Can I handle the management?

It was a dark and stormy… er… morning.  I tend to take Sundays off from doing any sort of micro earning, so when I woke up on Monday I thought I’d look at my CoinAd sites and catch up on a few faucets.  The very first faucet I collected from put me over the limit to where I could request a cash out.  But the button instead said “Inputs is off line.”

What?  I immediately tried to call up the website and sure enough, it wouldn’t come up.  What’s going on?  I figured it was down for maintenance or something like that, but it stayed off for most of the day, only coming back online a couple hours ago.

It turns out Inputs was suffering from a sustained distributed denial of service attack.  DDoS attacks are very common in the Bitcoin world.  This is probably the third website I’ve used that has been impacted in this way since I started playing the Bitcoin game back in March of this year.

The evening before I’d returned home from my day job (which tends to get most intense during the weekends) to four new pages on the Devcoin thread.  It turns out the major item of discussion was some problems with the Devtome following some massive bot registrations.  People were having trouble logging in, it appeared the site didn’t exist, all sorts of things to incite fear and panic into the most hardy of souls.  I was too tired to even attempt to log in so I just left the drama alone and called it a night.  The next morning (after figuring out that Inputs was not functioning), I called up one of my articles, and found all the text to be gibberish.  Earlier revisions were showing up just fine, though, so I know the article is not lost.  I mentioned this on the thread next chance I got.

But wait, there’s more.  Checking my email on my tablet PC before even getting out of bed brought me the news that my favorite cryptosecurities trading site, The Bitcoin Trading Corp, is going to close down next month, citing increased regulatory interest in Bitcoin as the reason.  Instructions on how to migrate our assets to different trading sites followed shortly, and by this afternoon I’d followed the simple directions to migrate my TAT.ASICMINER shares to Bitfunder.  Now I just have to wait until the migration happens.  Hopefully it will be a smooth transition.

Part of the process of migrating my shares to Bitfunder involved registering an account on the site.  Once that was accomplished I learned that in order to deposit or withdraw funds I would also need to register an account with WeExchange.  Accounts on two brand new websites in a matter of minutes.

Yesterday I learned about mcxNOW, a new cryptocurrency trading platform that pays “interest” on all balances.  This means that if I have a boatload of DVCs sitting around in sell orders at least those funds are working for me while they wait.  So I registered an account with them, sent some Devcoins over, and made a few trades.  I love the interface and the concept, and I hope to review it in greater depth in the near future.  I decided to send all my DVCs from Vircurex over to mcxNOW and let them sit there.  Sure enough, my DVC balance started growing, 20 Devcoins here, 100 Devcoins there, each with a long trail of digits after the decimal point… paid every six hours.  Four times a day.

mcxNOW also sells shares within the platform.  Each share entitles you to 0.001 percent of the fees generated on the site in each of the cryptocoins in which those fees were generated.  That sounded pretty good to me, so I quickly traded enough DVC to come up with the 0.589 BTC needed to place a market buy, and now I’m the proud owner of one mcxNOW share.

The next day, the tiny amounts of dividends started coming in.  Every six hours.  And I thought daily dividends were a great deal!  Up until this morning I’d only owned Bitcoin and Devcoins, though I was starting to accumulate some Litecoin through some faucets.  Now I have tiny amounts of LiteCoin, PrimeCoin, PeerCoin, MinCoin, SolidCoin, WorldCoin, and CopperLark–don’t worry, I hadn’t heard of some of these either.  The dividend payments are pretty small, about what you’d expect to get from a faucet.  Only I don’t have to enter any Captchas in order to collect from this faucet.  The drip is automatic.  For nearly 0.6 BTC, I got myself an automatic faucet dripping nine different cryptocurrencies four times a day.  Time will tell whether or not it’s worth it.  It all depends on how much mcxNOW actually grows (as I write this it has 9509 registered accounts).  But if I were to have buyer’s remorse right now I could sell the share off for 0.6 BTC, coming out 0.1 BTC ahead.  Not a bad gain for less than 24 hours.  A huge part of me wants to buy more shares.  But Devcoins are once again at an all time low (31 satoshis), and I don’t want to get caught up in a buying frenzy.  I think I will wait a few days and see what the dividend payments look like first.  I don’t like to gamble on purpose, and I recognize that buying a share is a 0.7 BTC bet that this site will grow and succeed.  It may be a good bet, but probably not one I should rush into.  I purchased the first share for educational purposes :)

I may have found another Bitcoin pipeline, and now I have to figure out where it fits in.  I’m recording some data about my dividend and “interest” earnings from mcxNOW to try to figure this out.  I do like the idea of my balances sitting on an exchange and earning me “interest.”

Once Inputs.io got back online I visited a few more faucets and attempted to cash out from one of them.  I got an error message and all 10,000 satoshis vanished, never to be heard from again.  Perhaps the Inputs DDoS messed up the integration with all the faucets.  Needless to say I did not exercise the cash out option for any other faucets.  I’m not sure when I’ll try to cash out.  That’s the thing with these faucets.  You can visit them again and again, building up your balance, and then one cash out request goes wrong and it all vanishes.  Faucets are a great way to start collecting Bitcoin, but when you start finding more automated ways to collect Bitcoin, those faucets can become more of a management headache, especially the Inputs faucets.  They are generous, but squirly.

The Devtome is still having issues, according to the forum thread.  Just now I tried to log in, and I got a similar experience to others.  Doesn’t recognize my log in credentials, then when I try the password reset option it tells me it can’t find me in the database.  This is another reason why it’s probably not such a good idea to sell my Devcoins right now.  Could trouble with the Devtome cause a panic sell off?  If so, would the price rally once the Devtome got repaired?

The impending closing of The Bitcoin Trading Corp got me thinking that maybe I ought to do something about my Cryptostocks account.  Cryptostocks is one of the only (if not the only) exchanges which trade in Devcoin denominated securities.  That’s where my ASICMINER DVC PT shares are, as well as my DVC currency bond and of course, the few shares I own in the Devcoin Bounty security.  I also have some Bitcoin denominated securities there, and the erratic share prices and irregular or inexplicably low dividend payments have gotten to the point of being downright irritating.  What I’d really like to do is sell off all my Bitcoin assets and put the proceeds to better use somewhere else.  The only problem is that if I sold at market price I’d take a tremendous loss on just about every single asset I own there.  So, for the time being I put sell orders for everything at a price slightly higher than what I bought it for, and we’ll see.  If I’m patient I might get lucky.  If nothing moves in a few weeks or so, I’ll probably redo the sell orders at lower prices and take some losses.  I realize that it’s too much of a pain to keep track of things on Cryptostocks and I’d really like to just be done with it, except for the Devcoin assets.  I’m starting to understand that there is a cost of management involved, just like with the faucets.

The price of TAT.ASICMINER has continued to drop, and I would have to do some research to figure out why.  Did things with the company take a sudden turn for the worse, or was the stock merely overvalued at the time I started to buy it?  The dividends still pay out OK and I have no need to sell, but I’m realizing that I’m going to have to keep tabs on each and every stock I buy.  Things change so fast in the Bitcoin world that you don’t have the luxury of buying something and then just collecting the dividends indefinitely.

When Inputs.io went down, I had to wonder whether or not it was a temporary glitch or if the sites was down for good.  Fortunately it was a glitch, but what if it had been more permanent?  What if CoinLenders goes down?  That was another thing that happened several weeks ago.  CoinLenders officially closed.  Only, you can still make your deposits and collect interest.  But as far as the site is concerned it’s all a demonstration.  The language is meant to keep one or two steps ahead of financial regulators.  Some Bitcoin businesses living on the edge carefully craft their language; others like The Bitcoin Trading Corp, decide it’s not worth it and make the decision to close down.

In the meantime, I’m having the hardest time with CoinBase.  Twice now, a 0.03 transaction has failed.  Fortunately I did finally get my Bitcoin out of suspended animation.  I sent just one whole Bitcoin and that confirmed in the network in less than one hour.  But the 0.03 leftover I sent in a separate transaction.  Tried to send.  It’s back in my wallet and I’m too burned out to try yet again to send it.  CoinBase has not yet answered my support ticket asking why there’s all this trouble with sending.  I’m in the process of directing Bitcoin payments to other wallets until CoinBase can sort this one out.  Of course it didn’t help that I couldn’t get into my Inputs wallet at all for most of the day.

Because I write for the Devtome and am willing to trade my earnings for Bitcoins I’ve actually got more stake in the game than I ever thought possible.  I’m not wealthy per se, but I do have wealth tied up in various Bitcoin entities.  I would sure hate to lose a bunch of that wealth to some computer glitch or one of the websites I use running afoul of the regulators.  If I don’t want things to take me by surprise I’m going to have to spend lots of time keeping up with all those things.

And that brings me to a very important lesson I’m learning, which is that if you are wealthy, especially if you are trying to build wealth by investing, then you also have to manage your wealth.  You have to keep up with things, whether they be current events, forums, updates of various kinds, new laws that could impact your assets.  Dividends getting paid automatically, interest accruing on balances, all those things that I would consider to be passive income, well, those things have to be managed.  You definitely want to know if that bank is about to fail or if the company you bought stock in just got passed up by a competitor.

Wealth management takes time, and I’m not sure it’s time I want to give.  It can be fun to keep up with things, but when you start being obligated… well, then you start to appreciate how much simpler life is when you’re just working a job and collecting a paycheck.  The only problem with that scenario for me has been that the paycheck hasn’t been enough for us to make it for years and years.  That’s why wealth building and investing appeal to me, especially at the rate of return that is common in the Bitcoin world.  The necessary management, not so much.

Between knowing when one of my wallet sites is offline and trying to understand why the price of Devcoins dropped five points in one day, making sure my assets on a site about to close are smoothly migrated to the alternative site, being temporarily (hopefully it’s only temporary) locked out from the site which provides the lion’s share of my earnings, keeping track of what’s happening with specific securities so I at least know when it’s time to sell them, and making sure a wallet that has lost functionality is not where the majority of my incoming earnings are sent… all this going on in one day!  Now I understand why the truly wealthy hire people to worry about all that for them!

And it truly was a dark and stormy day.  Mostly it was cold and windy, and listening to the wind all day made the whole experience feel more stressful, especially when combined with other things in my life that cause stress.  As the day draws to a close I have to ask myself if I’m truly cut out for this.  Can I handle the management?  I’m definitely going to have to streamline things more.  I may have to say no to earning opportunities that are more hassle than they’re worth (faucets?).  I may have to be very adamant about taking a break from all of it at least once a week.  I may have to pick the three great opportunities to focus on and forego the other great opportunities.  I’m not sure yet, but I’m at the exciting and scary moment where I know good changes are coming and I have to make some decisions, but I’m not quite ready to welcome the changes or make the decisions.

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