My Steemit Success Story: A Crypto Crowdfunded Life
I am a Steemit success story.
You tell 'em, Abe.
In fact, I’ve made a boatload of money on this platform. You wouldn’t know it from looking at my profile – I’ve got maybe 7 Steem Power and $10 worth of SBD at the moment – but it wasn’t always that way. In fact, from June of 2016 to around February of 2017, I had banked just over 5000 SP - worth a small fortune of close to $30 grand at today's valuation - in addition to whatever I had been awarded in Steem or SBD over that time.
So what happened? Well, I spent it all.
Okay, not really. I Powered Down that original 5000 SP and have transferred it into different crypto assets to diversify. But I won't lie - much of those efforts were done in order to actually spend my hard-earned digital money. A cryptocurrency isn’t much use at all if it isn’t put towards the purchase goods and services. Yes, of course it has a speculative value, and yes plenty of people are buying and holding crypto in order to either day trade it or as a long-term investment strategy, but I decided to use crypto to make my quality of life – and that of my family - better.
Much of the Steem I earned, after being converted to BTC for utility’s sake, went to any number of improvement projects. Two new desktop computers built from scratch for both me and my wife was one project, with parts purchased directly from vendors that accepted Bitcoin. New clothes for my very fast-growing daughter was another, facilitated through crypto-to-fiat exchanges or gift cards purchased with BTC. A new vacuum cleaner was another (also for my wife). A brand-new 55” 4K HDTV was yet another (well, new to me – it was refurbished and on sale).
It didn’t end there, of course. I was able to provide compensation to my parents, who had purchased the home we live in currently, both in the form of cold, hard cash and in the form of furnishings and appliances purchased from sites like Overstock.com for their own home. Crypto paid for vaccinations, neutering, and flea medicine for a sweet little stray cat that we adopted. And finally, the money I earned producing and curating content on Steemit helped us meet the bills associated with her care when my daughter suffered a catastrophic broken leg in the summer of 2016, just a week before I joined Steemit. This platform has literally saved my life – and the life of my family.
I took a long break from Steemit, but not because I had spent all my money. In fact, I’ve got a very good nest egg saved up across different cryptos in different wallets, enough that I can afford to use Steem-derived cryptocurrency in my daily life whenever I like.
Just this past weekend is an excellent example. It was still a few days before my next fiat paycheck, and while we had everything we needed – our bills were paid, there was food in the fridge, etc. – it had been a really rough week for Ellie. She’d gotten over a pretty nasty cold that saw her miss a couple days of preschool and she had cabin fever like you wouldn’t believe, so I thought maybe taking her to the movies would be a great pick-me-up.
Checking the old fiat account put a kibosh on that plan real quick. Let’s face it, even if you stick to the matinee showings and smuggle in candy from the supermarket, going to the movies has become super expensive. I really didn’t want my daughter stuck watching Frozen for the 139th time, though, so I started brainstorming.
I pulled up my Coinbase account and saw that Bitcoin had stopped seesawing in price for 20 minutes straight. Knowing that this was my chance, I loaded up Gyft – an online gift card retailer that’s integrated with Coinbase for Bitcoin checkout - and purchased a gift certificate to the local Regal Cinemas around the corner. A few minutes later we had our seats, we had our overpriced popcorn and drinks, and we had a great afternoon, all without spending any “real” money (go see Paddington 2 with your kids, it’s adorable).
Not too many know this, but Paddington's an old-school AnCap. It's true.
Crowdfunding Before It Became a Thing
So that’s how crypto became an everyday source of good in my life, and how it continues to be nearly constantly. The best part was that it wasn’t my victory alone. In fact, my success was Steemit’s success. For every payout I received – some of which were hundreds or even thousands of dollars – percentages of those payouts went to the rest of the community in the form of curation rewards for those who appreciated my content. My rise was the result of Steemit users crowdfunding my success.
Thankfully, I was able to return the favor. As my Steem Power grew from all those author rewards, I was able to give back to the community by using my ability to provide upvotes of higher weights to content that I, in turn, thought was valuable. I could resteem posts I thought were incredibly important to my 1000+ followers, hoping that the accounts that weren’t bots would see what I thought was important and agree with me, upvoting that author in turn. And I could leave comments on other people’s content, encouraging them to make more in the future because I appreciated their effort.
Nowadays, ICO crowdfunding is on everyone’s lips. Either you’ve got your own blockchain or you’ve got some ERC-20 token that you’re ready to offer, promising amazing things in return. Meanwhile, Steemit was already offering crowdfunding – and not for the promise of an ROI somewhere down the line but for success right here, right now. You write something people like, you got rewarded. And you didn’t even have to spend a dime if you didn’t want to. That made this platform special – and it continues to do so.
The Gift that Keeps On Giving
The thing is, I haven’t just reaped the direct rewards of participating in Steemit. The more I got involved in the platform and how it worked – and the more I understood in cryptocurrency in general – the more I saw other opportunities materialize for me that were only tangentially related.
One of the biggest ways I saw these benefits come into my life was through my day job as a freelance writer and editor. This came in the form of paying work for writing in-depth articles on cryptocurrency. Most of these were ghostwritten articles for crypto-centric websites, but I’ve also increasingly been awarded a byline, tapped to share my thoughts with others on the merits of my “expertise” on cryptocurrency. If you’re interested, you can find examples of this insanity here and here.
The idea that I get paid to sit on my ass all day and write articles and blog posts is already pretty wild. The fact that a good portion of my fiat paycheck comes from talking about cryptocurrency is even crazier, considering I’ve never coded a day in my life – and that it took my wife @alladesria about three days to explain how Steemit worked in the first place.
I mean, these guys gave me a Nasdaq byline. Can you believe it?
My Steem wallet doesn’t look like much now. That will change, of course. It may never reach the heights that it did before, and I’m okay with that. Every single token that I accumulate is proof that this platform changes lives for the better in ways that were inconceivable just a decade ago.
The computer I’m using to write this blog post was bought using cryptocurrency. Let my success prove to you that great things can happen with Steemit, and with cryptocurrency in general. Don’t let the mainstream financial analysts sow your minds with their fear, uncertainty, and doubt, and don’t give up – with hard work, perseverance, and the helping hands of this very community, you can become a success story in your own right.
Uh, you tell 'em, Abe?