It’s been a few months since I really started wondering about Bitcoin. Of course as an avid user of the Interwebs and a general computer nerdist, I had heard of Bitcoin for a few years. Then a new friend at work asked if I had any and was frequently commenting on prices of a few altcoin. A few months ago I honestly didn’t know there were digital currencies other than Bitcoin and after initially reading up and researching how one even acquires digital currency all the while watching the price fluctuate, I decided to take the plunge.
I took $1,000 USD and on September 18th, 2017 exchanged it for 18.1 LTC - Litecoin. Only weeks later, I am not entirely certain why I chose this particular altcoin, and as of this writing the value against my dollar is slightly down. To be precise, I purchased at $55.25 USD / LTC and tonight we are at around $52. Frankly, the volatility of these markets is stomach churning. In the short time I have owned these LTC, they have had a high of ~$70 to a low of ~$45.
I think it notable that when I made this exchange, I paid no fees. I plan to hold this LTC for quite a long time and see what happens to my original investment, and when I do the same for other investments, I find the best course is to minimize any fees. There are plenty of different ways to acquire digital currency, so I read up and learned how to do it where every penny of the money I put in would be converted to digital currency. In doing so, I used Coinbase to first deposit USD. Then I transferred this to their related exchange, GDAX, where I made a limit buy order just below the current market price and waited for it to be filled. By purchasing the Litecoin in this manner, I avoided all fees. The main downside is that right now it takes Coinbase about a week to verify the deposit from my bank during which I missed an excellent buying opportunity at ~$34.
Here I am a little over a month later and I have steadily been exploring and reading and learning more about Bitcoin and blockchain technology and I’ve got another $1,000 USD I am ready to put into Bitcoin. Again I am waiting the week for Coinbase to verify my deposit and once again, I am watching Bitcoin soar to an all time high ($6,933 USD / BTC as of this writing). Every fiber of my being is telling me not to buy something while it is up, but the more I learn about the underlying technology and economic principals, the more bullish I feel myself becoming.
My dad didn’t understand and knee jerked against it, and towards caution. I completely agree I want to be sensible, but tonight I have been bit by the coin and I can hardly sleep. I finally understand FOMO and I just want to buy and HODL! I don’t want to make a habit of publishing every time I buy a currency, but this is a first step for me and I thought it may prove interesting to come back to as a reference some day in the future. I will update this post when the money clears and the price determines how much BTC I can purchase at the point I decide to pull the trigger.
~0.1379 BTC for $1,000 USD
(1 BTC = $7250.01 USD)
So far, some of my favorite resources have come from the newbie posts on Reddit at /r/Bitcoin. As I listened to Andreas Antonopoulos’ Intro to Bitcoin and How Bitcoin Mining Works I just keep getting sucked further in to how this is the next thing. I really loved his analogy of Bitcoin mining being like solving sudoku puzzles. When I think of how cheap technology will allow billions of people who never had access or ability to use what-I-think-of-as-money in the ways I traditionally think of money being used, I can only imagine Bitcoin’s recent meteoric rise is only the beginning.
For me, Bitcoin has intrinsic value because it solves so many of the problems inherent in all previous forms of money. I think for a while yet, we will only begin to scratch the surface of what this revolution will be capable of because we aren’t used to thinking outside the constraints of the way we think of money. I remember a college economics professor of mine arguing that a digital currency will never be a reality because someone could hack your account and zero your balance. It makes me kind of happy to look back thinking of all of the traditional ways people can lose or destroy traditional money that will be completely eliminated or moot with the coming ways.
Sure, there are few out there now with the capacity to research and read and understand myriad of incredibly difficult to describe and encapsulate ideas that actually make this universal math-based currency possible, but that is a good thing! That means we are the early adopters still, the futurists. We will see the upside as the natural progression of technology makes the decision of widespread adoption for the masses. Did you imagine all of the ways you might one day rely on the Internet back when you first heard your neighbor talking about it, or even as you clicked around on Prodigy or AOL? I did not, but after only a few years of using said early Internet instead of encyclopedias for research papers and reading news and downloading music, I became convinced that I needed to know how to build it. I became obsessed with learning the language and technologies of the web and this obsession steadily progressed and bloomed into a lucrative and fulfilling career. Learning about Bitcoin is giving me that same type of feeling again, and tonight I vow not to ignore it.
Update 2017/12/11: I got a little excited, so I added these charts: