To me, Bitcoin represents the opportunity for the common person to take back sovereignty in a time of vanishing freedoms and increasing dependence. However, that understanding took many years of exploring and curiosity to find. I approached Bitcoin from technical and financial perspectives, dug into the history of money, and read bundles of arcane economics papers that all contributed to this idea of Bitcoin and its impact.
Bitcoin grew faster and further than I ever imagined. Given how long it took for it to “click” for me personally, I want to find out what is bringing people to Bitcoin and how this movement is growing organically. In addition, I want to share these stories with you and your friends and family, because I believe these perspectives have the potential to resonate with others earlier in their Bitcoin journey. These stories are best told and heard in person, after a handshake.
How will I hear these stories? By going on tour.
What Is The Bitcoin Tour?
To hear how people are falling down the rabbit hole, I will visit Bitcoin meetups across the U.S. this year, starting from Bitcoin 2022 in Miami. I am riding the ultimate freedom machine — a Harley Davidson motorcycle — to see the country from the ground.
As I visit the many Bitcoin meetups sprouting up across the country, I will hear about and share the myriad ways all of us come to appreciate Bitcoin. My goal is for your friends and family to see these stories and find just one that resonates with them, that shows them how Bitcoin might help solve a problem they care about. Swan Bitcoin will host these stories on its YouTube channel, and I will share them on Twitter.
If you want to share your story, let me know where you attend your local Bitcoin meetup and I will try to make it there. If you organize a regular Bitcoin meetup in your area, definitely direct message me on Twitter. You can see the rough plan for my route around the U.S. in this article below.
Why This Tour Exists
This tour is ostensibly about sharing how people come to find and appreciate Bitcoin — but my motivation runs much deeper. Let me attempt to share why:
Risk makes life interesting.
We marvel at Evil Knievel, revere mountain climbers, follow entrepreneurs in part because all of these people take big risks. They put careers, reputations, limbs and even life on the line to explore the uncharted and make the map for all of us. All of our great stories track the arc of a hero reckoning with obstacles both within and without, not the humdrum of daily life. On some level, we are attracted to and amazed by taking big risks to explore the unknown.
My motivation behind this tour is deeply rooted in an exploration of risk and the unknown. I love riding motorcycles partially because the risk brings a rush that cannot be captured on a page. I want to visit meetups and learn from Bitcoiners because I have truly very little idea of what I will learn or how, but I know I will find a way to hear and share incredible stories. I quit a stable job to go on this tour because I wanted to see what the risk of taking a few months to travel across the U.S. could reveal in my life.
Taking on sponsors for the tour also introduces a risk that I could let those sponsors down. I decided early on to only work with companies that I respect and people who I like. I would rather ride completely on my own dime than sell that freedom to someone I loathe working with. Working with teams I respect, however, pushes this tour to places it would never go if it was just me and a motorcycle. I owe a huge thanks to those sponsors for believing in my tour and this vision: Swan Bitcoin, Bitcoin Magazine, Unchained Capital and Upstream Data.
Risk And Reward
Risk also comes with reward for those who navigate successfully. Facing the unknown and knowing it one step at a time is at the root of why I set out on this Bitcoin Tour. I live for these experiences.
I believe most everyone finds joy in these kinds of experiences, but it is also easy to avoid them altogether. Our societies today — especially in the “developed” world — don’t help. We are driven to work harder and longer for less, then soothe ourselves with menus of on-demand entertainment, food, pre-packaged “experiences” and all other manner of predictable dopamine releases. Risk and exploring the unknown is discouraged from many angles, even though it invigorates us and drives healthy, happy societies. I hope my tour can inspire others to take the risks they’ve been mulling.
Risk And Freedom
Risk also comes hand in hand with freedom. Life is inherently a risky business, requiring personal responsibility to survive and thrive. Throughout history, societies have used controls and regulations to change how their citizens view and interact with risks. However strong the rule of human law, however, we cannot eliminate the risks inherent to natural law. Often when we attempt to eliminate a risk arising from the natural world, we only kick it off into the future.
Risk And Bitcoin
Our current financial and monetary system does not eliminate the risks of a credit-based currency with bailouts and regulations, but instead pushes them off — allowing them to fester and grow. This constant kicking of the can down the road is the “fiat mentality.” Looked at through this lens, other “crypto coins” are simply a continuation of the existing system: a repackaging of fiat mentality in fancy world salads and shiny JPEGs.
The incentives of Bitcoin’s system point to a different era, one where risks and rewards are more evenly distributed to those who choose to take them on. The military aggression, controls and taxation systems are no longer necessary for the purpose of backstopping the legitimacy of currencies, and the great power managing a currency gives a government. Neither will the norm continue to be endless inflation in a time of staggering productivity gains from technology.
It is no surprise that many label Bitcoin as risky, because Bitcoin is changing our relationship to risk. Bitcoin will force an end to a system that incentivizes policy makers and the public to put off and bottle up risks until they explode catastrophically.
In my view, Bitcoiners sharply understand risk and its relationship to freedom, to personal responsibility and to living out a rewarding life. This tour will help me test this idea, to learn more about how those who support Bitcoin understand these relationships and share that knowledge in a relatable way.
The Bitcoin Tour Route
Now that the weighty stuff is over, it’s down to where the rubber meets the road: the route.
After departing from Miami, I plan to ride up and around the U.S. for three months, logging over 10,000 miles in the saddle. The first leg of the trip will cover Texas and the South up to the Eastern Seaboard, and those dates are more or less set. The second leg of the trip will take the tour across the Northeast and through the Midwest, ending up in Colorado in late June. The final leg goes down to the Southwest, then up through the Rockies and along the Pacific coast to end in Los Angeles.
Here’s what this route looks like all mapped out (keep in mind, this is not set in stone):
Participating In The Bitcoin Tour
If you’d like to share your story, join me for a ride or just learn what I’m learning as I cross the U.S., follow me on Twitter @CaptainSiddH and join the tour’s Telegram. If you’d like to support the tour financially, you can donate sats via this Tallycoin fundraiser.
Whoever you are, dear reader, I am psyched to meet you at your local Bitcoin meetup. Keep stacking and I’ll see you soon. You might just snag one of the 21 hats I’ll be giving out at stops along the way.
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.