That title is facetious, of course. I have no fortune in crypto or anything else of monetary value. My fortune is my life and waking up every morning able to put one foot in front of the other.
Having said that, I do have a tiny amount of cryptocurrency – Bitcoin and Ethereum – which I’ve come to own more or less by accident.
A few years ago, we were preparing to move, and I was unloading some things on eBay and Craigslist. Going through the usual back and forth with people who are interested and then disappear, or offer you $5 for a $200 item and then insult you when you say “No thanks.”
Then someone asked if they could pay for a rolling toolbox full of art supplies with Bitcoin.
Bitcoin?! I thought about it and figured, well, if he’s goofy enough to try to buy something off Craigslist with Bitcoin, let’s see what that process is like.
I had a low-key interest in blockchain technology but had never bought or mined any cryptocurrency. It seemed unstable and speculative (because it is), so I never bothered with it. But here was a chance to get some in trade, which seemed fun.
So the kid came over to the house and spent ten minutes charging an old laptop, then I emailed him a Bitcoin address I’d set up, and finally, after about 20 minutes, he says, “There, done,” and he pointed to a line in a display that showed the transaction.
He said, “Well, I’ll start taking this stuff to my van,” but I’d never received a Bitcoin transfer, so I was kind of out of my depth. He could have been showing me anything in that display. So I said, “No, not yet. Let’s wait for it to land.”
So we waited for it to show up in my account. And waited, and waited. 20 minutes went by. 30, 40, and we’re talking, and I’m learning all about his life and the art he makes. I asked him if he had a lot of success using Bitcoin for Craigslist buys, and he said, “No, you’re the first.”
I was thinking, “I can see why,” but instead, I said, “You know what, just take the stuff. I can’t wait anymore.” At that point, I didn’t care if I ever got the 0.0130 bitcoin. I would have taken the $149 loss just to be finished with the never-ending transaction.
Long story longer, almost two hours after he sent the Bitcoin, it showed up in my account. So I became the proud owner of 0.0130 Bitcoin. Which I promptly forgot about.
Well, I didn’t forget right away. First, I sold off half the bitcoin and bought Ethereum, so I’d have a little of both. Then I forgot about it.
Fast forward about two and a half years, and someone I know mentioned Ethereum, and I thought, “Hey, I have some of that,” and pulled up my crypto wallet to take a look. The initial amount I’d had in Bitcoin and Ethereum had doubled, to a little over $300.
That was surprising.
So I started to keep an eye on it, checking in every couple of months, and sometimes it would be down, but more often, it was up. The initial $149 eventually got up over $500, and I thought maybe it was time to buy a little, so that’s what I’ve been doing. I buy $100 every month, half Bitcoin, half Ethereum.
I don’t watch the values because they fluctuate too wildly, and it can drive you crazy. I only update my spreadsheet when I buy. But overall, the value of what I’ve purchased and taken in on trade for the art supplies is up 84% over the past eight months or so. The amount that I’ve purchased with US dollars is up 106%.
Those are substantial percentages, but we’re still talking about small dollar amounts. Around $3300 at the moment.
I don’t know what it all means or how long I’ll keep adding to the stash. Eventually, it will get to the point where it will become an amount I wouldn’t be happy to lose, so I suppose that will be the real decision point.