Faxing used to be cool—er, well, at least it used to be common. Long ago, before e-mail, it was a snappy way to ship documents back and forth. And now, thanks to Bitcoin Fax, Redditors have already used the retro method to pester the U.S. Treasury Department and Nobel-prize winning economist Paul Krugman.
Bitcoin is not actually required for all this faxing business (although, unlike legacy faxing services like FaxZero, Bitcoin Fax can be used to fax far beyond the U.S. and Canada). But as long as Bitcoin is involved and it's amusing and trendy in a small circle, I'm sure you're looking for ideas for things to fax. Fueling fax hobbyists with a passion for Bitcoin is something we should see more of.
Watch as maybe-cutting-edge technology and retro-80s-machine collide.
1. Send FOIA requests
As any political reporter can attest to, many government agencies favor fax machines over e-mail. That's no different for FOIA requests, or the Freedom of Information Act, which requires that federal government agencies disclose information to the public (local governments have their own versions of the act). MuckRock is a helpful tool for creating these requests. Just be prepared for a six week wait—or for your request to be rejected.
2. Learn what faxing is
Maybe you forgot what a fax machine is and you need a hands-on history lesson. Don't be ashamed. There are plenty of people who aren't quite sure. When I told a friend how excited I was about the new service he shot me a blank stare. “What are you talking about? What's a fax?”
3. Send party invitations
This is self-explanatory.
4. Send them to Japanese people
60% of households in Japan own a fax machine.
5. Play with your cat
YouTube is filled with cats scratching at fax machines.
If you're on the receiving end of the fax, enjoy the show. Otherwise, rest assured that any cats on the other end of the fax machine will be intrigued.
Some people use fax machines—or the “mojo wire” as Hunter S. Thompson once called it—as a private method of communication in an age of deteriorating privacy. If all else fails, at least you'll get to hear the supernatural series of beeps that said mojo wire makes.
At any rate, pinpointing a faxing partner isn't easy in the 21st century, but at least it’s – however ironically – one new way to spend Bitcoin.