Two off the ground, one to go

Today was a very exciting day in my little corner of the cryptoworld. Two of my three new currency stakes are officially off the ground.

The currency launches actually happened yesterday, July 1. But today was the day that I got to install the wallets and see the coins allocated to me as a result of my share make it to my wallet.

FimKrypto was the first. Yesterday when I checked my account on DGEX I saw that I had been awarded my coins. It turns out that my small investment in the project represented close to one percent of the total investment. The coins were allocated to a wallet with an associated pass phrase. It was up to me to download and run the client, then open up my account with the assigned pass phrase.

I tried to get the client running yesterday, but the FimKrypto team decided they needed to run the block chain among themselves until the next day to make sure there were no unexpected technical difficulties or bugs. I didn’t worry too much about that, but some people felt that constituted a premine, which is technically accurate since FimKrypto is set up with 200 FIM block rewards for the first year. The development team got to collect all of those initial rewards for the first twenty-four hours or so. They promised that those rewards would get divided up among the initial stakeholders in the near future. One percent of a day’s worth of 200 FIM rewards at approximately thirty seconds per block will be nice. But right now the FimKrypto team is tied up with all the launch details, including interviewing with two major financial publications in Finland, so the divvying up of block rewards will have to wait.

The client was ready today so I downloaded it and got it going. The interface is similar to the new version of the NRS NXT client which I haven’t used since I use Offspring. I was actually worried about whether or not it would work for me, but it did on the first try. The interface is actually very straightforward and user friendly. Like NXT, FIM will also include a messaging system, a peer to peer asset exchange, and quite a few other features beyond simple payment processing.

Stakeholders can begin forging right away. To activate forging I simply had to send some FIM to a different address. I created a second account and sent ten FIM to it. The second account will have to wait for 1440 blocks before it can start forging, so I left the bulk of my FIM in the original account in the hopes that I can cash in on the initial stakeholder forging privilege. But once that’s over I plan to move my funds to my new FIM account where only I know the pass phrase (and it wasn’t posted on DGEX).

FIM is set up as a point of stake currency where the more coin you hold in your account the greater the odds of that account forging the next block. Unlike NXT which only includes transaction fees in opened blocks, FIM has a structured extra block reward feature which will last for four years. The first year’s block rewards are 200 FIM. The second year’s rewards are 100 FIM, then 50, then 25. I’m guessing that after year four the block rewards will consist only of transaction fees. But if the currency gets off the ground then that could turn out to be substantial. It’s nice that people can benefit from forging through these built in extra rewards in the early years.

The real fun with FIM will begin tomorrow, July 3rd, when trading opens up on DGEX. My plan is to watch the market for a while and see what kind of price people are willing to pay to get in early on this new crypto. I’m thinking about those who missed the opportunity to buy a stake. This is similar to the place I was when NXT first got going. I didn’t hear about it in time to buy a stake in the genesis block, but I did manage to purchase a whole bunch of NXT at close to one tenth of what they sell for now. No doubt there will be people in that position lining up to buy their FIM while the prices are still cheap. I want to watch the market during that time.

Eventually I’d like to sell off about a third of my FIM for profit taking or plain return on investment, then play around with the remaining two thirds. If the FIM asset exchange turns out to be anything like the NXT asset exchange, then I definitely want to participate in it, and I’ll need plenty of coins to do so. If I can make back my initial investment and then some by selling off a third of my stake, then I can happily consider the remaining two thirds to be play money. Unlike what I did with NXT where I put all of it into one asset, I will make a point to try out a number of the best assets and always keep some on hand in case I find new assets to invest in. So far there are no assets on the FIM asset exchange, but I suspect it’s only a matter of time.

The easy time I had getting all set up with FIM really drove home for me how foundational NXT has been. Being the first of its kind, NXT had lots of unexpected bugs and glitches to work out, and a number of them frustrated me because I’d suddenly lose access to my wallet and not regain it for several days or weeks. FIM basically gets to start where NXT is now, not repeat the initial four or five months of frustration. FIM improves on NXT, especially with the generous first year block rewards. Assuming the development team knows its marketing stuff, and the lead developer getting interviewed by two prominent national magazines indicates that they do, then FIM is poised to sprint right out of the starting gate and really go places, taking us stakeholders and investors along for a great ride.

The other stake I held which launched on July first or second is VirtaCoin. VirtaCoin began its life as a would be centralized digital currency. When the development team learned about Bitcoin, it saw the writing on the wall and decided that if VirtaCoin (then VirtaPay) was going to go anywhere it needed to go the peer to peer decentralized route.  VirtaCoin was then born in about February or so. However it was not formally launched until several months later. The premining was most likely conducted for the purpose of allocating existing VirtaPay members a portion of the new VirtaCoin. I have been a member of VirtaPay for years, and the reward was that each day that I logged in, approximately twenty units (at the time denoted with a dollar sign) got added to my balance. I also gained from referrals. For a while I faithfully logged in each day and amassed quite a bit, but over time I lost interest. In any case, my VirtaCoin balance is fourteen percent of what my VirtaPay balance had been. This balance reduction to fourteen percent was done across the board.

To access my VirtaCoin I had to download and run the VirtaCoin wallet client. Then I had to import the private key shown on my account into my wallet. The import went off without a hitch and I now have a sizeable balance of VirtaCoin, or VTA. I also set my client to solo mine, though I’m not running it constantly. I’m thinking that since VTA is a new scrypt coin I might be able to mine some initial block rewards with my laptop. I ran my client all night and got nothing, so now I’m looking into pool mining.

VirtaCoin is trading on Atomic Trade. It is currently selling for the same price as Devcoin… and climbing.

Two of my stakes have now materialized (OK, virtually speaking) into actual coin. That leaves just one–my interest in NEM, which is set to launch in late August or early September.

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