Before I got into the crypto world, I built up a software company which I later sold to one of the other partners. This allowed me to semi-retire at the age of 36. I used the capital from the business takeover to invest in some high-end luxury holiday lets making me a property millionaire, so I don’t really have to work. However this is pretty much my pension alternative, so whilst I can live a modest life on the equivalent a junior executive salary I’ll never be uber wealthy on this path alone.
This also landed me in a situation where I was sitting around the house not really doing much, so in the summer of 2016, I found myself binging on Netflix, and whilst I didn’t realise it at the time, this was actually going to set me on the path to becoming a crypto millionaire (which by the way, I haven’t quite achieved yet thanks to the 2018 bear market). In fact, 3 documentaries on Netflix would change my life forever.
The first was Deep Web, the fascinating story about Ross Ulbricht, the alleged founder Silk Road, the online illicit substance marketplace that made Bitcoin hit headlines. The story has everything, suspense, drama, audaciousness, drugs, hit men and lots a money… what’s not to like??? Ulbricht was depicted to be a drugs King Pin that built a billion dollar business facilitating the illegal trade of drugs via the internet, thanks to the anonymity of bitcoin.
I loved the story, despite its sad ending where Ulbricht was jailed for life, it captured my imagination. The free trade of these drugs was far safer than the current method of having to visit drug dealers and putting yourself in potentially violent situations. It was the first real world use case for a peer-to-peer electronic cash. It was the perfect demonstration that we can self-govern, we can make our own choices, if we choose to put a substance in to our body, this is our choice and no one should be able to interfere with our freedom of choice. Bitcoin and Silk Road made that possible, and whilst I am not endorsing the use of drugs, we have rights to make our own choices. It’s just a shame the US Government and their bully boy mentality saw Ulbricht become an example of how you shouldn’t oppose the system.
Next up on the list was Banking on Bitcoin, this is the perfect introduction to Bitcoin and it’s first 8 years, and is a must watch for anyone in the space. The documentary spurred me on to create a Twitter account (as I was not sold on Twitter, I thought it was for total cocks… it still is to be fair, it’s a hateful platform) just to follow two very vocal early Bitcoin adopters, Charlie Shrem and Erik Vorhees.
This documentary was quite thought provoking, and leaves you feeling very much that it’s an “Us and Them” divide when it comes to the common man and the world governments. I left me feeling that bitcoin was the way forward, and it couldn’t have come at a better time either. When I sold out my shares of my company, I had to close my business bank accounts, however I still retained the rights to one of my software applications, and there was still a demand for it. So myself and the partner I had sold to agreed to take bitcoin payments and split the profits during the period where he was waiting to set up his new business account. To be honest, I didn’t really give it much thought until a year later when the value of Bitcoin leapt up 5 x in the summer of 2017.
Last on my Netflix hitlist was Gringo – the dangerous world of John McAfee, a exposé documentary about the bad-boy security software tycoon that made and lost his fortunes, leading him to run around the jungle in Belize in which it was implied that McAfee was orchestrating some sort of drug operation which lead to him murdering his neighbour and fucking off to the USA to run for President (god bless America eh?) .
Whilst this last one had no mention of Bitcoin, I would soon find myself hosting debates with John and rubbing shoulders with him at cryptocurrency events, but at the time I was just being this lazy guy binging on Netflix with nothing better to do. The rest, as they say, is history. If you haven’t watched any of these, I highly recommend you do, below is the trailer for Banking on Bitcoin.