Buy the "Bought This Bitcoins Badge With Bitcoins" badge with Bitcoins

John Young, co creator of Nerd Merit Badges, says:
bitcoin_v1.jpg Like many other happy mutants, we over at Nerd Merit Badges have been reading about Bitcoins with interest. ("It's like the gold standard, man, except instead of gold, it's math. MATH!") And of course we wanted to participate in a way that fully embodies the unique qualities and special attributes of this self-referential P2P currency.

We've made a badge that can only be purchased with Bitcoins, so the act of displaying it proves you've participated in the Bitcoin economy. We call it the "Bought This Bitcoins Badge With Bitcoins" badge.

Naturally, you can buy the Bought this Bitcoins Badge With Bitcoins badge with bitcoins, and only with bitcoins. So that when someone asks you "Sure, bitcoins sound neat, but what can you, er... BUY... with them?" you can proudly tap your badge, take a deep breath, and tell them.

This kind of recursive internet jackassery is _exactly_ why Randy and I started making Nerd Merit Badges in the first place. We're very excited about it!

Buy the "Bought This Bitcoins Badge With Bitcoins" badge with Bitcoins


    1. That’s deeply ironic as i just acquired some pretty cowry shells for my stack of old Make issues.

      “jackassery” is certainly worthy. also one might consider (in no particular order): espièglerie, chicanery, skylarking, monkeyshines, shenanigans, waggery, hijinks … (all said whilst gesticulating with a bent cheroot)

  1. “recursive internet jackassery”
    This actually describes quite a lot of my day. That’s bad.

  2. The problem I see with bitcoins, which I have not seen anyone raise, is if this takes off and is well used, will the few early adopters who have the majority of the bitcoins now not be far richer than even the richest people today? A gain which seems disproportionate to their contribution of popularizing the new currency.

  3. Cowry shells are not really analogous, since that’s an actual product to trade. A bitcoin is more like proof that you put in the work to find a cowry shell. (The shell itself would vanish as soon as you found it, in this scenario.)

  4. Do they also sell a “I didn’t buy this badge with bitcoins” badge? And can I buy it with bitcoins, please?


  5. I mined a few bitcoins a few months ago, but never started mining again after an operating system switch. Checked the exchange rates a couple of days ago, and my ~$3 worth of bitcoins were suddenly worth $80. Too bad i didn’t know about this before i sold them all, though.

  6. Yo dawg, I heard you liked a Bitcoins badge, so here is a Bitcoins badge you can buy with Bitcoinss so you can talk about how you used Bitcoins to buy the “Bought This Bitcoins Badge With Bitcoins” badge with Bitcoins, while enjoying the Bitcoins badge you bought with Bitcoins.

    You know. . .after typing Bitcoins that many time, it seriously stops looking like a real word. Oh. . .wait.

  7. does Nerd Merit Badges make international shipment for the Bitcoins Badges? If not the case, then I’m afraid they are not working under the true spirit of Bitcoins…

  8. Seriously: I’d like to organize an event in Brooklyn/NYC for in real time cash/credit card purchases of bitcoin, instructions on mining, and presentations on alternative currencies. If I find suitable partners, this can be a fun, BB inspired event.

    End result might be a nice, local expansion of this effort.

    Find me @clenchner.

  9. I really, really wish people would stop making blog posts hyping BitCoin. It’s a dumb deflationary currency pyramid scheme, and I hate all the undeserving exposure it’s getting.

  10. “buy the Bought this Bitcoins Badge With Bitcoins badge with bitcoins”

    That’s just… quite a sentence.

  11. I respect the crypto-cleverness that went into this latest version of electronic currency, and the enthusiasm of its… enthusiasts, and even the idea that there ought to be a way to let people do somewhat (or extremely) naughty things in a more-or-less untraceable fashion. (Although I think anyone who believes this will seriously hinder governments’ ability to collect taxes, Snow Crash-style, is crazy. There’s more than the one way to assess and collect taxes.)

    That said, if anyone can think of a way to “short” BitCoins, I’d love to plunk down some old-fashioned dollars to make that happen. I mean, I know how you’d do it if you wanted to gamble $ on the prospect of the € or Â¥ or £ tanking over a given period of time, but those all involve dealing with known, gigantic entities that can be trusted to pay off the penny-ante sums I might make. Whereas BitCoins are principally held by, well, random people at the other end of the internet for me. I’m sure they’re mostly lovely people, but you wouldn’t just trust strangers to pay up if they lost the bet (and I doubt they’d trust me, either).

    Any thoughts?

    1. “That said, if anyone can think of a way to “short” BitCoins, I’d love to plunk down some old-fashioned dollars to make that happen.”

      Well, you could always post to craigslist/ebay/etc that you’re selling BitCoins at $xx.xx, deliverable in 30 days. At the 30 day mark, assuming anyone took you up on the offer, you buy your bitcoins and transfer them to the buyer. If the price has gone down, you win. If the price goes up . . .

      This is pretty much how “shorting” works, less all the legal mumbo jumbo and without jumping through the regulatory hoops.

  12. I get paid in dollars. Did anyone ever come up with a good reason why I’d want to pay a transaction fee to convert dollars into BitCoins? I’ll convert dollars into a foreign currency if I want to import something from overseas, but converting to BitCoins seems like a waste of time and effort.

    So far the best reason I’ve seen is, “It’s untraceable! That means they can’t tax it!” Which is isomorphic to, “It’s untraceable! That means if I commit fraud, then no one will be able to prove it! But don’t worry, I’d never defraud you; I just want to defraud the government.”

    That said, if anyone can think of a way to “short” BitCoins, I’d love to plunk down some old-fashioned dollars to make that happen.

    Just make a public posting to the effect, “If you agree to give me $X on Date Y, I will give you Z BitCoins on that date” and get a reputable escrow company to act as middleman. (Then at Time Y, you buy the BitCoins; hopefully they’ll cost less than $X each.) That’s dangerous, though. It’s easy to see that Bitcoins are a bubble market; it’s more difficult to figure out exactly when the bubble will burst. You’re better off taking the money and investing in a mutual fund or something.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, but I’m not really sure what a “reputable escrow company” willing to handle this would be, and I’m pretty sure they’d want to be paid muuuuuuuuuch more for their trouble than I could possibly make even if I had much more dollars to speculate with than I do. Let’s say I had $500 with which to make a deal with someone bullish on BitCoins. Could I get a bargain-basement lawyer to ride herd on this? Maybe for $200, if I talked fast and the lawyer already knew what BitCoins were. My trading partner and I would essentially have to build our own investment infrastructures from scratch. Hence we quickly run into a major stumbling block in the path to a BitCoin economy: even if I’m a BitCoin millionaire, I have all the access to investment services of a guy selling pencils from a tin cup in 1933.

      Your “just put it in a mutual fund” advice is, of course, exactly what I’ll do with whatever leftover money I have, because I’d be foolish not to take advantage of the thousands of dirt-cheap, infinitely customizable parking spaces available to my money. My DOLLAR money, anyway. I know BitCoins have been the subject of a billion thought experiments lately, but it seems like the lack of any kind of investment infrastructure should be higher on the miles-long list of reasons why BitCoins won’t actually be the first successful crypto-currency.

  13. Did anyone ever come up with a good reason why I’d want to pay a transaction fee to convert dollars into BitCoins?

    It’s digital cash. Internet monies.

    I’m in the planning stages of making one of them websites, because I have an idea about how to build a moderation-free community using actual currency to reward good behavior, and building it to try it out’s the next step. Although dollars might work fine, I’m planning to use bitcoins instead. It’s hard enough finding the time to write the server, I don’t want to deal with all the financial bullshit on top.

    I’ve never met a lawyer in person*, and Great Satan willing, never will. I don’t want to keep receipts. I don’t want to verify credit card information. I don’t want to handle chargebacks from Visa because some dipshit user used a stolen card number. I don’t want to touch PayPal. I don’t want to be on the same side of the goddamn internet as PayPal. I don’t want to need to know where each user lives. No one needs to know where my users live.

    Bitcoin’s value is a bubble. Its penetration is negligible. It’s a pure speculation market powered by the wet dreams of dipshit Randroid libertarians. It’s only escaped legal notice because drug dealers don’t consider it trustworthy enough to launder money through it yet, and child pornographers don’t have enough customers using it.

    And it’s still the best thing out there for me.

    *Actually I have met a lawyer once, but that was in San Francisco, he was dressed as the Chanukkah Chicken, and half-drunk on blackberry Manischewitz, so it really shouldn’t count. Nice guy, though.

    1. I’d like to hear more about your plans to build a moderation-free community that rewards good behavior with bitcoins. That sounds interesting!

      1. Ooh, an ear to talk off. Can’t turn that down.

        Well, first of all I dare say the system would come out a bit more rough and ready than our own dear boing. Lack of moderation implies lack of editorial control. So, there’s that. Thin-skinned new users may have a hard time of it.

        I think you could achieve a moderation-free community with surprisingly little change to the way communities are generally run. Many fora have an ignore functionality, and tbh if people actually used it that would remove the need for most moderator action right there. This would be something very similar but more precise, allowing users to build up social cliques where their own conversation is preferred over strangers’, and disliked outcasts are actively rejected.

        The first thing I’d do is implement a system of inter-user relations, and give them all the ability to up- and downvote each other’s posts. Doing so would only affect the user’s own pageviews, without any global rating to provide a tyranny of the majority. By upvoting posts they like and downvoting posts they regret reading, users build up profiles of others in the community. With user-alterable thresholds, posts and threads might be displayed in full, displayed as a title/subject/tl;dr only, or hidden entirely. In this fashion, each user is empowered and responsible for their own moderation. Someone being a complete asshat? Downvote him until he goes away. It’d be a little like Facebook, a little like Slashdot.

        Bitcoins enter the picture as means of breaking into cliques and shaping conversation. Users can reward each other’s posts (or their own) with bitcoins or whatever, and at some point in the future when the thread dies it’ll get parceled out to the person who made the post, and other upvoted posts in the thread. Posts rewarded in this manner appear as positively-weighted for everyone.

        The net effects, I hope, are to a) enable people to stroll in, slap down a fiver and say “Hey guys! We’re talking about Dungeons and Dragons now,” b) to make it convenient to tip posts that a user (or I) find especially enjoyable/worthwhile, and c) to spread the wealth around, something Bitcoin sorely needs more than another slashvertisement.

        I’m also mulling over a system by which threads could be “auctioned,” acting both as a minigame for the more filthy rich users and to determine thread display order, but that’s a little more cockamamie and it’s the kind of thing I’d like to be able to implement first to work the kinks out.

          1. Well, they ain’t lining up to volunteer. This would be carrot instead of stick.

    2. Lol, Fella… ya aaaaall right. XD

      That’s what it comes down to though, if bitcoin is some sort of bubble pyramid scheme bullshit is a matter of endless debate, but when you look closely you see the bubbles don’t sustain (and besides, nobody needs a loan to buy a bitcoin or fraction thereof). And as for pyramid scheme, if you buy your GPU and generate a few for youself, how is that pyramid? If it all goes pear-shaped, you can sell you GPU’s, no harm done.

      Anyway, Randroid dipshits aside, at the end of the day it’s like you said, it does what it does well and people find it easy to use. Spend it, save it, whatever, the shit works for either.

  14. I just like the Nerd Merit Badges so I am jumping through all the hoops to get my 1 Bitcoin and let me tell you there are ALOT of hoops! I wish it was easier to buy a Bitcoin.

  15. It’s my understanding that as a resident of the Golden State I could go to jail for trying to do this. WTF.

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