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Christmas was a quiet time for me. I am a retired IT professional (and latterly an English teacher) living in Madrid, Spain. For a reason I can’t remember, in late December 2019 I started to investigate cryptocurrencies as nothing more than an interesting subject to help me pass the time.
At the moment of writing this piece (February 3rd), I am sitting at my Mac with my Exodus wallet open on one of my screens and Coinbase Pro on the other. And of course, with my Trezor One carefully plugged in. This is not to mention the full Bitcoin node running on an old laptop in the corner laboriously downloading the blockchain – only three weeks to go! And all of this just six weeks from my initiation.
So, in late December the more I read and watched and listened, the more I was intrigued. I discovered Andreas Antonopoulos (a true genius) and avidly followed crypto content on YouTube and various podcasts. I struggled to get my head around the blockchain, mining, proof of work, halving, altcoins, and perhaps most fundamentally, the history of money, something I had never previously thought about. Like almost everyone, money was something I had just accepted.
I read that Trump had called cryptocurrencies just ‘air’ and I have tried diligently to discover why they are – or at least some of them – are more than just ‘air’, something valuable, enduring, useful, and not as ephemeral and insubstantial as the President believes. I think I am almost there but I am sure, like many others, I have a nagging fear that one day, everything will simply evaporate like rain on damp sidewalks after a summer storm.
Bitcoin just seems so well designed. Almost as if Satoshi was neither a man nor woman nor group but an alien visitor from a vastly more civilized world giving us a leg up to help disentangle our torrid financial systems and their inbuilt iniquities. It just seems too clever. Somewhere there must be a hidden flaw that will one day bring down the empire. I hope not.
There are many, in fact. probably a majority of people that just don’t get it. Or perhaps, there are those who are more sensible, ready to say ‘I told you so’ when everything goes bad. I am sure I am not the only one who keeps their enthusiasm somewhat under wraps in order to soften the eventual fall, if indeed there is a fall. The thing is, there might be and I don’t want to be the mug. I don’t have so much time to recover.
This all may be a consequence of living through so many false dawns over the years. However, for now, I am enjoying the journey, following the prices, learning how to send and receive cryptos, trying not to panic when realizing how much responsibility I have to protect my private keys and how I could lose everything from a moment’s loss of concentration.
So here’s hoping all goes well and I will be able to show all in sundry how smart I was and how confident I had been throughout the process as Bitcoin conquers the world, as I always knew it would.