I have known about the cryptocurrency* Bitcoin for a long time, with its shady reputation as a currency for ransomware payments and drug dealers. (*A cryptocurrency is a digital currency, used on-line for payments, for which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency, and verify the transfer of funds, with all of this operating independently of a central bank.
But I see the tracking website coinmarketcap.com lists a hundred of these cryptocurrencies (whoah, is that 97 or 98 too many to be viable?). Word is now (see NYT article) that Bitcoin is losing out to a currency called Eutherium. (An unfortunate reference to ‘ether’, meaning it is as volatile as ether? Are these virtual currency units the tulip bulbs of the 21st century? .. those tulip bulbs from the Dutch Golden Age that were bid up, up and up, and then collapsed dramatically in 1637.)
The NYT article says virtual currency fanatics are monitoring the value of Bitcoin and Eutherium and waiting for the two currencies to switch place at the top of the market cap listings, a moment that has been called ‘the flippening’.