Not being cursed with any of my genetic make-up, he possesses certain special qualities that I lack
It must be about 25 years since the Rat first made an appearance in The Spectator. He started out as my girlfriend’s six-year-old boy, then became my stepson and featured here quite often over the years because, being a scaly-tailed creature of evil, he was always good for some copy. This new year, with his agreement, I upgraded him to full son status. Let me explain why in a way that I hope you’ll find charming, rather than one that makes you want to throw up.
The first reason is purely mercenary. During Christmas, while over with his wife Chloe from Hong Kong, the Rat managed to find about £10,000 down the back of my virtual sofa, in the form of seven Bitcoin Cash that I thought I’d lost forever. Then he found another half a Bitcoin (BTC) which I also thought I’d lost, bringing the total free money found to well over £15,000.
Environmentalists have discovered the two new things most likely to turn the planet into a molten orb of glowing red climate death.
By awful coincidence, they happen to be the same two things that men enjoy doing perhaps more than anything in the world (at least when their wives or girlfriends aren’t looking.)
a) making vast sums of money out of exceedingly risky and speculative cryptocurrency trading when all the experts are saying it’s like 17th century Dutch Tulipmania, only with rocket boosters and sprinkled with essence of Enron, Sub-Prime Mortgages and the South Sea Bubble.
b) looking at screen pictures of purty, naked ladies and re-enacting the scene in South Park where the internet is banned and Randy breaks into the trailer housing the very last computer console still connected to Pornhub…
Yep. They’re not joking. Bitcoin and porn are the two latest things which, experts tell us, are causing “global warming”.
First, porn. According to this groundbreaking investigation in The Atlantic, pornography is causing even more danger to the planet than it did in the days when it simply involved cutting down forests to make glossy paper for dirty magazines.
I reflect bitterly on how much richer I’d be if only I’d had the courage of my convictions.
Every time I write about Bitcoin you can probably take it as a major sell signal. The last time I did so was in January 2014, at which point Bitcoin was trading around the $935 mark. Had you been inspired by my golden words and invested immediately in BTC (as we aficionados call it), here’s what would have happened: within a few months their value would have more than halved. ‘Bloody hell!’ you might have said. ‘This is an idiot’s game. Clearly there is no future in this stupid crypto-currency malarkey.’
But investment’s all about timing, isn’t it? Had you hung on a bit, watched it drift to its 2015 lows of around $216 dollars and at that point splurged your pension savings on, say, 200, you would now be a millionaire. I shan’t try to quote the current price. Perhaps, as you read this, it will have soared above last week’s record high of $7,879. Perhaps it will have continued the subsequent correction when its value fell by nearly 25 per cent in a day. What’s certain is that if you want to make or lose money very quickly, there’s nowhere more exciting than the ludicrously volatile cryptocurrency market.