I’ll be a billionaire sometime later this year, after I’ve successfully applied emerging technology to drag an old, and to all intents and purposes worthless, form of currency squarely into the 21st century. Blockchain is the perfect technology to facilitate the storage and trading of BrowniePoints™. It’s worked for Bitcoin, so this one will be a walk in the park.

If a client asks why you didn’t recommend they buy Bitcoin a year ago, the Financial Planning Association’s Code of Ethics states that you can punch them in the throat*. Well, if it doesn’t it should. My New Year’s tip for you is to get your clients into BrowniePoints™ now, to avoid awkward conversations later. They cannot lose.

Like every good bubble, clients probably only heard about Bitcoin when it was more or less over. They get to the party late and they’re the ones left looking for somewhere to sit when the music stops. So BrowniePoints™ are an ideal opportunity to blow a bubble up rather than have it blow up in their faces.

Best Supporting Actor winners** Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss were declared the world’s first “Bitcoin billionaires” in December last year, which is a bit like being the kid in playground who corners the market on football cards. They purchased $11 million worth of whatever Bitcoin actually is, for about $US120 per…thing…and watched while it increased in value to $US11,400 ($14,502) by early December 2017.

I love the fact that Wikipedia refers to the twins as “American rowers and internet entrepreneurs”. I’d have thought if they were that good at the internet they might have amended their entry to something more substantive. Their dad is a former adjunct professor of actuarial science at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and the author of Pension Mathematics with Numerical Illustrations, which despite the catchy title is a pretty poor example of a graphic novel – it has almost no pictures in it at all.

Cameron is a shameless spruiker but at least he’s not very good at it. In an interview with Bloomberg in December, he reckoned the world’s entire gold reserves were worth $US6 trillion. But the World Gold Council says about 187,200 tonnes of gold has been mined throughout time, and because gold is “virtually indestructible”, all of it is theoretically still available to be recycled and therefore traded. At a price of $US1249 ($1588) an ounce (at the time of writing) that works out to about $US8.23 trillion. So if a leading authority on the precious metal is to be believed, Winklevoss’s calculation is only out by about 37 per cent – and he kept going.

Winklevoss reckoned Bitcoin could appreciate by “10 to 20 times” its current value. That’s a very wide – some might say 100 per cent – variation in his forecast. In other words, this guy is guessing, but if that’s all you have to do to pump up the value of an ‘asset’, then I’m in.

Carefully vetted

My application of Blockchain to BrowniePoints™ addresses a well-known but heretofore intractable shortcoming in the market, namely, that while BrowniePoints™ can be accumulated, there’s a near-random relationship between the act being rewarded and the reward, they expire at unexpected moments, and there’s no formal method for accounting for or storing them. For those reasons, they can be incredibly difficult to redeem.

This will be addressed by appointing a small number of carefully vetted BrowniePoint™ issuers (typically but not exclusively female) who are each permitted to issue a certain number of BrowniePoints™ each year, but only to the significant others in their lives. These BrowniePoints™ will be recorded via a distributed ledger, enabling them to be traded for those occasions when an individual’s (typically but not exclusively a male’s) credit is insufficient to pay for the latest thoughtless remark or action.

Additional BrowniePoints™ will be available via mining by powerful computers that will dedicate long hours of high-level computing time to answering exceptionally complex questions, such as, “If a man says something in the forest and there are no women there to hear him, is he still wrong?” and “Is it really easier to say sorry than to ask permission?”

I confidently predict that once I figure out what Blockchain is, and how it works, any BrowniePoints™ you own today will be worth 10 to 20 times*** more in four years’ time. Get on board! Get your clients on board! Get your old grandmother on board! What could possibly go wrong?

* Thanks to @mark_dow for the inspiration for this ethical solution to client stupidity.

** It was them or that guy from The Lone Ranger who won this award from the Toronto Film Critics Association in 2010. I haven’t seen any of the films that any of them were in.

*** This is a total guess.


BrowniePoint™ and BrowniePoints™ are registered trademarks of Dixon’s Got Some Balls Pty Ltd.


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