Discovering Bitcoin submitted by
I was first introduced to Bitcoin in 2013 by this post
about a guy who had invested his entire life-savings into Bitcoin. Obviously that was an incredibly stupid thing to do (that happens to have worked out extremely well for him), but I was intrigued by the disruptive technology, and if I'm honest, the investment potential.
I joined bitcoin
, bought a small amount, and casually learned about crypto over the next few years. I was never that
much of a fanatic, and barely understood the tech back then, but I liked the idea of banking the unbanked, central banks and governments having less power, and the idea that crypto might trigger a global transfer of wealth.
Being on bitcoin
throughout 2017 I started to realise that there are really two factions in Bitcoin. The miners, and everyone else. The block-size debate seemed valid to a degree, but it was also pretty obvious that the 'big block' argument was short-sighted, but favoured the miners and that's why they were pushing it. It started to seem that miners might end up being like the new central banks. The Lightning Network/Layer 2 side of the debate seemed much more reasonable. Discovering Nano
Then when the bubble came into full-swing, a couple of my friends who knew I had some BTC started asking me questions, and got themselves involved. And of course they went straight into investing in shitcoins. So I was skeptical when in December 2017 one of these friends told me they were stocking up on Nano. I'm not a trader and only invest in coins that have long-term potential, so I took my time and did a lot of research before buying anything. As such, I ended up buying Nano at around about the all-time-high.
In my research though, I realised Nano solves the problems that Bitcoin suffers. It doesn't have miners, so there's not a new class of powerful centralised entity. It is fast and free - basically the lightning network but on layer 1 and with fewer drawbacks. It won't scale as well as lightning, but by the time we get to the point that it needs to scale beyond a couple of thousand TPS, second-layer solutions will surely emerge. NanoMate
I'm a web developer, and built a couple of little side-projects while the bubble was raging. My friend (the same one who introduced me to Nano) convinced me to build a bot that auto-buys whatever John McAfee tweets about (the day I got it running was the day he started making it harder for bots), then I built a reddit crypto-monitor that emailed me and a few friends every hour with a report on what cryptocurrencies Reddit was talking about. Gradually I was leaning more and more toward Nano being the primary cryptocurrency in my mind though, so I wanted to build something around Nano.
So I came up with the idea for NanoMate - the best way to introduce your friends to Nano. The idea was to send your friends Nano via email. They didn't need to have a Nano address, or any
knowledge about Nano or crypto. You send Nano to your friend's email address, we notify them, and walk them through the process of setting up a wallet.
Originally I was thinking I'd try to do it in a weekend, or a week max. I ended up loving it, learning a lot about how Nano (and other cryptos) work in the process, and spent well over a month polishing it off before presenting it to the world.
I've launched side-projects on Reddit before and usually received an ok response, but the response for NanoMate was amazing. The post quickly got to the top of the Nano subreddit, was cross-posted (not by me) to CryptoCurrency
and got to the top there as well. A bot posted in the original post that "Someone has linked to this thread from another subreddit" and it was someone calling for developers to build a similar tool for another cryptocurrency. From memory the price of Nano even spiked that day, which I like to think I had something to do with :P
Since then I've made a couple of updates, the most significant of which was to make it not just "Send Nano via Email" but "Send Nano via anything" - that post also made it to the top in Nano and CC.
So, people like the idea of growing adoption via a grass-roots method like this. But to be totally honest, NanoMate doesn't get all that much volume. And I think that's because despite it's whole mission being ease-of-use, it's actually pretty hard to use. To send Nano to someone, you need two different tabs open - your wallet and NanoMate - and you have to switch between the two multiple times to copy the address, send the Nano, then go back to NanoMate to watch it arrive.
It's even harder on the receiving side - the whole point was to be a noob-friendly intro to Nano, but you need to follow a 7-step process in a separate tab to unlock your funds. I knew that for NanoMate to really
achieve its mission, it had to be built into an easy-to-use, noob-friendly wallet. Enter BrainBlocks...
I spoke to Ty for the first time around about the time that he put out a call for investment from the community. Over time he let me know about his plans for BrainBlocks, and I realised they really meshed with my ideas for NanoMate and grass-roots adoption. I was also really impressed with Ty and what he'd managed to accomplish behind the scenes. When he told me they'd joined forces with NanoWallet.io
, I knew this was the team I should join to accomplish my mission.
So there it is. I can't tell you all the plans for BrainBlocks' future, but I CAN tell you that the mission is big, and that one of the stepping stones is to fulfil the NanoMate vision - to grow the adoption of Nano by making it frictionless to send to your noob-friends
. One click to send to a friend, and a super simple sign-up to receive. No tab-switching, QR codes or waiting for confirmation.