Why do you accept bitcoin?It’s an invisible money.A Ponzi scheme.You’ll lose everything.It’s not backed up by anything.There is no bank to protect you.You can’t live with that fake money of yours.These were all the reactions my friends and family members (except my girlfriend, she’s smart) once I told them I am going to start a website focused around Bitcoin.Not only that but my primary payment method will be – bitcoin.A Bitcoin-focused store accepting bitcoin.An invisible business earning invisible money according to most of them.That’s the thing, people just don’t get it. And when they don’t get it, it’s because they are afraid of their ignorance.They attack you, judge you and act like they are talking in your best interest.Most of them do not even bother to listen to your arguments.They love the status quo and why disrupt something that works? Right?Except it does not work.Our financial system is fucked up.Bitcoin and the community helped me understand that.But I was not always supportive of cryptocurrency.I’m not ashamed to admit that I was stupid, like really stupid.Stupid for not bothering to understand cryptocurrency.Stupid for initially trying to be involved in it for the wrong reasons.I’m not ashamed to admit it, but I regret it.Here’s my story.2012 dumb meFirst, when my cousin who was 13 (super intelligent fella) back in 2012-2013 told me about Bitcoin and mining, I told him to do something meaningful with his life and stop with that computer money bullshit.Just like that.I did not bother to listen why it is cool. I thought it’s just a PC game. People trying to trick 13 years old boy.He mined for a while, stopped.Found other cryptocurrencies, mined them a bit.Stopped.One of the reasons he gave up on it is probably because his way older cousin was so smart.Not.Until this day we joke about my stupidity.He is always saying I could have been rich if I have listened to him.Never listen to what people have to tell you about technology. They don’t get it. Listen to you yourself.My 13year old cousin found another tech project that interests him, he is still in high-school exploring cool tech, learning.I could have been retired by now if I listened to him? Probably, who knows. But that’s not what matters.Late 2016 even dumber me5 fucking years later here I am.A person who was so smart in 2012, realized how ignorant he was.Just because I was lazy to understand something does not mean it’s stupid.But there’s no point in looking back.I don’t remember how I got addicted to bitcoin in late 2016, but I know that my initial interest in it was for whole wrong reasons – getting rich, making money.Most people are attracted by Bitcoin because they want to get rich.Everyone wants 10000% return for 100$ they invested. I was in the same boat. When I became involved with it, I did not believe in it. I just looked at it as an investment opportunity.Make the quick buck, and get the fuck out.I am stingy. I don’t like throwing money around.I always do a research before I buy or invest in something.And that’s when everything changed.Like any newbie, I watched Andreas Antonopoulos video – Introduction to Bitcoin I remember very well that after I watched it all the way until the end (possibly without blinking and breathing) I was shocked.Holly shit. I need to learn more. It was like a brain disease. I think I spend next 2 days watching all of Andreas videos. Since I did not understand most of them, I read his book.Hooollyyyy SHIT!!!Need to learn more.I began reading and watching all sorts of things. I read Mastering Bitcoin and haven’t understood a thing. Moved on to The Age of Cryptocurrency which was awesome for a newbie like me.I bought a ton of books, but in order to get most up to date info, the internet is the king.r/Bitcoin, bitcoin.org, eBooks, and Documentaries, IRC chats, Discord, Slack, Telegraph groups. There are millions of places where you can learn, only if you’re willing to.The more I dived into the technology and communities, to more it dragged me in. After weeks of research, it hit me – How could my motives be so wrong? TThe knowledge completely changed my perspective of Bitcoin, Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.The more I learned, got involved, communicated with bright people online, the less I cared about its value in $.Bitcoin changed me.New Crypto meOkay, sorry for a bit lengthy introduction.I wanted you to get to know me a bit better in order to understand why I created this store (except for getting tons of Bitcoins and becoming a billionaire (evil laugh in 3, 2, 1: muahahaha ) ).It’s basically a sort of a brain disease.I became addicted to learning, getting daily market news, information, even useless meme became fun for me.I felt a surge to do something to help spread the word.Other people must be aware of this disruptive technology.Since you realized by now that I’m not the smartest guy around, I have no idea how to code, nor am I an angel investor.I am a cartoonist.During one of my long-night chats with community members (when I say chats, I mean I’m asking tons of questions, bright people there are trying to answer) I showed a T-Shirt I made.I designed my first Bitcoin T-Shirt after I understood how mining works (one of the most complicated things to figure out in the chain)One of the members asked me if I was selling it and that he’d love to have one of those.Long story short, this store was born after 3 months of designing, negotiating with suppliers, figuring out how to accept Bitcoin, doing everything possible to distance myself from tons of T-Shirt stores out there.It was hard, I won’t lie. Like extremely hard for me, because I never did anything similar. But that’s perhaps a story for another blog post.This is a story of how it all started for me.And now, let’s see how the first month went and what happened.Community GiveawaysIn order to kickstart the Bitcoinshirt.co store, I decided to give bunch stuff away to communities that helped me understand Bitcoin.Here are some giveaways organized :Reddit giveawayBitcointalk giveawayCoinGate giveaway There were few more on chatting platforms like Slack and IRC, given specifically to members which helped me along the way, so on those platforms, it was not a random draw.One Mug was given to a Reddit member who left a comment about the Rollercoaster design, guessing what each and every Bitcoiner represents.Adding new productsSoon after T-Shirts, we launched iPhone cases, pillows, and mugs.Few Redditors suggested that they like the project, the store, but they prefer more minimalist design.They were right.I followed their advice and added more minimal looking stuff to the store, including embroidery such as snapbacks and knitted caps.And just before the end of the month, we finally managed to launch the hoodies with both simple and complex design.As far as the store and the project itself is concerned, it only a start.I find my inspiration in everyday events happening in the community.This first month was electrifying.I am excited about the future designs.OpenBaazar – Decentralized online marketplaceI found out about the OpenBaazar project from a Reddit r/Bitcoin community member.I will write a separate article on how to get started with OpenBaazar very soon.Here I’d just to tell you briefly what it is and how it worked out for me.OpenBaazar is peer to peer decentralized market which accepts cryptocurrency only, no fiat, no PayPal.The developers are now finalizing the 2.0 beta and I am happy that I was a part of the people testing the beta.Each day I put few items on OpenBaazar and tested it. I chatted with OpenBaazar developers, sellers and users on the Slack daily and I feel so excited about the final 2.0 release of the project.Sales have been slow on there, but it’s still in Beta.I am just proud to be a part of the community which aims to improve and anonymize trading online.It took less than 5 minutes to get to figure OpenBaazar 2.0 out, way easier than having my own website. My OpebBaazar Store ID is QmRCbNSaYb5LU4DXQWZ65AQr1G9EzUsedTiWceVdVtBJa6Pro tip, you have to download OB client app to be able to access the marketplace, but if you want to take a quick look at what’s on sale there, check out this website which allows you to browse OpenBaazar through a browser.#CryptoiscurrencyThe end of my first month as a merchant accepting Bitcoin was quite thrilling.The guys of earlier mentioned OpenBaazar project decided to have a great event called Cryptocurrency day.It was a really interesting day.I made my first sale on OpenBazaar.The point of the whole event is that the users should encourage both local and online sellers accepting cryptocurrency.I found out about the CryptoCurrency day one day before it began and I regret not knowing about it sooner.If only I knew about it earlier, I would have prepared special promotions and activities of some sort.Through the entire day, a small community of us on OpenBaazar began sharing all sorts of things we sell and sold, but also bought under #cryptoisacurrency hashtag.That resulted in increased interest from the community and by the end of the day, I sold 4 items on OpenBaazar.This was a huge win for a small business like mine.Fundraiser for Luke DashjrEven before I put my store online, I knew that a second I wanted to be a part of Bitcoin community, I had to give something back to all the brave community members.I decided that a portion of sales will be donated each month to interesting crypto projects and communities. The initial goal was to send a donation to Bitcoin.org and OpenBaazar this month, however, it came to my attention that Bitcoin Core developer Luke Dashjr home was struck by a hurricane Irma, causing severe damage.Be careful. If you decide to donate to Luke, there are few fake pages, some even hitting top spots in Google. The only valid address is here. Visit the fundraiser page on Medium as well. Luke raised red flags about scammers on Twitter.I wish we had more to donate, but since the store itself is still very new and small, I am happy Bitcoinshirt.co was able to contribute at least with a tiny donation. The donation is made possible by all of you great people who checked out and paid with Bitcoin in our store.The goal for next month is to find either charity in need accepting crypto, or support interesting and creative projects. I’ll have to do my own research, but if you have something in mind , feel free to ping me on Twitter about the organization we should support.This is why accept bitcoinIf you enjoyed reading this post – share it.Share it not because you will advertise my business or store.Share it because other merchants need to understand that accepting Bitcoin is accepting future.Changing the world.They need to see the big picture.What more do you need than knowing that you are one of few hundred thousand people allowing the Bitcoin to grow.Do you need a better motivation for a business than the fact you are one tiny tiny tiny part of an ecosystem which will change the world?I don’t.I accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies because I believe in it.I wake up every single day motivated and proud of that fact.To the Moon.