Rate of Exchange

“All right people, we’ve spotted a new crypto-currency. Let’s look alive folks!” the guy in suspenders clapped his hands loudly to punctuate his statement.

“Any idea where this one is coming from, boss?” asked a guy in the front row, wearing thick-framed glasses.
“Do we have a ruling from FINRA?” called somebody from the back.
“What is it called? I need a ticker symbol.”

“FINRA and the SEC are standing aside for the moment. The currency is called MUNEE. Why can’t these idiots spell correctly? I have word that it is already on all of the big exchanges,” the boss man spake.

There was a great and frenetic clattering of keyboards throughout the trading floor, interrupted occasionally with swearing as a trade misfired.

One of the senior traders waved his boss into a side room.
“I’ve got one of my sources looking into where the heck these crypto-currencies are coming from,” he said.
“Sources?”
“Don’t ask,” he responded. “When these things go live, there are almost immediately a whole bunch of side betting sites created, and it seems to take only a few minutes for them to hit the big virtual currency exchanges. There’s immediate and massive trading, and the ticker always goes straight up. And nobody can trace an IP address on any of them.”
“Well the person or persons responsible are obviously not idiots. Even the economics are perfectly tuned. This one has an estimated annual deflation rate of zero point one. Our chief economist hath spoken.”
“My guy managed to get some source code though, and that’s the strange part,” said the trader.
“How so?”
“Well there are some funny comments in it.”
“I don’t have all day, you know.”
“Yeah.”

The trader paused for a second as if to collect his thoughts.
“It says something about how Earthlings will buy anything.”

This is obviously a shaggy dog story, as Isaac Asimov used to put it. It is the first part of a longer story that I am still working on. More news here as it happens.