How My Love Affair with Bitcoin Began

My fascination with cryptocurrency actually began in 2015.  If you have read my book, Deconditioning Ground, you may remember Carlos, the mysterious man from Mexico, that stayed at my house for a month in 2014.  Carlos actually did come back into town in August of 2015.  He paid for his room with silver and left me a bitcoin tip.

The tip he left me was 0.005 bitcoin, which was about 8 cents back then, but today it is worth around $12.  In two years, the value has gone up 150 times.  I should have had him pay for the room with bitcoin not silver.  I think he paid with 2 ounces of silver for two nights.  The silver was worth about $32 then and still $32 now. In comparison, the bitcoin would be worth $4,800.  Just imagine…

I was pretty trusting of him, since I let him install a program on my computer which actually has a complete copy of the block chain.  I remember being slightly suspicious, since when it was open it really slowed down my computer.  (What was it doing?)

Now I know that when I have the program open, it updates the block chain.  I only do this once a month, since it takes about 3 hours for the missing four weeks to download and uses more data than I am allotted with my rural internet.  In the good-ole-days, people could actually mine for bitcoins on their home computers.  Now, specialty equipment has made at home regular prospecting obsolete.

You might be wondering what a block chain is, or even what a Bitcoin.  First off, I am not really sure if I even know.  Somehow, people are making money and other people, like me, are buying it with US dollars.  A recent article would call me a “dumb money” investor.  But I’ll go ahead and tell you my lay-women’s understanding of it all.

Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency.  Basically, it is some sort of computer algorithm program that people all over the world can download.  I think the one on my computer is just like the ones all over the world.  This is what is required for mining bitcoin.

When people “mine” cryptocurrency, it isn’t like digging around in the code looking for the money.  It is more like as you are building the next link in the block chain, bitcoins fall out.  Everyone running the program is mining, or building the next link in the chain, but only operations that go the fastest can get the coin.

The other thing about cryptocurrencies is that the block chain also records exchanges.  When I sell or buy bitcoin the transaction becomes imbedded into the code of the block chain.  If you want your transfer verified fast, you can pay a small fee and that goes to the people that are mining.  This gives them an incentive to record your transaction first in the new link in the chain they are working on.

Earlier in the year, I tried to purchase something with bitcoin and didn’t want to pay the fee for instant verification.  The bitcoin I sent to the vendor took 72 hours to be incorporated in the block chain, and by then the vendor had cancelled the transaction.  Once it was verified, the vendor sent the coin back to me.  No loss, but I get a little jittery with cyber transactions like that.  However, I can imagine gaining greater comfort as I get accustomed to the process.

Dorena Does Day Trading

It is 7:30am and I am sitting here watching the ticker for the cybercurrency, Ethereum, on one of my three monitors.  It used to be that I got up, meditated, had breakfast, and then moved outside for my morning practice of Chi Gung and Vajra Dance.

But, that all changed last week when I decided a week ago to become a day trader.  I still do my practice, but I intermingle my routine with monitoring the real-time sales and buys.

My success?  Well, for the week I am at a $1619 loss in terms of money.  However, I am intrigued by my emotional attachment to outcomes.  I think my gains in this area outweigh any possible monetary loss.

This all started mid May when I woke up one day and decided to check my bitcoin and ethereum values.  It been a couple of months since I’d last looked.  When I logged into my Coinbase Account, I could only just stare.

“So, this is what it feels like to become an instant millionaire,” I thought.  The small investment my partner and I had made the prior year had initially gone down and then just stayed flat.  Now the value was 10 times the purchase price.  Wow!

I wasn’t a millionaire, by far, but the change in value was so dramatic.  I could feel something shift inside me.  I had recently made investments in myself, and saw this as a direct payoff for the money I spent on a business coaching program.

I called my partner to the computer.  I said to him, “Should we sell?”  Ethereum was at $175 that day, but I could imagine it increasing like Bitcoin to over $2000 dollars.  I went to the sell page and sat their contemplating.  Then he bent over me and put the max we were allowed to sell in the cart and hit the sell button.  I gasped!  I turned to him in amazement and said, “You just pushed the button,” as if that was the easiest thing to do.  He seemed to do it without much deliberation.

His reply?

He simply said, “It is just numbers.”

I pondered the truth of it.  It was just numbers.  The source of my income is not Ethereum, or Bitcoin, or my work.  Still, I was attached to those numbers.

The next day the price had dropped $20 and I bought back what my partner had sold, making a modest sum of money.  This got me thinking about day trading, but it wasn’t till a month later that I tried…

Complaint Free World

I first heard about the “complaint free world” movement last month.  It was given as an example of how a good idea can take hold, get a little publicity, and spread like wildfire.  Then one of my clients mentioned she was doing the practice.  Every time she said a complaint she took a bracelet off one wrist and switched it to the other.  This morning a friend sent me a blog post on how he was doing the challenge as well.

The first time I heard about this challenge, I thought it was a great idea for other people.  However, I disregarded it for myself.  I didn’t think it was anything I needed at this point in my life.  My awareness of what I am doing is fairly developed, having worked on it for decades.  However, I tend to take notice when something passes by my attention three times.

The challenge is simply to not speak a complaint for a full 21 days.  You wear a bracelet as a reminder.  If you slip and complain, you move the bracelet to the other wrist and begin counting your days over.  The idea originated with a Will Bowen, a Unity minister, who noticed a lot of complaining around him and offered this idea as a solution for people to break the habit.  He went on to write a book which you can get on Amazon:

I began the challenge today. I’m using the bracelet in the  picture – starting on my left wrist.  Lets see how long before it moves.

The first question for me was, “What is a complaint?”  If I go outside and say, “It is cold” am I complaining or am I making an observation.  I think my strict definition will be that an observation without a judgement word will be considered a non-complaint.  For instant, “It is cold” or “I am cold” will pass, but “It is miserable out” or “It is too cold” will be a break.  The question of tone and intent comes into play.  “I am cold” with a whine would be a complaint.  However, I am not going to count that as a break, although I sense I won’t be saying anything with a whine for the next 21 days.

Gossiping is also out.  This used to be an issue for me, and I managed to wipe it out years ago.  Again, there is some gray area with this.  Any kind of talk about someone else, I question as gossip.  However, sometimes, such as in giving a recommendation to someone about another practitioner, it seems appropriate to provide my observations about the person’s style, etc.

The critical thing for me is to be aware of what I am saying and what it creates for me and the people around me.  I am looking forward to closing watching my thoughts and words for the next 21 days.  Would you join me?  I look forward to your comments below.