dibiase virgil
“Every token has a semi-arbitrary price,” said DiBiase, laughing all the way to the blockchain. Image: YouTube composite.

Chances are you’ve heard of something called cryptocurrency, but if you’re a wrestling fan, chances are that you also struggle to understand complex topics. 

But if you’re hoping to get rich quick by investing your meager savings into a highly speculative economic house of cards that could crumble at any moment, here’s a handy guide to get you started? 

What Is Cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography, similar to how Ted DiBiase’s briefcase full of cash was protected at all times by Virgil. 

Unlike Virgil, however, present-day cryptography is virtually unbreakable, whereas Virgil is already reportedly broke. 

Many cryptocurrencies are decentralized networks based on blockchain technology—a distributed ledger enforced by a disparate network of computers, analogous to the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) during wrestling’s territory era. 

The integrity of the blockchain is protected in part by its distribution, such that no one individual — say, Verne Gagne in Minnesota, Jack Tunney in Toronto or Shohei Baba in Tokyo — could manipulate the value of the NWA Championship. The value of the Championship, like the value of cyrptocurrency, lies in this disparate system of distributed management. 

Because the NWA territories were distributed so widely, like the blockchain of cryptocurrency — and because there is an upper limit of how many cryptocurrency “coins” can exist, like the maximum membership of 30 territories in the NWA — the “gold” in both cases retains value. 

Cryptocurrencies face criticism for a number of reasons, including their use for illegal activities, exchange rate volatility, and vulnerabilities of the infrastructure underlying them. Think of it like this: practically anyone can invent a cryptocurrency, like any schmuck can rent a ring, buy a two-dozen hot dogs and call himself an indy promoter.

But as the indy scene gets saturated by bloody backyarders bashing one another with light tubes for crowds of a dozen meth-heads, the overall public sentiment toward indy wrestling shifts, resulting in one of wrestling’s inevitable low periods in its cyclic popularity. Likewise, while some crytocurrencyies are gaining public respectability, others are the equivalent of Ian Rotten’s IWA Mid-South in 2003. 

Cryptocurrencies are systems that allow for secure payments online which are denominated in terms of virtual “tokens,” which are represented by ledger entries internal to the system. For a wrestling context, don’t think of “token” in terms of how WWE has traditionally portrayed people of color, but instead think of a ticket to WrestleMania. You can’t use that ticket to pay or a 600-dollar replica Intercontinental Championship on eBay, because the ticket is only officially accepted as “currency” as a form of entry into WrestleMania. 

The ticket is not currency itself, but a token that represents a scarce resource: that collectible ringside seat that you paid 2,500 actual goddamn dollars for, even though it means you’ll be in debt until you’re 107. The ticket’s value is determined by the fact that a stadium can hold a maximum of, say, 90,000 fans, even if WWE artificially inflates that number to 102,00o or whatever. A cryptocurrency is like a digital version of your stup

“Crypto” refers to the various encryption algorithms and cryptographic techniques that safeguard these entries, such as elliptical curve encryption, public-private key pairs, and hashing functions. Think of these like submission holds that cannot be escaped — like a figure-four that can’t be rolled over, or Chris Jericho’s 447th version of the armbar — but for numbers instead of limbs. 

Types of Cryptocurrency

The first blockchain-based cryptocurrency was Bitcoin, which still remains the most popular and most valuable. Today, there are thousands of alternate cryptocurrencies with various functions and specifications. You may have heard of Dogecoin, which started as a kind of inside joke — an internet reference to “The Big Doge” Roman Reigns. 

Dogecon’s value skyrocketed recently when tech mogul Elon Musk openly supported it despite widespread criticism, like when sports-entertainment mogul Vince McMahon doggedly insisted on pushing The Big Doge as a top WWE star. Eventually, both strategies worked, and The Big Doge(coin)’s value is being pushed to the moon.

As ofMarch 2021, there were over 18.6 million bitcoins in circulation. Val Venis has been ranting about them for a while now. So, just keep that in mind. 

Some of the cryptography used in cryptocurrency today was originally developed for military applications, much like the Cobra Clutch. At one point, the government wanted to put controls on cryptography similar to the legal restrictions on weapons or holding up funny signs at WWE events opposite the hard camera, but these are all protected by freedom of speech. 

One criticism of cryptocurrencies is that they are not rooted in material goods, like gold or mint-condition unopened LJN action figures. 
 

Nonetheless, many observers see potential advantages in cryptocurrencies, like the possibility of preserving value against inflation, and paying for that illegal streaming service you’re using to watch WWE, AEW and NJPW without subscribing to any of their services.

Should I Invest in Cryptocurrency? 

That depends on your risk tolerance. When it comes to investing, are you a Jeff Hardy or a Sid Vicious? Keep in mind: if you leap feet-first into any new financial strategy for the first time, you could snap your tibia.

Renowned investor Theodore DiBiase has done well in cryptocurrency, recently changed his nickname to “The 173 Bitcoin Man.” 

But proceed with caution. The bitcoin market is still highly speculative, and riches are not guaranteed — a lesson learned the hard way by early investors in the ill-fated XFLcoin

 

 

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