Hello friends, my name is Old Man and I have been behind the scenes here at The Hundreds for many, many moons. To know this story, it is important that you know me. Long before the term was invented, I was a fully operational fuccboi. I was banging around LA, wearing clothes I couldn’t actually afford and getting wasted at streetwear parties back when douchebags still sent their (low res) dick pics through BBM, and for the longest time, my life goal was just to get progressively better at being a half-drunk, tragically hip thot-slayer.
But as they say, “Man makes plans and god laughs.” In spring of 2012, I got my girlfriend pregnant, and my entire, shallow existence got uprooted by a more powerful wake up call than I had even imagined. I was going to be a dad, and perhaps in my (lingering) resentment for my own father, I decided I was going to be a damn good one. It was probably April when I just fell off the map, no more parties, no more strippers, no more 5 day drug benders—it was time to get my shit together, for the child. I worked, and I went home to my pregnant girlfriend and tried my damndest to do right by her. It had maybe been 6 or 8 months since I had a single social interaction in real life when one of my most OGest of shit-bag row dogs hit me up...
For the past six years, I had spent my Christmases the way most Jews, losers, and orphans do: drinking whiskey and playing in that fine Peruvian snow. But on Christmas day 2012, I was sitting in my living room, sober and halfway happy with my chick, who was about 110% pregnant, watching TV and contemplating our next meal.
My baby mama on Christmas morning.
Unexpectedly, I got a text from streetwear’s favorite treasure troll, Scotty Trillz. Scotty, being Jewish, was bored because everyone was with their families. So, I invited him over to chill out and watch TV at my place.
As soon as Scotty showed up, I shamelessly asked:
“Smoke me out, it’s been months.”
After allowing little miss prego to vent and whine for a few minutes about not being allowed to smoke weed yet, we slid out behind my South Central LA apartment building, made ourselves comfortable in the shitty garage space I had tucked in the alley (if you know the jungles, you know exactly what these rows of shitty garages look like) and performed the age-old task of getting stoned. Scotty and I had a long history of smoking nugs, drinking cold ones, and getting on a first name basis with as many Los Angeles professional dancers as possible. We made small talk for a bit, theorized upon the current whereabouts of one of our least reliable homies, Boss, and watched each other fail to land a few kick flips on the rough cracked asphalt of the apartment alley. Scotty was one of very few friends I had that was human enough to support my efforts to be a real dad, but still scummy enough to like me and be fun to hang with, so it only made sense that he was curious what I was doing with my time now that the promise of parenthood had mellowed my chaotic nature.
Scotty on that fateful Christmas day.
“The fuck have you been doin’, dad?”
“Shiiit, not dad just yet, player. I don’t know man, fucking birthing classes.”
*eyes wide, Scotty looks at me in disbelief*
“Nah, I mean yeah, but I guess when I’m not working, I’ve been on Reddit. Mostly just looking into like, brain drugs. I figure I can’t do drug-drugs so I may as well try some anti-drug-drugs. Have you heard of nootropics? Really interesting shit, but a total rabbit hole.”
“Nah, whatever. But you wanna hear about a fuckin rabbit-hole…”
We didn’t talk about nootropics anymore that day. It was at this moment that I first heard the term “DARK WEB,” which had become Scotty’s primary interest when killing time online. He explained to me that the Silk Road was the dark web’s marketplace, where you could buy anything you can imagine, from illegal weapons and drugs, to hacker services and even whole ass humans. It was an online shopping mall for all the worst shit on earth and every transaction was conducted using a digital unit called a “Bitcoin.” While old me would have been perfectly content to talk about what kind of despicable things could be procured there, new me was much more interested in the unit of payment.
“But how does it work?”
“I don’t know, it’s digital currency.”
“OK, but what is there to stop someone from just copying them and pasting themselves a million more?”
“I don’t know, but you can buy an AR-15 with it.”
“OK, but if this is where all the hackers hang out, then why aren’t people just constantly getting hacked for their money?
“I don’t know, it’s like hack-proof.”
“OK, but how does....
“I DON’T KNOW.”
We spent the rest of the day talking about other shit, but later that night I found myself going down one of the deepest internet rabbit holes I ever found. I learned about Satoshi Nakamoto, Blockchain technology, and the entire concept of decentralization. A lot of what I read went way over my head, but one thing I truly grasped at that moment was that Bitcoin was going to be a big deal.
A few short days later, my daughter was born, just a tiny bit ahead of schedule placing her birthday firmly, if barely, in 2012.
Me and Sophie, an hour after she was born.
The next few weeks were a blur. I took some paternity leave and my days were spent holding my new child, running errands, picking up around the house, and sporadically surfing the net, usually reading about Bitcoin. I got back to work and started to find balance in my new life as a father. It wasn’t until I got my 2012 W2 in the mail that it occurred to me: My kid was born in 2012. That meant I could claim her as a dependent on my 2012 tax filing, which in turn meant I was getting a much bigger tax return than I had ever seen in my life. To me that meant one thing:
I was going to buy some fucking Bitcoin.
Or so I thought. At this point in the story, it is worth pointing out that my daughter’s mom and I were never married, we were never engaged, we were barely even dating when I knocked her up, and in retrospect we never really liked each other very much at all.
“Babe, remember that Bitcoin stuff Scotty and I were talking about on Christmas?”
“Uhhhhh, yeah, I guess.”
“Well, I have an idea, I’ve been researching those things and they’ve gone from like 12 dollars each to over 20 dollars each since Christmas.”
“What’s your point?”
“Well, with this tax money coming—”
“Nick, I need a breast pump, the Mustang needs brakes, I want to get a better changing table—this changing table is too low it makes my back hurt—and you know, baby is going to outgrow these clothes in like four weeks.”
“Babe, we’re getting like six racks of unexpected money. I’m just saying we take like one to two-thousand and try to inves—”
“Oh, excuse me, I didn’t realize you were a fucking investor now. I thought you worked in streetwear and were happy to get paid in fucking T-shirts. Jesus Christ, you refuse to even grow up and get a real job like Adam, but you think you can fucking invest all of a sudden?”
(Yes, I let my baby mama punk me, it’s really hard to yell back at someone who’s holding the most beautiful little creature you have ever laid eyes on in their arms.)
Still, I watched Bitcoin continue to grow in value and we had interactions very similar to the one above numerous times over the following weeks. Each time I suggested a smaller amount of money, backed by the latest “figures” and each time the venom with which she responded intensified. It wasn’t until that tax money was completely exhausted that I gave up and briefly forgot about Bitcoin.
A few months later, we broke up. There was an intensely chaotic and painful period that isn’t too important to this story but what is relevant is that I retained physical custody of my daughter.
By that October, Bitcoin’s value was over $1,300.00 each… Over 100x what they had been when I first proposed the investment. Having seen that growth, I was flabbergasted; I was somewhat pissed but also felt quite defeated. You see, it is really important for my to clarify: I do not in anyway blame my ex for this. She was 100% correct in her superficial assessment of me: long hair, beard, riding a fixed gear bike from party to party, and sucking down a pack of day of Marlboro reds. I literally had NO credibility. There was no reason that anyone should have believed in my investment idea. Deep inside, I knew Bitcoin was gonna blow, but the fact of the matter is that I was willing to avoid having traumatic confrontations with her at all costs and I didn’t believe in MYSELF enough to push the envelope. After all, I work for T-shirts.
Having custody of my daughter in 2013 yielded my another fat tax return, and with her mom more-or-less out of the picture, I geared myself all up to finally buy some Bitcoin. Prices had plunged deeply from October’s ATH, but they were climbing again... surely this was my opportunity to get in and cash out. I already had Coinbase installed on my iPad. All I needed was to link my bank account and I was going to be in business.
But remember, I’m a pussy.
And Bitcoin, is like… sketchy, hackers use it and shit!
Do I really want my checking account associated with this app? What if this is some fucked up Nigerian Prince shit and they somehow drain my account?
No, I probably don’t want to link this to my Wells Fargo shit (fuck Wells Fargo, by the way), I have direct deposit for Christ’s sake—what if Prince Bitcoin of Nigeria redirects my paychecks? What if I get a coin that some pedophile had last and my account gets frozen for an investigation? (Does it even work that way? IDK, I’m actually scared and confused!) What if my baby mama guesses my (recently changed) pin and spends my Bitcoin money on pedicures and pumpkin spice lattes?
Nope. I better apply for an online bank.
So I did. I applied for several online checking accounts. For one reason or another, they all denied me. One might say it’s because I had shit-credit and enough overdraft fees to make your head explode, but I’m still pretty sure it was conspiracy of the highest order.
Did I say FUCK IT and link my dusty old Wells Fargo account to Coinbase?
Nope. My weak ass took it as “a sign” that investing in this was a bad idea, and once again I forgot about Bitcoin, this time for a couple years.
The next few years were defined by growth. For Bitcoin, Ethereum, and some of the older alts, this was a quite literal and massive growth in value and attention. For me and my fucked up family, it was much more personal. Parenthood made me more of a man than I ever dreamed of becoming, and my daughter’s mother also got herself in to a much better place and grew up tremendously. We now share custody of our daughter and while not exactly friends, we get along really well, I like her new boyfriend and his kids, we all get together for holidays or the kids birthdays and honestly? Things are really good.
But not so good that I can’t be little petty.
This past January we cohosted my daughter’s 5th birthday party. It was a mix of friends and family from both of our circles. As you all know, Bitcoin saw its largest share of media attention this past December and was a hot conversation topic well into the new year. I was sitting with my father in-law (out-law? What do you call it if I never actually married his daughter?) sipping some whiskey and bullshitting when the most unbelievable thing happened. I heard my baby mama’s voice…
“Oh, hi Deb, how are you?” *points to me* “This the birthday girl’s dad, Oldie—yeah, the one that knew about Bitcoin 5 years ago.”
(DO MY FUCKING EARS DECEIVE ME?)
*Deb’s face takes an expression of novel intrigue*
“Yeah, I’m surprised he hasn’t killed me. We would be millionaires if I had just let him buy those Bitcoins.”
(NO FUCKING WAY)
*Deb shrugs in passive agreement*
I have to be sure, but I want to tread lightly: “Oh, it’s not your fault, it’s not like I even knew what I was talking about anyway.”
“Oh, it is 100% my fault, you don’t have to be mad at me, but I’m mad at me, you were right.”
I’ll leave things here. Depending on the math, when and how much I actually would have invested, when and how much I would have pulled out, etc, etc, etc., it’s safe to say that we missed out on anywhere from $30,000.00 to a proper million. But guess what? It was worth every fucking penny to just hear those three words.
You. Were. Right.
I eventually did buy some Bitcoin. I even diversified with altcoins, and right now, I have most of my holdings in an online gambling token called FunFair. Not sure why I like FUN so much, but one thing this experience taught me is to trust my goddamn gut and take some risks.
A FUNFAIR COIN
I also learned that just because someone’s logic is right, doesn’t mean that they are right, especially when they are trying to infuse you with self doubt. I still think cryptocurrency is the future of money, and I hope that whoever you are, whether you start with five dollars or five thousand, that you do some research and figure it out right now, because this shit is just getting started.
The Hundreds “Crypto” T-shirt. Available for purchase only with Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum.