Giving away the $100 million MWC pre-mine and quitting porn

In late 2019, I led a team of developers and crypto-enthusiasts who launched a cryptocurrency called Mimblewimble coin (MWC). We had worked on it for nearly a year at the time of launch. The goal was to contribute to the development of a new technology (Mimblewimble), to give away free coins to Bitcoin holders that registered to prove their ownership and to create a user base for testing in a way that provided funding for developers.

When we launched, I really had no idea whether it would be a success or failure and we expected the value to hover slightly above $0. To my pleasant surprise, there was a much larger interest in the coin than I had expected. I was approached by several prominent members of the Bitcoin community who were actively buying the coin and generally speaking there was a positive interest.

Things were going good, but soon that would change. In early 2020, the network suffered a series of double-spend attacks. While we were able to fend off the attacks with help from investors who were funding mining, it was very stressful. We also had some problems with exchanges.

By August 2020, I was completely burned out and what’s more, I became concerned that MWC had technically violated securities laws. While we knew not to do an ICO, we had to sell some coins before launch to fund some graphic design work for the wallet and the website. This was a relatively small amount of money and only went to one person on the team and I never received any of this money, but I was still concerned that somehow it could technically make MWC a security as opposed to a commodity. Additionally, I had concerns about the tax treatment of airdrops and that potentially there were some problems there as well. Finally, I was also concerned that some of the holders of MWC wanted to do a pump and dump and that they were looking to me to coordinate it. While there was not one specific person or conversation that made me feel that way, I think it’s a general thing that happens with cryptocurrencies and possibly why many people highly suggest not launching one.

To make matters worse, my Trezor had been hacked. I became aware of this around June, 2020. The strange thing was that the hacker did not take any of my Bitcoin on the Trezor, but they sent coins to an address that I had not used before, which proved that they knew the seed phrase to the Trezor. Additionally, they sent Bitcoin to addresses that I had used before which may have tainted my coins. This made me very worried and I immediately sold all of my Bitcoin. As I was selling my Bitcoin, the market moved against me and so I was only able to sell for just over $10,000. Immediately after I sold, Bitcoin began its ascent to the $60,000+ high. I felt that whoever the hacker was, they were sophisticated and they had not only hacked my Trezor, but also manipulated the Bitcoin market against me so that I would not be able to sell for a high price. The fact that my Trezor was hacked made me worried, that the hacker may have had access to the MWC premine as well.

So, in August of 2020, amid all this stress and anxiety, I came to the conclusion that the only solution was to give back the entire remaining MWC premine including the coins that were to go to me. I had never sold any of my own MWC as I saw it as a long term investment. This represented an enormous sacrifice for me because not only was this worth at least tens of millions of dollars, with the potential based on my discussions with investors to be worth more than $1 billion, but it also meant that the countless hours that I put into the project would end up being all for naught and that I would have lost money in this effort which was a success. It was a truly bitter pill to swallow. Everyone working on the project and in my life knew that I had worked way too hard on MWC in the first place, sometimes staying up nearly all night to program or communicate on social media about the project. It was literally my entire life for almost a two year period. Additionally, my whole life, I had always hoped to start my own business and have it be a success and MWC, while it was a cryptocurrency and not a business, fulfilled this dream. So my dream come true had become a nightmare and the only way out for me was to give back all the money that I had earned.

So, one might think that as I went through the process of giving back the coins I would be angry and sad, but to my surprise I felt this feeling of euphoria, especially when I actually transferred the coins over to the other developers. Then, something happened which to this day I do not fully understand. For the two weeks or so after I handed over the coins my libido was completely gone. I had no sexual desire whatsoever. Also, I stopped drinking alcohol completely and I even stopped drinking caffeine. I did not do this consciously at all. In fact, I didn’t even realize that this had happened for over a week.

Before this happened, I had been looking at porn for pretty much my entire adult life. When I was in college (over 20 years ago), I even briefly operated a porn site and I had looked at porn ever since this for at least 24 years. I never really even considered it a problem or considered the effect it had on my life until after this event. I just thought it was pretty normal really and that everyone did it.

So, for the two weeks after I gave back my MWC, I had absolutely no sexual desire, then after that two week period was over, I only had an attraction to my girlfriend at the time, who is now my fiancé. This was truly a miracle. I know it was a miracle because after this happened to me, I looked online and read about many people who had quit porn. They had to work at it for months and sometimes years. For me, it just happened without any effort and even without my knowledge. While I still don’t exactly understand why or how it happened, I know it did.

The other part of the story is that through this experience I reconnected with my religion. I was raised a Christian, but I had strayed away and what I came to understand is that God had done this miracle. As all this was happening, I started to experience a lot of strange things. First of all I had a lot of insights. These insights were about MWC and the people involved, all of my interpersonal relationships, and even insights about my entire life going back to high school and earlier. A lot of it was hard for me to face because I realized many of the mistakes I had made, and I also realized the wrongs that had been done to me. I realized that porn had ruined my life and I didn’t even know it. It had colored practically all my relationships and was most likely the major cause of my divorce over ten years ago. I should have seen this before but it only became clear to me after my spiritual awakening.

The other thing that happened is that God started communicating to me. I rejoined my church and even started my own Bible study group. Very quickly, God gave me the message that I was forgiven for everything and that I was a King. This surprised me because I didn’t really think I deserved it. After all, a lot of the reason I gave back the coins in the first place was because I was scared. But the only answer that I really got is that it was God’s will. I guess I did something hard and even though there was a lot of help from God, he saw what I did as a very difficult and good thing. I was so blessed to be forgiven when I didn’t even deserve it and I thank God every day for that. Since this time, I have been trying to do everything the way that God wants me to do it. And while, I still make mistakes every day, I am trying my best to be what God wants me to be.

There are actually a whole lot of other details that I could discuss, but this is a pretty good summary of the most important points of my experience with MWC and my miracle. So I think I will leave it at this for now and I might do another follow up article discussing some other aspects later. Since people might wonder why I would reveal so many personal and embarrassing details about my life, I will answer. As Eli Nash stated in his TedX talk, “Sharing our hardships moves us through shame and into healing, both for ourselves and others.”. So, I just wanted to put it all out there and even as I type this, I feel better. Maybe others will get something from this as well.

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I write about crypto.

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Chris Gilliard

Chris Gilliard

I write about crypto.

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