About two years ago, I enlisted myself to the Massive Open Online Course in Digital Currencies at the University of Nicosia, Cyprus. Andreas Antonopoulos was one of the two teachers. I can easily say that he was by far the best mentor I ever had. Not only because he taught the most interesting subject ever, but because of his extraordinary patience with everyone of us. For hours at a time each session he would answer every question everyone of us had. I consider his talks lessons. Not only lessons in Bitcoin but in history, philosophy, economy and, perhaps above all, rhetoric. I can gladly admit that I’ve been following his talks obsessively since I first discovered them. The first time I really “got” Bitcoin it was like a perfect storm had been formed by the whimsy winds of my personality traits. I’ve always had an interest in maths and how things work under the hood and I’ve always regarded personal freedom to be important. I’ve also always had a touch of rebel in me and these things combined made me stumble down the Bitcoin rabbit hole pretty quickly. Like most others I was afraid to buy and in hindsight I should have bought earlier. Andreas made the process a little faster. Thank you Andreas.
In an interview I heard Andreas describe what his personal life has been like for the last five years or so. An amazing story. When Andreas first “got” Bitcoin he became obsessed and didn’t do anything else than studying Bitcoin for two months. Then he dropped everything and started to trot the globe, giving lectures on Bitcoin to all sorts of people on a daily basis. He’s still doing this. Imagine the guts it takes to risk everything for a beautiful idea to spread. Andreas went on a personal crusade and he’s converting the world at a remarkable pace. He does not have a home and he’s been visiting about fifty different countries so far. He keeps his talks as unpolitical as he can which is really hard when you’re talking about a technology that has the potential to disrupt all the powers that be. He is also an uncrowned king of metaphors, comparing Bitcoin mining to solving giant sudokus and comparing the banking industry now to the horse industry when the car was invented. More importantly, comparing Bitcoin to TCP/IP and coining the phrase the internet of money which is also the name of one of his books. Thank you Andreas.
About a week ago, Andreas replied “I’m not a Bitcoin millionaire. I was working for free, instead of investing, for the first 2 years. Only recently got out of debt. My supporters on Patreon, many at $5/month, make it possible for me to work with independence.” to a tweet that suggested that he was a millionaire. Andreas very seldomly talks about his own wealth and this was in response to a tweet that questioned the need for him to have a Patreon account. Soon after this, Roger Ver replied “Andreas is one of the most eloquent speakers on the topic of Bitcoin, but if he had invested even $300 in Bitcoin back in 2012, he’d be a millionaire today.” to Andreas’ tweet. This made the community go crazy. Rogers slightly smug comment kickstarted the #THANKYOUANDREAS campaign. The Bitcoin community didn’t seem to care if Andreas was wealthy or not. We thought that he deserved a bit of appreciation. In a matter of hours the community had raised over 700 000 USD worth of Bitcoin to support Andreas. As of today, a whopping 100 BTC has been raised so far, making Andreas a millionaire. He deserves every last satoshi and I’m sure he’ll put the money to good use. You’re welcome Andreas.
Andreas has brought out the best in all of us and he deserves all the praise he can get. He will be remembered as a hero and the impact of his contribution cannot be overstated. After all, he played a huge part in making a lot of us millionaires. Andreas never said anything even remotely bad about Roger or anyone else of his peers and he remains as polite and humble as he ever was. This campaign has restored a lot of faith in the Bitcoin community and in the fact that together we can accomplish great things. Andreas said he would be offline for a while now to let it all sink in. Let’s give him the warm welcome back to the internet that he deserves!
Thank you Andreas.