Unboxing Review: Fulmo RaspiBlitz & Hyperbitcoinized 2021 Calendar

Fulmo’s RaspiBlitz offers one of the most convenient and honest ways to run a Bitcoin full node. It relies entirely on open source software, runs on general-purpose hardware (the Raspberry Pi 4), and holds the potential to empower everyone around the world to become financially-sovereign. However, it comes at a price which most people around the world won’t be able to afford: €269 ($315) to €439 ($515), depending on your configuration of choice.

But the good news is that the RaspiBlitz is completely open source. This means that you can verify the software, fork it for another similar project, and even follow Rootzoll’s extensive guide to build your own node for half the price. So you don’t have to buy anything from a company, as you also have the possibility to undergo a DIY project and pick your own compatible parts.

I should also mention the Hyperbitcoinized 2021 calendar, which I received as a gift for my purchase. It’s one of the coolest Bitcoin community projects, as it features 365 pictures taken by bitcoiners and relevant quotes or significant dates from BTC history. So it’s gonna be valuable even when the year passes, as can be your portable history book which tells you when Satoshi Nakamoto has made significant advancements with the project and when notable projects launched. I hope that next year I get to contribute to the project somehow and also include Bitcoin Takeover.

A Story About HODLing for a Year

I bought the RaspiBlitz from Fulmo simply because I’ve been window shopping them for almost two years. And in February 2020, before my 28th birthday, I intended to build one myself. My friend MediumSqueeze has even sent me $100 in bitcoin as a birthday gift, so I could get the RaspBerry Pi 4 and then source all the other parts that were necessary for me to build a RaspiBlitz.

But in February and March of 2020 I couldn’t find any Raspberry Pi cases with active cooling. The only ones available were getting shipped directly from China, so I would have had to pay high delivery costs and border taxes (19% VAT). And since the Raspberry Pi 4 runs pretty hot and needs a case (especially in the summer time), I’ve decided to wait instead.

My initial waiting turned into HODLing. I’ve received my $100 birthday gift when the price of bitcoin was around the $9000 mark. So a year later, I’ve realized that the price has gone up to $50000 (it went even higher afterwards), so I’ve decided to use MediumSqueeze’s gift to get myself something a lot nicer.

Basically, this is a lesson about HODLing and time preference. Instead of buying myself a $100 Raspberry Pi 4 on my 28th birthday, on my 29th birthday I bought myself a $400 Fulmo RaspiBlitz node and also paid for the shipping. Maybe that I could have waited another year or two, but you know what they say: YOLO.

So I picked up the 4GB version of the Fulmo RaspiBlitz, which is also cased in the metal enclosure that makes it look more like an actual product. And I was lucky that Jeff from Fulmo has sourced me a case in times when the middle of a global supply chain crisis, as today I am the happy owner of one of the coolest Bitcoin full nodes. Also, thank you for the cool stickers, Jeff!

Why Did I Choose The RaspiBlitz?

There are three essential factors that made me want the RaspiBlitz, as opposed to the Nodl, the myNode, or the Umbrel. The most important one concerns its open source nature and the fact that is has been around for a longer time. This means that many more geeks and hackers were able to find issues in it and also launch security updates to fix them. When the issue at stake is your financial sovereignty, you should always choose security over convenience.

The second factor concerns the fact that RaspiBlitz supports JoinMarket for CoinJoins and also features support for BTCPay Server at no extra cost. If you’re not aware, JoinMarket is a great way to do CoinJoins in a decentralized way, in an environment where there is no central coordinator. For convenience, Wasabi is still great. But if you want to take your privacy to the next level and potentially also make some money from coordinating CoinJoins, then JoinMarket is ideal.

The third factor concerns the fact that I like Fulmo as a company. They are known for hosting events, interviews, and seminars about the Lightning Network. So they are not just salesmen who found ways to use the open source specifications for a device. The folks at Fulmo are developers and advocates of the Lightning Network who are also responsible for hosting the Lightning Conference and a series of hackatons.

Not only that this helps me figure out that they know their way around the Lightning Network, but I’m also happy that I can support their work with a purchase. I believe that they don’t get enough credit for their work and I’m always happy when I can make a contribution.

I’ll return with a more in-depth article to describe my experience with the RaspiBlitz. In the meantime, check out my article about using the Lightning Network to make Bitcoin transactions more environmentally-friendly.

Watch My Unboxing Review (Fulmo RaspiBlitz + Hyperbitcoinized 2021 Calendar)

Time stamps:

00:00 – Intro and story about getting the package

03:01 – The stickers in the box

03:56 – The Raspberry Pi power adapter

04:14 – The Hyperbitconized Calendar 2021

07:28 – Unboxing the metallic shell RaspiBlitz

12:17 – The features of the RaspiBlitz

14:07 – RaspberryPi is environmentally-friendly, and so is Lightning

15:14 – Build a RaspiBlitz yourself for cheap

17:32 – BTCPay Server and JoinMarket

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Vlad Costea

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