WALL STREET FAILED ME, CRYPTOCURRENCY SET ME FREE!

in story •  2 years ago

I published a piece here in my early days on Steemit (which was only a few months ago) called, Embrace The Wobble. Without going into all of the details the post explained how, despite making what were considered to be responsible financial decisions and having good jobs, my wife and I nearly ended up in financial ruin after buying a home shortly before the bottom dropped out of the real estate market in 2008.

To make matters worse, when we purchased the house our mortgage broker recommended an 80/20 mortgage, which was actually two loans. He explained this would allow us to pay a smaller monthly payment by financing eighty percent of the home price with a traditional mortgage and the other twenty percent with an interest-only fifteen year loan. The idea would be to refinance in a few years as our salaries and the market value of the property increased. This seemed like a safe bet. After all, real estate prices in the area had gone in only one direction for the previous fifty years...UP!

Just a few months later the unthinkable happened, the Housing Crisis hit. Four months after we closed on the house it was worth over sixty-thousand dollars less than we owed.

We weren’t alone; there were many homeowners in America who got screwed. In our neighborhood there were two to three homes on nearly every block that were vacant due to foreclosure. This made the market values plummet even further. The banks were bailed out with our tax dollars and American citizens were left to figure it out on our own. My wife and I spent the next seven years of our lives attempting to bail ourselves out through overtime pay, revenue from my writing, and an online tea business we ran on the side. The hole was so large that hard work wasn’t enough.

It seemed the harder we worked the more we fell behind. Even though the market price of our home went down local property taxes skyrocketed. In one six month period alone we were hit with over four thousand dollars in, “special tax assessments” by the city that had to be paid in ninety days or it would be rolled into escrow (raising our monthly payment) and we would be charged interest on top of it. What was becoming clear was, the middle class was the cash cow of every level of government and they were pulling those teats with wild abandon until they were completely dry.

We saw the real estate prices trending higher late 2014 and decided to roll the dice and get the house ready to put on the market. We were finally able to sell in September of 2015 but only after taking out a pretty sizeable loan and credit card debt that allowed us to make the improvements to the property that would warrant a large enough market value to pay off both mortgages.

This period of life taught me some lessons that I’ll never forget:

  1. The foxes (big banks) are lording over the henhouse (financial regulatory bodies of the U.S.) So embedded are these banks that they are not only not being regulated but are actually directly and/or indirectly writing legislation that is in their best interest; and

  2. No one (and I mean no one) is looking out for the best interest of us, the American citizens, in any way. In fact, the opposite is happening, we’re being systematically preyed upon.

Fast forward to Summer of 2016, along came a new social media platform called Steemit. Every aspect of it was new to me except for the writing, that I had been pursuing for twenty three years.

I had heard of Bitcoin in the media but I had no real understanding of what cryptocurrency was or how it worked, nor was I really that interested in it. It was only through cashing in my Steem Dollars (SBD) through Poloniex, converting to Bitcoin, and then to US Dollars that I learned more about the concept of cryptocurrency. Even a month after joining Steemit it still didn’t feel like the money I was making was real. I saw my earnings rising steadily and I was ecstatic but it felt like a game.

By the end of August I attained a novice-level of experience with cryptocurrency and I was beginning to enjoy it enough to have a desire to learn more. I was getting some helpful pointers and learning by proxy from a few folks I met on Steemit. This is around the time things really began to click in my brain. Most importantly I began to see the potential of blockchain and cryptocurrency had to change the whole paradigm of our world by shifting more power back to the individual.

By the end of Summer I was making smarter trades by selling when the prices were high. Three months after joining Steemit, around mid-September, I had already made a sizeable dent in our massive debt with revenue from my writing. For the first time in my entire career I was able to experience what real success as a writer felt like. I was telling everyone I knew about Steemit and recruiting as many as I could to join the platform.

By this time I had no doubt that cryptocurrency was real because of the tangible impact it had on my life. If all goes as planned, within the next few months, our own crypto-fueled bailout will be complete thanks to Steemit and all of your support. Without Steemit it would’ve been anyone’s guess about how long it would’ve taken to free ourselves from our incredible burden. Most importantly, this newfound financial freedom will make it much more feasible to make a pivot in my career that I’ve always dreamed of, retiring from my day job and devoting all of my time to writing.

If cryptocurrency is a glimpse of our future I say bring it on. The opportunities that cryptocurrency offers are real and it’s Wall Street’s worst nightmare. The entire traditional system of finance is like a carnival where every game is rigged. Only an infinitely small percentage of players on the very top can win and they win big. The elite and the central bank desires a future in which our society struggles on this way forever. I hope the we the people don’t let this happen. My greatest concern is the system has been rigged against us for so long it feels normal but it's not.

Only now that I’m nearly debt free do I realize the weight debt had on my psyche, subconsciously, every minute of my existence. So many around me are carrying the same heavy burden and I have this great desire to free them of it. These are good and decent people, they work hard, they pay their taxes, and no matter what they do they simply can't get ahead. For the past decade this had been me, walking a financial tightrope, living paycheck to paycheck never feeling like I would ever get ahead. The dream that I would catch a major break with my writing was all that kept me going.

What has cryptocurrency done for me? I’m far from wealthy but at least I have real hope of a better tomorrow, I feel like I have a chance, and have the confidence to make the kind of pivot necessary for substantive change. There is more than enough abundance to go around, life doesn’t have to be so harsh and difficult. Wall Street and our broken archaic financial system has failed each and every one of us, for a long time, and in the worst possible ways. Thanks to Mr. Satoshi Nakamoto and other cryptocurrency visionaries, we now have a pathway to a very different kind future that has the incredible power to set us all free.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that all of us on this platform are taking part in a great experiment that very well could go down in the history books. Like all pioneers we’ve experienced a few bumps in the road but this is to be expected with anything this revolutionary. I hope I live to see this concept and others like it hit the mainstream. One thing I do know is if this happens, our children and grandchildren will live in a much better, transparent, and equitable world.

Steem on!

(gif sourced from Giphy.com)


Eric Vance Walton is an acclaimed American poet, novelist, and blogger. Eric won a 2005 Thurber Treat Prize for his fable The Heiress and the Pea. Eric’s poetry, essays, and short stories have been published widely in literary journals, magazines, and he has authored eight books.

To catch up on the latest episode of my novel, Alarm Clock Dawn, please click here

To follow my unfolding story please visit my website here to sign up for my author newsletter.

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☆☆☆☆☆! I agree. The big banks are out of control. I hope crytocurrency is the answer.

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I agree and I believe it's the best answer I've seen yet.

Fantastic article. Steemit has also given me hope to rise out of debt and the endless rent circle I find myself and my kids in. The housing market is the same here, our median house price is now over half a million dollars. Unless I win a lottery, my hope of buying is not possible. The banks are getting richer while we get poorer. I'm so happy that it's working out for you and your family. You deserve it after all the hard work.

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Thank you, @angierose. Your thoughtful comments are always appreciated. I honestly don't know if I'll ever own again. James Altucher doesn't recommend purchasing. I know some people say renting is throwing your money away but after the experience we had buying our last home it would take a really amazing deal to make us want to ever buy again.

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You're welcome @ericvancewalton :) I bought a house when I was only 26, but sold it a few years later to move closer to work (it was a 2 hour drive). I'm also in doubt as to whether I will ever buy a house again. I'd love a farm or some land so I can set up my aquaponics again. The idea of growing my own food has always been close to my heart, along with meditation of course!

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Thanks the one thing I really miss, @angierose, my garden. Eventually I'd like to find someplace with a patio so I could container garden.

Great post! You are absolutely right!

Really nice and heartfelt Eric

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I am glad you are enjoying this freedom!

I completely agree and am completely heartened by the whole new world steemit has opened up for me. I too had no idea nor experience with either cryptocurrency nor trading but am really having fun with it.

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I'm glad you're having a good experience too, @natureofbeing. I still have a feeling this will change a lot of people's lives. There are some critics out there but it's easy for people to forget that this platform is still in its infancy. It opens up a whole new world, really. Thanks for your comment!

Excellent post ... as always.

Congratulations and here's hoping things only go up from here!!!

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Thank you, @gikitiki! No matter what I'll always be thankful for these amazing past few months.

I really wish good luck for the future, sir.
As being new to the writing, I really learn great things from your poems and the ongoing novel. You are such an amazing writer.
Keep Writing.
Can't wait for next episode of the novel.

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I appreciate it, @mindfreak. It's good to know it's helping you! I wish you luck in your writing as well.

Very interesting story. Fortunately I didn't go through the turmoil you experienced, but I have similar concerns and fears. When the only hope of being able to afford a comfortable retirement rests on rolling the dice with your life savings and hoping you can cash out before they crash the system the next time. No wonder none of us can sleep at night.

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Thank you, @gregory-f. It's frightening how fragile our financial futures are. I feel really bad for those poor people who were retiring around the time of the crash. I think some of the boomers may've been the last generation where comfortable and retirement can be uttered in the same sentence. All we can do is hustle and hope for the best, so much is beyond our control. I appreciate your comment.

Welcome to the club! I have been debt free for over 8 years and out of the work force for over 3 years now! Feels great to only see gas, water, cable and electric in the mailbox. It's a pretty easy load.

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I'm not yet to that point but hope to get there soon. Congratulations on your accomplishment!

This is very inspiring, thank you for sharing your insight I needed this!

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Thanks, @allgoodthings! I'm glad you connected with it!

We bought our house at the same time you did and lost out too :( So happy for your success here on Steemit though! We're working our way out of debt as well, but paid off a bunch of old credit cards just this week...

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Glad to hear you are making headway on debt reduction. The real estate series I post is dedicated to help people make good home buying decisions. If it's looked at as a cash flow investment you are positioning yourself well.
A good guide is to only buy a property when the monthly cost is less than you can rent it for. Using traditional parameters of 20% down of course.

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Thank you! I hope things are better for you now, @storyseeker! Congratulations on paying off the credit cards. It's a good feeling isn't it?!

9/10 coins are scams. I don't see how this post is anything more than an inside shilling.

The majority of people in the crypto world, much like in the FIAT one get fucked. This is the reality. Those who win are insider traders or just win out of sheer luck.

Both are part of gambling.

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I agree with your thought on the majority of coins are scams

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I am amazed you cannot feel the sincerity of his words. He isn't commenting on the state of crypto in general, only his tentative hope that others can learn and share in the positive experiences he's had so far. All of crypto is not the same, the difference is in each system's integrity, it's ability to adapt and whether or not enough people find the rules acceptable and utility in it's function. If you know of any other means of eliminating the wanton corruption in the systems that underpin our societies, i'm all ears.

I was really moved by his story.

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words mean nothing when faced with reality.

he is just promoting his agenda much like a whore would promote her bar.

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Lol! Your comment is hilariously unsubstantiated, unkind and pointless. I wonder what motivated you to write it? It smacks of the stereotypical angry teenager, full of misplaced resentment and righteousness. I can see that I may have been wasting my time. All the best.

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let me supply you with some "substance" then

more people find the FIAT world more acceptable. this is what the free market shows so far. Also % wise it has less fraud and scams than the crypto world.

privacy wise? once in the blockchain, always in the blockchain. no wonder governments around the world adopt it so rapidly.

Please. DO entertain me with more empty fancy comments.

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Ok, i'll bite one last time, but only because you are being hilarious I think.

Your "substance" is ludicrously out of context. FIAT is forced so obviously it is presently "favored" by the majority of people....come on. If you understood central banking, i mean at all, or some of the more egregious and massive capital frauds perpetrated within the FIAT system (QE, LIBOR and all the other BOR's, commodity markets, housing market to name but a few) you could not possibly believe that Bitcoin, over 90% of the crypto market has a higher level of fraud.

In addition.....surely you must understand that people who have been captured within a system that undermines their economic integrity, the quality of information they have and their health will not so easily comprehend and switch to new and complex technologies that are in the process of being built and understood?

You seem to be making these foolish statements deliberately in order to try to get a rise, or you are misinformed or perhaps a bit of both. Either way, your tone is unnecessarily unpleasant so I don't care to find out which.

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FIAT is forced so obviously it is presently "favored" by the majority of people....come on.

forced? noboby is forcing you to do fiat. you can live with cryptos in this time and age quite easy. it is a choice.

If you understood central banking, i mean at all, or some of the more egregious and massive capital frauds perpetrated within the FIAT system (QE, LIBOR and all the other BOR's, commodity markets, housing market to name but a few) you could not possibly believe that Bitcoin, over 90% of the crypto market has a higher level of fraud.

but it does. 7 miners in China control 85% of the capital. 95% of people don't have more than 10BTC. 9/10 alt-coins are shilled from BTC whale accounts and they a scams. MtGox and similar frauds emerge every day. Want to compare scams and fraud with the FIAT world? the fiat world is balls deep in shit. the crypto world is oil deep in shit.

In addition.....surely you must understand that people who have been captured within a system that undermines their economic integrity, the quality of information they have and their health will not so easily comprehend and switch to new and complex technologies that are in the process of being built and understood?

Complexity = Inefficiency, exploitation. vulrenability- and surprisingly this is exactly what we get in the crypto world. again, recently bitfinex, dao, really do i need to mention them % how fucked the crypto world is? i thought you are a pro bro.

You seem to be making these foolish statements deliberately in order to try to get a rise, or you are misinformed or perhaps a bit of both. Either way, your tone is unnecessarily unpleasant so I don't care to find out which.

truth hurts and tends to be unpleasant at first. give it time to sink in.

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Truth is a concept that seems to have escaped your grasp. You've used a computer and a mobile phone right? Do many people use these complex devices to enhance their world? Did they all participate in and comprehend the research and development of these technologies along with their successes and failures? Did the journey undermine their eventual utility?

If you are happy to live in a world of cognitive dissonance, that's your choice. I hope you choose to broaden your perspective and discover some genuine truth.....as difficult as it can be to uncover. Look, no hard feelings. Maybe you are being sincere....initially I felt otherwise. Best of luck.

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Truth is a concept that seems to have escaped your grasp.

Truth is point of view

You've used a computer and a mobile phone right? Do many people use these complex devices to enhance their world? Did they all participate in and comprehend the research and development of these technologies along with their successes and failures? Did the journey undermine their eventual utility?

wrong parallelism. still. it doesn't prove that the blockchain is more efficient even in a small scale. too much hype my friend. very little to show.

If you are happy to live in a world of cognitive dissonance, that's your choice.

Stop throwing filler words around to appeal intellectual. its pathetic.

I hope you choose to broaden your perspective and discover some genuine truth.....as difficult as it can be to uncover.

spoken like a true televangelist

Look, no hard feelings. Maybe you are being sincere....initially I felt otherwise. Best of luck.

I always am. btw. I live off cryptos for over 4 years now. No need to explain to me the benefits or drawbacks. I am just saying to you. There is no real difference in regards to efficiency or honestly. it far worse. I just choose to live in it becauseit suits me. really that's it. preference. nothing else.

Yay!! I'm super glad it worked for you, Eric.
Crypto has helped me some too, but it's still been a bumpy ride. Staying out of the Fed Reserve ponzi scheme would be nice. They really get you by the scruff.
Of course, the state doesn't help. Our city residence extortion fee (property tax) just went up 10%. It's nuts.

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Thanks, @anotherjoe! The property tax was like a kick in the teeth for us after they knocked us down. I tried to go to a city council meeting and protest that $4,200 "assessment" but by the time they informed us the voting had already taken place. What a crock!

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Ouch! Welcome to state mandated extortion. :(

Great story! I've just started wading into crypto currency trading myself. Do you have any pointers? Reading suggestions? Anybody? Thanks for the read!

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Thanks, @arnoldz61. The Age of Cryptocurrency by Michael J. Casey and Paul Vigna is a good read. Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy by Melanie Swan is good as well.

Absolutely right - that fox in the hen house situation is what I hope to illuminate with my venn diagrams. Great post!

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Thank you, @geke! I saw your post yesterday about the big bank executives getting high level cabinet positions. You did a great job on those!

It's been cool to watch your success here.

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Thank you, @mctiller! I hope to be in a better position to help others soon as my account value grows. I'm looking forward to having more impact as a curator.

It sounds like you and I made the same mistake of buying a home in 2008, just before the crash. We still own the home today but are not living in it. It is a rental property, but we hope to have it sold next summer.

And like you, I feel very optimistic about Steemit's potential. I hope it will set us all free in the future. Take care.

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Thank you, @countryinspired! We thought of renting ours too, it's a good option if the numbers work out. I appreciate your comment and best of luck selling next Summer!

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Thanks for sharing that story, Eric. You are so on the money with that fox/hen house analogy. We are indeed like a buffet for the bankers. I'm glad to hear that you're starting to see light at the end of that trial-filled tunnel, and I look forward to watching your continued success and enjoying your content.

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You're welcome! Thank you and I'm glad you're enjoying the content. A buffet for bankers is a good way to phrase it. The more I learn about our financial system the more disgusted I become.

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Great story... I feel some of your pain as well, now I am out of the banks and feeling rather free.

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Thanks! Good for you @kyusho!

Rule by force is the problem.

I think the option to be self-enabled is what's best about cryptocurrencies. Glad to know it's working out well for you :)

Which books have you read in regards to blockchains and such? I've been trying to write about all these in abstract forms which may sound more relevant for the layman (and dreamers) in some of my earlier posts on Steemit, and would actually like to see more, especially from way better writers like yourself @ericvancewalton!

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Thank you, @kevinwong! I've learned a lot here by reading other's posts but recommend reading - The Age of Cryptocurrency by Michael J. Casey and Paul Vigna and Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy by Melanie Swan.

Resteemed

I did like to invest on BTC as it is good for this digital age. Early last month i decided to go into BTC mining but couldn't meet up with the requirements.

Thanks for sharing. Very interesting.

Thank you for sharing your message of hope. It is inspiring to hear how you and your wife kept at it and are now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

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You're welcome, @lydon.sipe. This has been an amazing blessing for us. Thanks for your comment!

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you're welcome.

Thank you so much for your frankness, @ericvancewalton! Wonderful experience, congratulations! I am totally convinced that true stories like yours are the core of steemit. We are here to support each other, work on the common growth, offer an alternative solution to the existing and morbid financial system and demonstrate that the world and its development is in our own hands. May the childen and their childen be proud of us! Steem on!

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You're welcome, @surfermarly! Thank you for stopping by and for your comment! I can tell you totally "get it". The future will be a very interesting place, I just hope humanity becomes less egocentric and makes better decisions.

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We are humanity - so it´s in our hands :-) Good luck and steem on!

Eric, I think the world will be a different place someday -hopefully better. I too am excited about the idea of an alternative currency. The less we rely on our government and banks the more at ease we will be.

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I hope so too, @fairytalelife. I truly believe the less centralized everything is, the better off we'll be. If we don't make sure things evolve in that direction then it will be worse, not better, in the future. Thanks for your comment, my friend!