At the beginning of 2018, I wrote an article outlining a New Year’s resolution that I thought could help boost cryptocurrency adoption and awareness in 2018, as long as enough people were doing it. Last week was the sixth installment of my year of cryptocurrency challenge. With the crypto markets recovering slightly and the industry’s fair share of drama, I was able to have some pretty good conversations.
TRY TO SPEAK TO AS MANY PEOPLE ABOUT CRYPTOCURRENCY AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN
The cryptocurrency markets began recovering (though they’re still bearish) these past couple of weeks, and panic selling seemed to slow down. However, in most of the interactions I had, I tried to steer the conversation away from price and toward technology and community. Here are some of the highlights.
1 A friend of mine in the armed forces recently asked me about Bitcoin. A service buddy of his had told him to purchase a little bit of it, and he was impressed by the volatility. However, he wanted to know more about the technology that underpinned the coin itself. I was happy to help explain how mining and blocks worked to him. He picked it up right away, and after I explained what a consensus algo was (proof of work), he started asking all the right questions, like “Are there other consensus algos if it takes so much energy to mine a block on the Bitcoin network?” It was seriously the quickest I’ve ever seen anyone pick up this concept. Maybe he was trolling me and already knew, ah well.
2 A friend from undergrad heard that I was involved in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space and reached out to me recently. He actually was the first person to introduce me to the concept in passing, but he wasn’t all too impressed in 2011 with the idea or community. However, our recent conversation revolved around cryptocurrencies and their role as the locus of distributed dingpolitik communities. It was fascinating to explore the topic of how communities have built themselves around digital material culture and economics while being (mostly) remote.
LEARN SOMETHING NEW ABOUT CRYPTO
I’ve never really cared who Satoshi Nakamoto was. I think that their exodus from the space was the best thing for it. Instead of actually having Satoshi tell us what (s)he would do, we’ve had to speculate. That speculation isn’t really productive or fruitful, so most of us have moved on from even trying. That is a good thing, as it means we get to define the space.
That said, I listened to a podcast recently on which the host and the guest did talk briefly about who they thought Satoshi was. They referenced a Gizmodo article that they had found convincing, and I read it as well. What was wild to me about this was that Dave Kleinman (Gizmodo’s alleged Satoshi) makes a lot of sense, particularly because of the Satoshi fortune having never been sold even when Bitcoin hit $20,000; Kleinman is dead. It will always remain a mystery, I think, and nothing more than a passing thought in my mind.
BE GENEROUS – GIVE AND USE YOUR COINS
This week I was actually the recipient of some coins. I’m not sure if this qualifies as satisfying my end of the challenge (though I did tip some users on /r/dogecoin), but it does for my friend who is also participating in this challenge. She tipped me some Dogecoin for helping her figure out what was going on in a Slack workspace. I helped her troubleshoot it and she was generous enough to send me 50 Doge for my efforts.
Have you been participating in the challenge as well? How’s it going? Tell us in the comments or tweet at us.