Bitcoin & PayPal Don't Mix
After bitcoin hit the $32 high I became interested in bitcoin. I bought a 100 of them at $9 and set up a website to create an online bitcoin ATM. You could buy them via PayPal. Well, after waking up the next morning and seeing my first sale I was excited. I signed into PayPal and after a few more sales I discovered some of those transactions were now "disputed". Well that was a quick way, and cheap way, to learn about scammers. And since PayPal had a strict policy at the time about not allowing these types of transactions...I had to kiss those funds goodbye as a learning experience. I replaced the ATM code with a faucet that attempted to use an AD revenue model. Long story short that didn't pan out.
My next clever idea was a bitcoin game. It was based on a Wheel of Fortune concept where people guessed a bitcoin address. They had 32 guesses and the leading "1" was a freebee. I launched this at about the time that bitcoin was above $1,000. The grand prize was 3 bitcoins. Well someone got lucky and made themselves over $3,000. Needless to say I shut down the website because I had only received a small amount in entry fees.
Getting Others Involved
From the get go, I was a bitcoin evangelist and managed to convince a few friends to buy in. One friend bought a 100 at $17 and tucked them away in an online wallet. The website folded along with his bitcoin. Two other friends, one with 10 bitcoins and the other with 50 have forgotten their passwords. The one with 10 bitcoins sent their wallet file off to the bitcoin recovery website but to no avail.
There is a good outcome to share here as well. One friend bought 440 bitcoins starting at $9 and accumulated them up until they hit $1,300. They cashed out big time and still have some in reserve.
My Own Story
I set a minimum amount of bitcoin to HODL and I haven't wavered from that. Now that's been really challenging because of the emotion of investing. In my head I know that money is just accounting...you know math. But when you have a few irons in the fire of investment...things get emotional. When every $10 change in price makes your invest grow or decline by $1,000 then it triggers dreams on the rise and regret on the fall. Then when the price swings by $100 you're talking about $10,000 movements in your investment. It doesn't help when this is the first time you've experienced these kinds of ups and downs.
I discovered my relationship with money through the process and I am happy to report that I survived intact. I think this makes me a better investor going forward.
I bought a 1/2 a bitcoins worth of Ethereum in 2014 when the initial crowd sale took place. That was around $300 at the time. I forgot about it until I heard about it rising to $3. I set up my wallet, imported my presale file and discovered I was the proud owner of 1,000 Ether. Hindsight was whispering in my ear.."you should have bought more". I've learned to ignore that part of me. I cashed out at $20 and rewarded myself for having the foresight. I like Ethereum because it was really the first alt coin to bring something new to the table. I took 50 of those Ether and invested in TheDAO. That's a story for another time.
I think Ethereum has it's place and it has brought many big companies into the "blockchain" world.
Steem came onto my radar about a week ago and I've been absorbing as much as I can like a sponge. It's really exciting. The whole concept of turning the "you are product" upside down is fantastic. There are so many innovations that investing in the steem platform is a no brainer for me. To me steem tokens are like common shares and steem power are like preferred shares with voting rights. I get rewarded for investing long term and I get a say at the "board meetings" by posting and curating. The experience alone is worth every penny I am contributing. I really like the transparency as well. We can spot the "whales" as easily as the "minnows".
I feel that bitcoin represents the "world reserve" currency in the crypto currency world. And steem goes a long way in getting people involved in this new world. Bitcoin benefits with steems ever increasing popularity.
Steem can easily become the "sidechain" that many are dreaming of.
Maybe contrary to some people's belief, I thinks its still early in the game. We're still in the early stages of the network effect. So I thing its good to keep a portion of your crypto portfolio in each of the real innovators in the "blockchain" world. So DIVERSIFY and get yourself some bitcoin, ether and steem. You'll learn a lot in the process and discover your emotional relationship to money.
Thank You All
It's the whole spectrum of life in the steem ocean that makes it a place I want to swim in. So I thank everyone here now and those to come for making steem a great place to be.