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Bitcoin’s YouTube Missionaries

Op-ed - Bitcoin’s YouTube Missionaries

Beacons of light welcoming the huddled masses of tired and poor yearning for financial freedom.

My road to discovering the new world of economic redemption started one evening last March. An article linked from BuzzFeed's website entitled "Is it Time to Take Bitcoin Seriously?" written by Alec Liu was revealed to me. As I investigated further I found my heart inexplicitly racing; some deep-rooted primitive part of my brain connected with this article. I had discovered an obvious truth that just clicked. Alec Liu, without knowing it, was the messenger that lit the spark that started my personal obsession to this revolutionary technology. Rarely can we predict the power of our words and ideas. I doubt he could have predicted when he wrote that article for the on-line magazine Motherboard Vice who he might inspire or even that he had the power to do so. Could he have prophesied the course of life he would someday change?

My "a-ha" moment arrived. Yet I had to convince my skeptical side so I did what millions of others do when they want to know more about something - I consulted the "experts" on YouTube. There were quite a bit to choose from both pro and against the idea of digital currency. I reasoned out their best arguments as I'm sure our readers have done. Slowly and diligently I found reasonable answers to each of their arguments against the technology. It mostly boiled down to it's never been done before. I've yet to see any great new invention or technology built, designed or conceived by skeptics. Think about any of the great inventors in history and you won't find a skeptic among them. My expedition through the YouTube passageways was led in part by the following bitcoin technology "missionaries".

World Bitcoin Network

Subscribers: 7,500

Channel views: 190,000

James D'Angelo hosts this informative show which gives an especially persuasive Bitcoin 101 teaching guide. In his own unique style using a digital chalkboard he illustrates visuals to help illustrate complex ideas. He comes across like the big brother or eager little league coach you never had. The channel's biggest video views dealt with the subject of why Bitcoin is not in a bubble. This video alone has received over 45,000 views. It should be 450,000 views. In this link he explains brilliantly why the growth in bitcoin price should actually be considered normal.

Stefan Molyneux (Freedom Radio)

Subscribers: 130,000

Channel Views: 25 million

Stefan holds the distinction of having the most subscribers and most hits for his channel of the YouTube channels profiled here. He purposely takes on controversial topics which make for compelling viewing. Bitcoin is a common thread on his channels and he appears to me to be one of the earliest proponents to speak of the subject as of June 2011. He presents a reasonable and calm demeanor and has included guests both pro and con regarding Bitcoin. He's put together a couple of dedicated videos on the subject that make a great reference point for beginners.

Let's talk Bitcoin!

Subscribers: 3,200

Channel Views: 103,000

The show is in a podcast format and was originally hosted by Adam Levine, Andreas M. Antonopoulos and Stephanie Murphy. I discovered it last summer and found it reminded me of the NPR (National Public Radio) with its low key segments and slow jazz intros. It started out with the three main hosts mentioned above. Of the three, Andreas appears to me as the most passionate, energized, and engaging in my own opinion. Much of his forward thinking predictions and explanations brought clarity and focus to my understanding. He's now a sought after public speaker who does a fine job representing the bitcoin community ideals.

The Bitcoin Channel

Subscribers: 12,000

Views: 397,000

This channel has been around for a few years as well beginning in June 2011. The channel specializes charting the Bitcoin price with an effort to make short term predictions using formulas common to that specialty. The narrator's commentary is the interesting portion to me. If charting is your thing, you might find it interesting, but for me I'm more interested in the back story and theory added to give more meaning to price movements. One particularly interesting episode was from June 19, 2011 captured the flash crash of Bitcoin from $30 to almost zero in real-time as the Mt.Gox exchange was hacked. This event had a longer term effect of causing many people to lose faith in the currency and brought about many greatly exaggerated reports of bitcoin's death. It turned out to be an important moment of bitcoin history was captured while it was happening. It's important to see that at the time it was happening it was scary and confusing to those invested in the new technology. Put in perspective, it's fascinating.

These channels of course are not alone on YouTube. In this short article it would be impossible to name them all. My journey led me to other helpful beacons of knowledge and discovery. I did, however, find myself returning to these sources repeatedly and eventually subscribed to their channels. To put things in perspective, others around the world are only now hearing about Bitcoin for the first time or only now reading or hearing something that spiked their interest. To much of the world, their first source of knowledge will be to turn to YouTube for influence. Their path will likely lead them to the many of the same places and to the same channels I found. We do well to recognize these efforts and thank them for introducing the newly curious population just now experiencing their "a-ha" moment.