I am strangely interested in my on-going lack of ability to make significant sums of money.
I’ve decided to write about it, so hopefully exploring it will help me work it out and help others along the way.
I’ve written about this before, Part 1, Part 2, but I started to build my fortune some years ago. Back in 2013 or 2014 I decided that I would make my fortune by regularly putting a small amount of pocket change into Bitcoins, and HODL them (not long after HODL became a thing) forever, riding the ups and downs to make a profit on the rise of Cryptocurrency in general.
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Actually, all I managed to do was put £20 (approximately $30) into the Bitcoin ATM at the Google Campus in London. I was working upstairs at TechHub delivering onsite chair massage to the various Startups that resided there.
It turned out to be a bit more complicated than just sticking £20 into a machine and getting some Bitcoins in exchange. For a start, the machine didn’t accept cash. Which makes sense in retrospect. Who wants to go around clearing out cash from machines for virtual currency when the world was already moving towards cashless.
I recall that the payment portals excluded PayPal, which was the main way I was being paid at the time, so that put further limits on my ability to acquire coins.
So that £20 was my only purchase and simply sat in the app on my phone for a long time. This was when there were few exchanges to purchase cryptocurrency and it was pretty hard to make it work anyway.
My 0.1 of a Bitcoin lost value almost instantly (to something like £17) and after a while, I forgot to keep checking on it.
Some years later, around September of 2017, as the price of Bitcoin reached a new high of $5000, I realised that I had been right in my early assumptions of making money from crypto, as my $30 was now worth upwards of $500 and growing.
However, when I consulted my app I found that it was no longer functional on my phone, and not available on the app store. Further investigation, which prompted me to open a Reddit account, lead me to the conclusion that my crypto had gone the way of many other Bitcoins, and was lost to the ether… The founder of the Bitcoin ATM had been involved in some stupid fraudulent activity and been caught. I gave up hope of ever seeing that piece of digital money ever again.
Time to be more careful!
Crypto wallets are much more secure than a random app on your phone. But off-line crypto wallets are the most secure.
This is a long way of saying that despite my early adoption of Crypto, I failed miserably on security.
This is Lesson Number 1!
Since then I have learned a lot. But this painful lesson lead me to be inactive in further acquisitions. Until April and May of 2019. I know that because while doing my taxes I found the transactions.
This time I sank around £50/$70 in each of those two months into two promising new cryptocurrencies, that overcame some of the limitations of Bitcoin. Through sharding. (That’s with a D, not a T).
This is a way of scaling and spreading transactions as the blockchain gets longer and transactions increase. Making it quicker and able to handle more transactions per second.
My two Cryptos investments? Quarkchain and Zilliqa.
Both had different techniques in achieving these faster transactions, and I’m not going to bore you with them here. Partly because I can’t remember the differences now, and also because there are much better resources at the end of a search than I would provide for you.
Needless to say, I made my purchases and then life happened and I forgot about then until recently.
So how did my investments go?
When writing this on the 20th of January 2021 (Inauguration day!), my investments were thus:
Quarkchain turned my £50/$70 into a whopping £11.41/$15.62!
Zilliqa, on the other hand, has grown from £50/$70 to £130.07/$178.06
So I’m happy that 50% of my gamble (let’s face it) paid off with a nearly 260% increase in 21 months. Of course, if I’d put more money in I could have grown it even more.
Edit: Since then both coins have increased, Zilliqa has doubled again and Quarkchain is now worth $38, so while not a full recovery it shows the correct trajectory!
But that’s not all. I’ve been using the online bank, Revolut, for a few years and when they introduce the ability to purchase cryptocurrencies I decided to pop a few quid in when my limited budget allowed.
So since February of 2020, I’ve invested a total of £82.36/$112.71 in a mixture of Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple, Ether and Bitcoin Cash (because these were all available in the app) and with the exception of Ripple (which has some legal problems and seems a bit dubious, I managed to sell for a breakeven) all coins have increased to a total value of £217/$297!
So far I’m much happier with my crypto investing in recent years than when I first started.
I’ve also done some speculation with fractional shares, investing other bits of change into Zoom, Alibaba and Tesla.
Bad timing for Alibaba with Jack Ma falling foul of the Chinese government. Hopefully, he’ll keep his nose clean going forwards and the stock will continue to rise. I really want to see my £30 grow!
But my investment in Tesla doubled in a short few months…
If only I had more than £40 at the time!
Next steps are to sell some of my ‘crypto holdings’ and consolidate it into a service called HODLBot, which takes your crypto and automatically buys and sells to follow the rise and fall of the market to keep a balanced portfolio. (Although there are specific trading bots that buy low and sell high to make money. I will write about Crypto bots in a future post).
So far this has been an exercise in self-education and proof of concept for me. Hopefully, I’ll be able to convince some friends and family to take a little gamble with an amount that they could suffer potentially losing and put some money into a few coins.
For a post that is rather heavy on numbers and percentages you may be wondering what the take away is?
I would suggest that this Old Chinese proverb provide some food for thought:
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
To spell it out for you, if you are also interested in growing a nest egg or planting a money tree, that there has never been a better time than right now!
Naturally, you should do plenty of research first, but that information can be gathered easily on the Internet. Just be sure to keep your crypto wallet info secure and only risk money that you can afford to lose and don’t need to have available on short notice.
Suffice to say that this is not financial advice. I am not a financial advisor. Your capital is at risk.
The next part of My Under Earning Journey – is coming soon!
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