How Bitcoin poisoned my mind

In building a business, inspiration, learning by Jay Clouse

Over the last few weeks, I’ve gotten increasingly more interested in cryptocurrencies and blockchain. It’s one of the major movements that seem directionally correct and so I’ve been paying much closer attention.

As such, I’ve become more interested in investing in different currencies and so my attention is frequently on the market value.

This means that I’m checking the value of these coins, especially Bitcoin (BTC), several times a day. Actually, pretty much constantly.

Just for fun and for a little bit of context, here are a few visualizations of the value of BTC over the last month, three months, and year respectively.

In the last couple of days alone, the value has increased around $2,000.

Now, the market has been hot for months – for traditional and crypto currencies. My investment portfolio has been on fire.

But no traditional investments are increasing in value at this rate or are this volatile.

I first invested in Bitcoin back in 2013 when I was broke and needed a way to create money out of thin air to pay for Christmas gifts. A single coin was around $700 and I cashed out a few days before Christmas to buy gifts for my whole family on short-term Bitcoin arbitrage.

Recently, I was manufacturing credit card spend through short term Bitcoin arbitrage (not a recommendation or endorsement!).

My understanding of cryptocurrencies is still relatively infantile, so I’m not going to dive too deeply into it and misspeak or give poor advice. But, here is my point…

I’ve been so continually fixated on the value of Bitcoin, constantly imagining “what ifs” if I had invested at different times, held longer, etc., that I’ve gained and lost many fortunes in my imagination.

Investing in BTC is such an aberration that I began thinking about how easily I could make significant money if I was just trading at the right times or pouring more of my assets in.

Not only does this have a toxic effect on my mood (we inherently hate the feeling of loss or the fear of missing out), but it’s completely derailed my thoughts around building a business.

Most wealth is created when YOU create value and capture value in turn for doing so. You have to provide value to be rewarded outsized value – you make a widget that is valuable to someone else, they pay you for the widget. You solve a problem for someone, they pay for your solution.

Simple formula and not always so simple to execute. That’s where building a business or honing a craft come in. It’s a long-term play and generally compounds its effect over time: you get better and better at your craft or your product gets better and better and it becomes more valuable.

That’s the goal of Unreal, that’s the goal of this mailing list, and that’s the goal of the other products I’m ideating now. But BTC arbitrage looks so easy that I completely lost focus for over a week before I reigned myself back in.

I’ll continue to dabble in different currencies, but I’m keeping my eye on the ball. I’m focusing on things that are in my control and build a long-term, sustainable base for supporting myself and an eventual family. And that comes from creating value for others.


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