I Remember When Crypto Was Fun

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I am by no means a way-back “crypto OG,” though I wish I were. I became involved in 2015/2016, after realizing that a new money existed which offered the chance at starving the government, and cutting out the middleman. After my first transactions with BTC, I was sold. It felt spiritually clean. No grease. No thieves. I send money to whom I want to have it, and vice versa. No invasive questions like banks ask, basically no fees, and no centralized control. 

I did some odd writing jobs for crypto on Reddit, and cut my teeth in the game learning the basics about how all this magic internet money works. I’m still just a writer. I’m not a dev. I can’t look at open source code and decipher what is right or wrong with it, or where privacy exploits could occur. I just have to trust the devs I do know to be able to do that. But the fact that the code is open source at all means the world to me. Neither PayPal or Visa would ever dream of giving me such access, or control of my own finances. 

Something else about crypto means the world to me: being able to actually use it. 

These days, bitcoiners are actually celebrating that it’s not being used. One crypto news outlet recently reported: “On October 24, bitcoin supporters celebrated the number of bitcoin (BTC) that haven’t moved in a year or more. The bitcoiners shared a chart from Glassnode that indicates more than 60% of the BTC in circulation has not moved in a year or more.”

The “hodl and wait” mentality has really (perceptually) destroyed what this crypto thing is all about. Namely, peer-to-peer electronic cash without the need for a financial institution.

Some Examples of What Has Died

I’ve written about this multiple times, but it bears repeating. When I got into bitcoin I spent lots of it. At bars, in trades, for friends overseas who needed financial help. I still do, too, as bitcoin cash and other cryptocurrencies are, to this day, built for actual disruption and change — not the lip-service “disruption” and “innovation” given empty praise by scum politicians, think tanks, and supranational bodies of “elite” so-called leaders trying to co-opt and destroy individual freedom and autonomy.

I spent a decent amount of BTC on beer and pizza here years ago, at Two Dogs Taproom in Roppongi, Tokyo. Always happy to support the local free economy. And you still can, today, with BCH!

I used fun apps like one (now defunct) called “Takara” which was a geocaching platform for bitcoin. Users would have to physically travel to gem icons stashed by other users on a world map, and when the GPS sensed they were within range, a question about the location or other such trivia would pop up. This question was created by the person who hid the bitcoin. For example: “What is the name of the dentist’s office across the street?” The user then answers the question, and if correct, the bitcoin is transferred to their wallet.

I had a lot of fun traveling all over Tokyo playing this game, and even stashing my own bitcoin for people to find now and then. This was all done on-chain. Of course, now, small blocksize proponents and other corrupt interests have made such games completely impossible to create, as BTC fees skyrocketed. The only way to do such things these days with BTC is by using custodial or off-chain “solutions” backed by groups like the World Economic Forum. 

Remember when LocalBitcoins didn’t suck?

I remember the days of unregulated bitcoin ATMs, too. Lots of businesses and cool opportunities were popping up. Anybody could start a business with crypto. All of these things are still possible. However, regulations, “know-your-customer” (KYC) policies and other such invasions of privacy foisted on us by the state, have effectively killed much of the free exchange that used to make crypto great. 

Central Bank Digital Currencies will save us! 

Well, that’s not exactly or completely accurate. It’s the people refusing to disobey these bullshit rules that have killed things, but understandably the threats of the state are a powerful tool for “persuasion.” The small-bitcoin-blocksize, hold-bitcoin-forever-and-never-use-it crowd of government stooges and crypto frat bros now holds court on a greasy surveillance social media app called “Twitter,” where the mainstream conversation around these currencies seems to center — And this is supposed to somehow signal a financial revolution.

Furthermore, I just read in the news today that Apple is making its App Store rules even stricter to forbid fun things like crypto functionality allowing certain kinds of decentralized transactions and rewarding users with cryptocurrencies. It’s all becoming centralized, state-run, useless garbage. No better than the fiat system it was ostensibly created to displace. So, what is the result of such rules? Well, does anyone remember SaruTobi? 

That super fun game still exists, but now one needs an Apple-approved “ZBD gamer tag” to collect rewards. This kind of forced centralization is happening to all crypto apps on these filthy stores and telecommunications provider platforms. As NBC reported just today:

“…Apple said in updated App Store rules on Monday, that apps may facilitate ‘transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrency on an approved exchange.’ But the app can only be offered in countries or regions where it has licensing and permission to operate a crypto exchange.”

“‘Apps may not use their own mechanisms to unlock content or functionality,’ such as cryptocurrencies or cryptocurrency wallets.”

Go fuck yourselves, Apple. Apps like this and myriad others used to give anyone in the world with an internet connection the opportunity to earn money to help them survive and thrive. Plus, they were just fun.

Now, one needs a KYC’d, bank-account-connected, state-approved crypto account to do just about anything if it is to be officially approved or even allowed. Governments globally are creating their own central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) to displace and destroy crypto, and are taking aim at decentralized finance (DeFi) like never before. The whole vision has been lost on most, it would seem. Of course, there is another way, and the dream is by no means dead. It’s just an underground reality again. 

I’m Still Free

To the folks that think this is just sour grapes. It’s not. It’s mourning what was supposed to be a financial revolution turning into a “number go up,” fintech bro circle jerk (pardon the crude expression) — people unopposed to completely whoring themselves out like dimwits for governments, giving up all their private information to buy a cute puppy NFT or be part of an airdrop or suck the ass of “luminaries” like billionaire Michael Saylor — folks who don’t even understand what bitcoin is at all.

I still use crypto without permission and for everyday payments. And I love it. Bitcoin cash and XMR are good ones. And there are still lots of people who understand what this thing is all about, and why it’s revolutionary. I haven’t given up by any means and I’m more optimistic than ever in viewing the current mess with sober eyes. That may seem paradoxical, but it’s the idea that has the power. The freedom of spirit. The more that idea is opposed in futility by the control freaks, the more it will show itself to be un-kill-able. 

We are peers, and trade as such, requiring no knuckle-dragger state or institution to muck things up. In the same way you’d deal with some dumb fuck trying to watch you take a shit in the bathroom at a bar or restaurant, that’s exactly how these invasive creeps must be dealt with. It’s none of their goddamn business, and furthermore, they need their fucking asses kicked. 

Privacy is our God-given right. Do not surrender it.

The truth is, crypto still is fun. Very much so! To people who actually enjoy what it’s all about: individual financial sovereignty and economic freedom.


Cover Photo by Shot by Cerqueira on Unsplash

By Voluntary Japan

Living life.

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