What The Bitcoin Center Was Like Before The BitLicense Killed It


Did you hear about the bitcoin center in New York in the early days before the bit-license came in. I don’t know if this is really funny but it’s more like this is how old school life was. So it was always ironic to me that we were talking about the most disruptive tech potentially out there and yet there was a trading pit, it was called Satoshi Night and I think they used to be on Monday and Thursday nights. The Satoshi Nights would basically outcry pit like they had in the old days of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. So the irony of the latest tech was that actually you had this trading pit on Monday I think and Thursday nights with people in jackets and screaming out prices and they’d be up on this wall and people would literally transact bitcoin. I used to go there, obviously I worked for CME group and this was early days and I didn’t want there to be traceability around what I was doing in terms of buying Bitcoin. I used to literally go to ATM and I’d show up with like whatever I could feel comfortable taking with me in cash I would hand over cash to then buy Bitcoin and back then like bitcoin was low enough where if you had a thousand bucks or whatever the number was you could still buy some decent amount of bitcoin but it was always hilarious to me that as a trader we’re talking about really sophisticated tech and disruptive tech and yet we’re all meeting to like trade Bitcoin in person in an outcry trading scenario. But I remember I got my first ever wallet when Nick Spanos had this machine it would literally print out a private key. And my first wallet was actually this printout. I remember him distinctly saying to me keep it safe because if you lose your private key That’s it. And that was like the first thing I ever got before I picked up… you know I opened an account with blockchain it was way before Jaxx way before you know a bunch of the wallets were available. It’s like early early days. So then I had this piece of paper that he gave me which obviously had the private keys on it. And for a while I just kept it with me. But then I noticed it was really crappy ink the ink started fading. So like immediately I actually wrote it down and then I tucked it away and I hid it and I just locked it, it didn’t go into a safety deposit box or anything. You know people were like oh the safest thing you could do is write it down and then put in a safety deposit box and I was just like wait a minute. So you’re telling me I’m taking something that’s meant to be just all digital. And now I basically as cold storage, I am now going to put it on a piece of paper and then put it in a safety deposit box? And now I know people complain about that it’s not as easy to use and secure. But I tell people all the time like you don’t understand there’s so many more options today as a user than there were even five years ago. But it was down by New York Stock Exchange like two doors down or something. And it was a great place. Lots of fun stuff going on, T-shirts like stuffed animals like there was just all kinds of kit. People were bringing their mining rigs and sell them I think. I didn’t buy one. But I remember at one point there were all these mining rigs not massive ones but ones that you could put in your apartment. I remember people of all ages. I met this woman who must have been in her 70s or something and she said she was an intern, it was hilarious. She’s like ‘Yeah I was walking down the street and I saw this Bitcoin Center of New York and I was wondering what is that. Everyone was so nice. I learned about this bitcoin thing’ and she’s like ‘now I’m an intern” which is awesome. Like you know there were 15 year old kids there and then there were people in their 70s plus and it was really I think a microcosm of the way Bitcoin was envisaged to be. And it wasn’t about necessarily getting rich. It was really around this is a cool tech and you can also form relationships and bonds in person as well. And I think the early days of Bitcoin and when people were really beginning to understand and get into it were actually kind of really good days like there are a lot of good people in space. And then obviously the bit license came in in New York and that effectively shut down Satoshi Nights. So I still kind of miss it.

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