Bitcoin has an impact beyond your wallet as it changes your time preference in many ways.
Like many people, I only became interested in Bitcoin after numerous contact points. I first heard about it in 2013 when I discovered that drugs can be bought on the Dark Web via the Silk Road. I considered buying bitcoin for this purpose, but the only way to find out how to get something was to use LocalBitcoins to meet a random person in a coffee shop to exchange the dollars for bitcoin. It seemed about as sketchy as buying drugs off the internet, so I insisted and forgot about Bitcoin for a couple of years.
Fast forward to the end of summer 2017. Bitcoin price was around $ 3,000 and rising rapidly. I bought ether. I made a mistake similar to countless others, thinking that ether would be the “next bitcoin”. I also bought bitcoin, but my portfolio was around 50/50. Now I only own bitcoin and don’t own any shitcoins. Buying in the middle of the euphoric phase of the market cycle was fascinating and an experience I am grateful for. Because of all the hype, I had a lot of friends to talk to about this cryptocurrency phenomenon. I watched the price rise to the moon and then the bubble burst. All of these other friends gave up while I stayed. I thought I should learn more about this thing in which I had invested a large part of my savings. What began as getting rich quickly became a “hero’s journey” that completely changed my entire life.
One of the first effects Bitcoin had on me was a big shift in my priorities. I was a teacher and had summers off without pay. I usually saved enough money during the school year to pay my bills in the summer and travel to see the band Phish. I would end the summer broke and in pain because of my back to school paycheck. When I got into Bitcoin, I started saving as much as possible twice a week to cost in dollars on average. I no longer had a FOMO about missed concerts and was happy to hear the shows from home. My first investment in Bitcoin also happened to coincide with the discovery that my partner was pregnant. This exciting news, along with my newfound passion, was reason enough to focus more on saving for my family and the future and less on live music and travel. In the context of saving for the future, Bitcoin inspired me to lower my time preference in other areas of my life. I wanted to be muscular and that was going to take a lot of work. For the first time in my life, I went to the gym regularly to lift weights and exercise. Bitcoiners tend to get ripped and I wanted to feel better about my body. After a year of training, I notice how I’ve changed physically and it feels great. I am more confident, stronger and happier than ever.
Once you fall into Bitcoin’s rabbit hole, you find that it never ends and goes in many directions. I’ve spent the past four years learning as much as possible about economics, finance and investing, the history of money, and Bitcoin’s technological innovations. Most of these topics were brand new to me. I’m not claiming to be an expert, but I have rediscovered a curiosity about topics that I had long labeled as uninteresting. I’ve devoured articles for and against Bitcoin, listened to as many podcasts as I find the time, and read numerous Bitcoin (and Bitcoin-related) books with many others on my bedside table. This interest in knowing all about Bitcoin came from figuring out how to hold my own keys. I’ve always considered myself tech savvy, but now that I’m down the rabbit hole, I’ve learned how to run a node, experiment with multi-sig setups, and self-host my own data with a Start9 message. The motivation I gained from self-sovereignty continues to influence my outlook on life in unexpected ways.
Along with the discovery of radical independence and self-reliance, my political attitudes changed significantly. From my teenage years until I found Bitcoin, I would have called myself a progressive liberal. I voted for Bernie Sanders in 2016. I thought the government was so incredibly mixed up, we just needed more of it with the right people in charge. Then we could support everyone who needs government assistance with welfare programs. Obviously, I now feel almost the opposite of that feeling. At the moment I am politically homeless, but I identify more strongly with the libertarian right-wing position. I switched from passive “resistance” by voting on every election to an active revolution of keeping my assets in a currency that is censorship-resistant and cannot be tampered with by governments and / or private central banks.
This hero’s journey eventually led me to the financial freedom I needed when I decided to quit my teaching job last year. As an educator for toddlers who cares a lot about child development, social advice and socio-emotional education, I firmly refuse to mask children. I was the only one at the school who spoke out against this inhuman policy. I worked at this school for seven years, working my way up from daycare teacher to elementary school program director, but my promotion wasn’t enough to endanger my values either. In Jameson Lopp’s article for Forbes, he defines F-you money by saying, “It’s a position of power; it means that you are in complete control of yourself and your time. You are not obliged to anyone; You can say “F-you” to anyone who offends you without fear of the consequences. ”Thanks to Bitcoin, I have had the opportunity to speak my truth and move on when my integrity has been challenged. Another teacher spoke to me privately to express her consent, but told me she needed the job to survive. Fortunately for me, I had F-you money.
Ultimately, finding Bitcoin completely changed the direction of my life. I’ve moved from a promising future in education management to a major career change with no clear employment opportunity. My goal is to focus on growing the Bitcoin network the way I know it: through education. The purpose of my story is to show the positive impact Bitcoin has had on my life, and not just from a financial point of view.
Bitcoin means different things to different people. Some people focus on mining, others focus on building software and hardware wallets. Some people focus on developing on the Bitcoin stack, others focus on HODLing, and some crazy people focus on day trading (don’t belong to those people!). Some people who love Bitcoin are carnivores and some are vegans. Some people who love Bitcoin are into firearms and 3D printing, others love a renewable energy focus, and others like to focus on politics. Whatever you love about Bitcoin, you can find someone in the room with similar interests. At BitBlockBoom, I discovered how easy it is to get in touch with others when you have the same underlying system that Bitcoin is to us. I even found another phish-phan at the conference! When you choose to buy Bitcoin, you choose to participate in the world’s most influential technological and monetary revolution for freedom in a completely peaceful way. I hope Bitcoin makes as many improvements in your life as it does in mine. With Bitcoin, the world is a better place.
This is a guest post by Craig Deutsch. The opinions expressed are solely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.