Full disclosure, I only entered the cryptosphere about 4 weeks ago. I wasn’t even one of those guys who had heard lots about it and done extensive research before finally deciding to buy my first stake in Bitcoin. My story was different.
I had just moved house, with my wife and dog into the rural plains of Queensland. We are both full-time students and have lived pay-check to pay-check for as long as we can remember. In the weeks leading up to the move we had ricocheted like helpless pinballs between one bullshit encounter with centralised authorities to the next. Whether service providers, financial institutions, even local governments — one after the other they held us in contempt and extorted us for our time, attention and hard-earned money.
I’m sure you’ve been there. You’ve been given some bullshit parking ticket or fine. Immediately you are no longer innocent until proven guilty. You are guilty and must prove your innocence in the most cumbersome way possible — writing and posting a physical letter and waiting for months for a response.
I had flights cancelled. flights I paid for in real money, in real time. Their compensation was to offer me a cheque for some of the cost which would be posted “in the next 6-8 weeks.”
When we vacated our rental property the real estate agent held our bond deposit over our heard like tyrannical oligarchs, demanding repaints, repairs, returfs. I had a cleaner take my money and run, without doing the job I had paid for.
It was honestly so infuriating to be at the mercy of these entities. Groups who had dominance over our lives in so many ways. We were just trying to do the right thing, help out where we could, and get on with our studies and our lives. It was at this time — in this frame of mind — that a friend introduced me to crypto. I immediately fell in love with the ethos. An economy, a movement, predicated on decentralisation. The shifting of power from the few to the many. The opportunity to own, like truly own our wealth, our value, our influence.
I was in.
I was in 5 days before “the crash” but I was in nonetheless and I have no regrets.
Though, one thing that has pissed me off since becoming part of the cryptosphere, however, is an attitude I keep bumping into. It’s held by people largely unfamiliar with blockchain technology and the potential revolution it will bring. It is an attitude that can be summed up by the phrase: “Oh, so you’re a gambling man?”
These are people who think that trading in crypto is essentially glorified gambling. They may mean well, they may simply not have taken the time to look into blockchain tech, but they confidently assume that because the market is volatile, that its unfamiliar, then it must be a bubble, a scam.
You know what is a bubble? The housing industry that currently enslaves 35% of my country to crippling mortgage debt while the remaining 75% pay extortionist rents to help mitigate the cost. You know what is a scam? The fact that the banking sector in my country is among the most profitable in the world, with their CEOs pocketing upwards of $12,000,000 while the average household salary has stagnated, cost of living and student debt has increased and the value of our dollar weakened.
Am I any more of a gambler than the guy who bets on the banks, his superannuation account, his national dollar to not screw him over? Is crypto any more volatile than my handing over $400 for a cleaner to do the simple job they advertised only to have them rob me and run?
I did not enter into crypto as a gamble. I entered as a gambit. An educated, calculated play at reclaiming some ground. Reclaiming some autonomy, some control over my fucking time, my money.
I invested in the future, I invested in the power of decentralisation. I took back control of my wealth (tiny though it may be). I am excited to grow alongside these projects.
The cryptosphere is more than a market. It is a new technological universe being birthed out of our current, stale and broken one. At times it will be uncomfortable, painful, scary — any good birth is. Just don’t call me a gambler because I’ve chosen to be there when the baby arrives.