I paid $4 to read this Bitcoin erotica so you don’t have to

October 21, 2013

This is a real thing that I read. (Amazon)

The first line of the Kindle erotica single King of Bitcoin is "Bitcoins? Buttcoins more like!" I could (and probably should) have stopped reading there. But once The Switch team discovered that Bitcoin erotica existed, we felt it was our journalistic duty to review and report on this, er, exciting development. So I pressed on through approximately 30 pages of heavy-handed economic and sexual libertarian-inspired prose.

The buttcoins comment come from a jock stereotype making fun of the 19-year-old high-school student protagonist, Atlas -- whose name I assume is a not-so-veiled reference to the Ayn Rand novel. Don't worry, the author goes to great lengths to stress that he is a "captain of industry"  who doesn't even understand the technical basics of the Bitcoin mining operation he set up in his basement, not a geek. But he is an avid economic nerd of sorts, explaining to a shopkeeper who will only accept cash pre-crisis, "I do not currently have any fiat currency on my person, as I believe it to be sensible to keep my money out of the corrupt and unsafe American banking infrastructure."

Of course, he takes great pleasure in noting that the same merchant readily accepts Bitcoins after the U.S. economy collapses because "there's no money in the reserve."

But for all the effort made to pump up even the most die-hard of Ron Paul fans with pseudo-economic jargon, the actual economics of this Bitcoin-crazed world are woefully lacking. For instance, after the collapse when Atlas checks "Mount Gox" he discovers his 296 Bitcoins are worth "one hundred gazillion dollars." So, he promptly extorts his English teacher into a sexual encounter in exchange for one of them. This seems like poor business sense for a titan of industry, since it means he spent roughly a third of a gazillion dollars on a one-time sexual liaison. Admittedly, gazillion is a fictitious number, but even as literary hyperbole this seems a bit of an excessive payout.

This and the other two primarily "erotic" sections of the piece include multiple instances of "bit" being used as a prefix for terms describing genitalia. And after the section involving five prostitutes and a powdery substance I assume is meant to be cocaine, Atlas similarly expends a ludicrously large sum of money by giving the group "a few bitcoins." Oh, and did I mention that somewhere in his drug-fueled orgy he managed to obtain a throne, and an "exquisitely painted portrait" of himself sitting in said throne?

Unfortunately, this and many other mysteries are not explained and it ends on a cliffhanger for the yet to be released next chapter in the series King of Bitcoin II: The Genesis Block by author Kayleen Knight. This has become a common practice in the burgeoning Kindle erotica market, which now contains over 100,000 titles.

King of Bitcoin is rated at three and a half stars on Amazon, but it has only nine reviews. And nearly all of the five star reviews come from accounts that have only reviewed King of Bitcoin. If for some reason this review has enticed you to purchase this work of fiction, purchases made with Bitcoin are 25 percent off.

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government.
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