What was this weird alternative currency called Bitcoin, and where can I buy some?!
In May of 2011, I first heard about Bitcoin. A “cryptocurrency” (whatever that means) that used computer power to produce digital coins that could be used to buy stuff without ever having to use a government-based currency.
I was instantly intrigued. This wasn’t the first time I had heard about alternative currencies. I was listening to a podcast/radio show called Free Talk Live a lot back then, with guys from New Hampshire talking about people moving there and starting a (more) free society. They talked about using “junk silver” (old minted coins that have actual silver in them) and other alternative currencies to exchange goods with people locally. Nonetheless, I’m sure it was on their radio show or some other similar podcast that I first heard about Bitcoin.
Regardless of how I found it, I was instantly hooked! I started doing all of the standard research — what cryptocurrency means, why it’s beneficial, what you could buy with it and how it could be a global currency in the future, etc. Well, maybe in the future, by that point they were only really using it to buy drugs on The Silk Road.
I couldn’t quite understand how exactly it was produced by computers or where it got its value from, but I was intrigued nonetheless.
But regardless of how it really works, I wanted to know where can I buy some?!
My first thought was to drop a few hundred bucks on it.
Eh, what the hell, it’ll be some fun money. I never gamble, so this could be my little gamble, say $500?
Yeah, that sounds like a good plan.
At the time, there weren’t many places where it was available, but Mt Gox kept popping up over and over.
The price? Just $.18/bitcoin.
Sure, it could mean I wasted $500, but what if it turned out to be as cool as I thought it would be? It could hit a few bucks, maybe more? Who knows…
Well, we all know where the story leads from there. Bitcoin eventually rose.
Quite a ways beyond the “few bucks” mark as well.
So what’s it like getting in on the Bitcoin craziness before almost everyone else?
I wish I could tell you.
I don’t know what it’s like to buy it at 18 cents because I never ended up buying any. I never really felt comfortable with any of the exchange platforms (let’s face it, there was probably a better chance they’d take my $500 and disappear), and then I forgot about it for a while.
And by the time I heard about it again, it was already over $100. I figured I missed my chance, so I let it go. And then it rose further… and further… and further…
So, if you know anyone who bought it at 18 cents when I wish I could have, let me know! I’d love to talk to them!