A Wealth of Possibilities: The Roller-Coaster Ride of a Bitcoin Beginner

Being a normal, change-fearing human being, I had heard of Bitcoin long before I embraced it. I didn’t know what it was, and honestly I didn’t care. I had real money in my wallet, life was good. I had a couple friends that were really into it. Almost obsessed, I would say semi-jokingly. Whenever they had an enthusiasm burst over Bitcoin, I would listen politely for a few seconds like any friend would, then I would quietly turn back to whatever was on the television, which was clearly more interesting. This went on for months, the excited chatter of my two friends; the rest of us rolling our eyes and moving on with our lives. Then came a day where it was different. I couldn’t tell you if I was drunk, sober, high, stupid or what, but when they started talking that day, I listened. I was confused as all hell, but I listened as they told me about block chains, mining, and a world without hard currency. There was something weirdly logical about it. My friends shared with me the original Bitcoin whitepaper, sent me illuminating articles and videos and helped me slightly untwist my brain. Then came the ideas, the possibilities…..the excitement. I have not looked back.

A Road to a Better Future

To be fair, I am still nowhere near a Bitcoin expert, but that is really part of the fun. Every day is a learning experience for me. Through this process, I’ve learned that ‘mining’ has nothing to do with the diamonds, dwarves, and Disney songs that instinctively sprang to mind, but instead consists of thousands of individual computers and networks working together to verify Bitcoin transactions, and legitimize the currency. I’ve learned about the public ledgers of every Bitcoin transaction, called block chains, which could eliminate counterfeiting and reduce fraud. Most importantly, I’ve learned, as many others have, about the vast opportunity in front of us. The opportunity to narrow the gap between rich and poor, the opportunity to spread out the balance of power, and, for every one of us, the opportunity and real potential to make history.

The Power of a Piece of Paper

While more and more people continue to flock to this exciting new virtual world, Bitcoin still has several obstacles to overcome if it is to take hold. For starters, as anyone who has ever spent more than ten seconds on the topic knows, Bitcoin is ridiculously technical and very confusing at first.  Yet, as I found through explanation and research, it makes sense. Our current economy is already a virtual currency, which helps. The American dollar is backed by nothing but the public faith and a small mountain of gold worth over $400 billion, which would be awesome if there weren’t already three times that amount of U.S. currency in circulation. And they keep devaluing the dollar by issuing more and more. One of the coolest things about Bitcoin is this scenario doesn’t exist. There are 21 million Bitcoins and that is all there will ever be. A true deflationary currency. All we need to do is embrace it.

A Bitcoin Beginner Really Can Change the World

Is Bitcoin perfect? No. (At the current time, a forgotten wallet password is tantamount to setting money on fire) Are there multiple virtual currencies out there? Yes. Dogecoin and Litecoin are just two of the examples of ‘altcoins’ out in the world today. So what possible reason could we have to think that Bitcoin will succeed where dozens of other currencies have failed? Because it’s ours. Every person who mines, trades, buys or uses Bitcoin contributes to its value and stability. We control the outcome. We have the power to determine its success. The power of our current economic “structure” lies with the banks and the Feds. Bitcoin has presented us an opportunity to enact a structure of our own control. I, for one, am going to go for it. Wouldn’t you?