I got into Bitcoin through mining back around 2012. It was a glorious time of my life. Bitcoin was rarely mentioned in the newspapers or any media except in a way filled with negative connotations and I honestly had no idea if this whole movement would be rejected by “civilized” society and if it would all end up with us being hunted down by some hybrid Marxist/Nazi/New World Order regime hell bent on maintaining the status quo.
But I pressed on thinking, “This is worth it…it’s too fascinating…too perfect….inclusive, voluntary, a chance for the middle class to expand around the globe.”
Fast forward almost a decade now and hardly a day has passed that I have not spent hours searching the internet for information on digital currency. I’ve rode three incredible bull runs that pushed me into what I considered fortunes. I’ve also lost said fortunes holding on too tightly to the dream and being struck by some kind of new age gold rush where more was the mantra. The whole process has been one of the most educational in my life on a myriad of subjects ranging from finance, computers and even politics.
But let’s go back for a moment to the early days of my mining to get a look at how far the scene has come. At the time I was going up and down the California Coast as a crypto-evangelist. In fact it started while I was working a job at a hotel in New Mexico where I had just bought a new home. It was winter time and I was working the night shift when I get an email from a friend in Los Angeles who I had pushed to invest in Bitcoin. He was studying to be an engineer at USC and was from Iran. He quickly spotted the benefits of what Bitcoin offered to people held hostage by political ideology and unreliable monetary policies. To show gratitude to me for me edging him into the investment he said, “Blakey-why don’t you come out to Los Angeles and we will set up miners. Let’s lock in some of these crazy profits on GPU’s and start up a small operation.”
The thought was very appealing. Albuquerque had turned cold and working the night shift at the hotel had me feeling a little isolated. Plus I had just bought a 1971 VW BUS in Santa Fe and wanted to take it on a voyage-a dream I had since first meeting someone with a VW BUS who lived up on an old defunct commune in Santa Barbara, California. Life seemed real when I was with that friend-we were alive and living each day. I decided WHY NOT and told my engineer friend I would start ordering parts for the operation. I had the bus painted over the next two weeks and cleared out the inside of it and all of my co-workers watched on as I prepared for takeoff in the bus. Dare I say I was an inspiration of sorts to them.
I will never forget reaching the coast slightly north of Los Angeles. I had gone from snowy desert isolation to warm coastal paradise in one nights travel. I knew how to navigate the shady characters drifting the coast so that was no real problem for me and in fact I welcomed adventure. I stayed at the original spot I pulled up around Santa Monica for a few nights embracing the white trash VW lifestyle. Almonds, steaks, beer, joint, swim, read. Even in the short time that has passed now things have changed on the coast there-but at that time it was kind of a cool renegade spot of fishers, drifters and burnouts that had unique stories.
Eventually I met up with my Persian friend (his preferred term due to political turmoil) and we got the machines going. We had verified the mining process worked! We named each machine “worker1”, “worker 2” and set up notifications to let us know at what rate they were working. I loaded them up into my bus with a new problem now-who and where would host these machines? My friend had quickly found out how loud and hot they made his apartment. His girlfriend objected-he didn’t mind in fact the gold rush was so strong in him I think he liked sweating in the profit. I felt no worries though about the situation and headed to El Segundo, California and started making friends with people in the industrial area. I finally settled a place making an ally with a fabricator for Hollywood with the perfect shop to setup my machines. He had an awesome sound system in the shop, a Porsche, and most importantly lots of voltage to power the machines.
Auspicious beginnings…think again. One day after a morning swim I get a notification on my phone that all of my “workers” are down. I jump into my VW BUS and head over to the shop to find all of the machines disassembled and spread out across the fabrication shop.
My heart sinks.
Written by DashTexasFarms#2048
Continued in Part 2