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    This Is What Bitcoin Sounds Like

    Written by

    Alec Liu


    As bitcoin surges past the $2 billion mark, the digital cryptocurrency is now the talk of the town. But for futurist financiers, explaining the intricacies of the money of tomorrow to non-nerds or inquisitive moms looking to jump on the hottest investor bandwagon bubble ever can be a pain. Instead, why not show them what it sounds like?

    Thanks to the website Listen to Bitcoin, developed by Maximillian Laumeister, now you can. Bubbles (well played sir), representing transactions from Mt. Gox, the largest bitcoin exchange, are matched to notes on a digital celeste, a keyboard instrument that sounds a lot like a glockenspiel. The result is a twinkling ambience that falls somewhere between Brian Eno and a baby experimenting on the piano, interrupted every ten minutes or so with the orchestral swell of a new transaction block being added to the blockchain.

    Laumeister wrote the code--which he’s released--over spring break, coding twelve hours a day for a week. The few second delay notwithstanding, this is the sound of bitcoin in real-time. New features are currently being considered, but the UC Santa Cruz undergrad is busy with classes at the moment.

    With or without Laumeister, this monetary melody will continue to evolve as the number of bitcoin transactions steadily increases. Or better yet, what does it sound like when a bubble pops? In any case, if gramps still has follow-up questions, you can always show him this great new bitcoin video on Vimeo.