How Ethan Found Bitcoin Again
A story of our Manager of Customer Operations and his journey to find Bitcoin again.
I heard about Bitcoin for the first time around 2013. At this time, I was in university with little financial knowledge, and my main priorities were partying, cheap food, and not failing Dr. Grant's Business Law class for a 2nd time. I ignorantly brushed off Bitcoin and only saw it as a means of payment for illegal drugs and services on The Silk Road. It wasn’t until 2017 that I revisited Bitcoin with fresh eyes and a more mature mindset.
Driven by wanderlust, in 2017, I packed all my belongings into my Mercury Mountaineer and drove from my home in Virginia to Colorado. I spent my first month exploring and landing a steady income in the state. Around this time, my brother gave me a call with what might be the initial question to most on a Bitcoin journey: "What do you know about Bitcoin?” This started a series of lengthy phone calls over months in which my brother would spend the time educating me on “cryptocurrencies,” blockchain, and setting up my wallet. This “first step” was also instrumental in rekindling a relationship with my brother through a mutual passion for blockchain technology that lasts to this day.
With this knowledge, I started investing in Bitcoin and was hooked. But my interest in Bitcoin was still very short-sighted and almost solely for profit-making. I try not to blame my younger self for selling my Bitcoin. Starting a new life in a new state while significantly broke makes it hard to HODL. So I took my profits and stepped away, leaving any pursuit of learning in the dust.
It wasn’t until early 2021, after stepping away from my current career, that I found “crypto” again. Again, with another phone call from my brother, he asked, “What do you know about Solana?” This took place during the infancy of the now “booming” NFT industry. For context, I am a huge gamer, and video games are a massive part of what makes me…me. Naturally, I started to stumble around in the emerging NFT gaming industry with games built on Ethereum, such as Axie Infinity and Splinterlands. I was making pretty serious profits during this time, and with the blue-eyed innocence of a child, I started to think, “I can do this full time.”
SPOILER ALERT—I didn’t.
In 2022, I moved into the Solana ecosystem, minting NFT projects because I felt I had a knack for identifying projects with true potential.
SPOILER ALERT—I don’t.
During this period, I started using my career-based skillset to work for projects and companies building on Solana. But this would be short-lived, and I would inevitably burn out and resent the network. I had to seriously start thinking about what my next move was going to be. A big part of me didn’t want to go back to the world I previously worked in. It was brutal, messy, and I often found myself at odds with the blatant hypocrisy that seemed to riddle the industry. Alas, I brushed up the resume and started applying to jobs that fit my resume. Jobs that would pay me well—but ones that would beat me down.
Then a friend of mine, at a conference in Portugal, just happened to run into Shah Ramezani, who told my friend he was hiring. My name came up, an interview was scheduled, and I was starting my first day with this Bitcoin company called NOAH within a week.
So what have I been up to since then? Well, in the last six months, I have finally (5 years later) taken the necessary steps to learn and truly understand Bitcoin. And believe me when I say that knowledge is liberating. Now that I am working for NOAH, I have become fascinated with the Lightning Network. I am still such a newb in truly understanding Bitcoin’s 2nd layer. But, even with my limited network knowledge, it has shown me just how far Bitcoin can go. This, in turn, makes me excited to get to work every day in helping to build this community around the money app of the future. Every day I feel as if I am holding on to a juicy secret, and I don’t have the self-control to keep it to myself.
If you have made it this far, then you know I have really stepped into the world of altcoins and NFTs before being truly “orange-pilled.” My journey is not unique, and I think it has shaped me into a new kind of Bitcoin maxi. One who understands the unrivaled nature of what Bitcoin offers. One who has compassion and understanding for those who don’t. One who seeks to do what my brother did for me all those years ago…help others understand what the future holds.
Thanks for reading.