Leah Stella Stephens

@stellabelle

Three Months, One Thousand Followers And One Million Dollars Later

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This is a guest post by a guy named @trafalgar on Steemit.com. When I requested that he post his amazing story on Medium, he told me he didn’t have an account, but he gave me permission to post it on his behalf.

Here’s his permission comment from Steemit:

His story is a crazy one and inspiring, too. It’s one of those stories that just needs to somehow get out to more people. So, here it is:

Story written by @trafalgar from Steemit.com:

It feels like it was only yesterday when I made my first post on Steemit, but it’s actually been almost 90 yesterdays.

Sure takes a while to make a million bucks on this site doesn’t it? My journey on Steemit has undoubtedly been a surreal experience, and I wish to give a long account of it here depending on how long this post ends up being after I finish writing it.

Disclaimer

Those of you who are unfortunate enough to have gotten to know me would be aware that I generally dislike posting about Steemit on here. Maybe it’s entirely due to me being trapped in my own little social-political bubble, but my Facebook feed isn’t filled with posts about Facebook, my Reddit homepage isn’t cluttered with talk about Reddit and 80% of the Uber rides I request don’t just automatically take me to Uber headquarters as their only destination. So I’m generally fighting an uphill battle of trying to get more mainstream topics trending here as I think they’re better for the long term health of the platform, but I think this milestone justifies an exception.

I am also acutely aware that this isn’t exactly going to be an inspirational rag to riches Disney fairy tale so I’m not going to patronize my readers by disguising it as one.

This will be more like if Quasimodo won the lottery and used the money to to get cosmetic surgery only to still be rejected by Esmeralda, so he resorted to using roofies. I’m not a fan of motivational writing and essentially consider most of these self-help gurus to be akin to psychics who are deluded enough to actually believe they can communicate with the dead. If you’ve ever given life advice through an acronym, then you’re either a moron or a scammer, or I.Y.E.G.L.A.T.A.A.T.Y.E.A.M.O.A.S. is how I like to remember it. So this isn’t investment, money management or general life advice.

What this is, is hopefully a somewhat entertaining description of how I got here, and a tribute to this wonderful community that has helped me along the way.

Buying My First Bitcoin

I first seriously considered investing in Bitcoin around February this year after listening to an EconTalk podcast recorded back in 2014. I had heard of Bitcoins before of course, but dismissed it as something like buying Gold in Candy Crush Saga, except without the actual game.

It wasn’t until listening to the guest in this podcast that I realized the genius behind a secure and decentralized online ledger that is able to reach consensus in a trustless environment.

It’ll mean men everywhere will be saved from the indignity of being kicked out of the house because their wives found out about the escort services showing up on their credit card receipts, services that perhaps wouldn’t have been required had they not have been kicked out of the house in the first place. The host of the podcast was not entirely convinced by his guest’s view on bitcoins. He voiced his concern about the possibility of Bitcoins, which stood at a whopping $200 at the time, being overvalued. As I was listening to this 3 years after the conversation was recorded, I took out my phone and looked up the then current price of Bitcoins.

It was $1200.

I didn’t really need any more convincing. I opened an account on a trading platform and began slowly moving money I’d been saving for a deposit on a house and escort services into Bitcoins. This process was quite daunting at first; getting an address that looked like my cat had ran over the keyboard was really off putting. But eventually I got it all working and had a decent chunk of Bitcoins in my newly installed wallet.

Discovering Steemit

As I was researching more into Bitcoin on YouTube, videos by a girl named Amanda B. Johnson started to creep into my recommended list. She kept going on and on about a next generation cryptocurrency, Bitcoin 2.0, Dash Digital Cash and all this other stuff I didn’t understand, which made wanking difficult, but I finally figured out that she meant there were other coins like Bitcoin out there.

I started searching for a list of these ‘crytpocurrencies’ and found Coinmarketcap. I was immediately paralyzed: there were over 600 of these things, and any one of them could rise up and replace Bitcoins as the dominant currency of choice in the future. They all boasted a wonderful set of features, the more modest ones merely self styled as a ‘Worldwide Supercomputer’, while others promised to automatically take the bins out for you every week.

Researching into these I was lucky enough to run into a video of a guy FUDing the shit out of this cryptocurrency platform called Steemit. Despite his assessment, I was fascinated by the concept of a decentralized social media platform that rewarded authors based on the likes they receive on their posts. Coming from a Twitter background where I spent most of my free time thinking up stuff like ‘Flavored condoms are also pretty good for when you run out of chewing gum’, I couldn’t wait to try it! Steemit that is, not the chewing gum substitute.

The Power of Steem

I set up my Steemit account in March and tested the platform out. I was stunned: the darn thing just…worked. I could vote, post, comment and it was all so seamless, there was no queue, no transaction fees; it simply just worked. Well there was that error message telling me not to vote more than once every 3 seconds which reminded me of that old Microsoft paperclip that use to pop out and say ‘Hi, it looks like you’re trying to write a ransom note, perhaps I could help?’, but it’s not anywhere near as bad as the 3 hour waits that I was getting used to with Bitcoin. I loved it.

I wanted to buy Steem.

At the time, most people thought it was short for a Steeming pile of shit

I went to check its graph on Coinmarketcap, and holy dick cheese was it ugly! From August last year, it looked like a trail of piss that hit the pavement by October and continued to dribble slowly down an incline for the next 6 months. It resembled a cardiograph of the last moments of a guy who’d just died of a heart attack. On an unrelated note, I never got that job as a technical analyst on the Business Channel for some reason.

I didn’t know at the time, but this was when Ned and Dan had that conscious uncoupling thing going on. And the market didn’t react well to the fact that our two dads were going to start seeing other people. Screw it, I thought, I’m going all in on Steem, which turned out to be about 500,000 Steem for 20c each at the time. See, this is why you should take the ‘don’t try this at home’ part of the disclaimer seriously. If it isn’t yet apparent, I’m somewhat of a nutter, and just because I got lucky with a very irresponsible approach to crypto investment doesn’t mean you should do the same.

A lot of traders and investors believe that there is insufficient reason to hold Steem Power, but from a content creator’s perspective, I think they couldn’t be more wrong.

Not only does it allow you to reward the authors whose content you value, it also serves as a very direct way to invest in yourself on the platform. If you really believe you have what it takes to be an exceptional content creator and want hit the ground running, well on Steem you can do just that buy purchasing these influence tokens! Like an 80 year-old hedge fund manager being surrounded by young models, I’m somewhat aware it isn’t entirely my brilliant writing and dashing good looks that bring the boys to the yard. But I’d like to believe that having a sense of humor in my posts certainly helped with growth. Investing directly in Steem can fast track your career and is certainly a viable option for those truly considering writing full-time on the platform.

To The Moon

I had a lot of fun googling ‘moon’ but ended up going with this PG image. To make up for it, I’ll use the word fuck here

In the first month, I also started researching into potential competition after I had invested all my savings into Steem. This was due to a combination of laziness and good old-fashioned stupidity on my part. I found Akasha, Synereo, Yours and BelaCoin which, by dint of a small miracle, were all garbage. (For the record, this is the case at the time of writing. If you’re reading this a few years from now and Coinmarketcap reads BelaCoin Dominance: 94%, then please don’t bother giving me shit about it because, if that were the case, this article would have also served as a suicide note).

Every day I would check Steemit’s Alexa rank, and every day it would climb a little. The price remained low for a while, probably because the latest changes at the time reset the rewards pool, but I was as confident as Quasimodo with a bottle of roofies in his pocket that things were going to change for the better.

Spoiler alert: god damn, was I right.

Some time in early May the market woke up from hibernation and Steem price had a pulse again. It suddenly shot up sixfold within the span of a week. It was like somebody had fed it Viagra. To earn more rewards, people started breaking up their posts into multiple parts like movie adaptions of popular young adult fiction franchises. All of a sudden Steemit was seeing more action than the underside of a teenager’s computer desk.

Alas, we saw the ‘C’ word finally appear. Market correction. The value of Steem plummeted by about 50% in a single day. To think that less than a fortnight ago I wrote a piece encouraging people to post more frequently and not be disheartened by the price drop. Yet 12 days later, here we are: a price of over $2, making me a Steem millionaire.

Conclusion

I write this partly to share an interesting story, but mostly to brag. Fingers crossed my exes will see it and drunk text me for a change.

Putting jokes aside, I do want to thank all my followers as well as the entire Steemit community. Judging from the comments, I know at least 3 or 4 of you read my articles, and you have no idea how much I appreciate having people with a similar sense of humor to share a laugh on here.

Steem at $2? Do you see me flinching?

by @trafalgar from Steemit.com

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