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  • Andy Gonzalez

Why Become a Crypto-Consultant?


Empowering the world "bit by bit".

The Basics

Before opening myself up to you, It’s a good idea to understand what a consultant does in the first place before delving into the less understood realm of cryptocurrency (crypto). In a world where most prefer to quickly put each other in boxes with clearly defined labels, I’d like to at least define the ambiguous label before using it to wrap the box I’ll be shipping myself in to the world wide web (in the form of this blog). According to Google, the consultant is “a person who provides expert advice professionally”. While concise, the definition leaves much to be desired. Moving on to the obviously better source, “consulting.com”, we find a decent breakdown of what the job description entails; it uses three categories to describe consulting: “management consulting, corporate consulting, and independent consulting”. The article goes on to try differentiating between the consulting types but I’ll save you having to read the rest of that article and fill you in on the gist so we can move this post along: all consulting ultimately comprises of is persons who deeply understand a specific topic/s, and more importantly, know how to find others who are in most need of that expertise and are willing to pay in order to acquire it.


So, why go through the trouble to explain an elementary concept such as that of the consultant? It’s because the subject of interest, crypto, also requires an assessment of basic assumptions in order to understand its actual value. The realization of this technology’s benefits had to become apparent to me before I had the eventual realization that I was also a crypto-consultant.



Down the Rabbit Hole

Before stumbling upon crypto, I was deeply fascinated with technology and found myself in a tug of war of sorts between wanting to become a programmer and an attorney (spoiler alert, I’m much closer to becoming the latter pending the Texas Bar results). In 2012, when I first heard about Bitcoin (at a price of no higher than $12 dollars per coin), the concept of a digital currency wasn’t novel because I already had a PayPal account and was effortlessly purchasing both digital and physical goods online. I made the false assumption that Bitcoin was just like having a PayPal account and then dismissed it until hearing about it again a year later in relation to Wikileaks having its PayPal account frozen for stepping on the wrong institutional toes. The philosophy of whether one’s money should be controlled by a third party aside, it then dawned on me that Bitcoin was an entirely different animal to online payment processors which warranted a second look at the decentralized digital currency.


It was 2013, and if time wasn’t already against me between working a full time desk job and attending evening law school, my fascination with Bitcoin didn’t make things easier. I’m going with the hypothesis that my passion for this technology is what allowed me to balance so many plates without falling and breaking my back. Whether you were an academic colleague or a fellow co-worker, I apologize for all the times I derailed a conversation with claims that Bitcoin was somehow relevant. In my defense, it’s a personal quirk (or fault) that I get so excited when I discover a concept that overturns what I considered to be an infallible truth within the many presumptions I hold in my head. It happened before with atheism, then Bitcoin, and most recently with keto.


Bitcoin, the world's first decentralized digital currency.

Paradigm Shift


There is no perfect money, but it’s an established truth that some money is better than others. For example, gold recently achieved a global foothold as the preferred money before being decoupled from the current global reserve currency known as the U.S. dollar in the 1944 Bretton Woods Agreement. Before then, civilizations exchanged value through commodities such as cattle, shells, or salt; gold won out due to its durability, portability, and divisibility among other economically relevant properties. But until 2013, I had never considered money’s pivotal role in our collective history. It hadn’t occurred to me that it might be worth understanding the concept of the civilization building/destroying tool I and every other human use in half of every transaction (whether for a good or service in exchange for currency) since the age we were deemed capable of managing an allowance. Bitcoin shattered my previously held assumption that money is whatever has a dead man/woman’s face on it. You’ll notice that I seem to use Bitcoin and crypto interchangeably. This is because all the current and future cryptocurrencies are derivatives of Bitcoin, the world’s first and most used cryptocurrency (the latter is subject to change).


Alex and my first Bitcoin meetup. (Yes, I bought swag)

Contact

As a fervent student of crypto in 2013, I was eager to find other peers I could share my findings with and who could correct my well intentioned but false theories about what the technology was capable of. Of course, I could’ve scratched the itch by interacting with like minded people online but there’s a certain appeal in discussing abstract concepts with real humans that makes them more tangible and within reach. The city of San Antonio, TX is one of the larger cities in the lone star state so it was unsettling to me why I had such a hard time finding a fellow Bitcoiner. Only now have I realized that it’s because there were so few of us back then and because I wasn’t looking in the right places.


Alex Eaton, my fellow business partner and crypto-consultant first appeared on my radar after attempting a Google search of local crypto advocates after I was convinced Bitcoin was at least worth more than the few months of research I had already sunk into it. Turns out Alex was just as if not more excited about Bitcoin than I was. He had setup an ambitious funding campaign with the goal of installing Bitcoin ATMs all over the city. I had no idea who this person was, but I was so blown away by his zeal that I didn’t hesitate to call the number he left on the funding website which happened to be his personal cell. Shortly after meeting we hit if off and I ended up moving in and living at Alex’s house which is justly self proclaimed to be San Antonio’s Bitcoin incubator. If one wanted to live and breath Bitcoin and crypto, Alex’s abode was the place to do it.


What I imagine I look like to people learning about crypto for the first time.

Accumulation Period


Once at Alex’s home, surrounded by the whirring sounds of crypto miners happily minting Bitcoin and securing its worldwide decentralized distributed ledger, my journey down the crypto rabbit hole began in earnest. I couldn’t wait to complete the day’s assigned readings averaging 50 or so pages of droning legal abstractions before sinking my teeth into whatever crypto literature was available. I consumed material aimlessly at first, there were no mainstream/institutional/vetted resources I could tap into that could be considered “legitimate”. Eventually, what began as a trickle became a full blown Niagara falls-esque waterfall of well researched information coming both from respected academics and proven crypto educators such as Andreas M. Antonopoulos. I was taking more than one MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) consecutively and apparently began leaking crypto at the seems because I was compelled to start a crypto podcast at Alex’s first suggestion of one. Thus began “B Libre!” and our intermingling with the world’s globally distributed network of crypto aficionados.


After years of this crypto knowledge accumulation period, I arrived at an inflection point of sorts. On the one hand, I was preparing to become an attorney which provides many lucrative opportunities in its own right. But on the other, there is a deep yearning for the chance to build something powerful and novel with this burgeoning technology (which may include positions related to the legal field).


Alex got a hold of this art piece bearing an uncanny resemblance to his image, it's one of my favorites.

The Epiphany


Then it happened. I had been sharing my swelling knowledge and passion for crypto for free until the final year of my law school career when I had to turn away the chance to introduce a new member to the crypto economy. Instead of giving up, this person offered to pay for my time and for sharing what I knew. I immediately accepted the offer because I was so excited that someone was willing to pay so they could learn about a technology I drew immense pleasure in educating about and exploring its still hidden opportunities through the perspectives of others.


Fast forward to today, it’s about to be April of 2019, over a year has passed since the dizzying all time high of $20k dollars per Bitcoin. Very few empty hours would pass at that time when a relative, colleague, or friend wouldn’t eagerly be seeking my advice on how to most quickly acquire some crypto. But that euphoria has long since abated, and it’s during these times that a fledgling technology has the chance to exhale and draw in new inspiration now that the expectation of creating overnight millionaires is but a playful notion. In their current forms, I do believe Bitcoin and other cryptos hold long term promise, but I’m keeping my head down and working to bring the next wave of adopters into the fold instead of letting my mind wander in the clouds of what could be.


A world of value harnessed by crypto.

Expanding our Network


I would consider this endeavor a success if it provides clients a safe and positive first time crypto experience which I hope instills even a modicum of the satisfaction I’ve felt in being a part of this open source project. As I’ve mentioned above, the trajectory of Bitcoin and the rest of the crypto ecosystem is unknown (as all risky ventures should be), but nevertheless it is the San Antonio Crypto Network’s (SACN) mission to provide a professional service to those just now entering the crypto economy and of course the same should be expected by our colleagues already deeply entrenched in the machinations that power this amazing global community.


To wrap this up with a fitting analogy, I see Alex and me as information nodes in what could become an expansive network of many more nodes distributed across the globe. Already we have gained a third member to the network, Adrianna Mendez, who has made a phenomenal impact on the crypto space through her efforts with Cypheglass (a top rated block producer in the EOS blockchain) soon after she joined the ecosystem. Just as the Bitcoin and crypto networks have brought plenty of value to me and others, I know SACN will do the same in bringing the world of crypto into your hands.


Cheers!

Andy Gonzalez

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