For every Bitcoin trader there seems to be at least two sceptics but this hasn’t stopped the virtual currency from legitimising itself in a way thought impossible not that long ago. Among the sceptics was ‘Hard Out Here’ singer Lilly Allen who turned down a sizeable Bitcoin payment for a performance, fearing their value would amount to nothing in the real world and discovering later that it could have been the gig of a lifetime.
About five years ago Lilly Allen was asked to perform for 3D chat website Second Life who offered to pay the star in the then scarcely used crypto-currency . At the time Bitcoins were an experimental tender and the fee of “hundreds of thousands of bitcoins” would have been nothing to blink an eyelid at. The untamed world of Bitcoin trading was risky business and although some would say the bubble is still about to burst, Allen’s would-be fee would have amounted to approximately £118m today.
To make matters worse the online concert would have been streamed live from the comfort of the singer’s home, requiring no travel, no organisation and no hassle over and above preparing the set. Allen expressed her regret at turning down the gig that would have made her twenty times her current estimated worth of £6m, particularly as she turned the gig down with the words “as if.” Allen can’t be blamed for her hesitation though. The fee would have amounted to nothing more than a few hundred Pounds at the time and the currency was still only worth 15p per unit as recently as 2011, with fluctuating values that haven’t helped the general public to gain confidence in them either. Now however, one Bitcoin is worth $1,127.45 (£687) and Allen’s supposed 200,000BTC fee is an absolute fortune.