More than 10 years ago I was one of the first persons to receive news about it. To me, that’s still one of the funniest anecdotes I remember about Bitcoin.
There are even funnier stories about Bitcoin and me. Like how I started mining with the first Linux bitcoin wallet on an Eee pc, but obviously never mined anything with such a small device. Or what about how I had a wallet set up for donations for my former hospitality home, received my first bitcoins in the form of Satoshis, and then… lost the thing. How wealthy I would have been already!
I never took it so serious though. To me the implications were rather political than private. Besides, it was a time of experimenting, of buying pizza. A lot of digital things were still just starting. (Looking back, it really feels remarkable having seen stuff like Wikipedia, WordPress, Bitcoin and Google take off).
Bitcoin is a wonderful thing though: to be your own bank, and to be able to have your own savings accounts without a bank, and to be able to send money around without any third parties involved. It’s simply revolutionary. I am therefore very positive that this form of money will eventually become the standard.
Personally I never got into the Bitcoin thing for real. I experimented with it back in the day. I do know a lot of people who became huge fanatics and evangelists, and who promote it whenever they can. It’s true that the political implications can be tremendous and that it’s a really great way to bypass the current financial roads most traveled. This is what makes it so great.
Africa is one of those continents that I still haven’t visited. I hope time comes soon that I can. I would love to travel by bus and train from South Africa to Kenya for example. I wanted to go last year but it didn’t happen. Too many unfortunate events kept me from going. But I would love to visit soon.
But how come Africa is on my horizon? Well, it started a year and a half ago with a new project that I was helping to build. For that financial website we needed new authors, and we found them in Africa, in Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya. From one thing came another, and I delved into the world of sub-sahara Africa. One of the topics that I started getting into was money transfers.
I still remember very well the old days of international payments and money transfers. Sending money abroad used to be cumbersome, slow and expensive. How different that is from today. It is generally fast, cheap and reliable.
The authors and editors need to be send money for the work they do. What really struck me is that sending money to Africa, in this case Kenya, is simply faster than sending money between my own bank accounts. Within 10 minutes the money arrives. Sending the money doesn’t even cost much, often only €3 to send around €200. That’s the same as a price of a coffee here.
And even then it can be faster and cheaper so we discovered. For example, if people use the same digital wallet. It doesn’t even matter which currency you use, whether it’s Euros, Shilling, Dollars or new cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. You receive it at once, and you send it from anywhere. For this reason I took the initiative to start a new Africa money transfer website.
So who knows how much longer it will take for me to visit Africa. Hopefully in the new year.
Living without money is a fun thing to do. It challenges you to live beyond the limits the current society imposes and it makes the best of you come out. How will you still eat, where will you sleep, how do you move around?
For a while now I am running a website in Dutch that covers these topics, and I provide examples of people living this way. The website is becoming a nice success, with around 5000 visitors a month.
For Kasper this was a clear sign he wanted to bring the website over the language border and make an English version of it. And so here it is: Moneyless.org. It is still fresh, and it isn’t as well covered as the Dutch version, but with every new article it will become a better guide on how to live a free live without money.