Much has changed over these years. So much so that this past decade feels more like dog years, really.
This being the internet, no story can ever be complete without being told through the web’s most cherished institution: memes. Taking the conversation back to its roots at the Bitcointalk forum, we have challenged the community to share their take on this period by bringing on their best bitcoin memes in five categories.
After a week, we are happy to announce the winners and runners-up who’ll share a grand total of 0.75 BTC from entries in five categories, plus a couple honourable mentions. Congratulations, folks - and keep the flame alive!
During this past decade, the crypto space has metamorphosed from an experimental, unregulated wild west into a full-fledged, thriving, multi-billion dollar economy. What was only a while back considered just some silly nerd money is now being treated as a serious investment by the likes of Intercontinental Exchange (parent company of the New York Stock Exchange) and Goldman Sachs, some of the biggest players in the financial world.
In this time, a myriad stories have built the narrative of what may one day be referred to scholars as the pre-history of crypto. Some of them exciting, others sad, yet others just plain weird.
Now without further ado...
BTC: ELI5 (explain like I'm 5)
Maybe it was at last year’s Christmas, or perhaps during an awkward company meeting. In any case, pretty much everyone in the crypto community is familiar with the scene. After a couple drinks, your boss - or your weird grand-uncle whose only words to you on every holiday are “look how much he’s grown, he’s got hair under his arm now!” - approaches you tentatively and, in a half-screaming slur, shoots: “So what is this bitcoin thing you kids are raging about lately?”
We know, we know. It can be painful, but this is the price of adoption. So you breathe in deep and explain it like they’re five. And these are the winners of the first category:
1. Netsuki’s loving and completely innuendo-free explainer
2. Dawso’s elegant summary of the blockchain’s inner workings
3. Carrie Oakey’s family obviously listen intently to their blockchain explanations
Worst N00b mistakes
Let’s face it, if there is a way to screw something up, humans will find a way to blow it. No matter how many warnings, security measures or wikihow articles, people will screw up spectacularly.
And when it comes to a paradigm-shifting technology like bitcoin, not even the most tech-savvy are immune to epic fails. Misplacing keys, sending coins to another network or non-existent addresses, or simply failing to backup are just a few examples.
Here are the winners (or are they?) of the worst n00b mistakes in our community.
1. Subileau-c and the painful realisation that one vowel can make a huge difference
2. Not even Bill and Ted’s phone booth can save Rd3h24B’s coins now
3. Bitcoin_Arena’s portrayal of our cryptic behaviour
What would you do if you had sold it when it was high?
If nothing else, one of the (arguably) most important contributions of crypto to our financial system is that it brought waves of newbies into the trading world - and boy, were they in for a shock.
The thing is, trading is a tricky business with a pretty unforgiving learning curve. No one can predict how the market will move, even though there are plenty of dubious people claiming otherwise. If you bought BTC at $100, there’s nothing to complain about - you still made tonnes of money in today’s price.
However, if you bought it at $10k and watched as the price doubled, only to keep HODLing your way down into the low $ 6k today, it may be hard to not want to gauge your own eyes out with a spoon to try and unsee the dreams of all those things you could have done if only you had sold it when it was high.
And these are the most eye-popping such dreams.
1. Pryanto_iseng let Di Caprio do the explaining
2. Death Angel is all about the booty
3. WritingG123 and the dilemma facing us all
After bitcoin opened the Pandora’s box, it didn’t take long for the inevitable copycats and competitors to pop out like strippers out of movie cakes. Some of them, like Ethereum, added a whole new layer of possibilities to the mix, and have opened doors to a possibilities that are yet to be fully comprehended. Some, like Ripple and Bitcoin Cash, are merely controversial, but have proven solid so far. Others, however, have more doubtful value propositions.
During the “investing” frenzy of 2017, the market has witnessed the rise (and often fall) of the likes of Dentacoin, Cthulhu tokens, Bitconnect, YOYOW (seriously). Dogecoin, a currency jokingly based on the Doge meme, has reached almost $1 billion market valuation - and is still going strong at nearly 500 million today. Plus, the countless failed bitcoin forks (gold, diamond, uranium, insert-your-own-periodic-table-element-here). And the list goes on
Our wonderful community has taken a crack at some of them, and these are our Michelin-rated roasters of shitcoin.
1. Sheriff Woody shows that friends don’t let friends take the leap alone
2. MufasaR, our friendly advice is, don’t step over it.
3. Ann06426 reminded us that a dog's bark is worse than its bite
Best use of historical photo
Such an eventful history begs for a look back into the rearview mirror. Even if “historical” might be a bit of a stretch after only a decade. Ok, so we’ve left a lot to individual interpretation in this category, and the community has certainly let their imaginations fly.
Without further ado, here are the winners for the best use of historical photo.
1. Wendigo hit the motherlode with this pick
2. Johnyz proves that expensive pizzas are a recurring theme in history
3. Lonte77 hit the bullseye here - HODL on
The judging process
We were overwhelmed by the response for this competition, to see so many entries was a reminder of just how great the community is. Trying to decide which was best was more difficult than we could have imagined thanks to the high quality of entries. Though despite our best efforts and numerous checks, it was the community who spotted an entry that didn't quite meet the entry requirements. So this article and the thread on bitcointalk now contain the updated list of winners. Thanks again to all who entered.
Live long and prosper
And these are merely the formative years of a technology that, even if still in its infancy, has already poked at the eyes of some of the richest and most powerful incumbents in the financial world. So what happens now?
Although it’s still very early to make predictions, the future of crypto looks a lot more promising today than back when that fateful whitepaper was published, amidst the biggest economic bust in our history. Hell, it wasn’t even “crypto” back then, just bitcoin, some geeks and a brave new world ahead.
And yet, day after day, it went on to win the hearts and minds of more and more people, building a wonderful community that has pushed the ecosystem forward into what it is today. And in the end, that’s what make it all worthwhile. The real value of bitcoin is not on the technology, or the cryptography, or even in the cool memes it spans - it’s on the uses we can make of it.
So we thank each and every one of you for your creativity and dedication - thank you. From our side, we’ll keep the ball rolling for many more years to come - you can bet on it.