But it was not really profitable.
Cryptos have been around for a while now, if the movie Frequency was filmed today the line would go I want you to remember this word, okay? Bitcoin. Everyone wishes they had known better and had invested just a little bit on the early days. Well, who knows, maybe if you start paying attention to markets now you will be able to predict the next get very rich, very fast opportunity. Just don’t expect it.
It’s just like when you see a very successful person and you wished it was you. Maybe you see a famous actor or actress, you imagine yourself being them but, do you really put yourself on their shoes? Promotions, journalists, being on the spotlight all the time, being judged for everything you do… Or athletes, would you have the dedication to train and make all corresponding sacrifices? And it gets worse, because on any field only a few gifted have great success. Where do I want to get? Like many other things, invest in cryptos if it makes sense to you and you are happy with it, and only as much as you are ok with losing completely. If you finally succeed, that’s a bonus!
Anyway, hey, I am no expert in cryptocurrencies, investments or blockchain. Until yesterday, I did not have the vaguest intuition about what an NFT is. The previous tip might be stupid, I don’t know, but it is safer than what you hear these days. “Not investing on cryptos? You stupid fool! But don’t worry, I wont take advantage of your stupidity. Just gimme your money and I’ll show you the way”.
I bought cryptos because I was curious, I wanted to learn, and I wanted to have fun. Those things don’t usually come free. So I had my mindset at spending money. I started by signing in at Coinbase, it takes a while until your account is fully operative since they have to verify your identity, at least here in Spain. Coinbase is convenient, you don’t really have to care about much, just your user name and password. In the future I might try other types of wallets, where you have to store your data yourself.
I bought about 4xMcMenu worth of cryptos, hope that gives you a sense of how much I spent. To be specific, I bought Numeraries, which is the cryptocurrency behind Numerai. Simply put, this web site invites you to participate in data science tournaments revolving around stock market prediction. You can stake Numeraries on your predictions and make benefits if they perform well. Again, I wasn’t after the benefits, but after having some fun. That is why it was ok for me to pay 6% on fees for my Numeraries. For a second there, I was tempted to spend more money and scale down the fees, but I did not.
Buying cryptos felt a little bit scary. Maybe because I don’t really know how it works. I trust my bank, but I don’t trust these apps that much. And things got a little worse. In order to stake, you have to move you Numeraries to your numerai wallet. Ok. The thing is you just need the direction of your wallet, which is a very long number. If you get it wrong, your money is lost. Of course, you can copy paste it, but …
Finally, moving the Numeraries to my numerai wallet was expensive. Don’t know much about it, I think the cost depends on how many operations are taking place on the network. At first, I was asked to pay 75% on fees. I was on a hurry to make my stakes, because it takes up to one week until they are effective, and I was on the limit between having to wait one day and having to wait one week. I ended up paying 30%, and I was mostly ok with that for now. Funny story, I felt in the trap of what I think it is a very poor UI design on the numerai web page.
Me, as a user, see only one confirm button, which says Confirm. So even when there are two tabs, I expect it to save everything. So I changed the stake amount, then went to change payouts and configured everything there. Finally, I hit confirm button and everything seemed fine. I had no feedback that I had changed the stakes, which felt odd. The thing is that I had not much time and I wanted to stake three models, so I moved on and did the same thing with the other two. It was not until that afternoon when my inner developer said “wait, no!”. It was too late, and now I have to wait another week until I can see my stakes going up and down. No hard feelings, I have developed forms exactly like that in the past. Sometimes it is hard to design a user friendly interface, specially if that is not your only focus and you just see it as graphical extension of your API.
This was nothing to buy me a coffee for (might as well have fun with that one day), but, ok. There is that.
Header image credit: TempusInfernus, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons