Bitcoin Birthday

June is such a great month. It’s never too hot in Dallas, the evenings linger, and people are out and about, many with smiles as masks are coming off.

Plus, it’s my birthday month. 

I’m a Gemini, the astrological sign for the dualistic twins. Or the name given by the Winklevoss twins, the ones bested by Zuckerberg for Facebook, for their relatively new cryptocurrency trading platform.

Cryptocurrency: Bitcoin, but also Ethereum, Litecoin, Doge, and a dozen other of those mysterious currencies backed by, well, I’m not sure what, but it’s all the buzz.

When my hairdresser and everybody under the age of 45 has a bit of bitcoin since Elon Musk drove it into outer orbit, I felt like I was already late to the party.

Yes, I understood that it’s the equivalent of betting on a horse, but that’s the markets.

Coinbase, the easiest exchange on which to create an account, I did in the hair salon by downloading an app and linking my bank account, etc., and voila: I hold a tiny fraction of a bitcoin. Can I spend it? Nope. What can I ever do with it? Not sure.

Beware! I was warned. Use Gemini, much less hackable, more secure. So I downloaded the app and began the process. Three weeks and 52 emails to [email protected], I have some money in their account. 

Still, despite everything from resending photo IDs, creating new passwords, closing out my tiny bank checking, and opening a small Bank of America account already tied into cryptocurrency, I can look at my funds in Gemini but not trade. My account is “restricted.”

The support people, well actually there are no people just this email address which sends back reams of articles to read, cannot tell me why. Even trying to close the account has not yet panned out, but I’m trying.

What’s next? Well, there’s an even more arcane, more “secure” site called Kraken which takes two weeks to get verified, but I’m on the trail of a young cryptocurrency trader who might be able to walk me through. A person.

First, I’m to get a pricey stick on which to download and lock every password on my phone so that it is unhackable. Phew. Sounds like a project.

Thank heavens we Gemini have twin personalities and can turn off the serious one, smile, and take a walk.


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Len Bourland

The views expressed by columnist Len Bourland are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of People Newspapers. Email Len at [email protected]

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