I am by no means a bitcoin OG; I’ve only been a maximalist going on four years now. It’s your typical maxi story, having started in 2015 as the average davey day trader, catching a wave getting my returns multiplied and thinking I’m a genius and bitcoin was going to the moon. That short-term wealth effect then encourages you to take on more risk, and you dive into the hundreds of other altcoins that all tract bitcoin at different multiples and they’ll go up as well confirming your bias that you’re trader of the year.
You’ll continue to ride that false sense of confidence, leverage yourself further and further, and when you’ve extended yourself far too much, bitcoin will humble you. So as the story goes, I got myself well and truly wrecked during the 2017 bull and bear cycle.
Once I realised the altcoin scam, I eventually purged myself of those liabilities, consolidated into bitcoin at major losses and started to stack sats along with stacking a healthy dose of humility. The lesson was painful, but without pain you’re never going to learn.
You have to take a step back and think about what the mistakes I made were, what I believe is not true and what is true and where I can improve. In this particular case, it was that altcoins are not the “next bitcoin”, they are vapourware doomed to fail and track bitcoin until they don’t, and bitcoin is the real innovation in the space; its NGU technology has brought savings into the modern age.
Any pleb like myself can now build equity.
The orange pill after effects
In a world riddled with debt and looking for growth or rather risk at all costs, to service that debt, bitcoin, as the contrarian trade, it’s building up value outside the system, a hedge against current monetary policy and a way for you to protect the product of your labour, it’s a revolutionary act.
While everyone around you remains a debt slave or a slave to the assets they are holding and hoping they keep pace or outpace currency debasement, you’re able to buck the trend, get off the hamster wheel and play a new game where no one can cheat or rug pull you.
Once you come to this realisation, you can’t help but want to shout it from the rooftops; there are very few bitcoin maximalists that do not openly preach the wonders of bitcoin and what it can do for the individual.
You feel compelled to share the good news, and yes, you can come off as a psychotic and toxic cult member, but those are only labels people place on you who feel threatened or don’t understand as their mental model is still based on fiat.
Passing on acceptance
Once you update your monetary operating system to the bitcoin standard, as Saifedean Ammous would say, you start to update all your mental models. Since money touches everything we do and drives our incentives, once the orange pill colours your vision, you start to see the world differently. Your opinions will change, the way you absorb information will change, the way you analyse information will change and the way you approach life and people will change.
Any change will always be met with resistance from the outside world; you’re challenging ideas, upsetting certain norms, you’re asking uncomfortable questions, and the normies, fiat maxis, and the altcoin crowd are not going to like what you have to say.
You’re going to have to deal with fights, rejections with disagreements daily and learn to live with it, you’re going to have to give up finding common ground because bitcoin isn’t an idea you budge on or make concessions.
It’s all part of testing your resolve and your belief in bitcoin. You may have to pull back from certain people, make new friends, and be prepared to lose some in the process.
Passing on cheap thrills
Once you start stacking sats and living on a bitcoin standard, you’re always conscious of the opportunity cost that comes with saving. Since your net worth continues to increase in value, you think twice about the purchases you make and if they are worth the exchange. In fiat, where money is guaranteed to lose value, you’re encouraged to spend it as fast as possible to get the most value out of those currency units; in bitcoin, it’s the opposite.
You have to consider if this purchase is going to be worth giving up asymmetric returns in the future.
You’ll have to give up the silly fiat games, like impulse buying, the binging on vices to “spoil yourself” and rid yourself of many of the dopamine-driving enjoyment those on a “fiat standard” use to numb themselves to the obvious losses in their purchasing power.
These cheap thrills now have a real cost attached to them, and you’ll start to see them as the necessary and needless consumption items and services they’ve always been. I am not saying live as a pauper for the sake of stacking sats. We all want to enjoy a certain quality of life, but you don’t need the latest iPhone or a subscription to all the streaming services; you don’t even watch.
Passing on rug pulling others
Now, neither Nicky nor I make any money from this blog; we take our time to research projects, share our learnings and put them out for the world to see for free. We ask for nothing in return; we have no sponsors, don’t actively look for sponsors, and apart from the odd donation, we don’t monetise any of the content.
That’s not to say we feel that our content is worth paying for or worth sponsoring; it’s just saying that there is zero direct monetary incentive for us to do this. It’s a negative return; we have to spend our time doing this, and spend money keeping the site going.
We do it because we like it, and we want to be the resource we would have wanted to have when we first got into bitcoin.
It would be very easy for us to turn the site into a “crypto” blog, fill it with ads and referral links, and shill a range of hopium-filled articles designed to lull people into a false sense of confidence, affirm biases and promote bitcoin affinity scams, and profit directly from that abhorrent behaviour. But we choose not to rug pull our readers; neither of us is financial advisors nor pretend to be; we’re simply average working class plebs with day jobs and a bitcoin hobby.
Passing up on “crypto” capital might seem like a dumb move from a fiat money perspective when you look at the amount of money thrown around to fund content creators that encourage new retail investors to shitcoin and to pass on bitcoin but having been on the end of that journey we know how it feels and would like to help others avoid it.
Any shitcoin casino or company looking for promotion from us has been met with a resounding no, and that’s money we could have used to stack sats. So call us idealists, call us foolish, call us close-minded, but we both sleep very soundly at night.
Passing on short-term gains
Bitcoin does NOT go up in a straight line; the all-time-highs are short-lived; when it does come crashing down, you’re going to take a lot of stick for it, even if it crashes below your entry points, and you’re still in profit, the normies are going to want to take victory laps and in doing so test your conviction in the bitcoin thesis.
At points like this, it’s easy to get disillusioned, especially if you’re new to bitcoin, and those wondering eyes will start to look elsewhere. You’ve had the rush of dopamine that is a bull run, and you want that feeling and that wealth effect back.
Times like these might tempt you to leave bitcoin, to chase yield, to take on more risk, to put chips back into the fiat system and roll the dice one more time, hoping you can hit the jackpot. Sure, if you’re a trained investor or you ride your luck, it can work out for you, it’s not a zero chance of outperforming bitcoin, but it’s a very small chance.
For most of us, simply going to work and stacking bitcoin with what’s left over from our savings will be the better performing trading strategy, but it is boring. You might feel you want to do more. Still, you’ll fall into the activity biases of the flashier assets and, in most cases, will end up wrecking yourself or ending up with fewer satoshis than you would have, should you have stuck to your fiat mining and dollar cost averaging.
Bitcoin maximalism comes at a price
Bitcoin will not only test your ability to think long-term, but it will also test your ability to resist temptation, it will test your ability to hold on to a belief and a thesis, it will test your ability to go against the consensus, it will test your integrity.
Some of us will fail these tests one or multiple times, and bitcoin will be there with its scoreboard of satoshis, there to remind you of your failure for all time. It will also reward you with that same scoreboard if you do pass the tests presented to you every day.
Hodling and focusing on bitcoin might be a simple act, but it is far from easy. You have to wake up and decide to do it every day. If you don’t, you will not stay the course, and you’ll soon find one concession after the other will eventually lead you into compromising positions that will see you end up with less bitcoin.
Having less bitcoin than you otherwise could have, is a painful lesson, and that opportunity cost will stare you right in the face for as long as you live, remaining you of that mistake and why you should learn from it.
So that’s my thinking on pushing bitcoin; maybe it’s copium, maybe I’ve reached a new level in my bitcoin journey; only time will tell. So how do you see the bitcoin? Is it important to you, or do you think giving up short-term profits isn’t worth it? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments.