A few weeks ago, I was at a wedding. It was a beautiful day just off the beach in the Carolinas. Perfect weather. Perfect company. I officiated the ceremony, and it was blissful in a way I hadn't felt in a long time. And it was the first moment in three years where I can confidently say I didn't think about bitcoin.
The reception was a different story. Conversations with guests tilted, as they always do, to what we do for a living. Upon hearing of my association with bitcoin, the mood of discussion turned to concern for my well-being.
"Wow, you're in bitcoin, huh?" people asked. "You must have seen a lot. Is everything alright?"
"Well, it's gone up and down, but it's a little up from where we started," I replied. It's become my standard line in recent years. Anything else is hyperbole or worse, a lie. No matter what happens with bitcoin, as long as its USD price remains a positive integer, we're a little up from where we started.
As am I on a micro level. I'm basically your run-of-the-mill schmuck who bought bitcoin during the pandemic. At one point, I considered it to be a badge of honor that I purchased bitcoin before Michael Saylor crashed the party. I bought when bitcoin was $8k. That's good or bad depending on who you talk to. Prices are meaningless, save for what we ascribe to them. Numbers are numb.
Thanks to the halving, bitcoin is designed to pump for eternity, or at least every four years. At least, that's what the sacred scrolls tell us. Four years is a long time. It's just long enough for you to forget who the vice president is or where the last Olympics took place.
Anyone who has ever been in a casino knows intermittent variable rewards get us hooked. Our addled minds gladly accept a year of sheer euphoria followed by three years of devastation. The quadrennial roller-coaster is good for bitcoin, but I have yet to figure out how anyone is supposed to survive it.
As I write this, a recent issue of Bloomberg BusinessWeek is on my kitchen table. The cover story is about FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, and whether his sanctimonious legal and ethic scholar parents made him who he is. Maybe they did. Or maybe it was all of us. I can tell you there are probably 100 wannabe SBFs, less accomplished sociopaths, who have heard his cautionary tale and thought to themselves they'll do better and somehow not fuck it all up like he did. The greed is what got us here.
We lean on the future for what we can't feel in the present. This time two years ago, I was the guy you know who wouldn't shut the fuck up about bitcoin. Today, I'm the one guy you know who's still in it. I'm a weary traveler in the desert telling people I've seen the Cave of Wonders. At some point, you stop bringing it up.
That isn't to say I'm a zealot. I don't think the U.S. dollar is going away anytime soon. It is impossible for me to overstate how entrenched the current financial system is. We're talking about a credit-based economy underwritten with vaporware currency. To do away with that is asking people to self-impose accountability — I don't expect it to happen in my lifetime.
Bitcoin is often criticized as a religion. To some extent that's true, and the laser-eyed puritanical sect does nothing to rid themselves of that association. But even I've tired of the mythmaking around Satoshi and the idea that bitcoin is enough for an entire worldview. If you don’t code, you’re taking someone’s word for it. It’s kinda like Paris. If you’ve never been there, you can only speak in generalities.
Ultimately, there are two kinds of people who buy bitcoin: those with faith and those with an investment thesis. At some point, there's no difference between the two. Bag holding is bag holding. And when that plays out over a four-year span, eventually only the crazies are left. This is the first time I've been meaningfully up on my bitcoin with respect to fiat for any length of time.
My conviction on bitcoin itself has not changed, but the community of bitcoiners has me question my judgment from time to time as I've learned about the crunchy bullshit and general buffoonery they're into. Don't worry, it's the usual rich person mix of hedonism and paranoia. I'll never understand why believing in one fringe thing must mean you believe in all of them. I prefer to think of bitcoin as a software protocol anchored in reality.
In the past few days, we've seen bitcoin give us a God candle. I watched as bitcoin turbopumped from $29k to $34k. That was supposed to make me feel something. Nah, I'm good. I have nothing left to give. Let those young chickadees FOMO in — I already volunteered as tribute. I lived to tell the tale, but I ain't doing it again.
So, I suppose I'm reevaluating. Perhaps bitcoin is designed so every four years, you have to underwrite it all over again. As long as there's inquiry, there's hope. They say it's the hope that kills you. I guess we'll find out. Do your best and let bitcoin do the rest.
And if it wants to sleep, don't disturb its slumber.
The content of this article is published for entertainment purposes only and does not constitute financial, legal, or tax advice. Please consult a qualified professional before proceeding with any investment decision.
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