Musings of a Bitcoiner: A Bonding Experience

The above video is the recommended method of consumption for the following text. For those with no speakers, or eardrums, or patience, a transcript has been provided below.

Bitcoin really strengthens communities, bringing people together with a common, bonding experience. That’s because bitcoiners literally do have a common, bonding experience. We even have a name for it: it’s called getting scammed.

Put simply, there are basically two kinds of bitcoiners: those who have been scammed, and those who will be scammed. You might think that there is a third kind, the scammer, but you’re wrong. Scammers get scammed, too. In fact, one scammer was busy being scammed, while he scammed me! I would diagram it for you, but it would just look like a bunch of lines with the word SCAM on them.

To be honest, I’ve only been scammed about 3 times, give or take twice, which isn’t that bad. I’d rather not get into too much detail, but I will tell you this much: OUCH. You probably know exactly how I feel. It’s that feeling of suddenly losing your magic internet money that you never knew you didn’t have. You can’t even watch it go, because of the magic. You just open up your magic internet wallet, aaaand it’s gone.

I heard of one bitcoiner who took a photo of his paper wallet, and then compressed the photo and password-protected it, and then he chiseled the hexadecimal representation of that file into a chunk of steel and buried it in his backyard. Ok, ok, I was just kidding about that last part. He actually kept the file on his computer. Then he installed a virus. That might have been his mistake, aaaand it’s gone.

The most famous scam in the history of bitcoin would probably be the Mt Gox scandal. Mt Gox (or M.T. Gox, also known as “Empty Gox”) was a bitcoin exchange that suddenly announced that they couldn’t find anyone’s magic internet money. In true scammer form, they claimed that they weren’t really scamming anyone, because they were too busy being scammed by something they called Transaction Malleability. I think that means their cat stole it.

Some people think that bitcoin itself is a scam, or that its only reason for existence is to scam people, but that’s not true at all. Let me explain by analogy. Imagine, if you will, that bitcoin is like a car. Now, you must admit: criminals use cars. See? Now that’s what I call a solid proof.

Of course, if cars were truly like bitcoin, then they would take a random amount of fuel to get anywhere. They would only start about once every 10 minutes, but you might not be inside when they do. Oh, and you should probably not drive where anyone can see you, because one day, you’ll suddenly notice that your car is a different color, and your keys won’t unlock the doors anymore.

Fortunately, bitcoin isn’t really like a car. It’s more like a club. But if you want to join, watch out. You’re going to get scammed. Welcome to the club.