Have ever felt those vibes anon the feeling of creation? Ninja Grandma writes about her journey down the bitcoin rabbit hole and how she wanted to create beauty into the world so badly it hurt.
“How did you get into Bitcoin?” everyone asks of everyone. My tale is one of regret, but since our collective regret could fill an anthology entitled “Tales of Regret”, the sting isn’t as bad as it might have been.
In high school I was assigned a weekly one-page report on a science or technology article. My dad always had Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, and Wired magazines laying around the house, so I made easy work of it. High school ended but the reading continued.
Sometime between high school and graduating college, I read an article on Bitcoin or its precursors in Wired Magazine. A few things caught my attention: pseudonymity, permissionlessness, and the fact that the government had already been fighting them, hard. I remember thinking to myself, “this is going to catch on, it’s a real thing, keep an eye on it because one day you’re going to buy it.”
So I kept an eye on it. I started seeing Bitcoin in the news when it was a few cents, then a few dollars. I continued to keep an eye on it. I listened to my dad and uncle discuss it. Still, I kept an eye on it.
Essentially I thought it was a stable coin. What I did not know was the economics or the 21 million cap, so I felt no urgency. When Bitcoin went up to $400, I thought it was over-priced and would drop back down. Which is exactly what it did. I was right, and in no hurry, and so I was wrong. Anyway, I had no technical background and no idea how to buy it.
I kept an eye on it and kept an eye on it and kept an eye on it. From the beginning. As I stated: a tale of regret.
All I can say now is thank god for broken hearts. At the end of 2020 mine got hurt pretty bad, I got dramatic and feared I was destined to never get married, never to have kids, would die alone and by god, I’d better start planning financially for that. Nothing like a bit of despair to kick-start some change.
It’s just the problem was: How to plan? It had already become quite obvious to me that saving money was a waste of my precious time. I remembered being taught to save as a child, but sometime between then and 2020, saving had become a selfish act and a sign the economy was doing poorly. I was pretty sure there was something fishy about that. At the same time, I saw that when I saved up enough money to last six months in 2011, prices rose so quickly that my savings, in affect, got wiped out. By 2020, with my drama-filled hyperbolic despairing heart, I knew providing for my 90-year old decrepit lonely self was going to require more than savings.
I realized I needed to start thinking about some kind of legacy. I needed to start thinking about building something in the world: creating, writing, making art, learning how to be an entrepreneur, adopting kids, something.
“You’ve felt it, haven’t you? Those feelings that seem to get so big in your chest, like something is so beautiful it aches?” -Heather Anastasiu.
I wanted to create that beauty, and I wanted it so badly it hurt. -Ninja Grandma
Armed with a new sense of purpose and a burning need to fund that purpose, I started researching investing. I truly hate algorithms (there are only so many times you need to watch ‘how to tell if your bitter gourd is ripe’), but this search led to ads for Coinbase. I realized buying bitcoin was now easy, and since it had just jumped from $3000 to $30,000, it was high time I stopped keeping an eye on it and started buying it.
I bought a few shitcoins, too, but had the good fortune to meet a man who had been in Bitcoin for years. A few months into my journey, he told me to stick to Bitcoin, to just trust him. His standard of living suggested he knew what he was talking about where money was concerned, so I listened, but I also insisted I wouldn’t just trust him. He grinned, then told me to stop reading the blockchain books I’d rented from the library and handed me The Bitcoin Standard. I read it quickly, and suddenly a lot of things made sense. Economics did not have to be complicated, and time preference was a fascinating new concept to me.
Soon I was motivated to learn about economics, game theory, physics, philosophy, history, cryptography, and everything else one is introduced to when going down the bitcoin rabbit hole. A few months later, I finally listened to my first bitcoin podcast. It discussed the thermodynamics of bitcoin, and the individuals sounded so smart that I had to concentrate carefully to follow what they said. Naturally I was completely hooked. After a few more podcasts all I could think was, “who the fuck are these people?” I’d stumbled onto an entire group of people who were focused on building, creating, looking to the future, having families, starting businesses, solving problems, and just truly living.
I read a book a few years back called The Geography of Genius. The author argues that genius is not the same as genius-level intelligence. Rather, it has as much to do with place and community; that the Aristotles and Leonardo da Vincis and Einsteins of the world only become geniuses because of the communities they inhabit, full of giant shoulders to stand on, and ideas to challenge and incubate their own. I had a friend in 2017 who was incredibly intelligent: he was an alcoholic living in his mom’s basement unable to hold a job and disconnected from any community. He accomplished nothing. Supposedly I'm smart, but that could easily end up not mattering. Nobody builds anything in a vacuum. I wanted to find a group of people where I was the dumbest or least impactful person in the room. I wanted to find a community of people who made me feel small and even dumb, so I had lots of room to grow.
So when I found out what bitcoiners were, and that reaching their world was as simple as a meetup, I started going. The level of inadequacy I felt coupled with the incredible kindness of those I met told me I was in the right place. Soon these new friends asked if I was going to this or that conference. At their encouragement I went to the Colorado Beef Initiative. I’ve now just finished BitBlockBoom in Austin. And the people I’ve met continue to make my world brighter with their kindness, intelligence, and drive to improve everyone's lives.
I am still keeping an eye on bitcoin. There’s a lot happening, and I am so excited to be a part of it.