Amid the vendors, fellow enthusiasts, Winkelvii and serious lack of women, I walked around the Bitcoin 2013 conference the way I used to walk starry-eyed around Disneyland—running everywhere and only stopping for breath to wait for my parents to catch up. Playing the role of the parent was my good-natured girlfriend, Natalie, who took everything in stride and put up with myself and fellow bitcoin lunatics for days. She was one of the less than 10 females who bought tickets, and if a conference's nerd factor were measured by it's male-centricity, then Bitcoin 2013 conference wins the blue ribbon.
“Turn spare processing power and electricity into money!” That’s the pitch that sold Bitcoin to the miners in the early days. And even though it was still being broadcast when I joined the party in May of 2011, it was already obsolete. By that time, faster and more efficient Bitcoin mining, done by graphics cards [GPUs], was in full force, and the new pitch was “Pay off your sweet new AMD video card by mining Bitcoins!” And now that pitch is also but a passing memory.