Was re-reading The Scavengers while working on the sequel, and discovered I may have invented BitCoin and blockchain:
We call these numbers BarterBucks. After the Bubbling, money was worthless. A lot of the banks were robbed and looted, but it didn’t do the thieves any good because the money wasn’t useful for much more than starting fires. For a while people just traded directly with each other. That works for some things, but the trouble is that Freda the blacksmith doesn’t have the salt Toad needs, and the grocer isn’t going to trade a bag of salt for the axle from an old manure spreader. Instead, Freda writes down how many BarterBucks she’s willing to pay for our iron.
Later today, Toad will take the paper to Banker Berniece, who works out of the old bank building. Banker Berniece will subtract the number from Freda’s account and add it to Toad’s account. For keeping track of everyone’s BarterBucks, Banker Berniece gets a percentage of everybody else’s BarterBucks. Basically, Banker Berniece is a banker with no money. In a bigger, faster-moving world, this system would never work. But here in tiny Nobbern it works just fine because everybody knows everybody else— including Banker Berniece. If she doesn’t play fair, word gets around, and no one will trust her or trade with her. Same goes for her customers.
I await all royalties. Currently accepting plain old dollars.
Rough draft due in March. Finished book due out in 2019. Original hardcover here, paperback here, audiobook here. And there’s still a semi-hidden “holiday special” on the paperback page (audiobook for $5).
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