Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Personal Cryptocurrency Update

I had high hopes for Bitcoin Cash, but after one spike it seems to have settled/flattened in value -- and, more importantly, to not be getting a lot of adoption as a medium of exchange. It seems that places that are spoken of as "accepting" it mostly really just accept Old Bitcoin -- in order to spend your Bitcoin Cash (BCH) at those places, you have to use e.g. ShapeShift.io to convert/deposit it as Old Bitcoin (BTC), which defeats the whole purpose. You still get the Old Bitcoin fees. You still get the Old Bitcoin confirmation wait times. And you pay a fee to convert them as well.

What I want out of a cryptocurrency is something that I can use to buy a soda and hot dog at a convenience store in roughly the same time it would take to use a debit card, and with lower transaction costs. That utility, of course, lying atop some measure of anonymity and resistance to state seizure.

Maybe I'll get that at some point -- I'm keeping my eyes on e.g. Dash, ZCash, Monero and so forth to see if there's a breakout crypto that gains enough user adoption, merchant acceptance, etc. to move in that direction.

But with regard to Bitcoin Cash, I'm definitely out of "holding my breath" mode. I just converted my tiny (mid-double-digit in US dollars) holdings to Bitcoin (at a loss due to fees, of course) and spent all but a few cents worth on a 1-year Ether mining contract at HashFlare (yes, that is a referral link).

Why HashFlare, and why Ether?

HashFlare: I looked at several cloud mining services, read a few reviews, etc., and HashFlare looked like a reasonably reputable, not fly-by-night outfit. Also, unlike most pool/cloud mining outfits, HashFlare lets you buy lower amounts of "hash rate" so that you don't have to jump in at a minimum mid-three-figures like some places require. In fact, you can get in for a couple of bucks.

Ether: I might have stuck with Bitcoin Cash, but mining that was not one of HashFlare's offerings. I am skeptical of Bitcoin's future. The big players seem to be reneging on the "2x" part of the "Segwit 2x" agreement. There's another hard fork coming and it looks like Old Bitcoin is going to continue refusing to get back to the idea of being a usable cryptocurrency on the "common man's medium of exchange" front.

I thought about going with Monero (especially since I have a bit in a wallet that's just a little too small to move OUT of the wallet), but since I'm doing something that's "fire and forget" for a year, I decided to go with the second biggest cryptocurrency by market cap and hope that a year from now it will have returned more in actual market value than I put into it. Maybe by then the real players will have been winnowed down and there will be a real "common man's medium of exchange" winner that I can convert to and use to, you know, BUY STUFF.

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