Co-founder of BearTax
I got to learn about bitcoin in a hard way — Ransomware Attack. As every one knows, there’s been a widespread attack on various cloud infrastructure by anonymous hackers who’ve demanded ransom to be paid in Bitcoin.
Ransom demanded was around $300 worth of Bitcoin for getting my database back which had complete set of movies, theaters, showtimes in each of those theaters for 3+ years. It was worth well for my application which helps people sell spare tickets. However, it wasn’t generating any revenue then — so I thought I’ll abandon the database and start afresh.
“Still, What’s this Bitcoin and why they want it?” was the question remained in my mind
That happened in January 2017, which is very late to know Bitcoin in relative terms. I’ve let it go for few months and the ransomware attack became so famous in the IT industry by April 2017. Immediately, every entrepreneurial group that I was part of is discussing about ransom to be paid and the soaring price of this commodity from $900 to $1400 to $1800 in matter of days.
That’s when I started exploring about Bitcoin, learnt that it’s a cryptographically secured digital currency which can be mined and stored as a ledger across various people around the planet. Jargon was not that confusing given my CS background, but the details, the economics and the soaring prices of it was confusing.
At the price of $1800, first question I had was — Can I get it for free?
I’ve hit the internet with search terms like “earn bitcoin for free” — you know, google shits you with a lot of spammy websites, malware filled websites and what not. Given my interest in entrepreneurship had me well educated about finding right tools using ProductHunt, Angelist, CrunchBase etc.,
That’s where I found this interesting platform called 21.co which is now Earn.com. This was a platform where you can signup and complete few tasks to earn bitcoin. As I said, there’s no free lunch — you give your opinion or complete some tasks and you can earn a chunk of bitcoin. It generally ranges from $0.5 to $5.
That’s how I earned my first chunk of Bitcoin
General tendency is to figure out how you can maximize your profit or earnings via this platform. That’s when I discovered lists, which was launched recently. Concept is simple — A list is a group of approved people having a certain knowledge or skillset (could be Bitcoin investors, C programmers, Seed investors and so on). I’ve joined few lists which relate to programming and the work I do.
This was a good start and good tip to maximize my earnings. Joining lists has improved the number of tasks I get and increased the $$ worth of bitcoin I was earning. However, bitcoin price was soaring, so the payout was becoming smaller quantity of bitcoin.
Earn.com pays you in Bitcoin for $ equivalent of the task you perform.
If you perform a task worth $100 when BTC price was $1000, you get 0.1BTC
If you perform the same task when BTC was $2000, you get only 0.05BTC
So, by this time — I had good understanding of what a blockchain and a digital currency is, what does cryptography has to do with it, what makes something a cryptocurrency, what’s an alternate currency (altcoin) is and was also exploring ICO (Initial Coin Offerings) and more.
With the experience of getting started with cryptocurrencies, difficulties in understanding various terms and consolidating all this information — I’ve started an educational website ConfusedCoin and a messenger assistant. All the information that I have acquired while learning about Bitcoin, Ethereum, Altcoins, their technology, implementations, applications and how to buy them, trade them and various other aspects was explained in layman’s terms to audience.
I specifically named it ConfusedCoin, just to depict my state in the month of June 2017. I know ACoin, BCoin, CCoin and I am confused as hell — named myself as a confusedcoin and started exploring more. Took me a couple of months to understand and consolidate everything. But it was a good start.
As I was aggregating information for ConfusedCoin, spending time on researching, reading various white-papers and writing for Confusedcoin myself while doing a day job is hard, so I’ve to think of scaling this platform to hire people to write about cryptocurrencies, educate new comers and BitcoinBeginners, pay for those who does research and were providing content, pay for infrastructure to run the application on web/mobile and messenger bots.
That’s when I needed investment. It should be from someone passionate about this space and could recognize and help me boost my efforts. That’s when Earn.com’s lists were of use again. I’ve immediately rushed to “Seed Investors” and “Early Stage Investors” lists and started researching about various people and drafted content to send out messages to them.
Each one would costs certain amount and will be either deducted from my balance or I can choose to pay with my credit card. Gave it a thought and felt that it could be worth it — as it’s a targeted approach and a great chance to find the right person, who is interested in this space.
I’ve written to more than a dozen investors, you pay only when you get a response
After writing to more than a dozen investors, it’s an interesting phase for those 7 days. Waiting for their responses, no worries about rejection — I was just looking out for them to read my message and respond either yes or no.
Every message expires in 7 days from the time of your sending. You can track your message at every step: if they’ve opened it, read it, still unread, responded etc., It’s a great effort by Earn.com team to create such a nice flow and be an early member in this community, which helped them to onboard a lot of quality investors onto this platform.
On the 4th day, I finally received a response. It wasn’t a rejection — One of those investors was interested in what I was doing and wanted to know more. We had communicated over an email after that, where I shared my pitch deck and the business plans I had in mind. Had few follow up calls and finally landed on my first seed investment in ConfusedCoin to scale up operations and grow globally.
It was a great moment for me as I started with zero knowledge from what is a bitcoin, spending a lot of time understanding what it is and it’s ecosystem. Trying to build something for everyone to skip this steep learning curve by following confusedcoin.com or asking confusedcoin bot.
PS: Few parts of the story were enhanced to improve the narration. Also, Earn.com, 21.co and relevant references contains referral links.
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