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Bitcoin has made many people rich. Unlike the traditional rich, the Bitcoin rich escape the usual roles and networks. This makes them a new, freer class of rich people.

If you write a blog about Bitcoin for a few years, it becomes inevitable to be in direct or indirect contact with people who are relatively wealthy.

However, there is no such thing as the Bitcoin rich: one continues to live in the basement of his parents’ house, another buys real estate all over Europe, and the next emigrates to South America; Some stop working and take care of children and household, others start companies, write open source code and invest in Bitcoin startups; one person buys a 300 hp car, while another finds his greatest luxury in giving gifts to friends and relatives.

Showing off wealth seems far from the minds of most Bitcoiners. They don’t wear tailored suits, don’t live in villas, don’t sleep in luxury hotels, don’t eat in fancy restaurants, don’t drive fancy cars, and don’t give away diamonds. Instead, they fulfill down-to-earth dreams – and are satisfied with them.

Perhaps the saying that money doesn’t change you applies to the Bitcoin rich: it just allows you to be who you really are. And perhaps this is what most clearly distinguishes Bitcoiners from traditional rich people.

Anyone who owns wealth in Germany has either inherited it or earned it as an entrepreneur or manager. Those who inherit are born into an environment of wealth. He or she is raised accordingly and integrated into the networks of the rich at birth. He grows into the habitus of being rich.

Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, generate their wealth through work and often hardship. Along the way, they develop a “managerial personality”: they get used to being the “boss” and moving diligently around their business partners. They grow into the networks of the rich and know their lawyers, notaries, bankers and tax advisors, their building contractors, architects, landscape gardeners and tailors, local politicians, star chefs, other rich people and so on.

Getting rich the traditional way is a process that transforms personality and embeds it in social networks. Wealth becomes a lifestyle that comes with roles and constraints, control and discipline. The golden cage is more than just a phrase.

Getting rich with Bitcoin, on the other hand, is an event. There’s the gamer who used his graphics card to mine Bitcoins for a few weeks in 2011 for fun; the stoner who ordered weed on Silk Road in 2012 and fell in love with the dark web payment method; the gambler who traded altcoins in 2013; the techie who invested in the Ethereum ICO in 2015. And so forth. Not a long, arduous journey, but individual decisions are the source of wealth.

But you shouldn’t compare Bitcoiners with lottery millionaires. Because luck alone wasn’t enough. They also needed curiosity and openness, a technical or economic background, the courage to dare to make an unusual investment and the belief in holding instead of skimming 200 percent profit.

Unlike entrepreneurs and heirs, the Bitcoin rich do not undergo a transformation of ego and environment. They are not the “boss”, they do not adopt the habitus of the rich and do not integrate into the usual social networks. Many don’t know a lawyer, have never built a house, wear jeans and hoodies and drive an old, rusty Fiat. You wouldn’t recognize them if they were your neighbors.

These Bitcoiners are a new class of rich people who are, above all, psychologically and sociologically exciting: they often had no intention of becoming rich, but became so accidentally because they followed their sense of idealism. You are free from the usual needs and constraints of wealth, free from the usual control and embedding.

This freedom could be why Bitcoiners are perhaps better positioned than other rich people to get the most out of money – namely, to truly be themselves.


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