How I got into Bitcoin

Bitcoins in front of yellow wall

Whenever I read about Bitcoin in the press or see another tweet, I’m mostly upset. Not because someone is saying something completely wrong, but because most stories lack personality.

Back in the days when I discovered Bitcoin, no one had the slightest idea, that it would one day become so big. I mean, freaking countries are accepting it as legal tender. That’s huge!

I’ve briefly mentioned how I got into Bitcoin on this page. But that’s not enough. I want to paint the full picture and show you why I’m so passionate about this ecosystem.

Like I mentioned before, I got introduced to Bitcoin with this Guardian article back in 2013. The now infamous Silk Road was described and people were outraged about it. Not because of the whole drug dealing but how this website managed to stay hidden for so long. Bitcoin played a pretty big part in it.

As you can imagine, I was interested and wanted to know more. So far I haven’t read anything else but the Guardian article. Therefore, I took it upon myself to dig deeper. I found the Bitcoin white paper within 10 minutes and immediately read it.

Unlike today, you were able to read the white paper within 30 minutes and draw your conclusions. Back then cryptography was relatively new to me but I pretty quickly realized how big this Bitcoin thing could become.

I immediately started looking for online chat groups. Most of my teenage years were spent in them and by now I understood how to find great communities. Fast forward 45 minutes and I found the Bitcoin Forum.

For the next 14 days you had no chance of talking or even getting a hold of me. Most of my time besides school was spent on that forum. It’s been roughly two years since Satoshi last posted on there and I had some catching up to do.

Whenever people first read about Satoshi or heard how the white paper came to be, they’re immediately suspicious. Is this one guy? How was he or she for that matter able to come up with this? Might it be a group and they’re acting as a unity? Is Satoshi an alien?

There were a tone of threads and discussions on the forum, asking these questions. To me, this was silly. The first thought I had when I read Satoshi’s answers, was how much sense everything made!

My upbringing wasn’t super political or even religious. My parents mostly encouraged me to study hard, be courageous enough to do what I want but always have a plan. If I were to pin point their political and social economic stand, I would say they leaned more towards the left middle.

I respect my parents immensely, but I never understood their political believes. Granted there were differences between them, but overall they were pretty neutral and believed in some form of a government.

That didn’t make sense to me. I never understood why a government had so much power over its people. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? I’m not saying that we don’t need a functioning form of governance, but shouldn’t we as citizens be in charge?

Looking back now, my conviction of Satoshi made total sense. I was mostly an outcast and enjoyed being on my own. I respected elders but never put them on a pedestal. I had some friends, but enjoyed staying at home and learning something new. I was never into the most current thing and enjoyed technology and innovation more than being drunk every Saturday night. Naturally the cyberpunk movement was one, I was very comfortable in.

Once the two weeks went by and I read most of Satoshi’s messages, I knew that I had to get some Bitcoin. Today this would not be a big issue, but back then you had to have certain skills to get some coins. One way was to mine, the other was to get coins at an exchange. I decided to go down the second route and signed up for a couple of exchanges. One of them was Kraken and through them I bought some Bitcoin.

I remember feeling very nervous, when I sent the wire transfer. Did I seriously just convert my hard earned money into some internet coin? Into something I was probably only able to use as an access to chat rooms, maybe an event ticket for a conference.

It didn’t matter. I knew that I found something I was genially interested in and I wanted to help this community out as much as I could.

Which is what I did for the next years. I bought Bitcoin, sold some for tickets, sent some to friends and eventually found myself in a pre bull run in 2015. Bitcoin just hit 200$ and I decided to sell it all and buy a laptop, have some cash reserves and try to get some gigs in the Bitcoin space.

During that time frame, every newspaper suddenly was pushing the Bitcoin narrative, experts were appearing everywhere and everyone was into it. Not because they saw the opportunities I or other enthusiasts saw, but because one Bitcoin was suddenly worth a shit tone of money.

Whatever year you’re in while reading this article, take that last paragraph above and insert the year you’re currently in. Which is why I decided to get back to blogging and trying to use my experience within the space to educate people.

With that in mind, I hope you’ll stick around, ask whatever comes to mind and don’t hesitate to reach out via Email or Twitter.


Joël Kai Lenz

Joël Kai Lenz

🍊💊 Ple₿ who's on the hunt for the next best coffee shop to write about #Bitcoin and #Lightning ⚡️
London, United Kingdom