28 Nov

Black Friday for Bitcoin on “ L’Île Noire “ (Black Island)

In this auspicious end of the year for Bitcoin, we offer you a prophetic analysis of the state’s currency board, a symbolic comparison of the adventures of Tintin and Bitcoin.

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„L’Île Noire“ dates from 1938 and, like „Le sceptre d’Ottokar“, the album depicts the destabilization operations carried out by totalitarian regimes at the time. In the 1930s, despite the signing of an international convention designed to combat counterfeiters, the war on counterfeit money was in full swing, because it was most often waged underhandedly by states, announcing the release of counterfeit bills during the war. As if manipulations of „real“ money were not enough. If counterfeit bills are so well imitated that it is absolutely impossible to distinguish them, isn’t it also true that, like the real ones, they are the work, not of mafia gangs or anarchists, but of a State? And if each belligerent state allows itself this process, how can the overall result be anything other than a universal inflation of nothingness?

It has been noted that in „The Black Island,“ Hergé mixes a lot of modernity (printing equipment, but also television or the airplane) with certain legends, of which Scotland seems to be the land of predilection. What does the old castle mean?

The solution adopted by the film „Le Cave se rebiffe“ (The Cellar Rebounds), consisting rather in printing the counterfeit bills in a printing house, seems otherwise natural. Since then, the famous series „La casa de papel“ (2017) has proposed an even simpler solution: to do the thing within the walls of the Central Bank itself.

If Hergé chooses to place the counterfeiting on an island that would rather evoke a whisky label and at the bottom of Gothic cellars that seem to announce the rogue bric-a-brac of the Loiseau brothers, is that the resulting inflation is a collective drunkenness (of the type that Sunflower will try to prevent in the Picaros) and that the issuing of money, true or false, always seems too simple an operation in the end, not to dress up with a little decorum, whether legally imposing or simply terrifying.

Halfway between King Kong and the Loch Ness monster, the Ranko gorilla makes ghost-like cries.

Intended to frighten the curious, he is however afraid of Snowy (who is in turn terrorized by a spider), which again is of the order of „I would even say less“.

If the whole album plays on fear, the thing beyond the situation comedy sends the two sides back to back.

Tintin, appearing on the quay and followed by Ranko, even thinks he is the one whose sight makes the onlookers run away.

His feat does not earn him a parade in a carriage, as it will be the case in „The Scepter“, but a simple picture with 4 bobbies. Naturally, he then gets back on the plane without any souvenir in his pocket. What Tintin is looking for is the real thing, not the fake one. He simply hasn’t discovered any „treasure“. The arrival of the one of Rakham the Red at Moulinsart or the bags of gold and precious stones offered by the Inca do not devalue the currency of the State in any way. These treasures are unique and of any other nature than the currency that a forger can reproduce and that the State itself can multiply, and this is the case of Bitcoin. Its discovery has not detracted from the value of the thousands of billions of dollars or euros issued from thin air to keep the current financial system suspended in a vacuum.

Bitcoin is an additional wealth that only reveals its secrets to those who cease to see what they don’t have (and what they are supposed to lack) as an effigy, a political power, a central authority, etc. Bitcoin’s wealth, intrinsic value, community treasure, liberating political project, alternative model adapted to a physical world accepting its finitude, first emergence of a regalian form in cyberspace, … All this is another matter.