This is an opinion piece from Enza Coin, a bitcoin-focused investor and content creator.
The other day I was rummaging through my closet and found a pair of my old FitFlops. Does anyone remember that? FitFlops retailed for around $100 and promised to get your legs in shape just by walking. Seeing them reminded me of the time I spent traveling through Asia starting around 2008.
During those years and in the early 2010s, I was busy running a Hong Kong-based business while accompanying my then-boyfriend/fiancé to Asia. He has worked on various fundraising projects with area governments, flaunting his MBA, two master’s degrees and a background in finance while I occupied my days and some nights with corporate matters and adding to my business portfolio. investment. At that time, that meant investing in various stocks, some Asian venture capital funds, and the occasional opportunity for seed funding.
Apart from that, I also did some modeling for commercials and through that I earned my “play” money. And what did I intend to do with my “fictitious” money? I wanted to invest in bitcoin.
My first steps
In 2010, with Bitcoin genesis block having been mined just a year before, I came across stories about this miracle coin. I was intrigued and interested in investing. I struggled to find enough information and sort through the reviews for and against. The challenges were enormous. It seemed simpler to forget about it and go for another espresso.
How could I invest? How do you sort through the many technical aspects? I felt like I needed to have a degree in programming. Also, I was worried that if I figured out where to buy it and how to keep it, would I get a virus on my PC or be chased by someone from the dark side after doing it? Could I be a victim of the many scams or hacks I was reading about?
It is sad to think, however, that even 14 years after the genesis block, some of these obstacles remain for many people, stifling greater Bitcoin adoption.
Ask the “expert”
As I mentioned earlier, my then boyfriend/fiancé was apparently a financial expert. I mean, he advised governments on their finances and economic development. He has been investing in stock markets since he was a teenager. So why not ask him for help and his thoughts?
One weekend while I was in Singapore, I sprang up with some news and my questions. I remember that day very well. I mentioned Bitcoin and my desire to buy for $100 and sell it after it hits $1000. I thought it was good to gamble a little because even if I lost everything, I would survive the loss…maybe with just a few hours with a therapist.
Anyway, this is what I heard:
“What? Bitcoin? It’s just to be used by scammers and prostitutes.
OK, I forgot to ask how he knew that, but anyway the discussion continued. I attributed his abrupt comment to the fact that he had just finished drinking a large two-shot cappuccino with a pump of hazelnut syrup and was loaded with caffeine and sugar.
I replied that I had done some research and figured out that it was a token for the gaming sector, an industry that was growing rapidly. It can go up in value, I added. It can maybe reach $10 one day! I then also reminded him that he had promised to buy me a present – yes, the elusive FitFlops – when he next visited Singapore. I said that rather than buy me those magic shoes, I would just use the money to buy bitcoin instead. Now I could have easily bought bitcoin with my own money, but I wanted to do it as a mutual decision, for the future. And I was not a financial expert, so I thought it was always best to seek his advice. The discussion continued and I finally managed to get him to agree to do further research on Bitcoin with me.
Over the next few days, we both tried to find more information about Bitcoin and possible on-ramps. I found a small, seemingly elusive bitcoin cluster in Singapore. It seemed at that time that to buy bitcoin, you had to know the right people.
I felt that, at least since this group was in Singapore, a highly policed and regulated state, I would not be subject to the many fraudulent sales and post-purchase hacks to steal coins that existed at the time.
I was wondering how to get in touch with the band and even if I did, how would I know they were for real? Nonetheless, I was willing to take a chance because I would only be putting in around $100, just my FitFlop money. My boyfriend/fiancé/expert had a different view. He was an old-fashioned, conservative investor. He was one of those who followed Warren Buffett’s approach. Remember, Warren Buffett didn’t invest in any tech stocks until relatively late. The potential to lose $100 sent him into a panic, even though the rise could turn that into $1,000!
Carry Bitcoin on my feet
After finally getting my panicked protege/boyfriend Warren Buffett to agree to consider Bitcoin, I tried reaching out to the elusive Bitcoin group. No email responses, no phone numbers, no address to visit. It seemed that the only outcome of my Bitcoin adventure in Singapore would be to own a pair of FitFlops. My outreach and research continued over the next few days, but to no avail. It appeared that Bitcoin, and the potential to make big returns, should be reserved for a select few techies or wealthy mainstream insiders. I left Singapore wearing what should have been my bitcoin on my feet.
My first Bitcoin and my last FitFlops
The years have passed. I tried every now and then to catch an article or other bitcoin news. Even though I was learning more about how to buy and hold it, I was busy working and traveling and found it impossible to find reliable Bitcoin sources to invest in across developing Asia. The area was not the best place to do such research. Even after the creation of some crypto exchanges, they did not serve customers outside the United States
The start of my bitcoin journey had to wait until around 2019. Although I missed the early days of Bitcoin, I can at least take solace in the fact that my feet have been happy and comfortable over the decade.
Finally, you might now ask what happened to my then-boyfriend-slash-fiancé? Well, that’s for another post…
This is a guest post by Enza Coin. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.