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Bitcoin Fandango Paperback – March 15, 2015
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Here is my (non-spoiler) breakdown of the action:
The Bitcoin Fandango, a picaresque novel set in contemporary time, portrays the world of cryptocurrencies as it truly is: a world of corrupt and predatory operatives, scammers, spies, political fundraisers, robber-murderers, genius entrepreneurs, wild-card loser characters and the two honest people who want to do genuine good by eliminating the criminal elements and getting to the truth.
The Prolog opens the large mystery through the shadowy genius Loc Phuket in Thailand where his Bitcoin mining operation, at the cutting edge of the Bitcoin Arms War, is a cover for his black projects, like manufacturing high-tech avatars and Zero Days.
The first chapter is the story of the wild-west early days of Bitcoin when the two shyster Peters brothers diverge from mining to scamming. This story sets up the framework for the Bitcoin investigations that follow. As opposed to the black-arts level of the Prolog, this chapter takes the action to the street level and includes comedic moments.
Subsequent numbered chapters focus on the two main characters--Oliver "Ollie" Handwell, the undercover policeman who tests the boundaries of the DA's jurisdiction, and his liaison with the DA, seaweed-green-eyed, auburn-haired Stephanie Branch, the DA's assistant. Together these two characters examine almost every kind of Bitcoin crime and caper, and as they develop their professional relationship, it becomes personal--to a point. Incidentally, Ollie gets seconded to Federal agencies when events take him beyond the city's jurisdiction and this seconding gives him the clearance and caveats for his future. All these actions establish the rationale for the great transition.
Everything changes for Ollie and Stephanie when the DA has a non-fatal heart attack and Stephanie must assume her boss's duties. At that same time the CIA makes Ollie an offer he cannot refuse. After this, Ollie chases international crimes as lead on the CIA's interagency team. Under orders from the brilliant but eccentric DDO, Ollie first goes to Bangkok to check out Loc Phuket. When he discovers the real root of cryptocurrency crime in Bangkok through May Phuket, Loc Phuket's genius programmer daughter, Ollie is led to Kiev where he has to tie together all the loose ends that he found in Bangkok. In the process, he makes a solo trip to Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine where he witnesses the ravages of war there and discovers from CIA agent Roscoe Blinder the true worth of Bitcoin. Then Ollie is sent to Benin where he uncovers a massive Bitcoin-for-arms operation run by a former officer of the FSB.
The Epilog and Aftermath are the future of Bitcoin set against the background of a failed state with a failed currency. Bitcoin is then what it was devised to be in the first place: the only viable means of exchange in a world where fiat currencies and the economies backing them fail.
Most of the actions in this novel are taken straight from actual headlines and underground news stories about Bitcoin and altcoin criminals. None of the good guys portrayed in the press behave as Ollie and Stephanie do in the fictional stories, and that is too bad because this undercover operative and his DA liaison are the figures that we wish we had working for us in this virtual heart of darkness. As a whole The Bitcoin Fandango could become the platform for many other stories about Bitcoin crime fighting and, of course, the budding romance of Ollie and Stephanie.
The timeliness of these stories is exemplified by the appearance on December 19, 2014 of the English-language version of the Bitcoin Comic, a cyberpunk adventure series. My stories should ideally be published in many languages to reach the worldwide Bitcoin community. A forward-looking serial publisher could make that happen within an action-reaction cycle that would make this venture commercially successful.