This is a statue in Split, Croatia. Its of Emanuel Vidovic. He was a painter who did some beautiful work. When in European cities now, I like to look up the people who are the subjects of the statues. It makes the random walks more interesting.
V an I are currently training at Split CrossFit. We have another two weeks worth of workouts to do there and I’m happy to report that they have very high quality instructors
I’m helping my friend transition his WordPress website to my own shared hosting. It was costing him a lot to keep it live so he was going to let it die. Because I’m learning more about WordPress and the migration would be great practice, I offered to move his site to my shared hosting for practice and to help out a friend.
Finally, I’m still learning software development with every spare moment of my time. I’ve completed my Free Code Camp front-end development certificate and I’m pushing forward with React, SaSS and a collection of Node.js tutorials.
We are still working on problems from last year related to Freedom Podcasting, our podcast production company. Because of tax complications with the school bus project, I’m working to ensure we do OK with taxes.
I’m also developing our investment strategy from limiting exposure to crypto currencies and learning more about stable investment vehicles.
WordPress is a software which is reported to power about 25% of the internet (it appears to be 30.8% now). That’s an amazing accomplishment for a group of people.
“I think, if anything, it shows how much is left to do. Billions of people only have access to publish online through proprietary networks (Twitter, Facebook, etc…). People deserve their own home on the web. They deserve a slice of it which is just there. A place that isn’t tracked or has advertising or anything like that. Essentially, just like their home.” – Matt Mullenweg (paraphrased from 27min 27sec)
What is the business mode of Automatic and what is the business model of WordPress?
Doesn’t need a business model
No costs – No need for revenue
Open Source model staffed by volunteers and those paid by other organizations
For profit company with investors and more than 400 employees
We find a model in which we benefit the community and the community benefits us
We stay away from monetizing things which should be free
Jetpack and WordPress.com are supported by way less than 5% of the users
Automattic is allowed to invests 150-200 million dollars into WordPress.org
Not Locking in Users
“With WordPress.org, you can download and use your data elsewhere. With Facebook, you can download your data, but what do you do with it after that?” – Matt Mullenweg
Product Development and Responsibility Diversificiation
40 min 0 sec – They discuss how to motivate people in environments where all the workers are volunteers. In technology businesses, most engineers have the ability to work wherever they want. Therefore delegating responsibility and enjoyable meeting planning is critical to keeping people motivated to do their best work.
The next 4-10 minutes of the podcast discusses a nuanced difficulty in team leading and product development in large, remote teams. I’ll paraphrase what I’m hearing:
If we diversify responsibility or hierarchy across a group of people, the leaders involved in that organization will have more empathy for team members and team members will have more empathy for their leaders. Why? Because many people in the organization have had the experience of being in the position of the other person.
Moving on to a Developer Centric Conversation – Calypso
Addressing Anxeity for Developers
Matt suggests listening to State of the Word 2015. I’ve embedded that speech in the link below, a 1hr and 40min talk that Matt gives. Here it is:
In the podcast, Matt says “[If you read one thing based on this interview, read]… an essay by Orson Wells, called politics and the English language.”
It’s likely that Matt made a mistake by saying Orson Wells, where he should have said, George Orwell. I’ve saved that old essay to this server and you can read the text via this link.
Essentially, this is a tiny portion of my overall investment account. Indeed, I don’t actually call this part of my investment plan. This is just a fun way to stay up to date with crypto-currencies and do a bit of gambling.
Crypto-currencies have the potential to dramatically shake up the global financial system. While studying economics at the University of Nevada, I learned a lot about monetary relations.
I have a perceptions that the financial industry plays an important role in the security and mobility of capital for individuals and companies around the world. Though I believe the institutions are important, I also believe that organizations like these are using their importance to behave sub-optimally.
As I don’t pretend to have any idea of what is going to happen with any specific currency, I’ll just bet evenly across all of those coins available on Coinbase.
I’ll use a risk assessment which is entirely emotional on my part to make decisions on the ratio of cash to coins. I’m sure it would be better to create an algorithm to balance dollar weight average or find some sort of relationship between ‘bitcoin’ tweet frequency and the coin price… but that would take a lot of time and I’m primarily focused on other things.
Assessing Risk to Balance Portfolio
I’ll make fund balancing decisions based on how I feel about the currency market:
Low (0% Cash) – When I feel that the currencies are at their historical lowest, I’ll take from the cash and invest in currencies.
Medium (12% Cash) – When I feel that the currencies could go either way, I’ll take from the cash and invest in currencies.
High (25% Cash) – When I feel that the currencies are at their highest and are likely to fall, I’ll take from the cash and invest in currencies.
When I feel that the currencies are overvalued, I’ll hold more cash. When I feel they are selling for less, I’ll hold less cash. Overall, I’ll hold at least 75% of the account at all times.
I plan to trade, at the very most, in 30-day increments. This is a long game. I expect to be holding crypto-currencies late into life so I’m in no rush here.
Here is an example of my most recent balancing spreadsheet:
In Coinbase I was able to execute two sell orders denominated in USD. Then a buy order for Litecoin. From logging into the platform to deciding on a strategy to executing the orders, this took me about 1 hour.
Some people bet on horses, I like betting on cryptocurrencies.
My dominating theory here is that I have no idea what these currencies will do. I don’t know if one has a chance for implosion, or if one has a chance to be the next bitcoin.
If Litecoin or Ethereum grows from $25 per coin to $1000 per coin like Bitcoin did in 2013, I want to hold a few of them.
That is why I’m only betting emotionally. That is why I’ll restrict my buy/sell decision to impacting, at the very most, 25% of the portfolio.
The rest I’ll leave to chance and time.
Updated September 9th, 2017
Well, this thing is looking more like a bubble every day.
I haven’t been keeping track at all since May 2017. It was totally out of sight and out of mind. Today I look at the numbers and my cryptocurrency account total looks like this:
September 2017 Crypto Currency
So I’ll be selling off BTC and ETH to buy LTC, GNT, TNT, and OMG.
All my BTC, ETH and LTC coins are stored at Coinbase. All my other stuff is on a market called Liqui. To buy GNT, TNT and OMG I’ll need to transfer $380.85 worth of BTC to Luqui. Then I’ll cash out $85.46 from BTC, and $365.65 from ETH. The next move will be to transfer $125.42 worth of ETH to LTC.
Finally, as you have to buy coins with BTC/ETH on Liqui, I’ll use the transferred BTC to buy TNT and OMG.
Buying TNT and OMG
The price in BTC of TNT is 0.00002980 at the time of writing this.
I’ll buy 0.03587 BTC worth.
The price in BTC of OMG is0.00287464 at the time of writing this.
I’ll buy 0.03587 BTC worth.
When I first tried, the prices kept going up. Therefore I would put out buy orders and no one would sell as the prices were higher than my orders.
So I just bought higher than the market a little in order to secure the coins to the account.
Finally, I need to up my GNT levels by $70.10 worth of BTC (0.01625 at the time of writing this).
Phew. I guess this is why some people call trading a job. I’ve balanced my portfolio. Now time to go outside and forget about this for a few months.
Taking Money Out
The most important thing in bubble surfing is to take money out.
My guess at this point is that I’ll take 10% of the account out each balancing. I’ll put that 10% into index funds or something boring like that.
Today, I can’t pull my ‘USD Wallet’ out. It takes a few days to verify the bank account I want to use to send the money.
Please don’t mistake this for a commendation for cryptocurrencies as a way to make money. I believe these prices are ludicrous. I expect this to be a bubble which will certainly pop.
Blockchain technology is no joke. It’s a legit scientific development. It’s a new element that humans have created. I believe a lot of value will come due to the technological leap that is bitcoin. That said, markets grow, bubble and pop because of humans being irrational. High coin prices, I guess, will fall just like the value of Dutch tulips in 1622.
January 2018 Order Planning
Since I last wrote this, I made a few moves… but I’m not going to detail that madness now. Let’s focus on the big stuff.
The AUM of the fund was $3,107.51 in September 2017.
The AUM of the fund is $9,605.29 in January 2018.
(p0 – p1) / p1 = Growth Rate
(9605.29 – 3107.51) / 3107.51 = 2.09099
So the fund has grown 209% in about four months. Radical!
The core of my strategy is to buy lots of inexpensive coins with the chances that they will become the next BitCoin. The following section is me doing surface research on a few coins and deciding if I will add them to the list:
Maybe the Google AdSense killer. Seems like they have a technology team with actual GitHub profiles. The advertising problem they are addressing could actually benefit from the consensus and mining attributes of the blockchain. Whitepaper seems like it’s legitimate – AdEx-Whitepaper-v.7 (copied from their site Jan 12th, 2018). I like this idea – adding it to the list.
They want to make an OS, a phone and make it all part of a new blockchain. Dramatically ambitious. The head guy’s website could have been coded in a day and is full of buzz words. They even have Jason Silva saying buzz words on their website. Seems like a respectable marketing effort to me. Pass.
It appears that these guys are trying to do a very similar thing to Ethereum. The way I understand it is that they want to use blockchain mining to power a distributed computation service platform. Like the silicone valley, pied piper program. Sounds interesting. They raised over $42 million thus far. They seem to have some sort of relationship to Hewlett Packard. I’ll add this to the list.
Interesting… their app wasn’t working for the first part of the day. Registration without Facebook didn’t work either… That said, they have a very good looking website and their development team looks good. They say they are launching the ‘product’, a matchmaking service of many different types on Jan 18th, 2018. I’ll standby for now and hope to revisit this team later. Reminds me of Earn. Good luck GUP team, but for now, Pass.
Essentially the team at EOS is saying that they will build a platform that is like Ethereum but it will operate even faster. SNT wants to do it on mobile. At the end of the day, I’m going to add this one to the fund because I like the way Daniel Larimer talks about latency. Adding this to the list.
January 2018 – Allocating Cryptocurrency Capital
First off, I’ve developed the following plan for coins to purchase/sell and how to do it. Here’s the spreadsheet which will inform my allocation goals:
Selling ETH on CoinBase
11:34 a.m PST – Initiated ETH Sell of .1874 ETH
I should see the USD in the Coinbase wallet next day with Ethereum (so it’s not actually instant as Coinbase suggests). The transfer did reflect on the balances within an hour of placing the order. It appears that CoinBase is executing as a reliable marketplace.
*Does not show up in transactions automatically. I’ll have to check in tomorrow to ensure orders went through.
Selling LTC on CoinBase
11:38 a.m PST – Initiated LTC Sell of 3.27 ETH
I should see the USD in the Coinbase wallet next day with LiteCoin (so it’s not actually instant as Coinbase suggests). The transfer did reflect on the balances within an hour of placing the order. It appears that CoinBase is executing as a reliable marketplace.
*Does not show up in transactions automatically. I’ll have to check in tomorrow to ensure orders went through.
Selling BCH on CoinBase
11:44 a.m PST – Initiated BCH Sell of 0.1722 BCH
When the order initially went through the information said the USD in the Coinbase wallet would appear next day with LiteCoin (so it’s not actually instant as Coinbase suggests). The transfer did reflect on the balances within an hour of placing the order. It appears that CoinBase is executing as a reliable marketplace.
*Does not show up in transactions automatically. I’ll have to check in tomorrow to ensure orders went through.
Sending BTC from CoinBase to Liqui
The following transaction log took place on January 16th 2018 and details a Bitcoin Transaction between my CoinBase wallet and my Liqui wallet.
11:28 a.m PST – Initiated Coin Transfer of .027 BTC
11:40 a.m PST – Liqui still shows a 0 balance for Bitcoin so transaction has NOT executed. It is still ‘pending’ on Coinbase.
11:49 a.m PST – No development – Still waiting. 21 minute transaction time and counting…
11:56 a.m PST – Transfer complete. Now I have BTC in the Liqui account which should empower me to distribute to low list price coins.
Transfer time = 28 minutes | Cost = 0.00103 BTC
12:01 p.m PST – I started this note while trying to sell 240 GNT coins on Liqui. It’s now 12:27 and the order still hasn’t processed. The platform was glitching out. It appears that GNT doesn’t actually work.
The Next Day – According to my trade history, the GNT sales went through at 20:59 which only makes sense if Liqui timestamps everything with London’s time. If that is the case, the trades were executed within 20 minutes of placing the order.
All the other trades were ordered and executed. Perhaps there is a specific challenge with GNT + Liqui. I’m not sure. Here are some screenshots of the buy/sell orders:
At the end of the day, I could place all the orders I wanted because I simply grew tired of working on placing orders.
Final Thoughts on January 2018’s Balancing
The main goal is to have a small position in a few coins in their infancy. I grow more confident every day that this is a speculative bubble. That is why I’m pulling out a strategic amount each balancing period.
I probably don’t plan to revisit this fund until March 2018 at the very earliest. If you’re in the crypto game, please leave a comment below and let me know what you are thinking.
May 2018 Order Planning
The more I think about the fundamentals of cryptocurrency gambling, the more I believe that we will see a day where the value of a Bitcoin will drop to nothing, or near nothing.
Therefore, my new strategy is to just leave a token amount of capital in so I have the opportunity to pull money out in the future. But I plan to pull money out as aggressively as I can when it fits. How do I know when it fits?
I’m assigning cryptocurrencies a 5% position in my overall asset allocation. When it gets above that, I pull $ out. If it falls below that point, I do nothing. Normal allocation would suggest that I buy at that point, but I’m not going to do that. If that section of my overall portfolio dies, I don’t care.
I lose nothing because I’ve been pulling capital out the whole time. There is no way I can lose this game now.
Here are some graphs to show where I’ve been and what I’ve done today.
Essentially, I’m of the opinion that the whole market is speculation with a small, real value proposition.
The value of cryptocurrencies is in their ability to provide transaction services to people who don’t know each other. This transaction service is an inherently valuable element which makes these assets more value than other bubble assets like tulips or beanie babies.
That doesn’t mean that cryptocurrency assets generate income like a real businesses. A coin-operated laundry business actually generates cash. These are the kinds of assets I want to be a part of going forward.
To be sure, transaction processing is a large business. I have no idea how big that is. This is a hole in my logic. If BitCoin can have a significant technological advantage over Visa, Western Union and micro finance solutions (like Kenyan people using their phone credits and currency) then it’s possible that there is a blockchain business which will put a dent in the universe.
But BitCoin might not even be a transaction processing business that could survive. In order to verify transactions, Bitcoin needs mining. Mining requires a lot of energy to verify transactions. Really, they need huge buildings with hyper-speed computers that are air-conditioned. These are real costs. At what point does the cost of mining outpace the needs for the transaction volume? My guess is that the answer to this question is not infinity.
Once the cost of mining outpaces the currencies capacity to verify transactions, the value of Bitcoin becomes 0. If you can’t trade Bitcoin in a verifiable way, there is 0 reason to hold it.
Let’s not forget, mining is supposed to stop at a certain number of BitCoins. How on earth are the coins going to do anything but lose all their value after the mining stops? Deflationary currencies have inherent problems which I won’t get into here.
How I’ll Act Going Forward
I’ll try to bleed the crypto-currency game of capital while the bubble is still growing.
With zero exposure to the game, I can spend less time thinking about it and more time thinking about software engineering, adventure and fitness.
I will come back to update this blog, but it probably won’t be for a very long time.
This is a list of my own principles. This list was inspired by Ray Dalio. Ray lamented in his book that there wasn’t a written down list of principles from many of the greatest thinkers of our society.
I believe a world of shared principles would be a better place. Therefore I’ll list my own principles here in the hopes it inspires others to think critically about their principles.
This is a working list.
Updated May 4th 2018
Honesty is an attribute which pays infinite dividends. Always be a person who speaks the truth and executes on the plans one commits to. Honesty is the core of all trusting relationships. If you allow yourself to be dishonest, it will be forever impossible to become honest again.
Be kind to people. Kind people get more from every interaction.
Be happy with people. Happy people get more from every interaction.
Supporting the goals of others is an excellent way to improve one’s own’s chances of achieving one’s own goals.
Constantly improving one’s knowledge of philosophy, engineering, art, athletics will lead to a consistently enriched life.
If someone is angry with you, remember that their anger is probably a derivative of their own disappointment in themselves. Therefore, respond to anger with patience and sympathy.
When getting ripped off or robbed, remember that you will survive the event. The thief will lose the long-term capacity to improve their lives. Note: This does not serve one in extreme situations.
In extreme situations, the evils of the outside world need to be responded to with extreme force. Avoid extreme situations where you are subject to evil. If an extreme situation is unavoidable, plan consciously and absolutely to destroy the source of the situation.
Trusting people is a brave and powerful tool.
Read about historical brutality (especially wars, torture and genocide) to become grateful for the modern times.
Zero-sum-games are less common in the real world than in economics books. More often than not, there is a way for all parties to achieve mutually beneficial relationships.
New experiences stretch one’s understanding of the opportunities in life. Try to get out of your comfort zone enough to continue developing as a person.
When experiencing hard times in life, it is always your fault. Never assign the reasons for your failures to others. It does you no service to exiting those hard times and it makes you powerless to others.
Today we went paragliding with Chris from fly in canarias. This was a super exciting adventure and I’ll be honest, I was terrified of doing it. Luckily, I’ve got friends who influence me to do stuff that scares the heck out of me. I’ve turned the corner on that fear now and am contemplating getting a paragliding kit and taking a 5 week course. We can save that for later though. Here is the video:
Paragliding the Canary Islands
Paragliding is essentially kite flying where the kite is strong enough to carry the pro and a guest.
The day was so exciting that we look like a bunch of giddy teenagers after everyone went flying. Here’s our group:
One cool thing about paragliding is that it takes place in beautiful places. Los Gilles is a town in the Canary Island called Gran Canaria. These stunning views empower some cute photography. Here’s a shot of V carrying me.
If you’re planning on going, here’s one thing to keep in mind. Paragliding is critically dependent on the wind conditions. This makes for an activity relies heavily on conditions which the tour company has no control over. It’s like skiing, surfing or sailing. Without wind, your plans will be ruined.
The good news is that Chris was excellent at describing to us the situation. We met at an initial place which we learned would not work out. Then we made plans to go to the other side of the island, but on the way there he called us and we turned around. The wind had shifted and our initial plan was now acceptable.
When we arrived at the launch pad, Chris hustled to get us into the air while the going was good. It worked out perfectly. We each took a 20-minute flight and returned safely to the landing pad.
Connect with Fly in Canarias
If you’re headed to the Canary Islands and you’re looking for something fun to do with a date or with the family, I can’t recommend this enough. Not only will you see a big chunk of the islands, but you’ll do something that stretches your limits and pushes the adrenaline through your veins.
Connect with Fly in Canarias:
We delt specifically with Chris. He was great. You might want to mention his name when you call them up to organize a time. Here’s where to start:
One very cool thing about paragliding is that it happens quick. After a 20-minute flight, you still have a ton of time to see more of the island. David and I went surfing after this, but I’ll share that video later.
We spent the afternoon surfing Pacifica, California. The video is basically my first attempt at making a movie with my new GoPro Hero6. Here are some of the lessons I learned from working with the camera for my first time in the water.
Specific GoPro Hero6 Black Stats at Time of Shooting
This is the new GoPro I won from doing the Roses are Rad film festival:
Surfing Pacifica with a New GoPro – Lessons Learned
The new GoPro Hero6 is my favorite of all those that I have owned in the past. That said, I still don’t feel like they have perfected the camera.
Touch Screen Lock? When I hold the camera in my teeth and ski down a mountain, sometimes it gets intense and my tongue accidentally touches the screen. This causes unwanted video stoppages recording accurately.
Battery Reliability? The camera showed a 0% battery when I first went out. Though I thought this was a mistake, I didn’t film for 15 minutes as I thought the battery was dead. I then tried it again later and found the battery at 85%. My guess is that the camera suffers in the cold, Northern California ocean water.
Temperature Problems? The day after filming the above video, I took the camera out and it froze again. This time it was just stuck on the media playback scene. It remained frozen the whole time I was in the water so I lost a bunch of opportunities to film. That included a dolphin sighting and Veronica catching some fairly large waves on a longboard.
Sound? Thus far, the sound remains a big weakness of the GoPros. It’s beyond me how a waterproof camera can record sound at all, but I none-the-less wish it could record sound a little better.
Slow Motion – Filming at 120 fps allows me to slow down some really great shots. This camera does an excellent job.
Record Button – I love the way the new record button feels
Lack of Housing – The lack of housing rocks. That makes this camera much easier to film with. It also has a lot less critical pieces which make for a better filming experience.
Today we visited two skateboard parks, one is called Lazy 5 and the second is called Mira Loma.
Mira Loma and Lazy 5 are our favorite spots. They have nice transition and some fun street elements. Lately, the best skateboarders always seem to be skateboarding at Mira Loma. I believe that is because Mira Loma is much more central to Reno. Lazy 5 is fairly far away from the center of town.