This weeks event on Bitcoin and Digital Money had its genesis in the 90s. I cashed in a travellers cheque (yes I know) at the State Bank of Bucharest and was given US$100. I was in Romania by myself setting up a subsidiary of the engineering business I was with. Now I'm no expert in counterfeiting – but it was quite obvious to me that the money was counterfeit. Not something you deal with in business school and quite obviously a distressing situation. The teller, in broken English, was quite insistent when I tried not to accept the money, and repeatedly advised me that "it was ok". I also couldn't help but notice the burly looking security guard was carrying an automatic weapon and staring at me.
I walked dejectedly outside to the sunlight and realised that although I had avoided getting ripped off by the Gypsy money changers I had been warned about, I still managed to get myself ripped off by the government. But I was wrong. It turned out that "it was ok"and I could spend this counterfeit money. Turns out shopkeepers would prefer to have counterfeit USD$ than the real thing Romanian Lei (a non-tradeable currency). You see one of the primary attributes of money, is a belief in it being money. They treated the counterfeit bills like money, and magically, it was money :)
So with that in mind, have you registered for this weeks Bitcoin and Digital Currency as yet?