Fri. Aug 12th, 2022

Journeying across the United States and visiting various Bitcoin meetups showed certain aspects of Bitcoin culture are consistent regardless of location.

This is an opinion editorial by Captain Sidd, finance writer and contributor to Bitcoin Magazine.

Over the last 10 weeks, I traveled over 8,000 miles of the United States by motorcycle, visiting 25 Bitcoin meetups in Texas, the South and the Midwest. I am not done yet, but I wanted to share a few of my thoughts while the memories are still fresh, so you and your friends and family can understand what I am learning about the culture developing around Bitcoin. If you want to follow my journey or donate,

Link to @HodlRev Tweet.

Options Make Independence

Bitcoin enables independence not by forcing us into any lifestyle but by providing options. The clearest example of this comes from the options for holding bitcoin. You can optimize for convenience by keeping bitcoin with a centralized entity like Cash App; you can optimize for security by holding your bitcoin yourself via open-source wallet software; and you can get a bit of both with tools like Unchained Capital’s vaults. The traditional system gives you fewer choices when it comes to security and virtually no choice when it comes to monetary inflation.

However, with these choices comes personal responsibility to evaluate your options and select the best ones for your situation. The act of investigating and choosing takes effort but builds knowledge and self-sufficiency. That makes individuals stronger, which makes families, communities, and the world at large stronger.

Independence Through Homesteading

Throughout my tour, I am also struck by the great interest Bitcoiners take in homesteading and gardening. From the ranch run by HodlRev in Michigan to the Beef Initiative conference I stopped at in Texas to Brandon Quittem’s home garden in Minnesota, Bitcoiners are interested in finding sources of nutrition closer to home.

Bitcoin Must Be Relatable

If you are reading this and still not understanding what the hell us Bitcoiners are on about, know that understanding Bitcoin takes time. Very few people understand why any of this matters overnight, and those who do usually had a number of prior experiences that pointed them in the right direction.

Through talking to many people across the U.S. over the past 10 weeks, I’ve learned that, like anything, understanding Bitcoin comes when it is directly related to immediate problems in one’s own life.

Michael Atwood of Oshi App helped me understand that merchants face high costs just to accept credit card payments, and accepting bitcoin can help them cut that down significantly while also attracting a new group of customers. A Bitcoiner who goes by @elderndiablito on Twitter visits his local farmers market every Sunday to talk to merchants about this problem and help them understand Bitcoin, and he knows it takes more than one conversation to get them ready to accept bitcoin payments.

Link to @CaptainSiddh Tweet.

For some, a simple way to relate to Bitcoin is through bitcoin mining. If you have access to cheap power, say below six cents per kilowatt hour, mining bitcoin can provide you an income stream much like owning a rental property. However, this rental property has low to no maintenance costs, no tenants and it can fit on a shelf in your garage. In states with cheap energy — like Indiana — I found many people at the local Bitcoin meetup were mining at home. Tinkering with a miner can be a fun way to learn more about Bitcoin and collect a little income along the way.

Go Forth And Learn

I hope this article gave you a sense for what Bitcoin actually engenders in people and culture. I took a motorcycle across the country so I could see this developing movement with my own eyes, instead of through media outlets or the Twitter algorithm.

I encourage you to see this world with your own eyes as well. Find your local Bitcoin meetup and go — ask questions, pick up some recommended reads and feel it out for yourself.

Find your local Bitcoin meetup.

If you’d rather start with reading materials or videos, check out Swan Bitcoin’s Canon, Unchained Capital’s blog and the site you are likely on right now: Bitcoin Magazine.

You will make your own informed choices on Bitcoin, just like everyone I’ve met on the road.

This is a guest post by Captain Sidd. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.