Missed Early Days of Bitcoin.

This is an opinion editorial written by Enza Coin, a Bitcoin-focused investor and content creator.

The other day, while going through my closet, I found a pair of my old FitFlops. Anyone remembers those? FitFlops cost around $100 and promised to work your legs into shape just by walking. Seeing them reminded me of the time I spent traveling across Asia from around 2008 onward.

During those years and into the early 2010s, I was managing a company based in Hong Kong while accompanying my then-boyfriend/fiancé around Asia. He worked on various finance projects with governments in the region, flashing his MBA, two master’s degrees, and finance background. Meanwhile, I occupied my days, and some nights, with corporate matters and building my investment portfolio. In those days, that meant investing in various equities, some Asian venture capital funds, and an occasional seed funding opportunity.

Aside from that, I also did some modeling for advertisements and earned my “play” money this way. And what did I intend to do with my “play” money? I wanted to invest in bitcoin.

My First Steps

In 2010, just one year after the mining of Bitcoin’s genesis block, I stumbled upon some stories about this wonder-currency. I was intrigued and interested in investing. However, I struggled to find enough information and sift through the comments for and against it. The challenges were massive. It seemed easier just to forget about it and go drink another espresso.

How could I invest? How could I sort through the many technical aspects? It felt like I needed to have a degree in programming. Furthermore, I was worried that if I did figure out how to buy and hold it, would I get some virus on my PC as a result, or would someone from the dark side pursue me after I did? Could I be subjected to the many scams or hacks that I was reading about?

It is sad to think that even 14 years since the genesis block, some of these obstacles remain for many people, stifling greater Bitcoin adoption.

Asking The ‘Expert’

As mentioned earlier, my then-boyfriend/fiancé was supposedly a financial expert. He advised governments on their finances and economic development. He had been investing in stock markets since he was a teenager. So, why not ask him for help and his thoughts?

One weekend while in Singapore, I shared the news and my questions with him. I remember that day so vividly. I mentioned Bitcoin and my desire to buy $100 worth and sell it after it grew to $1,000 worth. I thought it was okay to gamble a small amount because, even if I lost it all, I would somehow survive the loss… perhaps with only a few hours spent with a therapist.

Anyway, this is what he said:

“What? Bitcoin? That’s just for use by scammers and prostitutes.”

Okay, I forgot to ask how he knew that, but the discussion continued. I chalked up his abrupt comment to the fact that he had just finished drinking a double-shot, tall cappuccino with one pump of hazelnut syrup and was hyped full of caffeine and sugar.

I replied that I had researched it and understood that it is a token for the gaming sector, an industry that was growing fast. It can increase in value, I added. It can maybe reach $10 someday! I then reminded him that he promised to buy me a gift — yes, the elusive FitFlops — when next in Singapore. I said that, rather than buying me those magic shoes, I would just use the money to buy bitcoin instead. I could have easily bought bitcoin with my own money, but I wanted to do it as a mutual decision for the future. And since I wasn’t a financial expert, I thought it was best to seek his input. The discussion continued, and I convinced him to research Bitcoin further with me.

Boyfriend/Expert/Panicked Investor

Over the next few days, we both tried to find more information on Bitcoin and possible on-ramps. I found one small and seemingly elusive Bitcoin group in Singapore. It seemed that, at that time, you had to know the right people to buy bitcoin.

I felt that, at least since this group was in Singapore, a highly-policed and -regulated state, I would not be subject to the many scam sales and post-purchase hacks to steal the coins that existed back then.

I was curious about how to contact the Bitcoin group and even if I managed to contact them, how would I know if they were legitimate? However, I was willing to take a risk since I was only putting in around $100, which was just my FitFlop money. My boyfriend/fiancé/expert had a different view. He was old-fashioned and a conservative investor, following the Warren Buffett approach. Remember, Warren Buffett did not invest in any technology stocks until relatively late. The possibility of losing $100 made him panic, even though the upside could turn that into $1,000!

Wearing Bitcoin On My Feet

After finally convincing my Warren Buffett protégé/panicked boyfriend to consider Bitcoin, I tried to contact the elusive Bitcoin group. No email replies, no phone numbers, no address to visit. It seemed like the only outcome of my Singaporean Bitcoin adventure would be owning a pair of FitFlops. My outreach and research continued over the next few days, but to no avail. It appeared that Bitcoin and the potential for big returns would have to be reserved for a select few techies or traditional wealthy insiders. I left Singapore wearing what should have been my bitcoin on my feet.

My First Bitcoin And My Last FitFlops

Years passed. I occasionally tried to catch an article or other news about Bitcoin. Even as I learned more about how to buy and hold it, I was busy working and traveling and found it impossible to find any trustworthy Bitcoin sources to invest in across developing Asia. The region was not the best place to do such research. Even after the founding of some crypto exchanges, they did not serve customers outside the U.S.

The beginning of my Bitcoin journey had to wait until around 2019. While I missed out on the early days of Bitcoin, at least my feet have been happy and comfortable over the decade.

Finally, you may be wondering what happened to my then boyfriend/fiancé? Well, that’s for another article…

This is a guest post by Enza Coin. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or blockchain.