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  • Writer's pictureViolet Needham

Minitask 4: Holden the HODLer

Updated: Nov 11, 2021

Holden the HODLer*

Playing off of the “mathematical folktale” One Grain of Rice by Demi, I am to demonstrate the potentially transformative power of patient investing to the masses! This story, appealing to parents just as well as their children, encourages financial literacy - a skill indispensable to surviving in the modern world.

As you may know, Demi’s story is that of a young girl, Rani, who convinces a selfish Raja (who has been taxing the citizens’ rice) to grant her just a single grain of rice and double it daily. The Raja, likely thinking just a few days ahead, fails to realize that in only thirty days, that single grain of rice multiplies to a grand total of 536,870,912 grains.

Holden the HODLer’s protagonist is of course a young gentleman named Holden who, having come upon an unusual and fickle golden coin after winning a bet in 2010, sets it in a chest in his attic to gather dust, assuming it to have little trading value. Desperate to pay rent once the eviction moratorium ended following the COVID-19 pandemic, he scrambles around his house searching for any loose change or spare cash and remembers the peculiar coin just in the nick of time. He returns to the chest to find that not only has it taken on the exact weight and appearance of gold, but it has multiplied to the point where the chest is starting to burst!

This story is the perfect vessel by which to capitalize on the trendiness of Bitcoin and, seeing now how lucrative Bitcoin has become, perhaps it demonstrates a worthwhile investment**. Now before you scoff and say, “it’s too speculative!” or “it’s too volatile!” keep in mind that the HODLer stored away only a single coin and forgot about it, taking dips in stride and allowing the passage of time to reap what he sowed. Furthermore, there is almost a one-to-one comparison between One Grain of Rice and Holden the HODLer; both are compelling demonstrations of how to grow wealth. Their economical cleverness is something highly respected in Capitalist America.

In Demi’s One Grain of Rice, Rani’s purpose is very much akin to that of Robin Hood***. By striking her clever deal with the Raja, she is able to get more than enough rice to provide for her community, which has been struck by famine. During this famine, the Raja has possession of more rice than he could ever possibly eat, yet is still reluctant to give even the single grain away. Surely many lower- and middle-class Americans can relate to this feeling as we watched two of the world’s richest men leave our sick planet for outer space, even if just temporarily. Abandoning ship (or rather, rock) is not an option for nearly all of us other Earthlings, so we must be hopeful and creative in our future financial ventures. Perhaps Holden the HODLer can inspire such a generation.


*HODL is term originally based on a typo of the word “hold” and was coined to indicate saving cryptocurrency/other investments in the hopes that it will produce great yields in the relatively distant future.

**To be clear, my own thoughts on cryptocurrency are somewhat half-baked and not well-informed. That said, it is quite incredible that the value of 1 Bitcoin went from mere pennies to over $60,000.00. Whether or not this trend will continue is yet to be determined, but it certainly an interesting experiment to observe. I really tried to play up a character that was not quite slimy, but very dedicated to achieving my interpretation of the American Dream: becoming wealthy without really doing a whole lot of labor yourself.

***Another reference to the modern American business of money making! Do you get it? Anyway, there is an interesting cryptocurrency project called Cardano which is in part aimed at supporting financial infrastructure development projects. If implemented well, it could address and stave off dramatic wealth gaps and support emerging economies. If implemented poorly, well, I’m just not sure what would happen yet…


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Nov 08, 2021

Really liked your adaptation as I myself also wanted to explore trying to retell a folktale or fairytale but with a financial lesson/message within it, but I had a hard time trying to visualize how it would work or what folk/fairy tale to adapt. As such, I really enjoyed reading this and I also think your connection to crypto to be a really nice point.

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