Sunday 19 January 2020

The Punt: Jackpot after harmless bit of fun

The Norse have always had a thing for a hoard of coins, as our ancestors knew to their cost.

So it shouldn't come as such a big shock that one of them has done it again, by scoring big on a haul of buried loot.

Norway's Kristoffer Koch paid NKR 150 kroner (€20) in 2009 to buy 5,000 units of the virtual currency "bitcoins".

The bitcoin is an experimental currency, units are created through "mining," by running complicated calculations through computers which, in theory, restricts the amount in circulation. The money is not backed or accepted by any state, but can be swapped for traditional currency at online exchanges and are even accepted by some vendors.

In 2009, when our Viking friend got in on the action his Bitcoins punt was a harmless bit of fun.

But four years and one global currency crisis later and he's quids in.

Having retrieved the 'coins' he discovered that his €20 had increased in value to a staggering €650,000 – 20pc of which was, apparently, enough to pay for a flat in a swanky part of Oslo.

So could there really be something in this Bitcoin?

The Punt is still sceptical, but it is reminded that it was the Norse who first introduced coinage to Ireland, more than a thousand years ago.

Who is to say those Vikings are not right again this time?

Irish Independent

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