Once my wife purchased a can of mackerel without my permission, and it sat there for months, until one day we had no money and no food and were forced to open it. The smell of the mackerel was noxious, we perhaps ate a bite each and tapped out. Then we dumped the can of mackerel in our cat’s food dish, and the cat shunned the food bowl. The cat chose to hunt cockroaches which are probably more tasty.
[Somehow mackerel is like Bitcoin inside of prison](https://medium.com/@cshrem/a-geek-in-prison-part-13-mackerelcoin-my-socioeconomic-observations-of-prison-ebc057a83e1d), according to Charlie Shrem. He was one of the best Bitcoin dealers in history, which unfortunately landed him in the slammer for 15 months. There he discovered a flourishing prison economy, where inmates traded commissary and services to better their position. Inmates ironed each other’s clothes, cleaned each other’s cells, acted as personal trainers on the yard, all in exchange for smelly mackerel, stamps, chips, and candy bars. Of course, black market gambling among inmates is fueled by such currencies as well.
The top currency of them all was mackerel since it has the highest protein content out of anything else in commissary, maintains its price near $1.25, and stays fresh for years inside of a prison cell. No matter how unappetizing mackerel is, it provides essential protein, making it critical for prisoners who are trying to build muscle in the yard.
Charlie Shrem took it a step further and [proposed that Mackerel Coin (MAK) be developed](https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/4x3pdw/bitcoin-for-prison), where each MAK represents a package of mackerel. Of course prisoners do not have good enough internet access to utilize Bitcoin, but MAK could operate on a paper system.
The mackerel would have to be stored in a central repository, perhaps with a very trustworthy prisoner, and then a ledger is kept which tracks transactions. So if one inmate pays 20 MAK to another inmate, it is simply noted in the ledger, instead of the arduous process of transferring 20 packages of mackerel. In order to make the process decentralized, there could be multiple inmates acting as ‘nodes’ and checking their ledgers against each other, just in case one of the nodes gets locked in the hole or escapes prison.
GenesisBlockNews likes this concept, but thinks the whole system would collapse when the inmate operating the central repository of mackerel smokes some coveted prison marijuana and eats all of this fish in the middle of the night.