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It's good to be back. I hope crypto winter wasn't too hard on you. I know we just spent an amazing October, printed a beautiful tall green candle. I started getting some texts from some of you guys, so I feel like that energy is flowing back in. I'm ready to pop back in here and get through this cycle with you guys!
I figure we kick off like starting about the cycle a little bit. Talk about the upcoming halving, and where we're heading next. I've crunched some numbers on when I think we're gonna hit a new all time high, and maybe when we'll get a top probably two years from now...but we'll talk about that a bit and then we'll go backwards.
We'll talk a little bit about the genesis of BitLift, how it started. I bet you guys don't know what BitLift was supposed to be when it originally started...and how Coinbase kind of crushed my dreams. When I was first working on it, we'll learn how I had to figure out how to decrypt Enigma in order to acquire the BitLift Twitter handle.
And then we'll get into BitLift 2.0, when I kicked off crypto commerce and the BitLift newsletter. After figuring out the newsletter, we'll talk about the podcast, how it started, how I originally had a co-host, why I had a co-host, what happened to that co-host, why they're not with us anymore...and then we'll talk BitLift 3.0.
Reflecting on 2023, FUD, and The Upcoming Halving
This is the reboot. This is BitLift 3.0 right now, starting now. So let's get into it! Let's talk about this halving, right? If you check it out, I'm recording on YouTube now too, so you can watch me zoom around on the charts a little bit! And if you see the chart, this was November 2022 - the Pico bottom.
This is when FTX collapsed and - go figure - that was peak FUD, peak mania. Everyone was scared. It seemed like it was the end of crypto. Damn...that was the best time to buy! We've talked about that a hundred times. This is how it works, right? When there's blood in the streets - I think Buffett said it - "when there's blood in the streets, that's when you buy."
FTX was blood in the streets for sure. So that was the bottom. That was a year ago now. It's crazy to think that! But what's funny, since January, since this year, Bitcoin is the best recording asset of 2023. It's up over a hundred percent since January.
People think Bitcoin's dead. People think crypto is dead. They've been sleeping. I may have disappeared for a little bit cause I didn't want to contribute to all that FUD and all that mania. But when we got back, man, it's been beautiful. I've been on Twitter. I've been tweeting out all my charts. I've been keeping up with everything. I just haven't been dropping pods. If you've been in the Discord, you know - we've been around! Bitcoin's up 100% this year, which is a beautiful thing.
And what's coming up is this halving here - it looks like it's going to be in April. Let's check out the clock! The halving countdown is on deck. We're going to get the next Bitcoin halving early next year, Q1. And if we look back, check out this chart here, it looks like basically Q4 of 2024 is when we're going to break out and hit a new all time high.
Based on the last two cycles, it takes two years from the bottom in order to get back to just an all time or fresh all time high, which would be $69,001, right? We all know we had a 69K top. It must've been Elon printing that $69,000. So yeah...Q4, 2024, hopefully, that's about the time when we'll have a fresh all time high.
And then a year from then - we're talking Q4 of 2025 - that's the top. Maybe we'll get a blow off top this time, maybe not. Last time we got this weird double top rounded thing, but the cycle before that and the one before that we had this massive blow off mania. I know I'm always looking for that. Maybe now that people think we're not going to get blow off tops anymore, maybe that's when it'll come back. That's usually how it works, right?
So, we've got a lot of time to spend together here. We're going to be spending all of 2024 breaking into some fresh highs, hopefully positioning ourselves, hopefully getting our positions ready at least a year out from the top. Mainly for tax reasons. We want to hold for at least a year, most of our best positions - but you know how it gets when things get crazy, you start picking up all sorts of new projects that launch...
So, we'll have a position in our portfolio for that. And we'll talk about our portfolios a bit, but yeah, this is the cycle. This is what we're going to do for the next two years. So hang on tight, man. It's going to be a ride, right?
Let's get back a little bit. Let's kick back to the genesis of BitLift - why I even started this thing. Most of you don't know when I started BitLift , my vision was actually to create a payment gateway.
You know, I've been accepting crypto as payments for 7-8 years now. And I've been paying all my suppliers in Bitcoin and I've been using crypto. That's what I always say. "We don't just stack it. We use it!" Let's use the damn thing. And in the early days, payments was the killer feature, right? We all know this still is the killer feature. We're just waiting for people to start using it. Now we're using stablecoins. That's cool. It's still decentralized in some ways.
But I was building a payment gateway. My vision was, "What if a merchant could accept whatever crypto they wanted, but what if the customer could pay in whatever crypto they wanted - and we could swap it on the way?"
So let's say I had an e-commerce store, I'm selling this hat for 10 bucks. Someone could pay me an ETH, but I only accept Bitcoin. So we would swap it - while the payment happens, it would swap on its way. Back then we were using ShapeShift, right? This is like before Dex's, this is before Uniswap, before Thorswap.
I was using ShapeShift, which was centralized. If you never used the early, early ShapeShift, it was a centralized system, but you could just fling any crypto at it, and get any crypto back from it. And it was really cool, really fast. They ended up having to start KYCing people. I was building on their API, and then they had to start KYCing, and they shut down their API. That kind of made it pretty wild, - difficult to build on for sure.
This was 2018, 2017. I was building the first version of BitLift, this payment gateway. And so not only did ShapeShift rug the API that I was kind of building the whole thing on, but then I got an email from my buddies at Coinbase asking if I wanted a beta test and give feedback on their new payment gateway that they were building: a non-custodial payment gateway by Coinbase.
If you see here, it was called WeiPay, W E I. Little did I know...this is what would become Coinbase Commerce. I started using this thing. It was exactly what I wanted to build. Like, i_t was what I wanted to build._ They were already ahead of me. They weren't doing the swaps, actually, on the way, so it wasn't exactly...but, not just that I wanted to do swaps, but I wanted it to be non-custodial. Right? Back then, it was just BitPay and CoinPayments.net, all these custodial payment gateways, skimming fees on the way. I wanted everyone to get paid direct - and no fee skimming on the way.
That was the original vision for BitLift. Here's the old BitLift design page - my boy John Myers put this together. This was the original vision - "Accept Bitcoin and other digital currencies." "Never touch your hard-earned money." This was the vision. People could start tapping into crypto and accepting crypto payments.
It didn't happen. And then Coinbase came out with WeiPay, which became Coinbase Commerce. Totally ate my lunch. This was like, kind of top of the cycle, too. Let's look back at this chart at when this was.
This was BitLift 1.0. I started April 2017. I think I started with this WeiPay thing kind of end of 2017, which was like top of the cycle. This was like, ICO mania. You know, the cycle had, as it does, engulfed all my energy...and I was trying to build this thing on the side, but I was trying to keep up with ICOs and what was going on with crypto at the same time.
And once Coinbase kind of crushed my dreams, crypto topped out and started crashing. I took a break, but I sold a lot of Bitcoin. Actually, my vision for that whole cycle was to sell a bunch of Bitcoin and buy a house. I accomplished my goals for that cycle, so I was pretty stoked - and I was zonked out, and ready to kind of move on.
So that's BitLift 1.0. You probably didn't realize BitLift used to be just like, a totally different thing. I was building a SaaS tool, for the most part. So kind of after we crashed out, we spent a year going down - which we've already done this cycle - but we spent a year from the top in 2017 to the bottom. In January, 2019 the juices started flowing again.
Cracking the Engima
When I first bought the BitLift domain there was some guy who already had the BitLift Twitter handle. And, man, I really wanted it. He had built some sort of software - he was like this German developer, he built some software for, like, lifting bits, or something like that. He locked in the Twitter handle, and he had, like, two tweets - and then he hadn't tweeted for a few years.
And so, I did a little recon, I found him, I emailed him, and he wasn't willing to give up the Twitter handle. And so I just set on my calendar, monthly, to ping this guy and see if he could change his mind, right? I offered him money, I offered donating money to a charity for him...and he always was just like, "eh," sometimes he'd reply, sometimes he'd just be like, "Nah, sorry."
Then eventually, in February of 2019, he finally replied with this cryptic message. You can see it here in the middle of the screen - basically encrypted text. It didn't look like any text that I'm familiar with. It wasn't like a private key or anything. And it had this quote, "Those who can imagine anything can create the impossible." - by Alan Turing.
I was like, "WTF?" - and I'm Googling around trying to figure out what this is. Apparently, he encrypted the BitLift Twitter handle's password using Enigma - which is like World War II encryption technology.
This is the device that they use for encrypting and decrypting messages using Enigma. And he encrypted the password using Enigma - and thinking probably that I was just like, some crypto bro, and wasn't going to be able to figure out how to do this... and so he sent me that, that cryptic message.
I had kind of figured out what he was up to, so I found an Enigma emulator and decrypted his password within an hour. Boom. I was into BitLift. I locked in the handle. And I was so stoked on that. So I've been @BitLift on Twitter ever since!
That was maybe one of the most fun things about this. This was a February of 2019 - that was peak bottom. It was the bottom of the last cycle, right? So that was fun.
Just a little pick me up before I launched BitLift 2.0 - and I was stoked about that cause I was just about to reach out to all these merchants and get everything cracking. I really wanted to have a strong brand. And so there we go. Locked in the domain, locked in the handle!
I was ready to take another stab at what I was calling crypto commerce. And instead of building a payment gateway, I wanted to build, like, the Amazon of crypto. It's like, instead of people integrating crypto into their Shopify stores, what if I just built Amazon and all it did was accept crypto?
And the idea was that every merchant that signed up for BitLift, they'd add their Coinbase Commerce API key, so they'd get paid directly from customers at checkout. So it's this kind of new idea of a decentralized Amazon, where all of the merchants got paid directly, and Amazon wasn't skimming their fees and being a middleman.
And it was actually pretty easy to onboard merchants to this idea. My brother and I were working on this together. He was on the horn hitting up all these merchants trying to get them to add products to BitLift...and here's what the old BitLift looked like.
I mean if you've been following along, this is what BitLift has looked like for years. I'll show you what the new BitLift looks like in a bit! But the idea was: you could shop, add products from a bunch of different merchants, and then just pay them all directly at the end.
And that's what we were doing. What I discovered the hard way, though - as we do - is that when you build a marketplace, especially a two-sided marketplace, getting merchants was easy. Getting crypto people to shop and spend their crypto was hard. It's real hard, man. I mean, when the prices of crypto are going up, who wants to spend it?
We all know that I've been doing that for years. I've spent hundreds, maybe a thousand Bitcoin at this point, and I don't regret a single sat that I've spent. I always just top it back up. I buy more Bitcoin when I spend it. It's just easier to spend Bitcoin than it is to punch in my home address and my credit card for every website that I visit.
So I still wish crypto commerce would come back in a big way. I think at some point we're going to crack crypto commerce. It's going to happen, but I don't know if it's going to be the "BitLift style Amazon store" or the "BitLift style API" at this point. But what I learned during this time was this...
I was helping all these merchants set up their wallets for the first time, set up Coinbase Commerce, explaining this was a non-custodial wallet, here's why we do that, etc. And I had a lot of fun and just meeting all these merchants and helping them with crypto. Things that, you know, I thought were so simple at this point, it was all brand new to all these people and helping them understand self custody and the power of Bitcoin...man, that just lit me up.
I made plenty of money investing in crypto, but what really filled my tank was helping people understand it. And that's when I started, I launched the BitLift newsletter and I just started like helping people navigate the cycle, right? This was my first newsletter and you can go to bitlift.com/newsletter and see the very first newsletters.
That was September of 2020. It was literally the beginning of the massive cycle that we just experienced. If you got my first newsletter at 1,100 bucks... hopefully you bought some Bitcoin and rode that to 69! Hopefully sold some, hopefully didn't use FTX to do it. I've never even talked about FTX. I don't even know how anyone ever used FTX, but here we are.
How the Podcast Evolved
So that was BitLift 2.0. This idea of crypto commerce, like I said, I'm still pretty stoked on it... but we'll see if we can get people to start spending crypto. And why they spend crypto - incentivize, give people good reasons to spend crypto - because there's plenty of good reasons to accept crypto. If you're a merchant, man, accepting crypto is a fucking breeze - and no chargebacks, no fees. You get paid directly. You don't have to withdraw. No delays.
There's no better way to get paid if you're a merchant. It's on the consumer side that we really got to figure out how to make it advantageous for people to spend their crypto. And so I was writing these newsletters every week and, you know, I can write, but man... it's a lot of work writing and crafting these magical words on paper every day.
I'd much rather just speak. I have the energy for speaking, not for typing. And what I decided was, let's just start it off as a podcast and convert the newsletter to more of a podcast style. I met this guy, Matt, who was kind of like a crypto noob, but he was early to the next cycle and he was ready to rock. And he was asking me all these really good questions - as you guys do - and I was like, man, instead of me answering all these questions for you, let's just record our conversations and start a podcast.
And so the idea for the BitLift podcast originally was - there was me who'd been in crypto. Let's see, I launched the podcast in 2021. So I'd been in crypto for eight years at that point. And then there was Matt who, it was like day one, he bought like a little Bitcoin and was scared and didn't know how to withdraw it from the exchange. So there was like, the crypto noob and then the crypto guru.
And that's what our idea was for every episode, was gonna be like, Matt asking these really good questions about how to move forward with crypto and how to take self custody and how to understand the cycle. And if you go back and listen to the first episodes - which to be honest I think are some of our best episodes - you'll see that.
Matt really played the role well. But you know, what was it like episode five, maybe? He went on a trip. He's like, "Oh, sorry, next week I'm not gonna be able to record. I'm going on a journey." And so he went on some journey, came back from his journey and decided that he wanted to put his energy elsewhere. That crypto just wasn't for him anymore. And that's all I got out of it. I don't, I didn't know why. I didn't know the guy too well. And, you know, that was on him. He wanted to bail, and we'd just gotten started. I wasn't about to bail on the pod. So I started scrambling, coming up with ideas, trying to find other guests.
And the podcast kind of took a different turn. This was also like, "peak mania." Crypto was going mad, right? And instead of helping new people to crypto, I kind of scrambled into this idea of "let's just talk about the things that I'm interested in crypto right now." And I was into DeFi, man. I was trying, I was understanding, and learning from the best out there. Trying to understand how these people who've been in traditional finance for decades, how they're applying all these new concepts of crypto... and we did pretty well with it.
But, it got more complicated. I started kind of losing the audience a bit, because we started helping people who were new to crypto....and then I quickly scrambled into jumping into what _I _was into, which was a bit more advanced. It was also a tough time because people who were texting me and hitting me up about crypto for the first time, my advice was "I don't know if this is the best time to be buying crypto..."
This is 2021. We'd already kind of had our first top. We had - I forget why - that first big red candle, but we did. And then we started coming back, crawling back...and there was just so much leverage in the system. I mean, who knows what was going on with FTX and Three Arrows and why all these guys collapsed.
But we did, obviously we went on our LUNA run - we see that here too. That was May of 2022. And yeah, the podcast just kind of "fell off" a bit. So I've been trying to regroup and figure out where to go next with it, and the first thing I decided was, "Let's strip out the e-comerce stuff, right?"
Like, I love the e-commerce stuff. It's actually what I wish and hope BitLift will become. But, making a few dollars here and there on e-commerce is nothing compared to how much money I'm making investing in crypto... and it doesn't light me up like helping people make money investing in crypto.
So, I just pivoted all of BitLift now to just helping people stack crypto. Be your own bank, man! That's what it's all about. And so here's the new BitLift! My boy Nick and I, he helped me migrate all the content from the old BitLift to Notion and no, there's a new product called Super helps you convert Notion into a website.
It's just so much easier to generate content, get it live on the site, get it published instead of WordPress. Look, I love WordPress. I mean, I've been using it for man, 20 years. That doesn't even make sense to me, but forever at this point. But WordPress is just a bloated piece of shit, and I'm sick of it. Running all the updates, getting all these hacks, all these email hacks, phishing hacks. I'm done with it. So now that we're on Notion, it's going to be a lot easier for us to write articles, publish our podcast, do all these things. I'm pretty stoked about that. We also got a brand new facelift, right?
If you check out, thanks to Midjourney and all this fun AI stuff, I've been banging out all sorts of cool looking astronauts using Midjourney. So you'll start seeing those around, seeing them on the socials, you'll see them on the site. We got a brand new look.
I've also rewrote a ton of our guides. Things like timing and understanding the cycle. Man, if you don't understand the cycle or where we're at in the cycle: I spent a week really digging into it, helping understand how the cycle works. So definitely go check out this guide on BitLift on understanding the cycle. I think it's some of my best work!
I've also got guides on how to stake your ETH. If you're not staking your ETH, what are you doing? ETH isn't meant to collect dust like Bitcoin is. Start staking your ETH and generating some interest on it, right?
And then I've got some new stuff. BitLift - we've got some new databases. The people page is pretty epic. It's all of the people who've been contributing to crypto over the past decade. We've got profiles on all of them. And, again, some fun Midjourney style AI art of all the people who contribute to crypto. Maybe we'll add some more people here soon.
And then the last new thing is this history page. If you go bitlift.com/history, I basically pulled all of the biggest events in crypto that have happened and add them into a historical timeline. You could scroll through this - in fact, I'd scroll to the very bottom - things like the first known proposal for a blockchain protocol, to Nick Szabo coining the term smart contract. What is this? 10 years before Bitcoin, before Satoshi even came on the scene! That's unreal, right? And then all the way to Bitcoin launching, you can scroll through this in under an hour and really get a sense of how Bitcoin has evolved - and how crypto industry has evolved over the past 15 years.
And if you want, you can go real deep. You could spend months clicking through every single one of these links to the source. Charlie Lee launches Litecoin. Eric Voorhees announces Satoshi Dice. You might not have known that he had a Satoshi Dice before he ever started ShapeShift! There's a lot of really cool stuff in here that there's no way you'd notice everything. Oh, look here - Gerbz buys his first Bitcoin! We'll talk about that in the next episode. So I highly recommend checking out this historical timeline - I think you'll just you'll learn something even if you've been in crypto forever. It's fun to go down memory lane.
Back to the newsletter, I really want to kick off this newsletter again. Probably sharing more real time trades with you guys - what I'm actually doing in real time. The podcast has a little bit of a delay. So definitely sign up for the newsletter to get that going!
And lastly, this is the reboot of the podcast, right? I want to reboot this. So this is BitLift 3.0. It's all going to be podcast-centralized. And I really want to not just roll with these solo episodes, but really I want to get guests on.
I want to do like a weekly recap of what's happening in crypto and just riff man, like riff like my boy Rogan, just hang out. Talk shit. Talk about crypto. Talk about what's going wrong with it. Talk about what's going right. Talk about where we are in the cycle. I want to help people with self custody and help people balance their portfolios out and figure out how to position themselves too.
So if you're listening to this and you've got questions, you're trying to figure out crypto, hit me up. Let's get on the show. Let's talk crypto, man. I want it to be more authentic, more natural. I have so many of these epic conversations that I don't record with you guys, and let's just start recording them. Let's get them up here. I think people want to know - they want to hear from people who have no idea what they're doing too. This is how we learn - learning from each other. Right?
So that's the vision for kind of BitLift 3.0 here. We're heading into this new cycle. I'm excited about it. And let's keep it rolling, man! Hit me up if you want to get on the pod. Definitely go check out the BitLift Podcast on YouTube. We're going to start putting it there. See if we can't drive some more traffic this way! And I'll see you guys next week. Peace out!