Advice from the Blockchain Billionaires –

English accent, tin of cat food, he said: ‘I’m off the grid, man.’

‘Off the grid?’

‘Yeah, not connected to the power grid. We just couldn’t afford the high bills anymore. Not worth it.’

‘What do ye do for Electricity?’

‘Leisure battery, and solar panels.’

‘How’s that work?’

‘A leisure battery is what they use in camper vans so they work on a deep cycle. They can last for 2-3 days.’

‘And you use the solar panels to charge it?’

‘Yeah, exactly. You can buy them cheap on a site called Photonic – then head down to Halford’s or somewhere and get your battery…..’

‘How do you plug stuff in?’

‘You need an Inverter. You can get them in Aldi or somewhere. Connect your panel to the battery, charge it, then plug your stuff in through the Inverter and off you go.’

‘Wow, sounds great. Why isn’t everyone doing it?’

He shrugged, said: ‘I don’t know. It’s genius.’

‘Can you plug in your washing machine?’


‘Your telly?’



‘Nope. You have to forget about all that stuff. Stack up on some good books – throw the rest out. The wattages are too high. We can plug in our phones and the radio, and a lamp. And my hair clippers.’

‘Who’s we?’

‘My girlfriend, she’s here behind you.’

I looked around. She was there. Glasses, fluffy jumper, erratic hair. Vague smell of feline piss.

‘Hi.’ She said.

‘Howya. He was telling me you’re off the grid?’

‘Yeah, it’s amazing. And we just couldn’t afford the bills anymore.’

‘Where’s the house?’

‘In the country. We’re miles from anywhere.’

‘Is it just the two of ye?’

‘And the cats.’

‘Oh yeah.’ Said your man holding up the cat food. ‘The cats.’

I nodded, said: ‘Cheaper anyway.’

‘Definitely.’ She said. ‘The world is changing anyway. Five years from now there’ll be no more money.’


‘No, Bitcoin will change everything.’

‘What’s Bitcoin?’

‘It’s a CryptoCurrency – digital money. Soon we won’t need banks anymore, or Euros or Dollars. We’ll be able to buy everything with Bitcoin. The whole planet will be using one currency. You should buy some.’

‘How do I do that?’

‘On the Internet. You change your money into Bitcoin. Like changing it into Sterling or Pesos, and then you can buy stuff with it. And they’re already talking about Bitcoin ATM’s.’

‘What would be the point?’

She shrugged, said: ‘It’s really cool.’

‘How much are they?’

‘They just reached $25.’

‘For one coin?’


‘How many have you?’

‘I bought a 100 when they were 2 dollars each. Check out’

‘So they’re like shares?’

‘Exactly.’ She said. ‘There’s only ever going to be 21 million in existence, so the more people that buy them, the more rare they become, and then more valuable.’

‘So ye might be a millionaires someday?’

‘Or Billionaires!’ Said your man.

‘And then ye can get back on the grid.’

‘No way brother, we got it solved the way we are.’

Let’s go,’ She said. ‘I’m freezing.’

‘Bye now.’ I said.

‘Bye.’ She goes. ‘Don’t forget to buy some Bitcoin.’

I won’t, I said, and I forgot all about them.

Buy Mick Donnellan’s Novels in Paperback here.

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