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Some things I don't understand

Author's note: This article is part of an ongoing blog about my adventures in the world of alternate currencies.

I have learned so much since this past March when I decided to take the time to figure out what this Bitcoin thing was all about. One of the most important things I've learned has been how to earn Bitcoins and other cryptocoins doing fairly straightforward things. This has been the focus of my blog.

There still remains a lot of mystery about the whole cryptoworld, the Bitcoin world in particular. Here are some things I don't understand, in no particular order.

Mining

I don't understand mining. OK, I have a very basic understanding that computers around the world get busy solving puzzles and that every so often a new block of Bitcoins is opened up, much to the delight of the owner of that computer. But I don't understand why it keeps getting more difficult to mine Bitcoins the more computers get involved. I don't understand how entire businesses are based on creating specialized hardware for mining Bitcoins, and I don't understand why people buy the hardware knowing full well that it will never mine the number of Bitcoins they expected it to mine the day the purchase was made.

Gambling

My articles are full of insight on ways that you can earn Bitcoin, and the best part is that there is a way to put all those earnings to work for you through compound interest. Earning a 22 percent annual rate of return is out of this world amazing. Try getting that out of a traditional savings account. Given that, why in the world do so many Bitcoin owners gamble? Why take the risk when you can get the returns without it?

Perhaps when Bitcoin first started out, gambling was all there was, and I suppose if my Bitcoins were only worth 50 cents apiece I might consider spending them on games of chance. Might consider. But they are worth almost $150 today. They have become respectable. And yet the vast majority of the sites I visit on BitVisitor are gambling sites. I keep seeing new ones every week! And I pocket the earnings for visiting them and not playing.

High interest rate loans

The reason I can have a Bitcoin sitting in a CoinLenders account happily accumulating compound interest at an annual rate of over 22 percent is because there are people out there willing to borrow Bitcoins at a much higher interest rate. Those are loan shark interest rates! I get running up a credit card balance and then being unable to pay for it, but who deliberately goes out and borrows at that interest rate? Whoever the borrowers are I'm grateful for their existence, but I don't understand the behavior.

CoinTube

More specifically, I don't understand why CoinTube will pay me over 60 uBTC on BitVisitor for visiting its website, but will only pay me 20 uBTC per video I watch. In other words, I earn so much more from the commercial than I do on the site itself. Sometimes CoinTube has lots of videos for me to watch, but sometime they only have one or two. Most of the time I don't bother finding out.

So many alternative cryptocoins

The success of Bitcoin has spawned a plethora of new alternative cryptocoins. There is a website called Cryptsy which allows people to buy and sell all of them. Right now there are around seventy of them, with names like Feathercoin, Ixcoin, Bytecoin, Bottlecaps, and Cosmocoin. It seems everyone wants to develop a new cryptocoin. Just today I got a note from someone who wants to write for the Devtome in order to fund his or her new cryptocoin. Considering that in order for a new cryptocoin to be successful one would have to build an entire economy around it I wonder why so many people want to take up the challenge. I also wonder what a new crypto brings to the table that isn't already addressed by the existing ones.

Many of these new cryptos can be merge mined right alongside Bitcoins. Devcoins are like that. Devcoins, by the way, are the longest lasting crypto besides Bitcoin. Devcoins have been around for over two years now, which in the cryptoworld is like an eternity. I've heard it said more than once that most of the new cryptos are worthless, or crapcoins. Apparently some burn out within months. But others gain tremendously in value, enough to make the fortunate holder quite wealthy. For this reason, people like to buy and hold the various new cryptos as they come out. I could see myself getting into that further down the road.

Why writing for the Devtome is still a viable opportunity

Not that I'm complaining or anything, but when I first joined I figured that very first round (which turned out to be round 24) would signify the most earnings I'd ever get. Instead, round 24 has turned out to be the worst with both round 25 and round 26 paying far better, and round 27 looking to be quite promising. Even writing as little as I have this month, round 27 is looking like it will pay out more than round 24 did for half the effort.

I assumed that such a great opportunity to earn online would be snatched up in no time, that every round I'd be competing against thousands of other writers churning out as much content as possible and that earnings would amount to around a dollar per thousand words.

That has not been the case. Four months later I'm still earning quite nicely. Even with the dropping price of DVC writing for the Devtome is the only place I know about where it's possible to earn an entire Bitcoin in one month's time, and often much more than that.

Part of it is that the Devtome administrators have been quite vigilant about purging junk. Some people got paid for garbage content in round 24, but that is far less likely to happen now. Another part of it is that writers are not as motivated since the price of Devcoins is so low. A third reason is that the word simply hasn't gotten out, and maybe getting paid in a cryptocurrency is just complicated enough to cause most writers to simply move on.

Regardless of the reasons, I couldn't be happier for this opportunity. I just need to continue writing consistently.

All those little earnings adding up

Between BitVisitor, CoinAd and all the faucets (actually just a few of them–I don't have time to hit them all), I can easily earn up to one thousandth of a Bitcoin a day. That doesn't sound like much (pennies), but added up over many days, plus earning compound interest or being put towards good dividend earning assets, it really does add up.

I don't have a solid understanding of why people are willing to pay me so frequently to go to their website nor exactly how one makes it running a faucet. But I am happy to take advantage of the opportunity to pocket another tiny amount of Bitcoin. Each tiny amount added to my CoinLenders account means an additional few satoshis in interest a day. Those are satoshis I don't have to enter a Captcha to get.

The good news in all of this is that if someone like me can get noticeably wealthier just by hanging out in the world of cryptocoins then it must be a very prosperous world indeed, full of low hanging fruit that is easy to pick. I think a key part for me has been that I'm willing to work for small rewards and then put those rewards to work for me, and the Bitcoin economy gives me some great options.

Devtome Writers


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