It’s been over 11 years since Bitcoin’s genesis block was mined by Satoshi Nakamoto. In that time, the network has expanded and thousands of new miners have entered the fray. But it all started with just a handful of libertarians and tech enthusiasts.
These pioneers are now legends in the industry. Some command crypto events with thousands in attendance, others have legions of diehard fans on social media that listen to their every blog post or podcast. Now they’re taking a look back at where it all began.
Charlie Shrem: The second ever ASIC
“That’s the second ASIC to ever be used on the #Bitcoin network, EVER,” Shrem told Decrypt.
Playing a leading role in Bitcoin’s nascent rise, Shrem founded both the Bitcoin foundation and one of the first-ever Bitcoin exchanges—the now-defunct BitInstant. After a tussle with the law, following claims of money laundering, Shrem shook off the stigma, founding several crypto-centric start-ups and a popular podcast, called Untold Stories.
Charlie Lee: Bitcoin mining machine from 2011
Lee has been in the Bitcoin industry longer than most. He dabbled in Bitcoin mining in early 2011.
“I found a photo of one from 7/16/2011. This is 6 graphics cards connected to one motherboard via risers,” Lee told Decrypt.
But he ended up creating a clone of Bitcoin, one that would run faster and, in theory, cheaper. In October 2011, while working as a software engineer for Google, he created Litecoin—dubbed the silver to Bitcoin’s gold.
Today, Litecoin has a $3 billion market cap. Not that Lee has any coins, he famously sold them in December 2017, at the height of the Bitcoin bull run.
Bobby Lee: Bitcoin mining machine from 2011
“My first Bitcoin mining rig from summer of 2011,” Lee told Decrypt.
Crypto runs in the family, it seems. Charlie Lee’s…