Internet Nostalgia and the Future of Cryptocurrency — my personal story!
In the early 1990’s, when I was just a kid, my family purchased our first personal computer. It was a top of the line system with an Intel 486[i] processor running at a whopping 33MHz, 4MB of memory and a 33MB hard drive running MS-DOS[ii]! Although my trusted “MS-DOS for Dummies” handbook taught me everything I needed to know, the computer seemed more like a novelty than anything useful.
Nonetheless, I remember playing games like Chuck Yeager’s Air Combat[iii] and Hard Drivin’[iv] and many others. I also remember visiting our local Radio Shack for new software and the latest releases from the Tandy Corporation[v]. In fact, every now and then, my grandmother would take me to Radio Shack and buy me a new computer game (thanks grandma!)
A few years later, I started hearing about something called the “Internet.” However, I had no idea what it could do or how to “access” it. Then, one day, while visiting my local library, I discovered that their public computer was connected to the internet — and the World Wide Web!
Not only that, the library also offered a free program to help people connect their home computers to the internet[vi]. Once my family signed up, the library supervisor gave us a floppy disk with the required software, settings and instructions.
Now, keep in mind, I was not even a teenager at this time, and, on top of that, my family didn’t have a clue about tech. In fact, I remember my mother and grandmother looking at our new home computer as if it was an alien ship that just landed. So, basically, except for the floppy disc and the library supervisor, I was on my own! Somehow, I had to figure out how to set the whole thing up, and since internet technology was new to the public, I couldn’t find any references to model. And, of course, there was no google! Looking back, I must have driven the library supervisor crazy with all my questions!
Nevertheless, after buying a new computer with an awesome 100MHz processor and a 28kbit/s modem, and, almost a month later, I finally heard the magical beeps and static sounds of the free internet, and since the internet connection was provided by my local library, I was greeted with the library’s web page — Thank you Merrick Library!
Even though the whole internet consisted of plain black text[vii], I thought, “Wow, this is amazing! HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE!!!!”
With a sense of keen curiosity, I browsed the Usenet[viii] where people connected with one another and I searched the internet with WebCrawler[ix], and I even downloaded some images. However, there really wasn’t too much to discover, and before long, I brushed the internet off as another novelty and went back to playing computer games.
Then, about a year later, my local grocery store started offering free floppy discs for AOL[x], and I convinced my family to sign up for AOL’s free trial. Shortly thereafter, I was greeted with the iconic, “You’ve Got Mail!” However, the internet I discovered this time was no longer just plain black text!
I’ll never forget the first moment I saw the internet in full color with images! It took my breath away and the feeling of excitement was beyond profound!
At that point for me, the internet had blossomed into something extraordinary! And, along with vibrantly colored photos everywhere, there was a new website called Yahoo![xi]
Although few recognized it at the time, this was the beginning of the Dot-Com bubble, and not only would it change the internet, it would change the world!
Fast forward more than two decades to 2009, and now as an adult with my own son.
Something very different was beginning to stir, and it was called “Bitcoin” — a currency for the internet.
Although it was considered nothing more than an obscure idea at the time, it sparked something inside me — it was that same curious feeling I had when I first discovered the “text based” internet!
Even though I didn’t know much about this new oddity, I knew that I could use my computing power to generate something called Bitcoins. I thought, “Why not?“
So, after joining one of the first Bitcoin mining pools, I had my computer mine for a couple of days. This meant leaving my computer on non-stop with my GPU fan at full speed. In return, I earned 0.63BTC which was worth about $1.00USD at the time — with such little financial gain, I didn’t see the point of mining nor the feasibility of Bitcoin — so I stopped mining and forgot about Bitcoin.
Sometime later, I started hearing about Bitcoin again, but, this time, in some very different contexts:
· Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme
· Bitcoin is a scam
· Bitcoin is used by drug dealers
· Bitcoin is used to buy guns
· Bitcoin is used by terrorists
· Bitcoin was hacked
· Bitcoin is used by hackers
Shortly after all the negativity began, I decided to learn more about Bitcoin. As my research unfolded, I began to comprehend “blockchain technology” as well as the potentials for technological advancement.
Once I understood the foundational premise of Bitcoin technology, I jumped in for real! I purchased Bitcoins, I started mining Litecoins (and others), and I continued to learn and evolve as a crypto miner, investor, trader, and loyal supporter.
Now, just 9 short years after the genesis block, Bitcoin has some new contexts:
· Bitcoin is digital gold
· Bitcoin is the new business model
· Bitcoin is the disruption of the banking industry
· Bitcoin is the future…
· And many, many more positives!
Even as amazing as Bitcoin is today, I believe that it’s just the beginning of something much greater! However, to see what I see, you must look past the ICO’s, the scams, and the fear and anger of those involved. Once you see beyond the surface, the truth becomes quite clear, and, only then, can you begin to comprehend how Bitcoin is transforming the world!
Thanks to Bitcoin, we are on the cusp of technological evolution!
Moreover, the new technologies that are coming from Bitcoin development pay homage to their revolutionary beginnings.
· Creation of a new global banking system
· Commerce without the middleman
· Direct buyer to seller transactions anywhere in the world
· Decentralized internet and apps
· Smart machine-to-machine data sharing
· Worldwide inter-connected super computer
· Cloud storage contributed by everyone
· A new evolution of gaming
· Global private data storage (based on permission access)
· Transforming the advertising and publishing industries while benefiting viewers and sellers directly
· And the list goes on….
For me, foreseeing the future of cryptocurrency is like seeing the internet for the first time in full color with images, and, even though I’m no longer thirteen, I still have that same excited feeling! Indeed, the future is bright!
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Thank you for reading this post and allowing me to share my story! I encourage you to share your crypto-story with me and others (here or anywhere appropriate).
What does Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mean to you?
Due to technological promise, what future cryptocurrencies/Blockchains/etc are you most excited about?
Although I’ve personally deemed some new cryptocurrencies potential gems, I’ll keep that information to myself right now. After all, the intention of this post is not to promote anything other than cryptocurrency in general.
Please, keep the crypto world in a positive state by allowing everyone their own opinions.
As a growing crypto-community, let’s move into the future together!
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[i] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_80486 — I wish I could remember the exact model.