My Bitcoin Story

Jao Romero
Sep 27, 2018 · 4 min read

It was 2009. I was deep in conversation with some of the world’s most introverted yet smartest people. How I happen to be in this group was dumb luck. It was an internet forum dedicated to smart but introverted people. We were discussing the recent worldwide financial crash and how the entire financial industry should burn for the highway robbery happening then. Talk began drifting towards easing the world away from money. The usual suspects of our gripes were discussed — the federal banks, Wall Street, the entire fucking financial industry… Then one poster posted a link. It was Satoshi’s white paper. All of us were smart enough to understand the value of what this paper talked about. But we all disagreed about the road that needs to be taken if the goal of the paper was to succeed. I commented that if anyone in government and the financial industry was smart enough to read the paper, they would stop it in its tracks before it could take off.

A way to transact without regulation. This could kill government itself. Of course, any sane government would take action to protect its existence. And the federal banks, ha! They would turn over in their graves before they’d allow any other currency to gain primacy over theirs.

But we saw further than that. The goal was not to create a new currency or wrest control away from the banks. The goal was to end currency itself.

The discussion continued further to how the idea can be propagated without being killed by the global overlords of wealth and power. “They would definitely kill it the moment they understand it’s implications,” I wrote. “They can’t be that dense.” (they weren’t. but I underestimated and overestimated them. I overestimated their response time. They took a fucking long time to figure it out. But when they did, I underestimated their response. Instead of killing it, they’ve hijacked it and made it their own, taking control of it)

A link was posted to the software that would start the revolution. The price of bitcoin then was $0.08. There was an offer for each of us to buy shares (just in case). From $100 to $1000. I debated internally whether I should or should not risk money I do not own nor earned. But all of us were idealists. We were in it for the ideal, the shares were just souvenir.

I forgot all of this in the years to come. Next thing I heard, BTC was being used in the dark web. For a moment, I thought that that would be the death of BTC then. The FEDs would surely come rushing in and bring regulation down on its throat. But it didn’t. I didn’t see it, but they were working in the back doors, to take control of it.

Then a few years later, a friend hit me up. Telling me about this new “crazy” investment scheme. He wanted to mine BTC. By then, setting up a mining rig was costly, but was still in the realm of profitability. I directed him to the BTC forum and told him I knew about it years ago. I said I wasn’t interested in profiting. The end game would make everything irrelevant anyway.

And here we are now, overlooking the peak of the bubble. “When your taxi driver is talking to you about buying stocks, that’s when you know you should sell,” is the common refrain in trading circles. And boy, have we got all the characters, from grandmas to non-techies telling everyone to invest in this effortless moneymaking scheme.

When the possibility of earning effortless money is brought up, sanity takes a hit. It’s the one drug you can offer that’s guaranteed to make everyone drop their guards (almost everyone).

BTC is going to wane in the next couple of years. It’s the Friendster to ETH’s Facebook. There are going to be more attacks, and a series of agit-props to make the public lose confidence in BTC. The big guns have finished laying their foundations, and control has been regained (they think).

But it was never about money in the first place. They think the play was about wresting control of the instrument when it was always about planting the seeds of an idea. And that idea was BLOCK CHAIN.

And the seeds of blockchain has been sown and cannot be killed anymore.

No matter how many instruments they try to take control of, the people will always have the tool to set themselves free. If only they can see, clearly as we did on that day, what Satoshi’s paper showed us.

You wear the chains to your slavery with your own permission.

You have been given the tools to be free. You just have to see it.

The end game is coming, but it needs a push and a kick to help it along.

*this was first posted on my Facebook page on January 2018.

Jao Romero

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Hi, I’m Jao. A freelance writer. You can find me here: jaoromero.com