I Thought This Bitcoin Cycle Was Different

This is an opinion piece by Cory Tucek, CEO of Movies Plus and host of the “Bitcoin Made Simple Podcast”.

To all the plebs who preceded me, listening to your tireless explanations and warnings saved me from terrible mistakes. Thanks.

“As a Bitcoin newbie, I thought this time was different.” — Me (and all Bitcoiners past, present and future)

The statement above is something I told my wife just a few weeks ago, before the carnage that took us down to $20,000. I was sure this time was different. There would be no more 70% levies on bitcoin. This was hyperbitcoinization, the moment when bitcoin would surpass $100,000. It was during this time that bitcoin became the world’s reserve currency.

It was…until it wasn’t. Make no mistake, that day is yet to come. It’s just a bit further than I originally thought.

The purpose of this article is not to rehash what all Bitcoiners who have been here before already know; it’s more to serve as a warning to future Bitcoin newbies. When you enter Bitcoin, you think, “This time it’s different. Thank goodness I got in at that price before it took off and never came back!” You’ll think, “It’s a good thing that bear markets and dips are a thing of the past. That is, you will think all the wrong things and you will think them from the start.

To give you perspective, here is my Bitcoin journey.

I first heard about Bitcoin in 2012 when a filmmaker I had worked with, Nick Mross, posted a documentary he was making on Facebook. It was untitled at the time, but eventually became the movie, “The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin.“I looked into it, considered speculating but like everyone else my next thought was, ‘It’s going to be hacked.’

The next year I saw the price go up to $100 per bitcoin and considered throwing down $1000 and grabbing 10 bitcoins for fun, but like everyone else I thought I was too late for the game and that I would surely lose my money. Instead, I added a few extra days to my honeymoon with that money. “Hey honey, I got us three extra nights on our honeymoon for just $200,000” is what I should have said.

I told this story to Ben Prentice and Heavily Armed Clown, and they reassured me that if I had bought 10 bitcoins for $1,000, I would have sold them for $1,200, and I thought I was a genius. Truer words have never been spoken.

For a while afterwards, bitcoin was something I looked into occasionally, but never enough to fully understand. In 2017 the price took off and again I was too late – Bitcoin at $10,000 was too rich for my blood. He was sure he would crash, and this time I paid enough attention to feel vindicated when he crashed. It was finished; bitcoin was dead, but it lasted until 2018. It is not dead. Then I started to look closer to see if he could bounce back, and he did. In the spring of 2020, I was FOMO-ready in bitcoin.

At the start of the pandemic, it started with “We own some bitcoin” and quickly escalated to “Liquidize everything and buy everything you can!” I was determined to buy as much as I could before it hit its previous all-time high of $20,000 again. I did, then bitcoin started its run. It exceeded $15,000. I was a genius! He smashed $20,000. My IQ was increasing every second!

When he broke $30,000 I started telling people how I knew with 100% certainty that it would happen. I even had another brilliant idea that no one else had thought of: “I’m going to start a podcast!” About Bitcoin!” The “Bitcoin Made Simple” podcast network is the only good thing to come out of this phase, not because I’m good at podcasting or understanding Bitcoin, but because the interviews I’ve done have made me realize how little I knew about Bitcoin, and how much I had to learn.

Then Elon Musk invested. I knew I was smart, but now I was even smarter than the only guy who sends rockets into space that aren’t shaped like male genitals.

Bitcoin broke $40,000. I tried to get everyone I knew to invest before it took off and blew $100,000. My streaming platform, Movies Morehad just brought in some investors, and I convinced them to do all the investing in bitcoin, because “To tHe MoOn!”

Bitcoin crossed the $50,000 mark. I was so far ahead of the game that I made Hal Finney look like a noob.

Then he broke $60,000. It was Satoshi and me. We did this together, just the two of us.

Then all of a sudden, it backs off a bit. I confidently told people that it was an expected drop because this time I saw someone post a chart with an arrow. “Just look at S2F (stock-to-flow), it’s only as of now.”

Then the bottom fell off. It crashed into $30,000! What happened?! It all had to be Musk’s fault. What a moron. The day it crashed, I even texted Guy Swann and said, “So did I earn my bear market badge today? I literally blushed when I typed that. I was so naive. I might as well have tattooed: “Hi, I’m new to Bitcoin. Here’s how I’m going to fix it,” on my forehead.

I spent the summer nights of 2021 on Twitter Spaces railing against the powers that be, pushing everyone to fight for freedom, but noticed I was slowly stopping talking about everything I knew about bitcoin. The realization was that I knew nothing about Bitcoin. I needed to shut up and learn. That’s when I thought I finally understood Matt Odell’s great quote, “Stay humble and stack the sats.” I was back to being humble, stacking sats, and learning.

Then bitcoin started bouncing back and I thought, “Wow, I’m lucky we only had a 50% drop.” Bitcoin was at an all-time high, so I “dropped to zero” and bet it all on bitcoin.

Once we got back above $60,000, we all knew That was it. It was the long-awaited moment. Hell, look at the tweet which I sent right at the top of the price action.

No one saw what was to follow. (Except for HODL Magoo and you can hear him explain it in this podcast.) The price was lowered again. It fell and fell, then landed in the beach where we were stuck all summer of 2021. “It’s okay,” I thought. “The thesis hasn’t changed and I still haven’t had to feel the maximum pain.”

At this point, I started following my own advice: only invest money that you can leave untouched for more than four years (sorry, “get on zero” gang), keep your head down, find ways to smash it into the “fiat mining world” to increase your cash flow and stack bitcoin. Or as Odell puts it, “Stay humble and stack the sats.”

It finally sank: Bitcoin is a test of many things, but it really tests your ability to stay humble. Being humble goes a long way in life. I am trying to be more humble in all aspects of life, thanks to bitcoin.

I was happy to be humble, but even happier not having to deal with those 70%+ withdrawals because “this time was different”. Until recently, when these times began to resemble those of the past.

I never understood why the “staying humble” part was so important until recently. If you drift on Twitter and pay attention to sentiment, almost everyone is down. They took all the hits they could take and it feels like everyone is retreating to the corner. Everyone, that is to say, except the real plebs who have already been here and who are not going anywhere. Follow their example. That’s why it’s so important to stay humble, it helps you hold your head up high when times are tough.

Bitcoin is not about me and it’s not about you. This is your chance to escape the clutches of the fiat world. It won’t happen on your timeline and it won’t wait until you’re ready. It will just keep producing blocks, one after another.

So if you’re new to this space, listen to your fellow plebs, those who’ve been through hell and are still standing. They are the ones to listen to. If they try to sell you a coin other than bitcoin, block and move on. If they seem too “toxic” they are honestly trying to look out for your best interests. Ask questions, learn from their mistakes, and most importantly…stay humble and stack the sats because next time won’t be any different than the last — until the day it won’t.

This is a guest post by Cory Tucek. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.

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