I’m sure that every reader has stories of having missed out on being an “early adopter” of Bitcoin, and I’d like to share my tale with you. But first, let’s preface this entire piece by reminding everyone that even learning about Bitcoin in 2014, or 2015, makes you an early adopter.
My story of how I was missed out on being a fairly early Bitcoin adopter is a kick in the slats that I have no doubt many can relate to. This article is dedicated to the man who introduced me to Bitcoin. If you are one of our readers, send me a message. I’d like to hear from you and thank you personally. Hopefully, we’ll meet again someday.
I was introduced to Bitcoin
It all began in the winter of 2011, I made friends with a man who has an above-average intelligence and claimed life was just way too easy for him. He was an exceptional programmer who had his life together financially, and he always had the right answer whenever I’d ask him a question. Well, one day we had dinner at a restaurant and discussed mainly topics related to hacking. We both agreed that all information should be freely available, but I had my concerns about making nuclear bomb schematics freely available. Granted, the people who have those schematics already aren’t always the people you’d want to have that information, but I digress.
During the conversation, I brought up that I was interested in having total control over my computer system so that not even the operating system could hide anything from me. Well, we discussed becoming the “Trusted Installer” Windows user, though that was immensely easier on earlier versions of Windows, but to have ultimate control of your system, you’ll need to “step into ring zero.” Ring zero gives you kernel level privileges and to accomplish this you must have your program load before the kernel and then load the kernel from your program.
Many programs from viruses to anti-viruses try to step into ring zero to harm or protect your computer system. Only one program can have access to ring zero at any given time, so if one of them already has it, it will block other programs from obtaining ring zero during that session. It’s a geeks dream come true to have that kind of access and, well, can you blame me for wanting to pull it off? After that night, whenever I’d go to text him, he’d always ask if I’ve stepped into ring zero yet. It was an ongoing joke from that night forward.
Ring zero and hacking discussions weren’t the most-interesting conversation that night. With his aptitude for knowing what felt like everything, I decided to ask him a burning question I had. “What’s the easiest way to get rich?” He replied, “Invest in Bitcoin.” At that point, I had no idea what Bitcoin even was, so he told me a little about it. It was interesting, but the concept sounded a bit far fetched as I couldn’t see why anyone would want to use Bitcoin as a currency. People are reluctant to part with their money in the first place, so having another currency that was less established didn’t seem like it would get much attention.
My birthday was coming up, so he gave me $50 at dinner. Instead of investing the money in Bitcoin as he had recommended, I used it to pay for my bills and other things. As Bitcoin was around $3 back then, I’d have gotten 16.66 BTC from that $50 (roughly $10,000 in today’s market) and had I been smart about things, I could have invested a bit more or began bounty hunting. Why didn’t I invest? Well, I had looked at the Bitcoin website, and everything just seemed way too complicated. Had I only known what I know now, I’d have made much more of an effort to learn how Bitcoin works.
Do you have a story about how you missed the Bitcoin train early on? Share your story by posting a comment below or discussing it in the CCN forums.