When I First Learned About Bitcoin…

I want to share a story about when I first learned of Bitcoin. At the time, the conversation was one of many had during a conference, and since the topic wasn’t all that important to me at the time.

I am pretty sure the conversation happened during the TRAFFIC domain conference in October of 2011. The reason this resonates is that the conversation happened in the Ft. Lauderdale Ritz Carlton club lounge at the TRAFFIC wrap-up party. It couldn’t have happened in 2010 because the conference was in South Beach and it couldn’t have happened in 2012 because Bitcoin was widely known by then.

As the TRAFFIC conference was coming to an end, there was a dessert party in the club lounge. I was walking into the lounge and ran into some domain industry colleagues I have known for a few years. One of them was talking about Bitcoin, and if I had heard of Bitcoin before the conversation, it must have been in passing because I didn’t really know anything about it. This person explained what Bitcoin was, how it was created, and how the price had risen from virtually nothing to $30+ per coin and then back down. He talked about a big crash, but he was confident in the long term value proposition of Bitcoin despite the fact that it had risen and fallen.

The conversation was interesting, and alas, I was more interested in the dessert offerings.

Had I jumped into the world of cryptocurrency back then, I probably would have many more regrets than I have now for not buying any Bitcoin. I most likely would have seen it as a short term gamble and been happy to make a profit and get my money back. Although a longer hold would have yielded stunning returns, I just don’t see myself being in it for the long haul back then.

The person who led the conversation is still active in the domain space and I am quite positive he is still involved with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. He is a modest person, and even if he holds a massive portfolio (wallet?) of cryptocurrency, I can’t see his demeanor changing.

In retrospect, this was probably a once in a lifetime opportunity I missed out on, but I am glad to know some industry friends and colleagues have done well with Bitcoin.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. i have asked during the same time a ( or earlier) a friend of mine who was doing forex , he was not aware if this and told that it may not be useful for serious trading , i asked him because i wanted to know if this could bring some revenue and i was not a forex guy, it’s a good example when you should really hear to your gut and not asking ´experts’ …

  2. i’m sure lots of people have similar stories. i was going to buy a bunch when they were 50 a coin but there were several hoops to jump through to buy them, verifying id, etc so i never bothered. of course its a missed opportunity but like you said, the odds of holding them to this point are slim. i most likely would of sold long before. i did manage to sell a bitcoin related domain for 20k that that i only paid 10 bucks for so its not a completely missed opportunity.

  3. Would you *really* have more regrets if you’d picked up some coins after that show?

    It was not a once in a lifetime opportunity and its not too late. Imagine it’s the year 2000 and you’re looking at the .coms your friends registered in 1994 thinking you missed the boat. There were a few slow years right after that but you’d still have come out way ahead registering good names in 2000.

  4. Definitely not a once in a lifetime opportunity. Dotcom’s, Google IPO, Apple stock pre-iPhone, bitcoin, etc. There will be other opportunities. Keep your mind, eyes and ears open.

  5. I can relate to what you said at the end where you’d probably have more regrets. I bought a bunch of ethereum when it was about $10 per coin, and I said it all when it hit about $18 thinking I did well and made a nice profit. In reality, I did. However, just a few months later it went up and if I had sold it around the $300 range I would have made about $30,000 profit. It eats me up thinking about it lol.

  6. I heard a little mention of it near the beginning or so and missed out on a tiny bit of money becoming worth tens or hundreds of millions of dollars.

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