Virtual insanity

Crypto kittens are selling for one hundred thousand dollars a pop, apparently. Crypto kittens - in case you didn't know - are virtual cartoon cats related in some way to Bitcoin, while Bitcoin itself is a virtual currency related in some way to total insanity.

It's difficult to think of a more appropriate symbol of modern living than a currency that doesn't really exist, or rather exists only if swathes of people are prepared to believe it does. Mind boggling numbers are being bandied about as everyone is encouraged to get on board the gravy train and invest in shedloads of smoke and mirrors. It all reminds me of a very similar state of affairs not very long ago.

Around 2006 to 2007, people gazed upon me with pity in their big doe eyes whenever I explained that I wasn't prepared to pay a quarter of a million euros in monthly installments over the next zillion years for small flat in Malaga.

“You'll miss out if you don't get on the property ladder now!” they'd yell as they hot footed it to the bank to hand over wads of cash that they'd spent their entire working lives saving. The bank manager actually told me I was an idiot for not buying something; well, not in those exact words but that was the gist of his analysis.

“The numbers don't make sense,” I would protest meekly but then he'd just chunter on about percentages and inflation and flexible mortgages and I'd slide off my chair onto the floor in a comatose heap and remain there until the cleaner found me, presumably with Mr Bank Manager still pointing at graphs and photos of golden jacuzzi taps.

As we know, a short while later it all went the shape of a French Butter pear and I was jolly glad I'd avoided a very well disguised trap. Mass hysteria is a powerful force and if everyone except you believes something to be true, you start to doubt yourself.

“Buy a flat now for 250,000 euros and it'll be worth double that in five or ten years!” total strangers would shout at me in bars.

“No, thanks - I prefer to rent,” I'd answer and then they'd tilt their head to one side and go slightly cross-eyed in a vain attempt to compute the information. When this happens on an almost daily basis as it did back then , you start to wonder if it's you who's bonkers. Luckily, I trusted my intuition and emerged unscathed.

So, if some bloke tries to sell you a Crypto kitten down the pub promising untold riches, my advice would be to say, “No thanks, I prefer to work for my money.” He'll go cross eyed and possibly fall over but at least your world will be free of smoke, mirrors and cartoon cats.