An open letter to Cryptocurrency fans, that is not investment advice. Please speak to your parents before you plop down your hard won lunch money on crypto.
Where there is smoke there is Iota?
For the crypto-enthusiast Iota is nothing new. It’s another cryptocurrency, albeit, one with great new tech, we are advised. Some call it the Bitcoin Killer. A new type of coin altogether, with a blockchain and a “tangle” and a new way of reaching consensus — to validate transactions. It’ll reach a ten billion market cap in no time, some say.
I’m no developer. Not a programmer. I knew a little Basic and Fortran in the deep dark past. But I have spent many man-hour-years using the various crpytocurrency wallets, hardware miners, exchanges, services and so on. I’ve learned a lot, from losing a lot and gaining a little. I tried to keep up with all the news, ICO’s, premine scams, discussions and government blow back.
So, as a layman, which I think many a crpyto-enthusiast is or was or will be, I like to give my two cents and in the process make a few cents in ad money when you read this — and hopefully, as a noob, maybe save yourself a few bucks and harsh words from your wife when she asks you why you dumped all of her vacation cash into crypto. (Yep, you’re in trouble now.)
I used to get right in there with all the bloggers or Redditors — and I still do — and say how great this coin or that idea seemed to be. I had no intention of pumping, but if I felt good about the coin, I’d say it. If I felt bad, I’d sell, then say it — nicely at first. To hint at others that maybe this coin was not so great, and here’s why. If I read about a particular coin, saw that its website was clunky, dead, had a lot of spelling errors (with some exceptions here), looked cheesy, I’d not even invest.
Another thing is the Bitcointalk.org page. If the coin’s page was well thought out, clean, understandable, with a community of serious people, so much the better. If it’s disorganized, errors are abundant or if the developer’s comments are abrasive, over the top and ridiculous, then I ditched the coin. And yes I know that many great minds are jerks on the outside. If so, then they’d best get a partner to smooth out the people wrinkles. That goes for broad based appeals to the general public and also getting the German government, for example, on board. In a recent Iota video, such a process was discussed. Grants from Uncle Germany? Doesn’t make me feel good. When you obtain grants, you gather strings.
And then, after the sales pitch, citing the great tangled tech, a very detailed Reddit Page, new tests are announced. Tests? Yes, I said tests. More tests. Why? Well, things need fixing. But don’t worry, if you can download a large file, a new wallet, if the repository is not too busy, install it and follow basic instructions (not easily located) you will be just fine. Why might you need to reinstall a wallet? Because of the upgrades. They are making things better for you, of course. They are going to have the machines talk to each other and probably take over the world. Not really. It’s just to speed things up, like for paying automobile tolls in Germany. I guess they don’t have Sunpass.
So, you realized you have the Iota web wallet, during these tests. Well, you made a mistake. You need that new download. So you download, follow the instructions, thinking what a bunch of amateurs these Iota people are, all the while. You install a basic new wallet, pull over your funds from your old “seed” thingy, get all sorted out, get your new seed, stash it in a safe place, bitch to yourself how long it is, the lengths (literally) you will go to secure your crypto, feel good about it, how smart your are, then the fan gets hit hard — if you are a US citizen.
Bitfinex, the only major exchange offering Iota trading has decided that Americans are too risky. Sounds like baloney, but they allegedly don’t want the heat. You read the Reddits. Read between the lines. All is well they say. Others say get the hell out of there. Oh crap, you think. I just got my stupid wallet fixed and now this?
So, you think about it for a day. Watch as Iota continues up, tops a few times and starts to drift. You think, well, you can stick it out or do some more due diligence. So you waste more time. Listen to German “Iota” youth talk about how they are now reformed gamers. Oh great, roof top talks with guys who sold game mods on the sly. Okay, okay — it’s fine. Could be another Bill Gates. But not likely. I don’t think Bill was gamer as much as a thinker.
You reminisce about the old days then, last month, when you finally decided to buy some Iota. All that reading. All those profanity laced audio broadcasts you listened to from the Iota guy. That’s what I call him, the Iota guy. But I think he’s just a product of the times. Profanity is common now. It’s becoming meaningless. It has no impact, which is what I think they are shooting for. I can’t imagine people investing in Microsoft ™ if Bill Gates walked out on stage and let go a stream of mouth puke. But that’s how it flies at Iota. Rough and tough. (Baloney.) More like bravado to take your eye of the money ball. The ball they want you to give them.
So, here I was, Iota in my wallet. I got rid of it. A little at first. Jetted it to Bitfinex. Traded it. Withdrew other coins I know aren’t so sloppy. Waited. It worked. I did the rest, slowly. Breaking it up in small chunks until I got down to some weird divisions, minuscule amounts of Iota’s in my wallet. I left them. I wanted to reach in my computer then and squeeze the little wallet, give it some human-to-app love, but what the hell.
I was out of Iota. Well, except for some parts of them. Some atomic units I sent to my cell phone as a test, which I am just too lazy to mess with now. Then I go back on Reddit, see all the community members, the sheep, singing the Iota song. I wish the herd luck, but for now, I’m almost Iota-less and I’m not staring into that Zombie Moon waiting for the rockets. I’m thinking more of a bomb at this point, but I’ve been wrong before.
Anyway, I feel better about being Iota poor.