No face - but at least something out of the ordinary ;)
I. General introduction
II. Years of ignorance
III. What to expect
I. General introduction
Well, Hello everyone! Good to be here. I’ve been following things for a couple weeks now and I finally managed to finish this introduction post. Since I never did any blogging before, that was… work. With the added difficulty that I am not a subject that I think about a lot ;)
So, who am I?
Let’s start with Geography: I’m a Soviet-Union-born German of Volga German decent. Chances are, if you don’t share that ancestry, you have no idea what that is about. Check Wikipedia if you’re interested.
Side note: If you happen to believe that the end of the USSR was a tragedy, f*** you. Had to be said.
Profession: Approaching the end of my time in school I decided to join the military and become an officer. That can offer a generally good package of skills and experiences, depending on the path you take and the kind of person you are.
For me it was mostly these:
- You will be forced in front of people: the people in your platoon don’t care if you’re the quiet type. Deal with it.
- You have to be fit, being lazy is not an option. To a degree, that was naïve of course, but I’m probably fitter than I would have been otherwise.
- If it turns out not to be your thing, you leave with leadership skills, a college education (Economics in my case) and experience with lots of different kinds of people: good and bad, interesting and extremely annoying, you get the picture.
- More than a decade later I would add the following: You get a lot of time to get to know yourself and chose a new path to walk.
So, the military and myself, we happen to not be the best fit - but what do you know when you’re just about to leave school. Some people spend decades in cubicles, I jumped out of planes.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not advising to join the military! It’s not all fun and sunshine. One has to know what one is getting into – and what that can mean someday. Geopolitics can change faster than you can say ‘pickles’. Just the reasons why I did, what I did.
Besides my dayjob I’m a seeker of knowledge, though some people may refer to that as an information junkie. Let's call it PII/Poly-interested individual (hmmm Pi…). I’m a man of many ideas, which is probably related to the knowledge seeking and may cause the founding of a startup at some point. And I am an investor in startups (equity-based crowdfunding), junior miners (I guess I’m a contrarian at heart) and now cryptocurrencies, which is how I got here in the first place. Sadly, that latter only happened this year, but more on that in part II.
I stumbled upon Steemit when I began informing myself about blockchain technology and various coins. And here I am. I wanted to try blogging for years, but it always had too much of an opportunity cost attached to it. I guess part of what caught my attention with Steemit, even though I didn’t actually realize it up until writing this, is that it lowers your opportunity cost of entry into writing. @thecryptofiend has contributed to that realization with his “invest your time” idea. Guess I will finally be sharing some of that accumulated knowledge and maybe even a couple ideas. Collecting them on paper hasn’t been very productive so far.
My most audacious goals in life are
- Achieve immortality – the slowest, most one-directional form of time-travel!
- ‘Build’ a self-sufficient forest in the Sahara (proof of concept for terraforming)
That shall be the general introduction. What follows is a lengthy account of my way into the realms of the blockchain and the decisions I made (or didn’t make) on the way, life advice included ;). If that is not for you, just jump to part III.
II. Years of ignorance
tldr: My long walk into cryptocurrencies, lessons learned for life and investing: don’t waste your opportunities. But don’t despair if you did, there will be others if you just open your eyes.
Insight vs Procrastination
Well, I first read and thought about Bitcoin in…. [drum roll]… 2010. Sadly, that does not make me one of the lucky really early adopters. When I read about it on those endless internets of ours, I thought it was a very interesting and promising new development. I should try this “mining software”, I thought. My computer was running most of the day anyway, might as well run 24/7. But it wasn’t immediately apparent how to mine it, so I postponed it. Gaming seemed much more interesting at that moment… And I don’t even remember which game to blame.
Then I thought about buying some, just to try it out. And if it worked as described, maybe invest a couple hundred euro and see where things go. Didn’t seem too unreasonable. After all, I studied Economics and one of the most interesting subjects at that time was the European monetary system: possibilities to make the Euro more viable and how likely (or unlikely) the discussed methods were to be implemented or succeed. So betting a little on the far off chance that some anonymous guy’s garage project would amount to a meaningful medium of exchange and/or store of value seemed to have an acceptable risk-reward-ratio (both quite huge). Just hedging risk. Or mere speculation, just like buying Ford stocks in 2008. :D
Well, you guessed it, I didn’t buy Bitcoin either. I could blame the lack of usability of course and that’s certainly part of it. But mostly it was me being too lazy. Opportunity was starring me in the face and I blinked. Hard. Gaming, studying or just reading up on all kinds of interesting things and projects. If I put half the money I spent on Kickstarter into bitcoin…
If anyone knows a way to clone yourself, I need 10 copies please. Most would do productive things, though I would probably spare one to start binge gaming again, at least for a while. Even then, nine selfs should be enough to make world domination happen. But I’d be a benevolent ruler, I swear!
BTC: The Second Encounter
Anyway, BTC was at some 10 cents, I think, when I completely forgot about it again. Next time I heard about BTC was when it hit $1000, which according to coinmarketcap was in 2013. Well… that was just too much. If FOMO is a thing, is Post-Missing-Out-Disorder also a thing? There’s probably a name for what I mean, but let’s just call it PMOD and say I had that. Missing a 10 cents to $1000 move due to laziness would give you some temporary disorder, right?
Apart from all the “you could have” thoughts that plagued me - the idea of an island in particular, I like islands - I was at least correct in considering that price too high and didn't jump in. But instead of waiting and watching the further development, which would have allowed me to learn about the creation of altcoins, I simply pushed it out of my conscious thinking, right along with my nonexistent island.
I’m a rather unemotional person (people often think I don’t give a shit, which is not true, at least most of the time) and quite good at putting baggage into the psychological trashcan (the rare case of not-giving-a-shit being healthy), but the whole BTC thing was just… annoying to even think about. Damn PMOD...
Since 2013 I wasn’t reading much in the way of tech news. Life started happening and for some reason you can’t sit around reading at work... very strange really. Occasional tidbits popped up in the ‘normal’ news like BTC hits low, BTC hits high, BTC used for drugs on the oh so dark darknet, China will ban BTC, Russia will ban BTC, the DAO, bla…
Wait, wait, wait… the idea of the DAO, or the little that I heard of it, almost rekindled my interested in understanding ‘this blockchain thing’. Then it got hacked. Then it got returned to the pre-hack state, but somehow not all of it. Didn’t understand and lost interest.
Some time later Microsoft added Ethereum to its developer tools. There it was plain to see: Technological disruption occurring before my eyes. Where can I buy shares of this Ethereum company? I can’t? Damn. Google didn’t help with that. In retrospect, I guess I was just asking it the wrong questions…
The curtain is finally removed
Well, the whole endeavor finally broke the PMOD. And now I am on a quest to set up wallets and accounts (because convenience apparently isn’t a thing yet) and checking out coins and ICOs. The amount of stuff to learn and do absolutely qualifies as a quest, wouldn't you agree?
So what’s the morale of the whole story? Don’t be passive. Don’t ignore your gut. If opportunity walks by, grab it and hold on like there’s no tomorrow. Lift up your lazy ass and try failure is better than never having tried. You grow with your failures, but you will always regret letting opportunity go to waste.
III. What to expect going forward
Since I am blessed/cursed with ever changing interests, topics may be various, though I will at least try to focus on a couple areas. We’ll see. Potential subjects in decreasing order of current interest:
- Investment: Cryptocurrencies (obviously),Commodities, Stocks
- The Future: The End of Ageing/Life extension, space travel
- Lifehacking and self improvement
- Startups: I did some crowd investment, with mixed results, may post my thoughts and conclusions on that (specifically why I think the failures failed)
- Economics: If I do, I'll try to keep it shorter than this ;)
- Games: Not much going on currently. But several Kickstarter games are still on the list. Just started Torment, but where to take the time… Waiting for Star Citizen to release single player mode.
- Photography: My camera is mostly gathering dust right now, so this post was a good occasion. Might post some old photos or make some new ones.
If you like what you read or got interested in what you might see in the future, hit that follow button and sail along toward those golden shores. I will do my best to make it worth your while.
Did anyone else have similar ‘hiccups’ with BTC/blockchains? Maybe we can have some 'bitcoin-ignorers anonymous' meetings ;) No, seriously, do tell. I’m interested to know how others dealt with those events. And what fuzzy feelings you had, realizing what you missed.
Or did you act completely different? Jumped right in? What motivated your decisions?
Baseless prediction to finish off: BTC dominance by end of 2017: <10% (one way or the other).