The waiting game

I have only 32 more blocks to go before I start getting paid round 31 earnings instead of abysmal round 30 earnings. I remember being at this point about a month ago when payouts for round 29 were drawing to a close. In that case I was wanting to hang onto round 29 for as long as I could because I knew round 30 was not going to be as generous. Now I can hardly wait for the outgoing round to be over and done with. At least it’s close. Perhaps the turnover will happen during the night while I’m sleeping. Then of course I will have to wait another day or so until the babies grow up.

More two factoring With some trepidation I set up two factor authentication for my Camp BX account. Wouldn’t you know it worked like a charm the first time and every other time. Of course I was very careful about entering the code accurately and double checking for mistakes before hitting the set up button. Now that I already have a working account (for the Commodity Exchange), it would be annoying to either have to uninstall the app and start all over for two accounts or to have a faulty account just sitting there. I’m a perfectionist that way. I wish there were some way to delete accounts that are not needed. But as long as I’m entering the code accurately it shouldn’t be a problem. In any case, I got it right the first time and it works like a charm.

I thought it would be great to also enable two factor authentication on my Cryptsy account. I don’t have a lot sitting in my account right now but down the road it could join my list of accounts I would hate to have hacked and everything taken from. But Cryptsy doesn’t use Google authenticator. It uses a different app called Authy, which I would also have to install on my tablet PC. How many separate authorization apps am I going to need by the time I’ve protected everything? Cryptsy also gives the option of having a code texted to my phone number, so I will probably go with that option for the time being as it won’t involve installing yet another app on a tablet whose storage capacity is already getting bogged down. I’ll look into it again tomorrow or later in the week. Two factor authorization on Cryptsy can wait.

Upgrading Next There’s a wiki which has a link to the latest Next client software. Joefox told me that within a day or two the version 10 would be replaced with version 11, but so far that has not happened. I figure I might as well wait another day for the latest greatest client software, but should I wait an entire week or month for it? I have a good mind to just go with version 10 and see if I can get it working properly. Then I could upgrade to version 11 along with everyone else. But I wonder if it really will be that straightforward or if I’m going to end up spending hours trying to get it to work only to have to call for help. I could check the Next Forum for updates but that also takes time. Since I want to hold onto my NXT it’s not like there’s a huge hurry. It all depends on how much I really want to mess with it.

The Devcoin to fiat journey I traded out some of my Devtome earnings for fiat today. The process involves waiting two or three days to first accumulate enough Devcoins in my wallet to make sending them off worth it. During round 29, I could send lots of Devcoins out every day, but with round 30 it takes at least two days, more often three, just to generate enough. Did I mention I can hardly wait for round 31 to start paying out? Once I have enough I then send half to Vircurex to immediately trade out for Bitcoin. The other half gets divided into two more equal parts–one part goes to Cryptsy for hoarding, and the other part goes wherever I feel like investing it at the moment.

Once on Vircurex, the part for immediate selling gets put into a sell order. While I sometimes do sell at the market rate I usually prefer to sell at a couple points higher, though I generally like my order to be at the top so it fills within a reasonable period of time. Today it took around two hours for my entire sell order to fill, and it filled in multiple tiny sales rather than all at once. Once all those Devcoins were sold I then sent them off to Camp BX to be converted into fiat.

I have to then wait about a half hour to an hour for the transaction to confirm. It is rather interesting that now there are cryptocoins which boast much faster conversion times. Next, for example, has a block open time of one minute. Transactions can confirm in as little as three minutes but never more than ten minutes depending on how many network confirmations are required. These newer cryptocoins are making Bitcoin and Devcoins long confirmation wait times to seem downright archaic. In the grand scheme of things, though, an hour wait time is not bad. I can spend that time doing something else.

Once my Camp BX deposit confirms I usually sell it off at market rate because I don’t really like to wait around for my Bitcoin to convert to fiat. Sometimes I will place a higher sell order but if it doesn’t execute within an hour I will usually cancel it and sell at market rate. The Bitcoin day traders are probably getting rich off my impatience, but all I want is to turn my Bitcoin into fiat so I can pay some bills and hammer away at some debt.

Once my Camp BX account hits $1000 it’s time to request an ACH transfer to my fiat bank. I put such a request in on Friday and I’m still waiting for it to clear my bank three business days later. I checked my fiat account this morning again because I’m truly anxious to make that mortgage payment on time and the end of the month looms large. The transfer still hadn’t cleared. This is well within the realm of normal so I have no reason to panic. However after buying into Next’s progeny NEM, it hit me just how arcane our fiat money transfer systems are. I can send Bitcoins to any address in the world and the recipient will see them coming immediately and will only have to wait an hour at most to be able to use them. If I sent the Bitcoins from my PC wallet client or my Cryptsy account, the transfer costs me around eight cents. If I sent it from Vircurex or CEX, then it costs somewhere between one and two dollars to send.

Fiat travels at the speed of molasses But transferring fiat is a different story. The process often costs ten dollars or more, especially if it’s an international transfer, and it takes days and days to process. I’m lucky that Camp BX only charges me two dollars for each transfer, but if I were to ask for a fiat transfer from BitStamp it would cost me $15 minimum, and it would take at least five days to complete. In an Internet connected world where so much is instant, it is actually downright crazy that moving money around takes days rather than minutes. I can see now why Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are going to overtake fiat money. Just the ability to send it around and only have to wait an hour for the funds to be available already makes Bitcoin the clear winner. Add to that that it’s easy and inexpensive for anyone with a computer to do, and you have a slam dunk. And some people even think that Bitcoin is too slow, so they’ve come up with NXT and NEM to speed things up.

A near instant Bitcoin/fiat platform There’s an up and coming website which can deliver cash from sale of Bitcoins within an hour, and it’s only after having to wait so long for my Camp BX transfer to finally clear that I realize just how valuable such a service is. The site is called Coin RNR. You complete a simple form to buy or sell Bitcoin, then you pay for purchased ones with a cash deposit to a specific Bank of America or Wells Fargo account, or you get a cash deposit for sold ones deposited to your account with either one of those banks. If I ever get into a situation where I need the money now, I will go that route. You have to accept the buy and sell price–similar to buying and selling on CoinBase–but who needs to get the absolute best price possible when you can get your funds (Bitcoins or fiat) within an hour?

The joys of getting paid when the currency is volatile Today was a big writing day for me as I had several projects due for one of my clients. This particular client usually pays within a day of getting work from me, though sometimes as far out as two days later. This kind of turnaround time is phenomenal, and it’s one of the many wonderful features of operating in the crypto world. But since my pay is calculated based on the Bitcoin/fiat exchange rate, I’m always a bit nervous as I wait for it. If Bitcoin crashes then I do quite well, because I earn more Bitcoin. But if Bitcoin enjoys a surge in price while I’m waiting, then getting paid is about as satisfying as buying at the top. Of course, if the opposite happens, then it’s like getting a bonus. Lately Bitcoin has held a very steady price of $800 give or take ten dollars on either side. I actually like it when Bitcoin holds its value for a long time–it shows that it is coming into its own as an actual currency and not just a fun toy for speculators.

On lending and not getting paid back Bitcoin lending is not working out nearly as well for me as I’d hoped. One of my favorite borrowers on BTCJam is late on at least three loans I’ve heavily invested in. What happened was that he was day trading on CEX and a recent difficulty increase literally cut the price of GHS in half. For me that’s not such a big deal, other than causing some minor trepidation about what might happen if I needed to liquidate my GHS in a hurry. I’m into mining for the long haul and for the mining rewards, which aren’t directly affected by the price of hashing power. Unfortunately for my borrower, he had some deadlines and needed the money so he took a hit and now he’s late on his loans. Fortunately he is maintaining communication so I have every expectation that he will make good on them. Nonetheless it is annoying to have to wait weeks for a return on investment that you expected to turn around within days but with no added benefit for having waited longer. One of those things. I am glad I did not have more than a Bitcoin and a half total invested and I will be reluctant to invest more than that for the time being.

Lending money is risky business, and I’m learning that the viability of a loan as an investment is dependent on both the character of the borrower and the worth of the why behind the loan. In the fiat world I’m a borrower and lately a bad one at that. Being a lender in the crypto world has helped me understand a bit better the rationale behind credit reports and assets that can be repossessed as well as why some loans simply will never fund because the lenders consider the venture to be too risky. I doubt ordinary people in the fiat world have much luck securing loans to fund day trading activities. I’m hoping my borrower makes a good recovery and pays his loans back and gets to as he put it “rise from the ashes.” And I may be more reluctant to lend to anyone engaged in day trading in the future. I may get out of the lending business altogether. In the mean time, I wait for my investments to get paid back, and think about how much better the return would be in mining.

The cryptoworld is a very fast paced world, where there is always something new, where money moves around the world at rapid speeds, and where profits come quickly but money is also lost frequently. And despite all that, there are still many situations where patience is very important, because it’s hurry up and wait.

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