Emoticon Theater 15

Zzz… … Sweetie? ! Sleeping on the job? I’m sorry! It’s just been so long since we’ve updated that I forgot what day it is… What month it is! Well, what’s important is that it’s my turn to answer questions from the viewer. I need your best for this! I was just resting my eyes! Give me a break! It’s these working conditions! Those late hours add up! Up late doing what, I wonder. What exactly do you do here? Maxine, I’m hurt. You know that’s difficult to put a label on. My contributions to this organization are beyond what a timesheet can capture. Luckily I’m not your boss… Yet. Let’s move on, shall we? Do you have the question that I’m supposed to answer? Certainly! How do you feel about crypto, Maxine? I hope you weren’t in too deep during the crash! – Starim Oh, I know that face. When NZ coin took that giant hit, I lost so much color I was one shade away from lineart. Please… I would never invest in something so foolish. What?! I thought you’d have made money on it for sure. Or at least you were holding out for when it recovers! You gotta buy a ticket to get on the rocketship! I wish you could understand how much this hurts me. But I will still answer the question for the sake of our readers. Hopefully I can inoculate some of them against this blockchain-delivered plague. Hey, you know what the blockchain is! Could you teach me? I still don’t have it nailed down. Ugh! That’s part of the problem right there! NZ Coin and all other forms of hallucinatory ‘coins’ are all supposed to be one thing: a medium of exchange. Oh c’mon, Maxine. You’re being silly. Everyone knows money is all made up anyway! The gold coins I earn have weight, dear. But I do acknowledge that it’s not the digital nature or the technology involved that makes this approach not work. It’s the idea that a currency with low adoption is a sound investment. The trouble is that the value is highly speculative. You probably purchased NZ Coin hoping it would suddenly catapult in value for reasons you don’t fully understand. An investment is supposed to be about nurturing something early and then reaping reward later, no different from farming. The primary ‘value’ of crypto currency is to be hopefully invest early before the masses do- And bam! That’s when the rocket ship takes off! Straight to the moon! Will you tether yourself to the firmament for just a moment?! Answer me this question: What change in our world is going to occur that makes you think you should exchange real money for these imaginary ones? Uuh… Well, I mean… They’re going up all the time. Until they don’t, Alex! That’s the mess you’ve stepped in! A more tired answer is focused on adoption of this new currency. The more places crypto currency can be used, the higher its alleged value becomes. But that adoption is not happening, nowhere near the rate needed to justify its new value. So why does it keep increasing? Because people keep buying it? Yes! Yes… It’s a ponzi-scheme, Alex. A widely-distributed, decentralized, blockchain-delivered… scam. *GASP!* If something’s entire value is derived from you convincing others to buy it, then it’s no different from makeup kits, knives, or timeshares delivered in the same way. That’s messed up, Maxine. I was hoping you’d understand. You’re probably just bitter you didn’t get on it when it was only pocket change. This is going to be the future! I don’t blame you for being tempted. But real wealth isn’t obtained from simply guessing right. It’s a hard war with thousands of little victories. Fable’s economy is stable. It’s highly unlikely that things like food or wood will double in value overnight. So my investments are in properties, the thing most likely to change for the better in Fable. I want to purchase properties when they are cheap, renovate them and improve them with loan money from the government, and then pay back the loans with the profits from the properties. Then when I’m ready to sell, the world is improved and I am enriched. Just saying it aloud makes me feel so content. Through a very small lens, I am a hero. I’m glad you think so. Everyone needs fulfillment. That’s a good way to put it. I’m fulfilled. We have a new café because of my hard work and I get the lion’s share of strawberry french toast. You know, I guess you’re right. Maybe I should invest into something we’re doing in Fable. There you go. But be warned, it won’t be as exhilarating as 1000% returns in half a decade. Real wealth comes from constant slow investment over time and watching math do its magic. Which leads us to a darker corner of this whole cryptocurrency thing, I imagine. What do you mean? I imagine many people are investing in these things simply because they can’t do it the normal way. Consistent investment means you need consistent savings. And when you don’t have that… The only apparent way out is to gamble. I hope that’s not the case for you. No, I live pretty well in Fable. This job definitely keeps me above water. And paradoxically drowning in coffee! I couldn’t be happier. That’s what I want to hear. I hope you’ve learned a valuable lesson today, Alex. Perhaps we will be competitors once you find your financial groove in Fable. Oh I know the perfect way to transfer my existing skills! I can be an artist! Truly?! What fun! Can I interest you in purchasing one of these fabulous blockchain-verified drawings from me? Pardon me… I’m not sure what I just heard. Imagine a form of digital artwork that you truly own! It’s constructed with its own brand of mathematical magic so you can verify ownership! And just like any artwork you own, it increases in value over time! Supply and demand are preserved! Like a certificate of authenticity built right in! How lovely! I’ll take one! Yes! I’ve made my first sale! I’m a professional artist now! But we have to make sure none of these QR codes show up on camera. We should close the stream! See you all next time!