What happened to the family who sold everything and bought bitcoin to travel the world
In 2017, Didi Taihuttu sold everything to buy Bitcoin, convinced that he would be a multi-millionaire in 2020
Dutchman Didi Taihuttu made headlines around the world in 2017, when he sold his company, his family’s home and cars, and even children’s toys to Bitcoin, believing he would be a multimillionaire by 2020.
With no bank accounts or possessions and all his savings tied up in highly volatile cryptomorphs, Taihuttu, 41, his wife and three children embarked on a worldwide adventure – a quest for a „decentralized and nomadic life,“ as he described to Decrypt on a recent connection from Lagos, Portugal.
Their journey, accompanied by the worldwide media, now spans 40 countries. They have created crypto-funded projects to help the poor; established their own Bitcoin Family brand and products, and documented their journey by spreading the cryptoevangelium in over 200 videos on YouTube.
But the price of Bitcoin has not reached the fortune that Taihuttu predicted, and the coronavirus pandemic has threatened to disrupt its brilliant odyssey. However, its enthusiasm for cryptomeda remains unchanged. He told us why and how his eldest daughter convinced him to continue his quest.
Bitcoin family takes the road
It wasn’t like they had a bad life before, Taihuttu said. He ran his own business offering computer courses in the Netherlands for 11 years.
In fact, more than the desire to earn money, it was his father’s death, combined with exhaustion, that led him to change his life and that of his family. He became involved with cryptomorphs as early as 2013, but in 2017 he suggested his wife, Romaine, to sell everything, invest in Bitcoin, and travel – adopting a new anti-materialistic lifestyle.
The original goal was to sell the Bitcoins Profit Revolution in 2020 and then reinvest when the price fell again.
Bitcoin has a four-year cycle, and the next „halving“ – when their offer is cut in half – was for May 2020. In the last three cycles, months after halving, there has been a rise, and Taihuttu, along with many others, expected the same thing to happen this year.
The family profited from Bitcoin’s high stratospheric levels in 2017, when cryptomeda went from $800 at the beginning of the year to $20,000 in December.
At that point, the couple still kept their bank accounts, but going deeper into Bitcoin’s philosophy convinced Taihuttu that they should lead by example – to show their children, but also to the world at large. „Everybody says what they say, but nobody does the same,“ he said. „We have shown that you can invest everything. Now we had to show that you could live like this“.
When they started travelling, there was no application like CoinATMRadar, where you can find bitcoin ATMs around the world to perform lootings, and they had to rely on word of mouth to find places that would accept cryptomaps.
„Especially in the beginning, the first two and a half years, it was very difficult,“ Taihuttu said.
Arriving at the Turkish border on a trip, they could not buy a visa, so they had to stage an elaborate alternative solution, with a friend accepting their Bitcoin and transferring the funds from a visa to a Turkish prepaid credit card. Nowadays, they always carry a bit of cash, for emergencies or treats.
„Adoption in Asia is way ahead of Europe,“ Taihuttu said. Most notably, he added, it’s happening faster in regions of the world where people did not have immediate access to banks.
In the Moluccas, where Taihuttu’s father was born, they met residents who did not know what a bank account was and who lived on a mere dollar a day.
„We were travelling with the children through Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia – all over the world, and we had the proof,“ he said. „I saw the truth: Bitcoin and blockchain are the tools to change this monetary system.“
Taihuttu’s children receive a daily allowance in Bitcoin. The family learned how to use Bitcoin ATMs; they used applications like ExcelTrip to arrange flights; bought coupons that could be used in supermarkets and made immediate use of the localbitcoins.com platform, which puts users in touch with local resellers willing to exchange money for cryptomites. „It’s not as safe or as easy,“ Taihuttu said.
They also began asking hotels and shops if they could pay with Bitcoin. (Bitcoin is accepted by half a dozen restaurants in a village on the Thai island of Koh Phangan, thanks to Taihuttu).
Today, it’s much easier – with the exception of supplies, Taihuttu said. There are two European cities that stand out as particularly cryptome-friendly (where he discovered it was possible to live only in cryptomede 🙂 Rovereto, in Italy and in Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana.
Travelling the world with cryptomoeda
Over the past three years, the family has travelled between Asia, Oceania and Europe. They were given a van to travel from a crypto market company; they went to Las Vegas; they took a cruise in Venice and were invited to crypto conferences around the world.
Taihuttu deals every day. He is not only dedicated to Bitcoin, but he still accounts for about 65% of his holdings. He also owns consistently Ethereum and Litecoin, and recently invested in DOT, the Polkadot blockchain cryptomeda. Others include COTI, CTSI, EGLD, BEAM, LEND, VOC and KAI.
He has doubts about the decentralised finance market (DeFi). He has made some gains there, but has also heard that many have lost funds. He compared the DeFi to the ICO boom in 2017/18.
Taihuttu is also a consultant to several early-stage startups; he is involved in Bulgaria’s Blockchain Valley project and the House of Dao, a cowork space where the focus is on blockchain and blockchain acceleration projects. „These decentralized communities are going to change the world,“ he said.
„I like Bitcoin to change the lives of poor children all over the world and I get an allowance in Bitcoin,“ Joli Taihuttu, 15, told Decrypt via Telegram. „Dad is also teaching me a little bit about negotiating, but I don’t know if this is something I want to do now. I know that Dad wants my boyfriend, when I have one, to have Bitcoin [emoji of laughter]. ”
The two youngest daughters from Taihuttu, Juna, 13, and Jessa, 10, told Decrypt that Bitcoin is „very cool“.
„Daddy likes bitcoin hihihi a lot,“ Jessa wrote. „I really like being together with Mama and Papa.“
Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic
When COVID-19 first arrived, the family was in Spain and decided to return to Thailand, where they were imprisoned for several months. Taihuttu had been promised a loan of a new van for five years, but the agreement was cancelled due to the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.
He decided to stay on the island of Thailand, where the rate of infection was low and the family was safe. But Joli changed his mind, reminding him that he had taught his family never to live in fear. So they flew back to Europe in July.
After spending some time in the Netherlands and Spain, they decided to make a new trip of three to six months through Portugal, to promote the idea of travel, family and Bitcoin. Their new video series, they hope, will get a contract with a major broadcaster like Netflix.
„If you want to have a common adoption in this world, you need to focus on everyone, not just the people who already use cryptomorphs,“ Taihuttu said.
Now, he has accumulated some contacts in the industry, so a number of companies, including startup MachinaTrader and the PrimeXBT trading platform, have helped to fund the trip. He was also invited to advise several early-stage startups on strategy and adoption. „I’m almost working again,“ he jokes.
The van in which they will travel is being painted with the Bitcoin logos and other cryptomoedas and equipped with a tent on the roof. There is no set itinerary, which is in line with the ethics of the freedom-loving family.
Driving the adoption of Bitcoin by example
But with Bitcoin apparently stagnating at $10-11,000 for a while, did the family ever regret not drawing more from their savings while he was at his peak when they began their journey?
„Of course, we considered that, and of course we profited a little at that point,“ Taihuttu said. But he went on to explain that as Bitcoin plummeted in the first six months of 2018, what began as an idea to earn money quickly evolved into a mission to live life as fully as possible.
„We really needed to change life,“ Romaine Taihuttu, 41, told Decrypt via Telegram. She doesn’t regret it, but she can imagine establishing herself again one day on the beach.
According to Taihuttu, cryptomorphs are a long-term investment, and in this market, „You need to focus less on cryptomorphs and more on life.
The price of Bitcoin was $4-6,000 at the time the family bought it, so even at today’s price, their investments doubled. But that is nothing compared to the life experiences they have gained.
And regarding the adoption of Bitcoin, the key advice he has to convey is: „It’s almost impossible to push people into Bitcoin, you have to show them – leading by example, and then they will understand. The same thing applies to life“.
For the Bitcoin family, this journey has not resulted in quick wins, but as Taihuttu explains, it was never really about that. It is the experience they gained as a family, getting rid of their possessions, that enriched their lives; the greatest benefit was freedom.
„We had an emotional roller coaster from materialist to minimalist, from normal family life to a digital nomadic family, and then media attention,“ Taihuttu said. „It has been a great adventure so far, and the adventure continues.