When I jumped on a WhatsApp call with 41-year old Didi Taihuttu, he was a few days away from joining his family on CoinBank’s annual Mediterranean “Blockchain Cruise” — a combination vacation getaway and crypto symposium at which all the movers and shakers in the decentralized finance arena get together to discuss a hypothetical future where government-printed money is rendered obsolete, dropping by Mallorca and Marseille along the way.
According to Taihuttu, invitations to blockchain conferences and seminars have piled up ever since he liquidated almost everything he owned (yes, including his house and his cars) and invested his remaining capital in bitcoin. It’s a financial pivot that’s both irrational and dangerous to an outsider, but within the crypto nation, it can make you a legend.
Taihuttu was born in the Netherlands, and before going all in on bitcoin, he ran a company that taught tech literacy to people in need. Today, though, he, his wife, and their three kids are in constant transit. After the family ditched their house and consolidated all their money, they lived on a campsite in the Netherlands for a few months before moving to Thailand (a country that’s become a haven for anyone looking to live outside of banking institutions).
Now back in the Netherlands, he tells me that he bought the lion’s share of his bitcoin when the prices were hovering around $1,000 and $2,000 in January 2017. He watched from the sidelines as the exchange rate crested past the $19,000 mark the following December. Taihuttu, however, has never fully cashed out. So as the market corrected and bitcoin has embraced a much more modest valuation of $7,000, Taihuttu never divested himself. Today, he says he’s in it for the long haul.
Taihuttu’s gambit isn’t entirely unique. As cryptocurrency has shifted from a semi-legal hacker’s bounty into an unavoidable fixture in the financial industry, more and more people have opted to ditch the banks entirely and live a decentralized life. There’s an entire community of so-called “crypto nomads,” who live port to port, country to country, with little more than their laptops and their coin tickers. Taihuttu, of course, is…
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