6 minute read

I was born into a fiat money system. It was Bitcoin that challenged my reality and made me think of our relationship with money and the shaky future of the current monetary system. Most people will live their entire lives unaware of what is hidden in plain sight, ignoring the surrounding water1 just because they were born into it. Yet given the choice, most will choose the blue pill.

“You take the blue pill — the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill — you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember, all I am offering is the truth — nothing more.”
— Morpheus, The Matrix

I took the orange pill and I have never been the same since.

Bitcoin is a lens that changes your perspective. It exposes the rapidly disintegrating status quo and offers a solution. Bitcoin is the solution. I was lucky enough to look through that lens as I was transitioning out of university and into the real world. Bitcoin reshaped my worldview, my ideals, my beliefs. Deep down the rabbit hole, I actually transformed into a different person.

The deeper down the rabbit hole, the more skeptical I got for the broken system of artificial wealth control and shameless iniquity we are living under. The deeper down the rabbit hole, the more confident I got for the global, voluntary, distributed, peer-to-peer network, that does nothing but utilize math and physics to enable value transfer via the exchange of messages2. The deeper down the rabbit hole, the more I realized how stuck in a rut the economy is, built on weak foundations and crumbling by the day. The deeper down the rabbit hole, the more convinced I got for the opt-in network, envisioned and bootstrapped by a bunch of cypherpunks with the promise to fix the world.

We are all in this together, plugged into the same permissionless system, building it from the ground up. The Bitcoin Stack is growing, people show up every single day because they have belief. I have belief. I believe in a better future, a decentralized future, a future away from badly incentivised institutions and government members who are rarely required to walk their talk.

Sadly, that wasn’t always the case. The shitcoins narrative is so fucking compelling. To the uneducated, the newcomers, the people not willing to put in the hours, altcoins deceive as the future. That was me in 2017. Believing in a decentralization theatre with no basic understanding of why and how Bitcoin is changing the world.

Fortunately, the collective work of the bitcoin community planted the seeds for my enlightenment.

This is me in 2021, a new kid on the block, eager to learn and contribute to a dream that is gradually becoming a reality. We are building the foundations of that new reality and I want to be where the action is. It is supposed to be difficult but it becomes easier by the day. We are where we are today thanks to each and everyone that contributed to Bitcoin. It is up to us to keep raising the bar.

I want to raise the bar. I want to become a Bitcoin Core contributor—nothing else makes sense. I just resigned from my job to devote my days to Bitcoin. Today marks the start of a new chapter in my life, one that I will be able to think about Bitcoin without worrying that the excitement will allow no work to be done. From now on, work is Bitcoin and I couldn’t be more excited.

What is the plan?

I am contemplating on it from the moment I heard Jon Newbery discussing with Peter McCormack about his new initiative, Brink. Working on Bitcoin was something that, up to that point, I couldn’t wrap my head around. That discussion made me realise the importance of Bitcoin Core Development and initiated me into a fundamental part of Bitcoin that I wasn’t even aware of. I was preaching an open monetary network and it never crossed my mind to read its open source code.

Three days later and I was in my first Bitcoin Core PR Review Club geeking out that this kind of thing even exists. I was once again falling down the rabbit hole and it was pretty addictive. Needless to say, I was never properly prepared for any PR Review Club as after a few “Open Link in New Tab” I was exploring a totally different part of Bitcoin. The endless quest for knowledge and innovation is what attracts me to Bitcoin. I was never more excited to explore new concepts, admit my ignorance and overcome it. It is an endless loop that constantly feeds my excitement for the future.

I want the Brink 2023 Fellowship. That is the mainspring of the journey, a tangible goal around which I can orient my actions, yet keeping my options open by maximizing randomness and optionality. I strive to create an environment around me that will keep me focused and allow me to expose myself to a larger surface area of opportunity so that I can start capitalising on randomness and serendipity.

What should you expect from me?

I want to document the journey, I want to learn and build in public. That means you are getting my thoughts, my ambitions, my plans, my actions in a transparent and honest way.

Every person has their own way of learning, mine is developing a deeper conceptual understanding of each interconnected concept, building my knowledge graph from the ground up. For me, documenting such a journey means leaving breadcrumbs behind for anyone eager to follow along. That is why I am keeping my second brain open using a public Roam Research Graph. The goal is to create an extensive knowledge base for the upcoming members of the shadowy citadel and simultaneously put in place an accountability structure for myself. And Roam enables exactly that.

Bitcoin is fascinating. There is a vast expanse of knowledge to consume and abundant opportunities to do so. Chaincode Labs online seminars are a valuable resource and I am working towards getting accepted. I am also looking to expand my knowledge of history and economics, an urge for which bitcoin is solely responsible. I am always on the lookout for learning opportunities, nifty resources and motivated people, thus expect plenty of those to be found in my second brain.

I want to eventually have a merged pull request to Bitcoin Core, however my initial focus is on reviewing since is the most effective way to contribute as a newcomer. It is also a productive way to better understand the codebase as every review is in fact a deep dive to a different part of Bitcoin. The PR Review club helps a ton with that, and so I will have my notes ready and attend as many of the weekly meetings as possible.

I plan to gradually become more privacy and security conscious to be in a position to grasp the specifics of Bitcoin privacy development and ultimately contribute to it. I want to look more into projects and companies that are using technology to make individual liberty more accessible. From nodes and sovereign computing such as myNode, Embassy and Umbrel, to DIY wallets & PoS implementations such as SeedSigner and LNURLPoS.

I intend to read more and experiment with the lightning network. I want to check out cool communities such as Plebnet, setup a node and open a few channels. I want to play with all those cool tools that people are building at LNbits, Impervious AI and the upcoming c13n.

Bitcoin is so much more than money.

Up to the Bitcoin hill is the journey of a lifetime and I am totally ready for it. I have been reflecting on this for the most part of this year and I am thrilled that the time has finally come.

I was born into a fiat money system, but I will not die into it.