The 2018 Year of Cryptocurrency Challenge – Week 3

At the beginning of 2018, I wrote an article outlining a New Year’s resolution that I thought could help boost cryptocurrency adoption and awareness in 2018. Last week was the second installment of my year of cryptocurrency. This week’s challenge was particularly easy to accomplish because I was at the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami. Let’s dive in.


Literally almost everyone I spoke with this past week was already well-informed about cryptocurrency or a new, curious person who had decided to go to the conference. However, I did get the chance to speak to some people not from the conference. Here are a few highlights from the latter conversations.

  1. On my way back from the conference, my Lyft driver was very interested in what the conference was about and began asking me questions. He had been a forex trader in the past, so he was immediately interested in cryptocurrencies for potential arbitrage and exchange opportunities. However, I wanted to teach him more about the tech side of crypto and cool applications to show that this wasn’t just for speculators. He found the immutable data storage aspect the most interesting, and by the end of the trip he jokingly asked if I could pay him in Bitcoin. Sadly, the Lyft app does not allow that as a payment option.
  2. While grabbing dinner at a divey-looking gastropub, the waitress asked me why I was in town. When I said “for the Bitcoin conference,” she immediately became interested. She was interested in what “mining” (her air quotes, not mine) was. The restaurant was slow enough that she had the opportunity to sit down and discuss how mining works with me. She ended the conversation with, “I think I get it more now, but definitely will look into it further!” I told her to check out Andreas Antonopoulos’ YouTube channel.


This was no difficult task at the conference. My favorite new tidbit of knowledge is not necessarily technical, but incredibly interesting nonetheless. In his fireside chat, Charlie Shrem brought up just how lax people had been with their Bitcoin at the beginning. I knew that it was far worse then than it is now, but I had not realized just how different it was. Charlie said that he and his friends would often have poker nights with Bitcoin as the pot, and that every now and then people would lose the private keys to 20 Bitcoin and not really care, since it used to be so cheap. 20 Bitcoin is worth an incredible amount of money now, and what’s been lost is now irretrievable.

He also mentioned that his first experience receiving Bitcoin involved a transaction in the amount of 1,000 BTC. I was stunned.


While at the conference, I sent my friend some Dogecoin for his birthday and another friend some Litecoin because she seemed interested. The paper wallets I used were basic, but I told my friends to keep them safe. A pro-tip: if you’re ever giving away paper wallets, make sure to keep the private keys and set an expiry on them so that they don’t end up as lost coins. If they throw away the paper or lose it, you can always just reclaim and resend!