How ya’ going? Being an early teenager in 2011 or so, hearing the 6pm news speak of a mysterious and criminal internet money was practically an open invitation for me. The tone of the report was negative and dark, with the reporter mentioning it as crime currency, used by ‘anonymous’ drug dealers and hackers. Being a young zoomer adolescent and growing up surrounded by computers, I was both fascinated and equipped to explore. It took no time to install the Onion Router, create a log-in, and jump on Silk Road! I didn’t dare purchase anything, but scrolling the marketplace felt exhilirating back then as an edgy kid.
It wasn’t until a couple of years later, that my mates and I went back to Silk Road, this time armed with Bitcoin! It is ridiculous looking back on it now, especially after learning the pseudonymity and obvious tracability of a distributed public ledger. But, in essense, this was my first encounter buying and using Bitcoin. Roger Ver would be proud. Wasn’t coffee, somethin’ a little stronger…
I remember coming back from class, to my mate’s kitchen, sheets of blotter papers full of a strange synthetic psychedelic substance laid upon the table. It worked! my buddy explained he got a letter in the mail of a laminated Happy Birthday card. Confused, as it was far from his birthday, he threw it above the kitchen rubbish bin… Until he remembered what was ordered a few months prior. Carefully stripping the laminated plastic off one side of the card, out came a few sheets of 25I-NBOMe. This was a synthetic hallucinagenic, similar to LSD although little research on long-term effects in humans at the time! Turns out the stuff can kill you if you aren’t careful as this study shows, oops. So thanks for the Bitcoin introduction Mr. Ulbricht, you gave us some interesting experiences, to say the least.
I became a little skeptical after that transaction, worried about being caught by police or border control, I decided it was perhaps best to veer away from the illegalities of dark-web drug buying! It wasn’t until late 2016, early 2017, that another friend of mine begun mining. He created a rig in his share-house, and split the energy bill among the four/five other people living there. After some complaints, this didn’t last long, and he had to find his own place, not that it was was an issue, financially speaking! Smart bugger, it completely paid off and I can never miss his home, as it is entirely covered in solar panels with a Tesla parked out front. Good on ya’, man.
I wish I got into it more back then, I only ever rode the 2017 wave, crashed with it too, then hibernated over crypto-winter. I reared my head to a withered and uninteresting ‘crypto community’ in early 2019. Chainlink did me well (Bless you 4Chan) - but throughout the years, I didn’t really want to just gamble and speculate, I wanted to learn about the tech, the protocol, the fundamentals.
So I digged around, fees and all those pump and dump ponzis pissed me off, I knew it wasn’t this way back in the dark-web days, before fancy wallets, 1000’s of alt coins, tribalistic communities and Blockstream, lol. I just didn’t know where to find the relevant information, not misinformation from moonboy YouTubers and crypto Twitter. Everything was so saturated with bullshit price speculation, it felt so lame. I mean sure, I had the whitepaper, but I also had questions, I wanted some clearer explanations. I was about to give up entirely until I stumbled across a comment from Ed. I owe it to Ed for keeping me interested in this space, and sparking the most profound desire to learn the truth about the history and politics of Bitcoin. From there, it was unstoppable.
I may not be a rebellious teen anymore, but I’ll continue to rebel against those limiting the true, unbounded, scalable nature of the bitcoin protocol… Ugh, Cue cringey Kurt Wuckert Jr analogy, jeez…