Fall of 2013 is when I really started getting into the blockchain space.
You know the story:
“I knew about Bitcoin when it was a $7 (or less) and didn’t believe it was a thing then” However when the price started increasing and crashing. It started peaking my interest.
I found the place to hang out was on the bitcointalk forums and then later on twitter. Started reading @aantonop and voraciously listening to the LetsTalkBitcoin podcast. As Andreas had said in the past, people getting into Bitcoin tend to go on a diet of sorts. You stop eating and sleeping, and just reading everything you can get your eyeballs on.
All of it was still too advanced for me. Being a novice-to-intermediate coder and having been a geek my whole life, the technology intrigued me. It reminded me of the first Dot Com Boom and all the excitement of the time. I wanted to get involved in the community but not being a cryptographer, master coder, I decided to get involved with Design.
I decided to make some holiday repeating patterns of the Bitcoin Logo so that people could print out their own wrapping paper for all the fun stuff they had bought with their BTCs. I got my first mBTC when someone tipped me about $50 USD worth ! I was very thankful and excited to see how it all worked and how fast it was.
I wanted to take it a step further. While reading about people selling stuff for Bitcoin and using systems like BitPay and Coinbase, I was noticing the fanaticism of all the AltCoins, Quark, Peer, etc. etc. So I built an online storefront that created apparel for the different coins, along with my Anarchist style grunge designs for the coins. I launch the site on New Year’s day.
I was one of the first online stores not only to accept Bitcoin but also 47 different Alt Currencies! My plan was to create a business where I never touched Fiat. So I found a printer who accepted Bitcoin and eventually would fulfill my orders. It was a great experiment and allowed me to meet some of the great people in the scene.
I live in Miami and the highly anticipated Miami Bitcoin Conference was coming, the one when Vitalik announced Ethereum. Through all my twitter friendships I was invited to the “Ethereum House” and all the guys we know from all the different projects were hanging out there. It was a very memorable weekend. I literally was selling my Shirts from the trunk!
While at the show I heard some talks about philanthropy in Bitcoin and during that weekend reached out to BitGive and started to produce their shirts. If any of the BitGive shirt purchased through the site, I pledged (and sent) a portion of the margin to the foundation. I really love the foundation and the people behind it.
I later got invited to the Canadian Bitcoin Expo in Toronto and was able to meet some more of the Bitcoin Celebs along with making many more friends. A portion of those sales also got donated to the Canadian Alliance.
After a couple hundred shirts sold to people all over the world. I realized that the production and distribution of the shirts were a pain. So I closed down the site, as it was interfering with my Day time job.
Two years later, after new technology, new capabilities and I am happy to announce that I relaunched 51attack.com.
I am always looking for suggestions and ideas for designs. The quality of the apparel is great and was able to start producing caps as well.
(That’s me in the middle with the bald head and blue shirt, selling shirts from the trunk of my car!)