At the beginning of the new year, amidst a quiet morning, I found myself rummaging through the digital cobwebs of my old crypto wallets. It was akin to flipping through a dusty photo album, each altcoin a snapshot of a different era in the ever-turbulent crypto universe. Among these digital relics, my thoughts turned to a piece of tech silently residing in my attic: a Helium antenna.
Helium is a project straight out of a tech utopian novel. It’s about constructing decentralized wireless infrastructure, a kind of people’s Verizon, if you will. But unlike Verizon, with its towering infrastructure monoliths, Helium takes a more grassroots approach. It uses hotspots hosted by individuals (like yours truly) to weave its network fabric. These hosts, in return, receive compensation in cryptocurrency.
For the past three years, through the bleak crypto winter, my Helium hotspot sat in my attic, humming a tune I had almost forgotten. As someone who had edged towards Bitcoin maximalism, casting a skeptical eye on all altcoins, I wasn’t expecting much.
But life has its ways of surprising you. When I checked my Helium wallet, there it was — over $1,000. This tidy sum not only reimbursed the initial $400 investment for the hotspot but also left a neat profit. Not a retirement fund by any means, but a pleasant surprise nonetheless.
Now, here’s where the plot thickens. Helium (HNT), which is trading around $6 at the time of this writing, had its heyday at over $50 in the last bull run. If — and yes, it’s a big ‘if’ — it hits those highs again, my modest $1k could balloon to over $8k. In my opinion, we are in the early stages of the next crypto bull run with plenty of upside.
During the crypto winter, the Helium team wasn’t just hibernating; they were busy at work, crafting something new — Helium Mobile a decentralized wireless network. Skeptical but intrigued, I decided to give it a try, bidding adieu to my decade-long relationship with Verizon Wireless.
One week into using Helium Mobile, I am pleasantly surprised. The service quality? Indistinguishable from Verizon. The cost? A fraction, at $20 per month. And here’s the kicker — I’ve already earned $26 in MOBILE tokens, enough to cover the monthly cost and then some. If this trend continues, I could be making over $80 a month just by using my phone!
This experience feels almost too good to be true. For the longest time, I was a skeptic of all altcoins. However, Helium Mobile seems to be a worthy use case of the blockchain.
So, for those on the fence, why not give Helium Mobile a whirl? You might just find yourself pleasantly surprised, just as I was with this forgotten antenna in my attic. Who knows? It could be the beginning of a new chapter in your digital adventure.
Earning Bitcoin on Autopilot: A Tale of the Fold App
There’s an old saying: “Money makes money.” Today, this adage finds its truest embodiment in a Bitcoin rewards debit card in my wallet and the Fold App on my phone. This tale is about playing the game smart, not hard.
Just a couple months ago, the rewards balance in my Fold App sat at $10,000, a respectable sum garnered through the simple act of buying the mundane — groceries, gas, the occasional fast-food run. But here’s where the plot thickens: in the last 2 months, that figure has swelled to an astonishing $16,000. That’s a $6,000 increase, and no, I haven’t robbed a bank or unearthed a hidden treasure. The secret? Earning Bitcoin rewards on every swipes.
Here’s the kicker: The Fold App isn’t just about earning Bitcoin on purchases. It’s about compounding those earnings. Every coffee, every tank of gas, every time I swiped, I wasn’t just earning Bitcoin. I was increasing my stake in an asset that, much like fine art, has the potential to appreciate over time.
Think of it as a modern twist on compound interest, a concept well-loved by the financial wizards of yore. But instead of interest earned on interest in a bank account, it’s Bitcoin earned on Bitcoin through everyday spending. With each purchase, I was essentially planting a financial seed, one that could grow in the fertile soil of the Bitcoin market.
Of course, the Bitcoin market, much like the housing market of the mid-2000s, is volatile. There are highs and lows, peaks and troughs. But that’s where the human element comes in — the ability to weather the storm, to hold firm in the face of fluctuating fortunes.
In these past few months, I’ve watched my account, and with it, my excitement, grow. It’s been a journey of understanding the nuances of the market, of learning to use a financial tool not just as a means to spend, but as a way to earn. And while the future of Bitcoin will likely remain volatile (with tremendous upside, in my opinion), one thing is certain: the Fold App has turned my everyday purchases into a thrilling financial adventure.
For those looking to add excitement to their financial portfolio, consider signing up for the Fold Bitcoin rewards card. If you use my referral link to sign up, Fold will gift you a generous 20,000 Satoshi (approx. $9 in Bitcoin as of this writing) to kickstart your journey. Let each swipe be a step on an exhilarating path to potential prosperity. Just remember, in the world of Bitcoin, the key is to get involved, stay informed, and enjoy the ride.
Investigating how compounding concepts apply to Bitcoin.
In today’s financial landscape, the traditional concept of compound interest is undergoing a significant transformation, especially with the advent of digital currencies like Bitcoin. As a personal finance enthusiast, I’ve been closely observing and participating in these changes. In this post, I will delve into how the principles of compound interest apply to Bitcoin, offering insights into the new possibilities and challenges in this rapidly evolving domain.
Understanding Compound Interest
First, let’s refresh our understanding of compound interest. It’s the process where the interest earned on an investment is reinvested, and this new total amount earns further interest. This cycle leads to exponential growth over time, famously described by Albert Einstein as the “eighth wonder of the world.” Traditionally, this concept has been a cornerstone of savings accounts, bonds, and other fixed-income investments.
Bitcoin: A New Playground for Compounding
Bitcoin, the first and most well-known cryptocurrency, presents a new avenue for applying the principles of compound interest, but with a twist. Unlike traditional savings accounts, Bitcoin itself does not generate interest. Its value does not increase through interest payments but through market demand and adoption. However, there are ways to leverage Bitcoin in a manner akin to compound interest.
Staking and Lending
One method is through crypto staking or lending. Some platforms allow you to ‘lend’ your Bitcoin to others, earning interest on it. This interest can then be reinvested to buy more Bitcoin, creating a compound effect. However, this approach involves risk, as the safety of your principal depends on the platform’s reliability and market conditions.
Another approach is a reinvestment strategy. For example, if you’re trading or mining Bitcoin, you can reinvest the profits back into Bitcoin, effectively compounding your holdings. This strategy depends heavily on market timing and requires a more active management approach.
Risks and Rewards
The digital currency landscape offers higher potential returns than traditional compounding avenues, but it comes with heightened risk. Bitcoin’s value can be volatile, and the regulatory environment is still evolving. Thus, any strategy involving Bitcoin must be approached with caution and a thorough understanding of the risks involved.
The Future of Compounding in the Digital Age
As we move further into the digital age, the concept of compound interest is likely to evolve. With the emergence of decentralized finance (DeFi), new ways of earning and compounding returns on digital assets are being developed. These include yield farming and liquidity mining, which, while complex and risky, present new frontiers for compound growth.
While Bitcoin offers innovative ways to potentially achieve compound growth, it’s crucial to approach these opportunities with a clear understanding of the risks and an informed strategy. As always, diversification and thorough research are key to navigating this dynamic and exciting field. The digital age has transformed many aspects of our lives, and the realm of personal finance and investment is no exception. Let’s embrace these changes wisely and cautiously.
The Rational Investor was a game-changer for me, unlocking the secrets of managing money like a Wall Street pro.
Early Trading Mistakes
In early 2019, I joined The Rational Investor (“TRI”) community, a decision that marked the turning point in my tumultuous trading journey. Before that pivotal moment, I was just another speculator caught in the frenzied crypto bull market of 2017. My adventure began in the summer of 2017 when Bitcoin was a mere $3,000. Enthralled by the digital gold rush, I rode the Bitcoin rollercoaster to its then-peak of $20,000, only to plummet back down to where I had started without taking any profits. And it wasn’t just Bitcoin; numerous altcoins – which I now refer to as ‘shitcoins’—filled my portfolio showing zero returns. My buying strategy was unsophisticated, often making purchases at the top and watching their value dissolve to nothing.
The madness didn’t end there. Once, a friend’s hot tip on a new crypto token, XRP, had me buying in $0.20. As its value skyrocketed to $3, greed took the driver’s seat; I failed to cash out, and the subsequent fall back down was a harsh lesson in profit-taking—or the lack thereof. Like many novices, I was struck with the affliction of greed, unable to recognize the right time to exit.
My initial foray into trading more than a couple hundred bucks actually began a decade earlier, in 2008. At a trading conference, I won a book on futures trading, and fueled by enthusiasm, I immersed myself in its content. I eagerly funded my trading account with $10,000. Yet, my lack of experience led to a gradual drain to nothingness—I had blown up my account. But back then, being single and holding a well-paying job, I quickly replenished the funds. Inspired by reading Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, which details the life of legendary trader Jesse Livermore, I attempted to emulate his strategy of adding size to winning trades. This approach swelled my $10k to about $160k, only for me to witness a $60k loss in just two days. Devastated, I stepped back from active trading, recognizing a critical gap in my skill set. I was only successful if the market was going up and not truly how to trade sideways or down markets.
Turning Point with The Rational Investor
Fast forwarding back to my rollercoaster in crypto, I subsequently and thankfully came across Davinci Jeremie, an early Bitcoin advocate who, back in 2012, encouraged everyone to buy at least one Bitcoin when it was only a few dollars. While I missed his advice in 2012, I thankfully took his advice in 2019 and sought education at The Rational Investor, where Davinci had honed his trading acumen.
Despite my initial hesitation, I purchased the level 1 course; this proved to be the best investment in my trading education. At the time I purchased the level 1 course, the cost was $1,000 (prices have since marginally increased and remain a great value) and I can readily attest I have made more than $100,000 in trading profits (100x return on the cost of tuition) from my lessons at TRI. This education has been invaluable. I wish I had come across The Rational Investor’s trading courses years earlier versus wasting $100k to attend a top 10 business school where I only learned financial theory. The Rational Investor reshaped my approach to trading from a casual hobby to running my portfolio like a trading business. They taught me about proper position sizing and entry/ exit strategies tailored to my personal trading style.
The beauty of TRI is that while all students take the same curriculum, we are individually attracted to different trading approaches, and we come out with our individual styles and business plans. Over these years I have grown as a trader, shifting from mostly trading crypto to buying options, to now primarily selling options.
I have remained adaptive, ensuring my strategies stay resilient through the ever-evolving financial landscapes. This adaptability and disciplined approach have been constant, no matter how my trading preferences have changed over time.
The impact of this education extends beyond my trading screen. The skills and confidence I gained allowed me to secure a home for my family and provided me with the financial security to know that even in the event of a job loss, I have the means to support my loved ones through trading. Further, the Rational Investor community, ever so supportive, is always there, ready to provide insight and advice, through its trading rooms.
The money spent on The Rational Investor’s courses is, unequivocally, the best money I have ever spent on trading education. It remains one of the best-kept secrets in the world of investing. My journey from financial ruin to a place of stability and growth has not only changed my portfolio; it has changed my life. Happy trading.
In July 2021, I embarked on an ambitious Bitcoin mining journey by pre-ordering my first Bitcoin miner. Fast forward to today, and I’ve invested a whopping $161,000 into purchasing 28 Bitcoin miners, averaging around $5,700 per machine. At the time, it felt like a shrewd move. Bitcoin was hovering around $33,000, not too dissimilar to its current trading range. I was optimistic, believing it had ample runway before it soared to its peak of $69,000 four months later, only to retrace its steps back down.
Best Decision at the Time
Reflecting on this decision, it’s still a toss-up whether it was a stroke of genius or a financial misstep. Since then, I’ve managed to mine about 3 Bitcoin. In contrast, I could have taken a more straightforward route by simply purchasing 5 Bitcoin on an exchange like Coinbase and tucking them away in cold storage.
Had I waited a couple years to buy miners, today’s landscape would allow me to acquire even more potent, next-generation miners, such as the S19k Pro 120 TH for $2,350 each. For the same amount I spent initially, I could amass 68 of these powerful beasts. In comparison, my current fleet ranges from machines with 90 to 110 TH of power. Averaging it out, each of my machines delivers approximately 97 TH or about 19% less power than some newer machines. With newer 120 – 141 TH machines in the market and the impending arrival of 200 TH behemoths (double my mining power), I’m in a race against time to mine as much Bitcoin as possible before my hardware becomes antiquated.
On the surface, this might look like a bad trade. Yet, I remain convinced that over time, I will have mined more Bitcoin than if I had opted to purchase 5 spot Bitcoin. However, this is not without its complexities and uncertainties.
I encountered several unforeseen hurdles along the way. Initially, I harbored aspirations of mining from the comfort of my home and later transitioning to an industrial facility. After upgrading my garage’s electrical capacity, I hit a roadblock – my utility provider refused to lower the cost of power, which stood at roughly $0.14 per kWh. This led me to squander about $24,000 between a fruitless garage build-out and equipment to hold the miners, eventually forcing me to relocate those 8 miners to a host charging $0.08 per kWh (42% less).
Another unexpected twist came from Compass Mining. After purchasing 20 miners, I encountered persistent delays in getting the miners operational. Currently, only 13 out of my 20 miners are up and running with them. With each passing day, I miss out on mining fresh new Bitcoin. I learned a valuable lesson to not place too many miners with any single hosting provider.
Benefits of Bitcoin Mining
Despite these unforeseen challenges, I still stand by my recommendation to start mining Bitcoin ASAP. Here’s why:
Inflation Concerns: If you’re worried about rampant inflation, Bitcoin is a must-have asset due to its asymmetric upside potential. Case in point, a Big Mac value meal now costs a staggering $18 in certain locations. As Bitcoin mining difficulty increases each day, it becomes tougher to mine, and the rewards diminish. So, it’s imperative to start as soon as possible, especially with only 9% of Bitcoin left to be mined.
Bitcoin Halving: Each day brings us closer to the next Bitcoin halving. Currently, around 6.25 Bitcoin are mined approximately every 10 minutes. Around April 2024, this reward will halve, and we’ll see only 3.125 Bitcoin mined approximately every 10 minutes. The scarcity factor drove my urgency to start mining ASAP.
Tax Benefits: Much like buying investment real estate, there’s depreciation value in purchasing Bitcoin miners. For residential rental properties, you can depreciate the asset over 27.5 years. For Bitcoin miners, it’s over 1-5 years depending on the accounting method. In my case, we are depreciating ~$32k per annum, which helps to offset my taxable income and contributed to my tax refund for the 2022 tax season. If I had simply bought spot Bitcoin, I would’ve missed out on these tax benefits. Additionally, operating a small mining business allows for deductions on certain expenses like Internet and electricity costs (consult your CPA; not tax advice).
Enhanced Returns: As of today, assuming a 2% difficulty adjustment, I’m turning a profit of approximately $1,974 per month, or $94 per month for each of the 21 miners that are online. This is a snapshot, subject to change based on various factors like difficulty adjustment, Bitcoin’s price (~$35,000 at the time of writing), electricity costs, and of course your miner being online.
This equates to an approximate 15% return on my $161,000 investment per annum. If all 28 miners were online, that’d be around $31.6k in profit annually, or a 20% return – far outstripping the typical 10% return in the stock market. Plus, there’s the added perk of not dealing with the headaches of property management, like fixing toilets.
My strategy is to continue mining through the next halving and up to the subsequent peak, which some predict could surpass $100,000 per Bitcoin. Timing the market is notoriously tricky, but my plan is to sell most of my older miners when demand spikes and supply tightens. Currently, supply is abundant, so if you’re considering mining, now’s the time to start. My goal is to offload these miners close to my purchase price, if feasible. By then, I hope to have mined significantly more than the initial 5 Bitcoins I invested in these miners.
So, to fellow enthusiasts and prospective miners, happy mining, and may your journey be as enriching and educational as mine has been.
Ever heard of the Fold App? I’m here to share my journey of how I use this ingenious application (and debit card) to stack Bitcoin with my everyday purchases, turning pennies into thousands. In fact, I’ve earned a whopping $10,000 just by using this app for my regular shopping!
On my journey to financial independence, I’m always on the lookout for ways to earn, save, and grow my investments. Fold is an integral part of my financial freedom strategy.
Getting Started with Fold App
If you’re new to Fold, signing up is a breeze. If you use my referral link to sign up, Fold will gift you a generous 20,000 Satoshis (0.0002 Bitcoin) to kickstart your journey. That’s already a win in my book!
Now, while there’s a free version of Fold available, I personally vouch for Spin+, which costs $100 annually to maximize returns. Why? Well, in the span of roughly 46 months since I jumped on the Fold bandwagon, I’ve managed to earn approximately 36.4 million Satoshis. That equates to ~$10,000 given the current price of Bitcoin. Try out this handy Bitcoin Calculator to check the worth of your Bitcoin.
The Future of Bitcoin and Fold
Now, I’m no fortune teller; however, given past trends, I firmly believe during the next Bitcoin bull run, we will see Bitcoin test its previous all-time high of $69,000. Click here to read more. If that happens, the Bitcoin I’ve earned from Fold could easily surpass $25,000. Imagine that – my Fold rewards paying for a significant portion of my past purchases!
How I Use Fold: The Amazon Example
A significant chunk of my Fold rewards comes from Amazon purchases. Who doesn’t shop on Amazon? From cleaning supplies and toys for my kids to groceries from Whole Foods, I’ve been racking up the rewards.
Here’s a quick rundown of a recent $25 gift card purchase for Amazon:
Step 1: First things first, download the Fold app. And then purchase the Amazon gift card via Fold. Upon this purchase, I earn 2.5% back in Bitcoin. In addition, each $10 purchase results in a spin on the Wheel for chances to earn even more Bitcoin, including a full Bitcoin!
For my $25 gift card purchase, I instantly earned 2.5% back (2,114 Satoshi or roughly $0.60 depending on Bitcoin’s price). Plus, I received some spins on the Wheel.
Step 2: Copy the claim code into the Amazon app. Or select the Redeem Now button for faster processing. It’s that simple.
Step 3: Go back to the Fold app and spin the Wheel to earn some additional Bitcoin and for a chance to win a full Bitcoin.
Other Benefits of Fold App
We have also started paying our hefty mortgage using using our Fold card through PayPal. There are a couple of hoops to jump through, but the rewards make it entirely worthwhile. By using this PayPal hack, I get 0.5% back for various bills like mortgage, rent, auto loans, student loans, phone, and utilities, etc. Just to give you an idea: for my monthly mortgage payment of $5,423, I earn back approximately $25 (or 89,847 Satoshis) plus a staggering 542 spins. That’s 542 chances to win more Bitcoin!
Step 1: First pay your utilities using PayPal (which is linked to the Fold debt card) and earn 0.5% back in Bitcoin.
Step 2: Head over to the Fold app, and spin the Wheel for 542 chances to stack more Bitcoin!
Boosting My Earnings with Fold
Fold recently introduced Category Boosts, which give additional percentages back on certain categories. Currently, I get 2% back on rideshares & taxis and 1.5% on restaurant purchases.
And then there are Merchant Boosts. These are massive percentage kickbacks from popular stores without needing to buy a gift card. For instance, I enjoy 15% back from Disney+ and ESPN+, 3.8% from Starbucks, and even 2.3% back from the likes of Hulu and Netflix.
The best part is I can combine both Merchant and Category Boosts. So if I get 3.8% back at Starbucks and an additional 1.5% for it being a restaurant purchase, I’m looking at a 5.3% total reward on just one Starbucks buy!
Securing My Earnings
Lastly, each month, I transfer the Bitcoin I’ve earned from Fold into my cold wallet. It’s a simple step, but it ensures my earnings are safe and secure.
If you’re not on Fold yet, I’d say it’s about time. Sign up. It’s been a transformative tool in my financial freedom journey, turning everyday purchases into sizable rewards. Why leave money on the table when you can fold it into your wallet?
My wife and I got married in the summer of 2016, right around the time I became debt-free (except for my mortgage). I had committed to not speculating in the markets until all non-mortgage debt was zeroed out. The challenge was my then-fiancé was entering our vows with six figures of student loans from business school. We both had good incomes and diligently paid them off by the following summer.
I immediately opened an account at Coinbase and deposited $1,000. At the time, you could only buy 3 tokens – Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Litecoin, of which I purchased 1/3 of each. At this time, Bitcoin was trading around $3,500, Ethereum around $300 and Litecoin around $46.
I sometimes look back with a tinge of regret for not investing earlier or not investing more when we got married. If I had simultaneously invested while paying down my wife’s student loans when we got married, we could have purchased Bitcoin around $600, Ethereum around $15, and Litecoin around $4.
I learned a valuable lesson: You can both pay down debt and invest, finding a balance that maximizes your financial growth. There is a sweet spot that allows you to minimize your debt and yet still allow you to invest. I have come to appreciate the approach suggested by the Financial Samurai in determining the optimal ratio of debt paydown to investments. Effectively, allocate 10x the interest rate to paying down the debt, and invest the remaining amount.
In our case, my wife’s loans were with First Republic Bank where she had a 2% interest rate. Based on the 10x rule, Financial Samurai suggests we allocate 20% (2% rate x 10) of the monies to paydown our debt and invest the remaining 80%. Assuming we had paid down her loans by $20,000 and invested $80,000 in crypto, we could have been crypto-millionaires.
The good news is we are still early because: 1) Bitcoin has more room to run 2) Bitcoin is the ultimate hedge against inflation, and 3) institutional adoption is growing. Let us explore these points further.
Asymmetric Upside Potential
Bitcoin still offers substantial asymmetric upside and is trading well below all-time highs. Bitcoin under $30,000 is on sale with its best days yet to come (as you will see below). Further, the amount of Bitcoins produced continues to get more scarce with the next halving expected around May 2024. (The Bitcoin halving is an event that occurs approximately every four years, where the reward for mining new Bitcoin is halved, effectively reducing the rate at which new Bitcoins are created and thereby limiting the supply.) There is an old saying, “history doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes”.
As can be seen in the chart below, after each halving, Bitcoin typically has a nice appreciation in price. The last halving was in May 2020.
So far, we have yet to sell any Bitcoin; however, if price appreciates after the next halving, we will take some chips off the table and move them into our options premium selling account. Selling Bitcoin may not be a tax efficient move; however, selling options has proved a relatively predictable income stream.
A Hedge Against Inflation
In a world where fiat currencies like the U.S. dollar are continuously devalued due to inflation, Bitcoin stands out as a hedge. Its fixed supply ensures that it does not suffer from the inflationary pressures that plague traditional currencies, making it an attractive option for long-term wealth preservation.
Looking at the Big Mac Index, in December 2022, the average price of a Big Mac sandwich was $5.15, whereas, just ten years ago (December 2012), the average price was $3.96. A 23% decrease in the purchasing power of the dollar in just 10 years.
Bitcoin, with its fixed supply, serves as a hedge against inflation by preserving value in a way that traditional fiat currencies, which can be printed at will, cannot.
Increasing Acceptance and Utility
Initially, Bitcoin was just a darling among some early retail investors. Now, it is gaining acceptance among institutions and even countries. The United States is edging closer to its long-awaited regulations of cryptocurrencies. And the SEC is expected to finally approve a spot Bitcoin ETF by the likes of BlackRock, which will further bring in additional institutional investors.
A few years ago, Fidelity suggested investors should allocate 5% of their investment portfolio to Bitcoin. This recommendation signifies a growing acknowledgment of Bitcoin’s role as an emerging asset class, one that investors can no longer afford to ignore. Our personal allocation to Bitcoin or Bitcoin miners is more than 20% of our net worth. As Bitcoin gains more acceptance, we expect this ratio to rise.
How We Implement Bitcoin in Our Investing Strategy
We continue to dollar cost average into Bitcoin as long as the price stays below $30,000, which I consider to be buying on discount. (We also mine Bitcoin; to be discussed in a separate post.)
We setup automatic buys on the Strike app. You can purchase as little as $1 per day to get your feet wet.
Our favorite way to naturally stack Bitcoin with everyday purchases is on our Fold debit card. We are heavy buyers of Amazon/ Whole Foods where we get 2.5% back. In the less than 4 years since joining, we have gotten back ~$10,000 in Bitcoin rewards.
Whether you view it as a high-risk, high-reward investment, a hedge against inflation, or the future of money, Bitcoin offers a multitude of benefits that make it an asset worth considering for your investment portfolio. The journey into the world of Bitcoin is filled with possibilities, and there is no better time to start exploring them than now.