Why cryptocurrency? Why not fantasy football or stamp collecting as a hobby? Something just a little more normal? Not very long ago a friend and coworker asked me what I knew about Bitcoin. I’ve known about the existence of Bitcoin for a long time, though I had never done anything with it. I was, however, certainly capable of giving a high level overview of the blockchain technology and the philosophy behind Bitcoin, so I answered what I knew and didn’t think much of it.
A couple of days later the same coworker asks me about Bitcoin again. This time much more focused questions: “How do you get it?” I’m asked.
“You mine it. With a special computer” I say.
“No, no no… Mark says he buys it.” Comes the reply. So although my first thought was ‘then go ask f*&^% Mark these questions’ I realized that I didn’t actually know how or where to buy Bitcoin. I also realized that I didn’t know what and how it was being used in legitimate commerce. So that put me down the path of doing a little research.
Me + Research = Something is going to happen.
It always does. Sometimes accompanied by pyrotechnics or a really good musical score. Frequently I end up with scars. But something always happens.
So I dipped my toe in the cryptocurrency market with a $100 Bitcoin purchase on Coinbase. Nice, simple, easy, & newbie friendly.
Why did I pick them? Largely because there was a $10 referral bonus I would receive if I signed up. Since part of my experiment was to actually try to buy something with BTC, I figured I recouping the eight bucks worth of Bitcoin I intended to spend as part of my experiment was a pretty good idea.
Seriously… that was the major driving factor in my decision. As I’m learning more, my investment is likely to move away from Coinbase, although that is a future article.
Anyway, I buy some Bitcoin, send some Bitcoin, receive $10 worth of Bitcoin as a signing bonus, and call it an evening. My $100 investment is in my wallet and is worth $102. All in the same night, even after I sent a little bit of BTC out. All told, I think I’m doing pretty well. The transactions were smooth and easy, and now if anyone asks me about Bitcoin again, I have a few more answers.
Curiosity gets the better of me and I start watching that hundred bucks. It dips below hundred for a hour or so a couple of times in the first couple days, but mostly it seems well above that price. First it’s $105, then it’s $112, I see it climb past $120… Holy cow. That is some crazy ROI. It’s only been a few days. I wonder what else I can do with this?
Now I go hard into research mode. Because that’s just kind of what I do. I decide I want to try mining. Not because I expect to get rich off of it, but because I just want to do it. I’m like an eight year old who has had too much sugar: I want to do that, and I want to build Ether mining rigs, and I want to trade cryptocurrencies, and I want to write an automated script to do that trading, and…
Hold on a minute; I don’t really know how to do any of that stuff. Not with any kind of practical knowledge at least. That’s not going to stop me from diving into the deep end of the pool though. And so that’s how we get here. I have ideas. Lots of them. Most of them, no doubt, are terrible.. But there might be a few good ones in there too. So I’m documenting all of it here. Every bit. Ups, downs, good and bad. I have little doubt that I will make big mistakes, be the subject of ridicule and arm-chair quarterbacking.
There is a phrase about being old enough to know better and too young to care. I think I may have actually gotten over that hump and now I’m old enough to care just a little. I know that I don’t know what I don’t know. But I’m going to find out.
You know what? I’m not trying to retire off of this red hot cryptomarket we’re in right now. I’m trying to learn. And if I lose a little money doing it? So what. I’ll have cools stories someday. But I suspect that as time goes on the market will keep going. I believe there is a future for cryptocurrency and certainly for blockchain technology. And I want to be just a little part of that future.