Video: The Early Days Of Bitcoin With Vake
In this episode of BitcoinLinux’s “Meet The Taco Plebs,” I was joined by my good friend, “a man of the people,” Vake. He has been on the Bitcoin scene for a lot longer than many and provided some quality insight into what was going on around BTC in 2013 and 2014.
Vake is a proper pleb and I had the opportunity to meet him in person earlier this year. The day I flew into Texas for the popular Bitcoin-only conference BitBlockBoom!, I met up with him and a few others for dinner. We had a wonderful discussion on multiple different topics surrounding Bitcoin and I could tell he had a deep understanding of it.
Below are some of Vake’s best thoughts shared during the interview. And be sure to check out the full episode for more.
How Did You Find Bitcoin And Fall Down The Rabbit Hole?
“I got involved in Bitcoin in April 2013, when the price broke $100 and it was getting a significant amount of news attention. I was fairly libertarian prior to then, and a big fan of Ron Paul’s 2008 and 2012 presidential runs.
“His book, ‘End the Fed,’ that came out in 2009, was a huge influence on me. So, when I first heard about Bitcoin while watching an interview with Jeffrey Tucker on YouTube (which is no longer on YouTube), it made intuitive sense to me. However, it took about six months to buy my first sats, since I wanted to make sure it wasn’t a scam before committing money to it. Since then, it’s been a never-ending rabbit hole as my understanding of Bitcoin has deepened considerably.”
How Has Bitcoin Changed Your Life?
“Obviously, stacking sats has provided a financial benefit, but it’s also encouraged me to become more thrifty. I now look at all my expenditures much more carefully and try to avoid purchasing what I don’t need.
“Bitcoin has also given me a lot more optimism about the future; prior to it, being a libertarian was a very depressing affair because it felt like we were constantly losing ground to an ever-expanding state. Now, it feels like we finally have a tool to fight back, one that cannot be stopped.”
What Do You Consider To Be The Most Amazing Thing About Bitcoin?
“There’s a lot of attributes about Bitcoin that are appealing; the scarcity, the censorship-resistance, but what stuck with me the most was the unconfiscatability. I had heard stories about refugees fleeing danger, like the Jews leaving Nazi Germany, who often had to leave all of their property and life savings behind. In a world where governments can seize bank accounts and property, it was quite apparent that having an asset that cannot be taken from you (but can only be surrendered by you) carries inherent value.”
How Would You Advise Someone To Learn AAbout Bitcoin? What Are Your Favorite Podcasts, Articles And Books?
“I consume vast quantities of Bitcoin content basically every day, and right now we’re living in an embarrassment of riches. I listen to more than two dozen Bitcoin podcasts regularly, but if I had to choose one and only one, I would say ‘Tales From The Crypt,’ because I rarely miss an episode. ‘The Rabbit Hole Recap’ episodes with Marty and Matt are the best way to stay on top of the constant developments in this space, and Marty always gets interesting guests to interview.
“As far as articles go, the mempool section at the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute is some of my favorite content in this space. When I first got into Bitcoin and quality writing was much more scarce, the Nakamoto Institute was one of the only reliable sources of information.
“As far as books go, I usually direct someone new to ‘Inventing Bitcoin’ by Yan Pritzker, because it’s very short and explained simply. I’m currently trying to get a more technical grasp of Bitcoin, and for that I’ve been slowly going through ‘Grokking Bitcoin’ by Kalle Rosenbaum.”
What Is Your Best Bitcoin Pitch?
“When I pitch Bitcoin to family and friends, I tell them that it’s a form of money that cannot be debased or confiscated, making it fundamentally superior to fiat currencies. Unfortunately, the pitch rarely seems to work. I’ve told hundreds of people about bitcoin over the years — friends, family, coworkers, bosses, dates — and only a few actually took it seriously and bought in.”