Bitcoin bitten by Whim


First came the Bitcoin closely followed by the likes of the Litecoin and Dogecoin. Now these so called cryptocurrencies are set to be eclipsed by the mighty Whim.

Intrigued by the appearance of these nebulous internet ‘banks’ I, Lord Dawdle, resolved to create my own and reap the rich rewards apparently being conjured out of thin air.

Normally I adhere to the sort of time honoured maxim espoused by an old diamond dealer pal of mine “if you can’t scratch a window with it I don’t accept it.” However, the vast sums being bandied about for doing nothing much couldn’t be ignored.

The prospect of sitting on piles of virtual cash and simply whipping out my electronic wallet down the Dog and Duck whenever refreshment was required seemed eminently preferable to persuading Lady Winifred to part with the odd crinkly tenner or two.

Besides I have never really understood why so much store is put by so called ‘cash.’ If you have an idle moment, have a close look at a banknote. In amongst the pictures and security squiggles you will find written, naturally in small print, the words “I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of…”

That means in real terms it is just an ‘I Owe You’ or bit of plastic paper promising to give you something more tangible at a later date. In the old days you could march into a bank with your note and demand the amount in gold. Nowadays you just have to take the government’s word that it’s worth as much as it says it is.

In the airy fairy world of cryptocurrencies the only people guaranteeing your money are the fellow investors in your particular bubble. If and when things go pop no country will be there to bail you out. What keeps it going is the complicated computer sums needed to make things like Bitcoins and meticulous records saying they exist and how they have been used.

Normally a currency dies a death if nobody trusts it but with millions waving e wallets around and tens of thousands of firms taking the money, what’s not to like. With that firmly in mind I set about creating the Whim – named in honour of our faithful friend, Whimsy the dog.

Firstly, where I think all these geeks have got it wrong is investing lots in super dooper highly complicated computer gadgetry, running up eye watering electricity bills or, in desperation, hacking into other people’s machines. With confidence at the heart of the matter all that stuff becomes redundant.

Everyone knows the Dawdle dynasty is good for a bob or two so coming up with a credible currency just needed some old fashioned common sense. Forget all that Bitcoin ‘mining’ and ‘blockchain’ palaver. All that was needed was my battered old laptop and the services of our temperamental printer.

The most difficult task was picking out a nice font. In the end I plumped for something elegantly Gothic. Composing the note took a couple of drafts, but I was quite pleased with the final result. Very eye-catching I thought. The words ‘The Whim’ were emblazoned across the top in large authoritative capital letters.

Underneath I echoed and adapted the time honoured expression “I, Lord Dawdle, promise to pay the bearer the sum of 50 Whims.” Taking a leaf out of the Bitcoin book, after 21 million no more will be created,  I also turned them into collector’s items with the caveat in small print “Limited edition one of 50 million only.”

Banking is thirsty work so I ran off ten copies of A4 – always think big – in a nice shade of burgundy ink. Admittedly this took a bit longer than planned due to the printer wandering off line with monotonous frequency and smudging some of the lettering to boot. After a couple of hours I was ready to reveal the Whim to the world.

With a file full of the precious new notes tucked safely under my arm I headed for the pub. Anxious to get as much of the new currency into circulation I rashly ordered a round for all the assembled locals. Everything went swimmingly until the delighted landlord declared “A very kind gesture. Thank you sir. That will be 120 quid.”

Undaunted I thrust several Whims into his outstretched hand. An initial look of puzzlement on his face turned to a broad smile, surely a good sign, I thought. “Very amusing your Lordship,” he said. “Will you be paying by card or cash?” Sadly my long subsequent discourse on the subject of cryptocurrencies fell on deaf ears.

I staggered home minus my Rolex, kept safely behind the bar as collateral, still clutching a small fortune in the fledgling, computer generated currency. At least the name behind the notes was pleased to see them. As I stumbled through the door Whimsy jumped up to lick my face, knocked the whole sheaf out of my hands and up into the air.

What followed can only be described as my first ‘run on the Whim.’ As the pristine sheets fluttered down onto the floor our precious pooch scampered excitedly around decorating them in muddy paw marks. Eventually he settled down to chew his way through, by my reckoning, a king’s ransom. Still, thanks to the joys of new technology, there are plenty more Whims where they came from. Let’s hope we have more luck with Fortnum’s?