By: Chi Lee
I tended the bar for the grand opening of a new cryptocurrency exchange market. Think a black light DJ-ed party meets a tech convention meets a business networking event.
Surely, when you celebrate the launch of a platform meant to exchange digital currency the crowd is going to be interesting. There were crypt enthusiast bros, hardcore tech geeks, CEOs, Founders… some in full suits, some in t-shirts, one in a bright red blazer blaring a shiny Bitcoin logo on the back sporting an equally blood red cap with bulky white headphones wrapped around his neck. He was my favourite.
I was maybe 1 of 7 females in a room of 60+ men. Plus, the one handing out free drinks. In a heteronormative world on a Friday night, I was ranked very high in popularity. Not to brag.
The thing with crytocurrency is that many who profited high and profited quick off the recent boom seem to still straddle the line between middle and upper class. It’s actually very endearing. It’s like they haven’t shaken old habits of going to Costco, buying perishable food in bulk or looking for online promo codes when checking out. Yet, they now have the means to dine, shop and shit in pure luxury if so desired.
There is a humbleness that resides among this crowd that you don’t see much of with those who’ve inherited old money. It’s something to be appreciated.
Another point of observation. The role of currency - specifically, what form it took, how parties dealt with it, etc. - was interestingly taken out of its normal context. Put it this way: the function of a physical tip jar was obsolete.
This crowd had abolished the notion of bills, coins and cards. Gone were the days of traditional currencies. Fortunately, I had a digital wallet ready to go on my phone to receive crypto transfers. The bonus of being tipped with crypto is that it automatically translates to an investment.
Quick tangent. The method of using a savings account as a means for investment should be considered ancient. At best, your capital keeps its worth if interest remains on par with the rate of inflation. At worst (aka, in reality), the bank uses your capital to create their own investments. Literally, your capital is being used to generate profits which you don’t see and which you yourself could be making. Why put up with that? Anyway, I digress. Digital wallet, check. Transfers coming in, check.
All in all, it was an intriguing night filled with glow sticks, gyros, and scotch. I met a number of unique characters in the crypto-community, a community I now dub as consisting of the most electric mix of individuals who still share a collective interest. To put in a different way, I have yet to overhear two doctors, one in suit the other in a ripped tee, discussing the future of our economy while a Palm Bay and a bourbon meet mid-way in the air in a friendly cheer.
The beauty of those in this industry is that they truly come from such different walks of life. In a room of people who support decentralized exchanges in the pursuit of taking back ownership of their capital, it was hard to ignore the open-minded energy and buzz of what felt like stepping into the future.
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this article, show me some Clap love so I know to carve out more time to put pen to paper to thoughts like these!