Constructing the Invisible [@v4vapid Psy-Op Conspiracy Contest short story]

in psyop-contest •  8 months ago

December, 2008

“You can’t just...invent a currency out of thin air and expect people to believe in it,” the Federal Reserve Chairman said, waving his hand. “People aren’t that dumb. Criminals might be, or rogue states, but not the masses. If they can’t hold it in their hands or eat it or screw it, it has no value.”

The chairwoman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System sat to his left, Ms. Kellen. Her legs were crossed, eyes bright under a mop of stark white hair. She nodded her agreement, but did not speak. She hadn’t spoken once yet during this entire meeting.

“I think you overestimate the common man, Mr. Bernakey,” I said. “If there’s profit to be made, people will see it and want a piece of it. It will start small, but it will snowball, and it will be huge. It doesn’t have to make sense, it just has to work.”

He stared at me like I had bananas growing out of my ears.

“And your plan is what then? Beyond this...fake money thing.” He breathed the words with a sigh, like one just wanting to finish his day so he might go home to a glass of bourbon.

I settled into my chair and looked around the formal office of the highest financial power in the world. Barring my own position, that is.

As the Chairman of the Industry and Commerce Bank of China, I’d have firm footing to argue my own office had a louder voice than this old man in front of me and his Fed and this lady’s Board of Governors. But I would say no such thing out loud, and dipped my head in what they probably took as a gesture of respect even as it hid the smirk on my face.

“Let us say, Mr. Bernakey, that we fund the development and promotion of a currency that is purely electronic, entirely decentralized, and relies on the profit-taking greed and paranoia of man to succeed. Let us also say that we let it roam free...grazing within the pasture that we’ve already fenced off.”

Mr. Bernakey frowned, tilting his head as he glanced at the woman, but I could see my words were making him curious. My English was good, and I was handsome, polite and well dressed. He couldn’t help but listen.

“And so,” I said, standing suddenly from my chair and striding very purposefully to the window, establishing a sense of control and dominance. “We allow this invisible currency to grow slowly, organically, do you say it? Grassroots efforts? I expect it will remain quiet and dormant, like those sleeper cells your people are always worried about. For years it will coerce the hearts of men with promises of profit, during which we will take control of the various mining hubs as they arise.” I was on a roll now, and I smiled out the window at the cold snowy roads and bare trees of Washington D.C., pausing.

“And then?” the Fed chairman said.

“Then we starting feeding the monster. Slowly, we invest money into it. Only millions at a time to start, just pennies in the grand scheme. Then billions. The decentralized nature will allow us to manipulate it however we want, since we will have more skin in the game than anyone else.” I turned to them and saw I had their full attention. “And then, the value of this false currency, this intangible asset, will come into the public eye. We’ll denounce it, of course, and your banks will denounce it, and that will make it rise all the more.”

“To what end?” Mr. Bernakey said, leaning forward in his high-backed desk chair. It creaked loudly in the pause. “How long do we play this game?”

I had already considered these questions. As chairman of the largest bank in the world, it was my job to know the position of every player in any game I played. And this was a game.

“We play until we win. Decades, perhaps.” I saw the dismay on their faces. “Let me tell you, Mr. Bernakey, and you, Ms. Kellen, that this is a long game. My bank, and every bank in the world, have seen the writing on the wall. The internet is a game changer. Electronic payments are a game changer. Decentralization is going to be everywhere. But we cannot have it be in the banking systems. We cannot lose control of our money. Cryptocurrency is going to be huge if we allow it. But we cannot allow it to win.”

“I don’t understand,” Mr. Bernakey said. “Why would we create it then? Why would we build it up?”

“It’s going to be created whether we like it or not, sooner or later. Some groups are already working on it. We need to get in on the ground floor and control it before they do.”

“Mr. Jianxing, with all due respect,” Mr. Bernakey said, spreading his hands. “My position here is appointed. Surely you know this. My term runs out in 2014. I may not be here to see this through.”

“Ah. Yes,” I said with a smile. “And this is why we have our good lady here, Ms. Janet Kellen.” I bowed towards her with more deference than I had shown before. “Soon, we will meet to choose your next President, possibly a woman this time, or possibly a black man, something unique, I don’t know,” I shrugged. “We will direct him to select Ms. Kellen as your replacement. And she will see this through.”

“And what, Mr. Jianxing, will I be seeing through?” The old lady spoke for the first time, and I smiled at her with something I hoped looked sincere.

“There will come a time in the near future when our combined governments—your United States and my China—will have pumped up the value of this cryptocurrency so high, and will have drawn in so many citizen investors, the value will be obscene and embarrassing for a thing that has no value. Perhaps $15,000 of your US dollars per coin. Maybe $18,000. At that point, we will sell, your government and mine. We will dump. Cryptocurrency will collapse in a heartbeat, and after that I guarantee that nobody will trust the value of a thing they cannot hold in their hands and put in their wallet.”

Mr. Bernakey and Ms. Kellen both looked at each other, and I could see silent words pass between them. Then they both nodded.

“Let’s do it.”

This is a submission for @v4vapid's Psy-Op Conspiracy Contest

All names changed slightly to protect the possibly not-so-innocent.

Image Credit for title image. Edited by @negativer

Thank you to the great folks at the Writers Block on Discord. A great community of writers there, helping each other get better at what they enjoy doing.

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Nice fantasy mister :-). The fact governments are kind of relax towards the whole thing will keep me awake for a few nights now, omg, wish i didn't read this :-)


Thanks for reading!

Fantastic work, and closer to truth than feels comfortable.


Time to sell all our crypto and invest in something tangible and real. Like toilet paper! There's always value in toilet paper.


That's the end game, for us non-power brokers. Buy real commodities with what ever currency you gain, whether it be FRN's or BTC's or SBD's. All true wealth essentially comes from Land. The big game is to get the land away from the average person by fraud and put it in the hands of the elite few. If they control the land they control the associated resources, and thus the people. We all need a roof over our heads and food on our table and water to drink and energy to burn.


:) You have put my thoughts about cyrpto's into a very interesting story. I could add more, but what would be the point. As Stan Lee always said in Marvel comics books, Nuff said!
Except up voted re-steemed and now following.


By the way, would mind if I re-post on my site ( ). My site is free for all with no ad so I can't pay you (non-profit). Of cause Author by lines will be in your name or steemit user name. It goes so well with the above image!

This was a really great bit of writing. However, if that plan was real then I don't think everyone would lose interest in cryptocurrencies after a big crash; they would then be aware of their potential. Bitcoin has already suffered huge drops and has never been short of people believing in it.


You're probably right. Still, there are many attempts by the banks and by government to take control and freedom away from the little people. Not everything works, or works the way they expect, but they certainly do try.

Sounds too plausible for comfort.


It'd be awkward if I turned out to be right. Cool, but awkward.

Congratulations! This story has been curated by The SFT. :-) A small SBD reward has been transferred to your wallet.

It has been added to the Cryptopunk Reading Room at the SFT Library.


Awesome. thank you!

Uugh... are you actually a banker named Jianxing cause the price of btc was hovering around $18,000 and is now in decline... lol

Awesome piece, like others have commented this is so very close to reality as the banks are no doubt making their plays as we speak. Another excellent entry from the 'Block'!


Thank you so much for reading! I have a few dollars in bitcoin and I watched it go up to 18k or so then drop hard. Although I wouldn't mind being able to see the future, in this case I don't want to be right :)

This makes me very glad never to have invested real money in crypto. It's just too scarily possible.


Considering the bitcoin madness right now...maybe I'm not so far off :)

Oh, yes. That's it. Let them hope and then pull the rug!


I think we both know how that feels. Or we will soon enough! :|

There's just enough truth in this that it's kind of scary. Did you have insider information on this? O_o


shifty eyes


Seems he has insider information :-)

Very likely to be the truth. Good writing!


Thanks for reading, and the upvote!

Lol. Funny and witty af.


Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it!

Dude! You really do understand how the real life game is played. The only aspect of your story that is a little off, being fictional of course, is that the Federal Reserve notes and the Yuan of China are all made up out of thin air as well. The difference with cryptocurrencies is that they are made by average people and not governing authorities. With any currency early adopters and first users get to reap the benefits of having large amounts of that currency at their disposal before inflation kicks in. It makes those dollars that they hold even more valuable in the long run. As for the long-term plan, there will be a global cryptocurrency that the United Nations will see to and watch over. All these cryptocurrencies is as you said a Grassroots effort that is really being run behind the scenes by the the world central banks. On the economies of the world collapse and their respective monies collapse this new crypto-currency will be instituted because it'll be unforgeable and Incorruptible as far as counterfeit goes. No one will be able to buy or sell without the governing authorities knowing about it. Great story upvoted and resteemed.


Thanks for reading and the insightful comments. I don't know how much of my story is actually possible, but in my mind it's entirely too plausible, especially when you see bitcoin suddenly rocketing to almost $20,000 in nearly no time at all.


With respect, bluerthangreen I'm only re-posting this image because I'm late in seeing this story and otherwise you may not ever see it at all.JPMorgan-bitcoin.png
Consider the possibility! 13 years ago?

This is something that's always in the back of my mind. I'm pretty sure BTC is a bubble, a really, really big bubble. If I'm completely honest with you, I'm almost sure government officials at my country are using it to launder absurd quantities of money.

That said. Is it a supranational power scheme? Why not? It wouldn't even be much of a stretch!

We can just hope it doesn't take crypto as a whole with it when it blows, and also that we've seen the signs and jumped off the train before it crashes.


mmm...Government money laundering. There's another good conspiracy angle on it.

I would not doubt it. I agree with you; I believe in the concept of crypto, but I think it's a huge bubble (sort of like the internet bubble of 15-20 years ago (damn, has it been that long?) that ate up huge companies and giant piles of money and brought everything back to earth.

Agh! Great work as always! I love how it's lowkey but highkey non-fiction. Nice!


I like how you call it non-fiction :) Thanks for reading!

Nice post on what is probably taking place already. Truth is stranger than fiction. But good fiction is always a reflection on what is true.

It's just like the oil industry will come against anyone who creates an engine that's competitive and viable enough to make people stop using petroleum-powered vehicles, until they have enough money invested in alternative fuels. Then, those cars will suddenly be available to the public at large.


Good comparison. It's not that the banks or oil industry is against the tech, they just want to control it. Thanks for reading!

Rereading this and I enjoy how well the dialog and beats flow @negativer. Some great lines as well:

If they can’t hold it in their hands or eat it or screw it, it has no value.

He stared at me like I had bananas growing out of my ears.


Excellent. I appreciate the comments @cizzo. Thanks for reading!

Awesome entry to the contest. Solid writing skills and ideas!