TL;DR: Always heard about Bitcoin, finally researched it, make a big bet, still riding it out. Bitcoin always EVENTUALLY goes up......save your hard earned time/effort in Bitcoin!
I've always wanted to tell a long-form version of my journey with Bitcoin. I have never really told anyone (besides my wife) as talking about money basically comes off as bragging to anyone willing to listen.....but its something I've wanted to explain as I feel it could give perspective to at least 1 person out there.
Im a 40 yo computer engineer who heard about Bitcoin from that first Slashdot article. Like most, I basically dismissed it initially until I kept hearing about it in the periphery for the next few years. At that time, I was too busy playing online poker to really even try to figure out what it took to 'mine' bitcoin, so eventually the topic just faded away again until I watched a random Bitcoin documentary sometime around when Bitcoin was $100-200.
Whichever miner was in that documentary really opened my eyes up to the possibility of Bitcoin. His conviction was that eventually Bitcoin will be the ubiquity of digital-value. I figured if people actually thought this, there must be something to it. So in 2013 I bought a good amount of Bitcoin on Coinbase.
From 2013 - 2017 I basically traded bitcoin for USD over and over and over again just to accrue more USD because bitcoin always EVENTUALLY went up. I didn't know the basics at that point besides that. I just knew it was super volatile but in the long run always seemed to trend upwards. This allowed me to speculate for sometime and at least increase my bank balance.
After doing this for a while, in early 2017 I watched a bunch of Andreas Antonopoulos videos on Youtube and was immediately hooked. I learned sooooo much about what Bitcoin really was in a relatively short amount of time. I dedicated 100s of hours over the coming weeks to discovering everything Bitcoin and realizing why this was important for my future savings and possibly even for the future of humanity??
Anyways, after really diving into the intricacies of Bitcoin, it was at this point in 2017 that I officially donned myself a Bitcoin-maximalist. I was dabbling with sh!tcoins in 2013-early 2017 and got my fill of garbage-speculation to try to grow my Bitcoin-stack and just settled on basically converting my savings to bitcoin instead of a silly savings account.
This is where the real fun happened. In mid 2017, I realized that my little family was set up pretty well with a nice savings in the bank account and a decent stack of assets (including bitcoin). We just built a house ourselves in a really nice area and had over $500k of equity in the house from inception since I acted as the general contractor and we owned the land. Since I hated the idea of all this equity just staring me in the face, I asked my wife if she would trust me to take out a HELOC for $150,000 since interest rates were historically low at the time. After much convincing she agreed!
So we went to the bank, they even asked what the line of credit was for and I didn't even think to lie so I just said 'we want to buy a bunch of bitcoin'. The banker thought it was silly but didn't deny me at all and shortly thereafter I wired $150,000 to Coinbase. We bought the bitcoin and we still have ALL of it to this day. Still leveraging the low-interest loan and making above the monthly payments.
My thought process behind all of this was a % of YOLO and a % of Warren Buffett's strategy to make a big bet when you see an opportunity....because thats the only way to build a portfolio of size. Was it responsible......partially, but my gut and conviction after putting so many hours into Bitcoin basically forced me to do this because the regret would have been astronomical. Plus as my initial hunch was confirmed.....Bitcoin ALWAYS eventually trends upwards because USD will always be inflated-forever and lets be honest.....Bitcoin's ground-breaking consensus mechanism via PoW/difficulty-adj make it the best money mankind has ever seen!
To conclude, we unfortunately live in a time of financial disrepair. Our bureaucrats are inflating away our hard-earned dollars and leave us no choice but to assume MORE RISK than previous generations. Due to this harsh reality, it is your duty to explore markets and determine the best place to house your USD. We now know that even UST's aren't safe....hell, what is 'safe' even. Take the time to understand bitcoin and allocate at least a % of your savings to this 'bet', you may need it in the future because someone like me will simply not accept USD at this point for any high-value item I choose to sell......
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