Bitcoin Not First Digital Currency I Profited From
Before there was even a bitcoin let alone cryptocurrency I was almost living the dream that our space inspires many to want in the world. Work for a digital asset from almost anywhere in the world and be able to spend that within the ecosystem with an opportunity to exchange it out into fiat. PED was not something I could go walk into a brick and mortar store at some places or to a limited number of online sites.
One of the biggest things at the time I was hoping they were going create a bank. As cryptocurrency moves forward in wanting to create actual banks I can see great value in this. It was something I had hoped Entropia Universe would have pulled off so many years ago but it never happened to a degree of needed successful. In layman terms, they wanted to use armor, weapons, virtual land, and other in-game items that had value and be backed by assets. People back then did spend $30k+ on a weapon or $300k+ or more on virtual land at the higher end of things.
They also never jump on the bandwagon if cryptocurrency even long after it was more than just a couple of nerds doing it. As of recent they have flirted with the idea somehow interacting with cryptocurrency. If they did I’m not to over-happy as I’ve not been invested in it for a while now. Most of my business contacts have left and my friend's list is dead. In fact, I only have $5 worth of assets not including my skills which would be worth a little bit but not amazing crazy amounts.
The asset itself PED(Project Entropia Dollar) was tied to fixed exchange. $1 = 10 PED. While money could be exchanged back out to a bank account it was a very slow process many choose to just get around their internal system due to this. Certain banks where even know as hot spots for setting up deals for players as the third party in making sure both parties honored arrangements. That whole if I give you $10,000 in fiat how do I know you will trade the item to me. Who would go first, well certain real banks for a fee would be happy to “assist.”
Jobs I had
Most of the everyday things where nothing high paying. In fact, the minimum wage would outright beat them or even a low-quality post on Steemit could. There were many people who lived in countries with low living costs and they thrived inside of this ecosystem.
One of my friends I help him win a spaceship in a contest once. It was somewhere valued between $20k-40k USD if I recall when it was sold (it’s been a number of years I have forgotten). As part of helping him out, I got to sign up as a crew member and transport people between the planets in the game.
Was the pay amazing for anyone including the owner of the ship? Not really but it did provide us with the opportunity to make a couple of bucks a week. Also if you needed to get from one planet to another in a hurry you could if it was parked outside at that planets space station. You could also transport lootable goods in pvp space between the planets without getting looted by just logging off (that was changed I think). Which meant certain profit-making opportunity where open to us.
I had a few rich clientele that likes to “rent” out the spaceship have me fly them out to a planet go hunting for a few hours in the morning when things were not busy and then bring them back to their home planet. Since it cost fuel and other things just to fly and warp the ship around it was usually best to just say.
They would offer a couple cents worth of a tip and I even would fly them down to the planet on a smaller ship that could enter the planet's atmosphere. They would offer to cover costs of flying down and back up. I then would hit up local auction and search shops for great deals for reselling. I only bought things that could not be looted in pvp space since I did the driving of the ship.
I then would fly back up and they would contact me when their hunting trip was done. I would use ships summon the ability to bring them back up and warp us back home. Then I would pick up more people and go to a different planet and do the same thing. Many people who paid to be transported did not have a spaceship themselves. It was a cheaper option if they could find a ride down and I often used that to cover reentry fees and thruster decay cost on my smaller ship for doing so.
Other times I would get higher end traders that needed to quickly get to another planet for trade deals. They would often have many deals they need to get to. Once in a while, I would just be flying them back and forth between two different planets so they could meet up with all their clients. I always like the thought I was transporting someone of importance who was about to go do a 1k-30k trade deal.
Usually, at end of the week or sometimes several times I would meet up with the owner of the ship and trade him all the money I have collected. He in return would pay me out. This required some trust because it would be rather easy to spend money that was not yours. I, in fact, had pilot access to a couple of spaceships after earning trust.
I made a lot of business contacts this way and while it never paid much I got value out of it in other ways.
I was never one of the big guys trading items or listing things for massive amounts of money. As I mentation above I had a way to cut down on reselling costs and transportation. In fact, most people had no idea I was even an armor dealer to start with.
I usually was more of lower end guy. Someone needed a couple sets of something they could not find themselves. They were willing to pay for the cost of me acquiring all the pieces and a finder’s fee. Since I had the massive knowledge and traveled around the galaxy I often could find and complete sets that were not easily available on the main planet in a couple of days.
One of my biggest money makers was buying tokens from running an instance on one planet. Converting the tokens at a vendor on that same planet for amour. I would just buy tokens from the auction house or people would trade me they know I bought them. Then I would fly to the main game’s planet and put the items up for auction or contact people who I knew was looking to expand the armor they had and see if they wanted to buy. Usually, I would sell something on auction at double the price it cost me to buy less any extra costs such as transporting and auction fees.
I had many trade secrets like this that made me some money over the time. After I had cashed out most of my assets and stop playing I told all my friends about them. By then most of them no longer had much profit making in them since markets started to get flooded by more and more people being told or finding out about such tricks.
For a little while, I had a few friends that owned shops. One of them gave me access to relist items and take care of bookkeeping for the shop.
I also had access to the business email that people would content from time to time looking to inquire about a certain good or haggle a price.
There were also set times where I would just show up to the shop during peak hours and ask anyone who walks in how they were doing and what they were looking for. Most of the time they were not interested in what that shop had but I could point them to a place that had what they wanted.
I was paid a small weekly amount based on shop shales. I also had other shop owners toss me a finder’s fee for pointing people to their shop who spent. I was also allowed to sell my own items at the shop if enough space was free (most time there was). This meant I could reduce total costs on my end of auction house fees.
One of the best ways to get free skills up is to have someone else cover the cost of earning them! For a while, I offered a healing service. I had level up some of my healing skill at my own cost by the time I got around this and wanted access to higher and better healing equipment.
The big hunters taking down massive things needed heals by a third party. It even worked out sometimes when I was the one who could fly them out to the planet they wanted to be at and then heal them. They would cover the decay markup on the item along with a small tip. If they ever got the big loot they sometimes gave me a bigger tip.
It was more of a part-time thing for me to do in the game. My healing skills were not high enough and I did not have very expensive healing equipment so I just healed for a small number of clients, friends, and some members of the group I was in. I want to say some higher end stuff would be $10k-30k+ needless to say I never had anything near that or collateral of that value to rent.
My bread and butter of fun and trying to make a little bit of income was mining for ores and matter. I spent most of my time doing this. Between contacts that I had made and spending a great deal in costs mapping out the certain area. I had at one point great knowledge of where to mine for high markup ores and matter. It was low income per run but I had a high turn around and it was consistent overtime.
It’s a shame I never saved screenshots of my glory days back in Entropia Universe they just never withstood the test of time and I never thought I would ever have a need for them.
With that in mind, I took a little bit of money I had left in the game and did a bit of a mining run in my old favorite spots. Markup has dropped on the ores in the area it and I don’t have my exact mining map or tools anymore so I just went off memory.
Claim was in middle of a pack of mobs. So I just summoned it out and away so I could mind it.
Ore after mining it up and some of mining deed claims
Very small mining run indeed and not much luck either. $2.75 worth on one mining run I did. But hey I did not have to spend $3k on a gpu just to bring in $2.75 of mining! Granted this run was more break even then anything else.
With such a small run and bankroll I ended up only being able to list some alternative rock without refining it for 116% markup. Auction fees took a little chunk out of the profit even more.
How Successful Was I?
Of the people I know who made money at this game I was on lower end. Even that was lucky I’ve known people who blew insane amounts just having fun in the game and they walk away with nothing but a good time. It require a lot of self-control as mistakes could set you back a fair amount of time.
I had some friends that either played smarter or just had dumb good luck. I never had much luck and had to require playing on smarter side of things. I had a friend who sold his spaceship and bought himself a new car with some left over. Another, who got lucky gambling a few times on big and expensive hunting trips. Despite never having self-control and more or less was addicted to gambling he walkway buying a house for his family. Finally, good friend who sold off his in-game business and funded a real-life business. As of 3 years ago, it was still going strong I have no idea these days.
I on the other hand partial funded a college degree. Spent rest on many failed business ventures in life. It was not a lot but it help out when I needed it to try and earn a living other ways.
Once in a blue moon, I show up have a little fun and hope to have a couple bucks left over to do it again. Over the years I’ve sold most of the remaining assets that I left in since they were needed to keep going in varies activities. I am truly down to just a couple bucks left. It was expected after I lost a certain threshold of wealth that I would no longer be able to take advantage of higher markup opportunity.
I find the ironic an armor dealer who no longer owns a single piece of armor! It was a very unique and futuristic period of time in my life.
Screenshots taken and content written by @enjar about my adventures playing a real cash economy game Entropia Universe. Since there are some talks that this might expand out into the cryptocurrency world at some point I thought I would check in and see how things are.
If you have a gambling problem or lack self-control in finances this is not something for you.