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Posted January 09, 2024

James Altucher

By James Altucher

Bigger Than Bitcoin


That’s the price of Bitcoin as I’m writing this.

At this time last year, it was just over $17,000 and many people thought that crypto was all but dead.

But with Bitcoin seemingly on the brink of getting SEC approval for a spot ETF, people are flooding back hoping to get in on the next bull run.

My friend and colleague James Altucher, who advocated for Bitcoin on CNBC in 2013 when it was $113 says that this bull run will not only be the biggest yet, but it will also be the last crypto bull run.

So of course it makes sense that he’d be…done with Bitcoin?

Why I Said Goodbye to Bitcoin


First off, I love Bitcoin. I love everything about it. If Bitcoin was a person I might marry it. If Bitcoin was champagne, I would bathe in it.

From 2010 to 2015 I used to hold these Q&A sessions every single Thursday on Twitter. I would spend about 90 minutes and I did this about 50 times a year for six years. I really loved doing it.

For better or worse, I’ve stumbled into a lot of bad situations for myself and some good ones. So people would ask me questions about their own strange situations. We all have them.

People would say, “Who are you to be answering questions?” And I would respond, “nobody,” which is true. We’re all in this trap together. And our main task, if we have one, is to help each other get to the other side safely. Or as safely as we possibly can.

People would ask and I would freely give my opinion and tell my own stories a little. And I would say, this is not advice. Just my experiences.

Often people would ask me about Bitcoin and soon, in early 2013, everyone seemed to be asking me about Bitcoin. I looked into it for about ten seconds and said, “seems like a scam to me.” This was March 2013.

A month later, Naval Ravikant, who is a big enthusiast of all things crypto, flew into NY. We spent the morning together with a whiteboard and he explained Bitcoin in every which way to me.

It BLEW MY MIND. It seemed to be like the natural evolution of what money would become.

Every industry evolves. Think about it…

Medicine went from praying for healing from one of your gods, to leeches, to a guy who hits your knee with a hammer, to data and AI analyzing your genome.

War is another top of mind example as we’re seeing in Ukraine.

Thousands of years ago, kingdoms would hold sacrifices to their gods the day before war.

Then they said, forget that, let’s make bullets.

And now you have satellite images, AI guided missiles, cyberattacks… all orchestrated with massive amounts of data. If you have more data than bullets, you win.

Money has gone from bartering with a rock like gold, to “In God We Trust”, to fiat money where it’s “in the Federal Reserve we PRAY we can trust”, to now... the natural evolution of all industries… a data-based currency.

Enter Bitcoin.

Bitcoin solves the problems of “human” currency. No Federal Reserve manipulating the value of the dollars in your pocket.

No middlemen of six banks every time you send a wire. No potential for forgery. Secure transactions and a record of every transaction right there on the blockchain.

But that’s just the beginning.

With smart contracts, Bitcoin and other cryptos not only embed all the features of a currency, combined with all the benefits of computers, but you can make, using Bitcoin, smart contracts that enable you to recreate just about all software in existence, but better.

So a month or so later, in mid 2013, I did an experiment. I sold my book, “Choose Yourself” in a Bitcoin-only store that I had created.

This was in May, 2013.

I tried to get Coinbase to help me create it but they couldn’t help me. Nobody knew how to do anything with Bitcoin. It was useless but all of us true believers still loved it.

So I coded my own store and sold about 60 copies of my book for 0.1 Bitcoin. At the time, it was about $10 per PDF that I sent to the 60 that bought it for what would now be around $4,000, give or take.

CNBC invited me on to talk about Bitcoin where I spouted its virtues.

Over time I bought some Bitcoin. I bought some Ethereum. I bought some alt-coins, and more recently I’ve been buying coins in the DeFi space.

But recently, I sold every single Bitcoin I owned.

Why? Because I started seeing even BIGGER opportunities in the market.

Opportunities like artificial intelligence…

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