Cryptocurrency Story time!
When I was in high school, I had a friend who wanted to try Salvia divinorum. He came from a highly religious mormon family, that obviously wasn’t pleased about any of his drug use.
I told him he could have the package sent to my house, but I wanted to some Nicotiana rustica seeds sent along with it for my troubles. The same company sold both and the seeds were $5.
I got the seeds and grew them.
From those plants, I collected the seeds and began selling them on various places: ebay, etsy, whatever.
At around this same time, 2011, I was very active on clandestine chemistry forums. There was a topic about silkroad, bitcoin all thanks to Chuck Schumer who wanted to outlaw bitcoin. I found out about Bitcoin during its first bubble of around $30, the price quickly went down to around $2.
I wanted some but the infrastructure to buy bitcoin wasn’t really there and the easiest way for me to get bitcoin was using a website called BitMit.net by selling seeds.
I listed packets of 1,000 Nicotiana rustica seeds for 1 Bitcoin each, along with a variety of other seeds: Catnip, Datura, whatever and started making sales.
At one point I believe I had collected over 88 bitcoins, but for whatever reason I really only held onto around 32 of them before the price *really* started to go up and the narrative of bitcoin being a P2P electronic cash started to shift to its modern Instituional money/Number Go Up narrative. Hitting a peak of around $1200, according to MtGox, and a bit less on other exchanges.
I was a true believer: I even was working to create an open source silkroad software, BitWasp, to help others. The project partially failed due to lack of interest once the now defunct OpenBazaar came along to “decentralize” everything. The silkroad/bitwasp “centralized” design still being the most prevalent darknet marketplace despite no open source code to allow people to more easily launch their own.
The price crashed, and Bitcoin stagnated for a long time. I had been studying bitcoin since I Iearned of it in 2011, and started to understand some flaws with it that I couldn’t see a solution: The traceability and privacy being the main concern (as my primary interest in it was to help fight the war on drugs via subversion with tools like Silkroad) but followed by other issues: post block reward security, inevitability of large ASIC mines which could found & controlled by the government if they so desired, and a general concern that something called the competitive exclusion principle would eventually consolidate mining among a select few large entities making bitcoin not so decentralized or capable of fighting off state actors.
At some point I read Mike Hearns article on why bitcoin has failed: https://blog.plan99.net/the-resolution-of-the-bitcoin-experiment-dabb30201f7
This article essentially confirmed many of concerns by someone who really understood bitcoin better then me.
I eventually sold all my coins for around the price of $360ish. The moment I did it began to slowly rise to 20,000 before crashing down to something only 10x the price I had sold it, and rising now to around $28,000.
Despite its high price, I feel it has still failed my vision for it, what problems it was supposed to solve, and I honestly cannot understand the utility of it. Who cares if your actions are immutable if they simultaneously provide information to punish you for such actions.
Monero on the other hand aligns much more with my desires, understanding of what a decentralized crypto currency is supposed to be, and addresses with many of my concerns about bitcoin with a weird level of precision: How amazing is it that a coin that seeks to be actual currency, to be fungible, also addresses the post block reward security issues, and thr centralization threats from ASIC miners?
No doubt it has its problems, its not perfect but it makes much more sense then they even more flawed Bitcoin
It’s what Milton Friedman decades ago predicted would change the taxation abilities of governments, and it has implemented ideas even Satoshi was exploring for bitcoin (ring signatures).
I figure I owe it to myself to try to get more Monero: even if it is a few dollars a week more. It can easily have an immense impact on me in the next decade.
Please consider spending $3 on ~1000 Nicotiana rustica seeds. Its a fun plant to grow and can be used as a pesticide, or ethnobotanical. I think this grow year I am going to play around with making toothpicks soaked in a N. rustica infusion as a means to consume the nicotine.