Millibit online dating
A visit to uk led me to a bloke who was willing to sell me one-twentieth of a bitcoin for 21 quid, so I sent him the money from my bank account in what felt like a cloak-and-dagger operation ("DO NOT use the word BITCOIN as a reference," he insisted).
A few minutes later, I was the proud owner of some so-called cryptocurrency: my balance showed an impressive 0.05 BTC.
Take Tom Reaney, who sold a burger from his fast-food outlet in central London in December for 0.0131 BTC, to much fanfare; the £7.50 it was worth back then is now worth closer to £5.50.
The anonymity of these transactions makes Bitcoin perfect for buying illicit goods, but the so-called "dark web", where it can be found, is a weird old place.
After you've downloaded a special Tor browser and spent a few minutes using "safe" search engines to access sites ending with the suffix ".onion", you discover that vendors come and go rapidly, links die quickly, there's evidently unscrupulous behaviour afoot, and you're not going to get any cocaine for 0.05 BTC in any case.
Bitcoin, as noted by Forbes last week, was far and away the best investment to make in 2013 and, as you watch the wildly fluctuating values across various websites, you can feel the potential thrill of a short-term speculative win.
I shunted my 0.05 BTC over to kraken.com, the currency-trading site, where I'd be able to move money in and out of various currencies while looking at oscillating graphs and flickering numbers and generally wondering what the hell I was doing.