Recently, my brother experienced a cryptocurrency windfall. Almost overnight, $300 ballooned into tens of thousands, and now he can remodel his basement. Maybe. I don’t know. I suppose he can if he finds the money lurking behind the math.

Since the spring, I have furrowed my brow through two lunches, three dinners and half a dozen kaffeeklatsches during which my conversation partners made pronouncements about the ever-mystifying Bitcoin. They were certain of the simplicity of what I call “space money,” certain of its life cycle, certain of its dynamics.

My mind, on the other hand, can manage only a few key words before it charges merrily toward free association: Bitcoin, blockchain, key chain, chain of fools, fools rush in, Salma Hayek, etc.

Throughout these brain-blitz discussions, my boyfriend sat beside me and, I assumed, shared my skepticism. But then the impassioned talk would animate him, and I wondered if he, too, may soon invest. And I judged them all for it.

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