The day I first heard about Bitfountain bitcoin news on Reddit, a friend had also called me to tell me about it. We spent most of our friendship talking about Ayn Rand and programming, so when we heard about a currency that was software and couldn’t be controlled by governments we were very interested. 600 worth of BTC and my friend and I planned on buying a mining rig.
Being 22 years old in New York City is a financial struggle. I sold it all and ditched my plans for a mining rig. My financial situation needed to be stabilized before I could invest in assets based on my philosophical beliefs. Bitcoin stayed in the news over the years.
The price went up and down, silk road happened, the legality of it was called into question, exchanges were hacked, and people gained and lost millions of dollars. Through it all, Bitcoin’s price kept rebounding, kept going up. Ethereum hit the scene with the promise of using the blockchain for more than just currencies. You could build decentralized apps on top of Ethereum and even new currencies. Unlike in 2011, I didn’t need the money I invested to cover any bills.
In the same period I shut down my company, Bitfountain, after running it for 5 years. Bootstrapping my own company gave me an unprecedented amount of freedom. I lived in 4 countries, traveled to many more, and only worked a few hours per day. However, since the company had run its course, I needed a new source of income.
I applied for only one job as a software engineer. It was the kind of job people love – high salary, all the Silicon Valley benefits, friendly team, well funded company, challenging engineering problems. After three rounds of interview they decided not to move forward with me. I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t want the job anyway. But I also feared losing my freedom. I’d be working more for less money and less flexibility than I had while running Bitfountain. Gone would be the days where I could spontaneously book a flight to India with no return date.