A tale of virtual raccoonery

From the annals of folk wisdom

One day, a buyer came to a town looking for raccoons!

He announced that he would buy raccoons for $100 each. The people of the town thought, this guy is crazy. Why would somebody buy wild raccoons at $100 each?

Still, some of the people trapped raccoons from the nearby woods and brought them to the guy, who then paid them $100 for each raccoon.

The news spread like wildfire. More people went trapping raccoons and sold them to the man.

Then, after a couple of days, the man said he’d buy raccoons for $200 each. At that point, even the lazy people in the town got out and trapped the remaining raccoons.

Then the guy announced he was buying raccoons for $500 each! The townspeople started to loose sleep… But they went out and were able to trap 6 or 7 raccoons, which were all that seemed to be left, and got $500 each.

As they waited anxiously for the next announcement of price, the buyer said he had to go home for a week, but when he returned he would be buying raccoons for $1000 apiece. He tasked his assistant to take care of the raccoons he had bought—all of them now in a large cage.

The buyer went home. The townspeople were bummed – there were no more raccoons left to sell.

However, while the buyer was gone, his assistant informed the townspeople that he would sell some raccoons to them in secret —for $700 each.

This news spread quickly—as the buyer would pay $1000 for each raccoon, the townspeople stood to make $300 on each raccoon they bought. The next day there was a line outside the raccoon cage. The assistant sold All the raccoons at $700 each. The rich people bought raccoons in big lots; the poor borrowed from the quickie loan brokers and also bought raccoons. For obvious reasons, once all the raccoons were sold, the assistant left.

The lucky townspeople took their raccoons home and cared for them while they awaited the return of the buyer. After many days, something dawned on the townspeople—no one was going to buy raccoons for $1000. They’d bought hundreds of wild raccoons at $700 each and now there was no buyer. Most of them were okay, only a few went bankrupt.

Meanwhile, in another town, the buyer was offering $100 for a “unit” of Virtual Currency. The townspeople thought he was crazy… but what the hell. They bought it all.