“Why hasn’t my money come yet?”
I kept checking my Paypal account.
It never came.
I had fallen for one of the oldest crypto scams in the book: “Send me your crypto and I’ll convert it into cash… fast! ”
It was March 2017. Ether was at all-time high of around $40.
“This is absolutely insane!” I thought. “How could something that has been hacked be going up in price like this?”
I was still conflating the June 17th hack of The DAO as a hack of the whole Ethereum blockchain.
Can you blame me though? I knew nothing about cryptocurrencies or blockchain at the time. I gave a friend of mine $200 the March before and he set me up with a wallet with 14 Ether in it and he told me to buy some DAO because it was "going to be huge." I did of course… through him... because I knew nothing about Ether crowdfunding, private keys or even what a “decentralized” organization was.
I bought 1,019 DAO with 4 of my Ether and lost all of my “investment” in the hack. Well, not all of it. A few months later some “white-hat” hackers recovered some of the Ether from the hacked pool and sent 1.12 Ether back to my wallet.
I brushed it off as a the price you had to pay to invest in something “risky.”
That wasn’t really true though. As Robert Kiyosaki says, the investment was risky because I was “risky.” I had no idea what I was doing.
Which is why a few months later I trusted a cursory Google search to find me a quick way to convert my remaining 10 Ether to cash. I finally found what I thought was a legitimate exchange. It had a polished website and was based out of the UK. I didn’t tell my friend and I sent my Ether to the “conversion” address on the website.
The money never came to my Paypal account even though I had entered everything correctly.
This time I was mad.
“That was worth $400!”
I was so embarrassed that I had been taken.
I got even more upset as time went on and I watched the price of Ether climb way past $40.
I felt like the dumbest person alive.
I kept sweeping my shameful feelings of having been “played” under the rug for the next couple of months, until finally, I confronted those feelings around May. By that time, I had told my friend what I had done and how stupid I had been. He couldn’t help me much, of course.
He did tell me he was “mining” though.
What to do?
I was so impassioned by my feelings at the time, that now I recognize I could have turned into one of those crypto hating trolls that you see online if I had chosen to completely reject crypto because of those two bad experiences.
I had done some more study and I saw that cryptocurrencies were not going away anytime soon...
I decide to take those feelings of anger that I had from being scammed out of my Ether, and turn them into a solid determination to learn everything about crypto and become, if not an expert, a least an informed user.
I read and studied and watched Youtube videos for the next few weeks and in the middle of June that same year (2017), I bought six Nvidia GTX 1070 Windforce OC graphics cards and built myself a miner.
It took me about a week to get it all up and running and when I finally did, it worked beautifully.
Those cards were (and still are) beasts at mining.
I mined several Ether before the price run up in 2017, and by December of 2017, I felt so relieved to have chosen to not completely reject crypto earlier that year.
I have since gone on to invest a lot into crypto and have made quite a bit from mining and airdrops and passive income cryptos (an article for another day). I’ve made and lost money on cheap hot alts, I watched the ICO market come and go, I enjoyed the Bitconnect memes, I’ve played crypto games and I have gotten involved in a lot of online crypto communities.
Sometimes I still think about what if my decision had been different and I had turned into a Buffet-like crypto-rejectionist…
… and for some odd reason, that thought scares me now more than sending some Ether to an unverified address.
Learn from and enjoy the journey,
Coffee w/ Crypto