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Virtual Coins: A Virtual Goldmine.

Virtual Coins: A Virtual Goldmine.

Back in 2009 when the first virtual coin, Bitcoin, came on the scene, very few people knew what to make of this new currency. Some said it was the wave of the future, while others said it would never catch on.

The person who allegedly created the Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto said (shortly after its release), “It might make sense just to get some in case it catches on. If enough people think the same way, that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once it gets bootstrapped, there are so many applications if you could effortlessly pay a few cents to a website as easily as dropping coins in a vending machine.”

Not only did this new virtual currency catch on, but it spread like wildfire. Within five years of its release, over 31 million transactions had taken place, with over 25 million people using the currency. Even though few people really understood the programming behind this virtual currency, the fact that it could be traded, bought and sold just like any other currency, made bitcoin an exciting prospect for early traders.

Within seven years of its release, many merchants jumped on the bitcoin wagon, including Fiverr.com, Overstock.com, and many other online merchants. Even some bars and restaurants are now accepting bitcoins! As a matter of fact, you can buy just about anything with bitcoin. You can even make purchases from Amazon and Ebay by using All4btc, which is a kind of go-between that lets you order from practically anywhere on the web.

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Mining Bitcoins

What really makes Bitcoin so popular, however, is the fact that anyone can create their own Bitcoins. The only drawback is that mining – the process of creating bitcoins – requires a significant amount of computer power. Many bitcoin miners, however, will work with other users to create “mining pools.” This allows them to collectively create new blocks and then split the Bitcoins.

Another thing that makes bitcoins so exciting is the ever-fluctuating value of the bitcoin. When bitcoin was first released, it was valued at 1BTC (Bitcoin) = 1USD (U.S. Dollar). As its popularity grew, the value of Bitcoin rose until, at one time, 1BTC was worth almost as much as 1oz of Gold! This meant, if you bought Bitcoins from the beginning, you would have seen a 1000% return on our investment. Bitcoin values, however, have decreased over time and seem to have steadied themselves at 1BTC = around 600USD. At the time of this writing, according to Preev.com, the exact value of 1BTC is 603.2 USD.

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How to know which virtual coins will catch on

While most investors don’t foresee any dramatic movement in the Bitcoin market, that doesn’t mean that you’ve missed the boat if you didn’t purchase Bitcoins when they were cheaper. Fortunately, new virtual currencies are being created just about every day. Most of these coins may never see any action, but there are a few notable ones. The likes of Litecoin (created by Charles Lee in 2011); Peercoin (created by Scott Nadal and Sunny King in 2012); or OneCoin, created by Dr. Ruja Ignatova in 2014 may be as much of a virtual goldmine as Bitcoin was in the first few years of its existence!

The trick is to find the “movers,” or the virtual coins that seem to be catching on. You don’t want to buy them when they have already reached their peak value, however. One of the best ways to find newer virtual coin markets that show signs of movement is by watching the market, through sites like coinmarketcap.com, which tracks virtual currency movements and display them via graphs. You can also keep an eye out for new virtual currencies, by going to Reddit, which has its community of users that discuss new Cryptocurrencies every day!

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If you have your eye on the market and you keep your ear out for new opportunities, you are bound to find some new virtual coin that may just be the goldmine you’ve been looking for. All you have to do is find them and mine them! Happy Mining!

Featured photo credit: quifinanza via quifinanza.files.wordpress.com

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Published on September 17, 2018

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

2. When you want something big, wait

Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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So, you get the itch.

You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

Here’s where you have to take a step back.

Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

3. Live smaller than you can afford

You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

4. Practice smart grocery shopping

Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

Create a grocery budget

Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

Make a list… and never deviate

Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

Eat before going grocery shopping

It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

5. Cancel your gym membership

Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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