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Having A Gas: This Week In Crypto Pop Culture, March 4-8




The dangers of Beercoin, going to college to mine crypto, and ETHMail etiquette.

It's Friday, March 8, everybody! Hopefully, you've managed to make it through the week without destroying your shoes in the name of all memes holy. But in case you're now walking around barefoot, ETHNews is here to make things a little bit better with Having A Gas, our weekly roundup of some of the lighter stories you may have missed in crypto and blockchain news.

Downing a Cold Coin

Now, I'm a simple miner. I dunk my bitcoin mining rig in a vat of oil to keep it cool just like the next person, but Beercoin conceives of a world in which what you mine is already cold. The German startup's new cryptocurrency, Beercoin, can be "mined" through scanning a unique code on a beer bottle-cap or bar mat, giving the user their very own coins, which can then be spent on more beer or merchandise or exchanged for fiat.

On the surface, beer and crypto culture seems like a perfect match. I'm sure, if you put "brewer" and "hodler" next to each other on a Venn diagram, they'd basically be one big, white, bearded circle. It's only when you dig much deeper that you begin to see the flaw in pairing beer with cryptocurrency. If Beercoin pairs its coins to beers, that means it's just one step away from being paired with Pabst Blue Ribbon, which means it's just two steps away from inviting hipsters into the cryptosphere.

Educational Mining

Speaking of mining, this week, security researchers at Cisco who have been monitoring cryptocurrency mining across different industries found that college campuses are the second biggest miners of virtual currencies. At about 22 percent, college campuses are second only to the energy and utilities sector, which accounts for 34 percent of crypto mining activity.

Now, clearly this research had to leave out the malware Monero mining sector, which must make up, like, 85 percent of crypto mining activity. But beyond that, this research gives us our very first Having A Gas publication universe (HAGPU) follow-up feature.

Previously in the HAGPU, it was revealed that cryptocurrency is so popular among millennials that the burnout generation actually trusts it more than US stock exchanges. In that HAGPU issue, it was posited that part of that popularity was tied to scrumptious millennial blood. And with this research, I'm excited to inform you that the reason college-aged individuals love cryptocurrency and mining so much is all thanks to ... the university providing free electricity? Oh, well, I guess if it's not blood, electricity is okay, too.

ETHNews, Meet ETHMail

For the decentralized netizens looking for a type of electronic mail that isn't quite email, but still satisfies that nagging itch to share the latest Keyboard Cat video (that YouTube channel is still active, if you can believe it), ETHMail now allows anyone to email one another using their Ethereum address. The service allows users to contact someone whose tokens they're interested in, dApp developers, or anyone they can find on a block explorer. If that person doesn't have an ETHMail account, they won't receive the message, but it will be waiting in their inbox if they do ever open an account.

Grzegorz Kapkowski, the service's lone developer, has clarified that a user's ETHMail account works with almost any email client, meaning the service is not decentralized – but it does make me wonder what the decentralized email netiquette would look like. I don't think there'd be many changes. Obviously, you'd continue to avoid ETHMailing anyone annoying chain messages, and we could all still freely use the terms cc and bcc without ever admitting that we don't actually know what they do or mean.

That's it for Having A Gas. Join us next week, and remember, [insert clever catchphrase here].

Nicholas Ruggieri

Nicholas Ruggieri studied English with an emphasis in creative writing at the University of Nevada, Reno. When he’s not quoting Vines at anyone who’s willing to listen, you’ll find him listening to too many podcasts, reading too many books, and crocheting too many sweaters for his dogs, RT and Peterman.

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