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Hey, Want to Invest in a Sinking Private Island Off Miami?

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While most of the Bass Museum is currently serving as a giant advertisement for the architect Peter Marino, there's a very different look at luxury real estate hidden in the cupboard-under-the-stairs next to the gift shop. Local artist Patricia Margarita Hernandez's digital artwork Simulating Value offers visitors the "opportunity" to invest Bitcoins in a virtual private island off the coast of Miami.

The fictional island, appropriately titled "BIT Key", sits on a geological foundation of limestone with gold deposits. Investors have the option of mining the gold, but there's a catch—the more gold is extracted, the more porous the limestone becomes and the island is more susceptible to inundation from sea level rise. It's a conundrum that's not so different from Miami Beach's reliance on property taxes from new waterfront condo developments to pay for flood-related infrastructure, a strategy that the Washington Post recently discussed in-depth. From Hernandez's artist statement:

Since the 2009 introduction of Bitcoin, its meteoric rise in popularity has been punctuated by steeply fluctuating exchange rates, irrational exuberance, and the race for regulation. Simulating Value juxtaposes the rise of the Bitcoin with the current Miami real estate market, noting rising cost of property despite the legitimate geological threat of rising sea levels. As such, the risks associated with Bitcoin are likened to the risks inevitably assumed upon investment within the real estate market. —Michael Farley
· Simulating Value [simulatingvalue.com]