand what has become of his once-beloved morning spot, and so the craft touches down.

It is a typical deal which transpires, involving 2 or more parties exchanging the revered BTC-napkins.

“So how much do you want for this original McDonald’s BTC-napkin of 2000 year?” asks the ex-Burger King CEO.

“I suppose five Burger King BTC-napkins of the same year would be sufficient,” answers another man.

“Five?!” exclaims the former CEO. “Burger King would never fall in the estimation of the public so low as to render such an unfair deal acceptable! I can remember the flame-broiled taste of those burgers… oh, God, they were delicious, and no other hamburger could compete. You tell me, honestly, who won that burger taste-test war? The answer is obvious! McDonald’s? No! That little red-haired girl’s hamburgers? No!”

“Who? You mean Wendy’s?”

“We don’t speak her name!” the ex-Burger King CEO shouts, very agitated at hearing the name of the little red-haired girl. “We do not speak her name!”

He did not like to think about that little red-haired girl and her fresh-not-frozen beef patties. Not at times like this.

“I don’t know, sir, I think every burger is delicious in its own way,” said the other. “Or was, anyway.”

“Was,” the CEO agrees.

More and more people were joining in on the conversation and they discussed the old fast-food burgers longingly and adoringly, as if they were the rarest pieces of arts painted by Renaissance masters.

“Guys, guys, please, we need to get back to our business here,” the ex-CEO says, and then turns back to the other trader. “So, then. My five napkins for yours.”

“No, no. That was five minutes ago. The market conditions have changed dramatically since then, and now the price is doubling.”

“Cruel-hearted speculator, that’s who you are!” the ex-CEO exclaims, nearly in tears. “Nevertheless,” he sighs, “I have to agree. I will borrow an additional five napkins and get back to you.”

Chris, witnessing all this, is devastated by the scene — and especially distraught by the realization that his once-glorious invention now threatens the very survival of humankind.

Should he accept the offer and share Elon’s dream to move to Mars?

To be continued…

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