TL;DR: Bitcoin OG, a pioneer in the space, Jered Kenna hadn’t tweeted for more than two and a half years. He’s rather suddenly reemerged, taking stock of where the Bitcoin ecosystem has gone since its early days. Like so many first adopters in cryptocurrency, Kenna immediately seized on the dramatic shift from bitcoin being useful to it becoming a mostly speculative asset.
Bitcoin OG Reemerges, Laments New Narrative
Late last month Kenna’s Twitter account popped, “Everyone scared by the @Bitcoin dip. Amazing how many people stuck around for $31 to $2 and the next year. Passion for the project vs current focus purely on making money,” prompting eyebrows to raise across the cryptosphere.
“Nice to see you tweeting brother,” veteran Charlie Shrem commented, welcoming Kenna back from nearly three years of social media silence on the subject. “Yeah took a break for a few years or so. I just have old crotchety get off my lawn things to say these days. I don’t even hold (or hodl),” Kenna responded, later explaining how he “made beer in Colombia and took a long time to regroup and move away from tech.”
Kenna also confessed to not really having any cryptocurrency at the moment, “I think I have like half a BTC a few BCH and 50,000XRP,” when prompted about the wealth he must have accumulated since his early days. He took the opportunity to convey disappointment at how the narrative had changed from when he first developed a passion for Bitcoin.
We Used to Say Let’s Build Something Amazing
“Look at tweets/articles/discussions and posts from today vs 5 or 8 years ago,” Kenna posted a few days later. “The % talking about price vs % talking about usage and ability of the tech. We used to say: ‘people will be able to send money home to their families for 5 cents’ now we say ‘keep HODLing for 100k or 1 million.’ We used to say let’s build something amazing that will create that value and now it’s how many people can we get to buy in.”
He skewered the Number Go Up phenomenon along with an over-emphasis on the BTC maximalist HODL credo. ‘I agree with the vision part,” Kenna continued, “but it was driven by speculation and soared due to ICOs which with a few rare exceptions turned out to be billions of dollars of bullshit. People talk about what it will be worth not what it can do.” And that is the pattern observed over and over again from Bitcoin OGs, especially those divorced from politics. They know BTC has changed.
BTC maxis rushed to push back, insisting fees were still relatively small and would come down with second-layer solutions. Kenna doubled-down on his maxi hersey, however, stressing, “I’m all for whatever works. I’m not anti lightning, XRP, BTC, LTC, BCH, ETH or whatever provides the best usage in the end. Anyone building anything with the goal of better tech that solves problems is alright with me.”
Kenna is now in his late 30s, and was best known in the space for founding probably the first US crypto exchange, TradeHill, along with being an early owner of the Bitcoin.com domain name. Tragedy struck back in 2010 when he erased 800 BTC, now worth over $6 million, only to strike again when he was personally hacked a few years later. He took what he had left, sold it, purchasing commercial real estate in San Francisco and eventually started a brewery in Colombia.
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