So, where should I begin? Well I guess the beginning is always a good start. Early 2013 I first heard about bitcoin in an online chatroom on a softwareprogram called Cryptocat. At the time I was very interested in cryptography and also wanted to learn more about online privacy. I chatted with this anonymous person and he (or she) taught me a lot about free software (free as in freedom) and GNU/Linux. After days of talking I got the hang of it and we started talking about other subjects, such as economics and the monetary system. One day the anonymous person told me to check out ‘Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System’. After reading Satoshi’s white paper I was hooked. Bitcoin was (and still is) the combination of all my interestes in one single project.
Sadly, the conversation where bitcoin was mentioned was also the last conversation I had with this person. He or she never joined the chatroom again. After a couple of weeks I found out that in The Netherlands (I’m Dutch btw) there was already an active Bitcoin-community with dozens of members, mostly libertarians. The conversations were about how bitcoin could bank the unbanked, or some more technical discussions, for instance how the BitTorrent protocol worked. Those days were, to some extend, the best of my life.
A couple of years later (2016) I started working at a Bitcoin broker. I had an amazing time at the company and learned even more about cryptocurrencies from the owners (among various other skills). Although working for the company was amazing, I did not feel the love for Bitcoin that I once had felled. The Bitcoin-community had changed: transactions were ridiculously expensive, no one talked about ‘banking the unbanked’ and pretty much all conversations were about ‘bcash is a scam’ and ‘the price of bitcoin is going to reach an ATH if some random bank is going to support it’. Where I always thought that bitcoin is a disruptive technology that would do fine without the banks. Furthermore the ‘bcash comments’ got me thinking, why was everyone so against it? Wasn’t the community of Bitcoin the place for open discussions?
I started reading more and more about the block size debate and held several discussions with people that were ‘against’ Bitcoin Cash. Most of them did not really know why they were against it. Just like the people that were against bitcoin in early 2013 when I first start using it. I never really understood the hostile attitude towards new things. Although, in all fairness I likely have made several ‘bcash comments’ myself.
In early 2018 I decided to resign from the company that has taught me so much. I wanted to focus more on bitcoin itself. I started lurking at /r/btc and did a shocking discovery: the Bitcoin-community that I once loved, that tipped each other if they liked a comment, that talked about banking the unbanked and wanted to change the world had not disappeared, they had simple moved to a new subreddit.
Mid-2018 I have decided to set up a Bitcoin Cash-community in The Netherlands and Belgium. I have also acquired the top-level domain https://bitcoincash.nl to support this and spread Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision of a peer-to-peer electronic cash system. The website isn’t anything fancy yet but in the coming months I will do my best to create a website rich of information on how to start with Bitcoin Cash; together with meetups and more information etc. I will also start contacting local businesses that might want to accept Bitcoin Cash.
If you are interested in following the Dutch/Belgium Bitcoin Cash adoption, I will do my best to write regular updates (in English) at: https://bitcoincash.nl/category/adoption/