Navigating Crypto Addiction
It’s 5:40 AM, my eyes are still closed, but I’ve already reached down to the side of my bed and grabbed my phone. My lids open to a screen of 30+ Telegram channels and hundreds of unread messages, which I robotically flip through to get caught up on the last 8 hours of crypto-fuckery.
“My name is Sean.”
“I’m a crypto addict.”
I bought my first bitcoin back in early 2015 because I needed it to get a discount on an online sports-streaming service. After watching the price jump from $600 to $800 over a couple of months, I became rather intrigued. I reached out to a good buddy of mine, a professional online poker player who happened to be a bit of a bitcoin maxi. I wanted to get the inside scoop. Within 5 minutes I was ready to sell one of my kidneys.
The next couple of years were a blur. I was racing down the rabbit hole to absorb as much crypto-knowledge as possible. I was accelerating towards a new dimension of existence and I couldn’t seem to push the pedal down hard enough.
Everywhere I went my phone was glued to the front of my face. It didn’t matter if I was at a football game or we had taken the kids to the beach, I was entirely consumed. Unsurprisingly my wife, whose job it is to keep me in check, became irritated with my tunnel vision.
“Sean, can you puleaseee put your phone down?”
She’d ask me ten times a day, in as many ways, and with increasing vulgarity. Over time I got in a habit of shooting back a little phrase I coined.
“Crypto don’t sleep, girl.”
Hey, it’s true. Crypto doesn’t sleep and neither does my addiction.
Sometimes my kids would be calling my name to get my attention, and I’d be so immersed in deep-diving into some project’s governance mechanism, I wouldn’t even hear them. I was being a “self-absorbed asshole,” as Jenn so kindly put it, but I couldn’t help myself. I mean I knew I was being a self-absorbed asshole, but I didn’t care (a side-effect of being a “self-absorbed asshole”). Let’s just say I wouldn’t be winning “Father of the Year” that year, or the next, or the next. And probably not the next.
One of the few positives of my crypto-addiction was it motivated me to make it to the gym almost every day, although in full disclosure I didn't always make it inside. Instead, I'd spend the entire hour sitting in my car and fighting FUD from the parking lot. On days I actually made it through the gym doors I think I averaged about 20 mins rest after each of a total of two sets. On a rare occasion, I put my phone down as soon as I walked in. But on the way out, purchase an energy drink to help focus as I caught up on all the crypto I missed.
I remember on weekends hopping up from the couch to take the ole’ post-coffee número dos, except my número dos’s weren’t just driven by coffee. I needed an excuse to hide in my bathroom and get caught up on crypto-twitter, free of distraction and disappointing looks from you know who. A half-hour later I’d emerge.
“So, what’s for breakfast?”
Outside of taking a shit and turning on the water for showers 15 minutes before I entered, taking the dogs for a walk was a favorite pastime. While walking, I could listen to crypto podcasts while discussing crypto-opportunities with my buddies on telegram. Or I could simply go for the walk to process all the information that was bouncing around in my head. But no matter how far I walked, I really didn’t know where I was going.
Over a 3 year period, I dedicated inordinate amounts of time and energy to crypto and I still couldn’t get enough. Eat, sleep, crypto, eat sleep crypto. All-day, every day. Sometimes I would skip the eating and sleeping and just do the crypto part.
But for what?
Sure I made some money. I also connected with people and became a participant in various crypto-communities. But that alone wasn’t worth the strain I put on my family and the relationships with those around me. Almost everything I was doing in crypto was for me, and me alone. At some point, minus the tokens that sat on my hardware wallet, I came to the realization I would have arrived at a similar result, smoking joints, eating pizza, and playing video games 12 hours a day over the same time period.
My crypto journey hit a fork in the road in 2018. After a discussion in one of my favorite telegram groups, I felt rather motivated to write something. I hadn’t written anything for years but just started pecking away at my keyboard. I sent my article to an EOS community publication called EOSwriter and they published it. The article was slightly controversial but was well-received. More importantly, it led me to connect with the founder of EOSwriter, Kenny Lienhard. Even though Kenny lived on the other side of the world in Australia, we still found a way to consummate and gave birth to the idea that would evolve to become Cryptowriter. I had finally found what I hadn’t realized I had been looking for. A direction. From that point forward I put my crypto-addiction to work and aimed all that time and energy towards building something awesome. And now that I had found a crypto-purpose, I started working towards finding balance in my life.
Crypto is fucking amazing. It’s a fascinating cocktail of discovery, technology, speculation, and opportunity that has the power to bend your perspective, allowing you to see the world through a different lens. Once you’ve entered this digital simulation, there’s no escaping it. So you might as well find a way to plant your flag and be part of the revolution
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Reading your article has made me realise I’m also a crypto addict. Checking the prices of Crypto is the first thing I used to do when I switched on my phone in the morning and the last thing I did at night.
Now the first thing I do is check my email for offers on my NFT collection. By channelling my obsession into being part of the NFT community, I have now found my sense of purpose.
Your article totally hits home. My wife is currently glaring at me while I read this article while simultaneously watching Top Chef. My phone has been permanently attached my hand for the pat 4 months. I’ve never had so much fun learning in my life.