I Was Paid $600k for 15 Hours of Graphic Design

In 2012 Bitcoin was $12 per coin. Mt. Gox was the primary exchange. BTC-e was second. Coinbase and Crypto.com where nonexistent. Day trading crypto wasn’t nearly as profitable back then, but I was interested in it all the same. I stumbled upon Bitcoin by researching a way to add site specific currency / tokens / bartering systems to a web site I was developing at the time (before web3).

When I discovered Bitcoin it was love at first site. There was so much negative publicity. I just had to own some. People called it a scam. Media outlets vilified its user base (think Silk Road). I thought the government would ban it like Russia just did. They didn’t (not yet), but the US government did however seize the Wells Fargo accounts of Mt. Gox, stating it was because they improperly registered their business. That seizure of assets triggered the company shutdown, and Bitcoin became all the more taboo, therefore desirable. Thanks .gov.

Bitcoin had allure and endless potential. It was the Wild West of the 21st century. Cryptocurrency. Better than paper. Who wants a paper picture, or a paper song? I feel the same about paper money.

I did my research, figuring out the best ways to mine Bitcoin. I put together a custom box with dual Radeon graphics cards and sent it to work so I could sit back and stay paid, but it was slow. Dead slow. LTC mining pools were more profitable, so I switched the box over and left it running with a 1000 watt power supply all month long. That was that, until my power bill arrived in the mail. I thought mining was going to be a lucrative way to make millions. A big chunk of my programming paycheck was going towards my power bill. I couldn’t even afford the power to make a few measly coins. Now what? FPGA boards where the white whale of the mining community, just hearsay, and I had neither the technical knowledge or resources to achieve my dream of mining for profit by developing my own hardware and software. All the proprietary mining gear had wait lists or the companies were a sham from the start, taking up front money and then closing without delivery.

Eventually I stumbled into contact with a poker player in Vegas that ran a Bitcoin poker site. He needed some graphic design work. I wanted to get paid in Bitcoin. It was perfect. I spent about 15 hours designing sales and marketing banners on Adobe Photoshop for his poker site, Seals with Clubs and he paid me with 30 BTC to my wallet totaling $360 US. I worked 15 hours for 30 BTC. Not too shabby. Current price in 2022: $20,000+ per coin! – But, and this is a huge sorry but… Later that same night I went to his poker site after drinking all day and gambled it all away. All 30 bitcoins. So I also spent $600k gambling on a BTC poker site. The worst part was that I completely forgot about how magnificent Bitcoin was going to become in the future (hindsight being 20/20 and all) and parted ways with crypto after Seals with Clubs put a bad taste in my mouth.

There are two morals/lessons I take from this:

1. I no longer drink or gamble.

2. You can’t go wrong going long on Bitcoin. With hyper-deflation, coin halving, energy/equipment costs, and with governments adopting Bitcoin as their national currency, it’s here to stay and will cost over $26,000 USD to mine each coin in approximately 2024 when it halves again. And it will only become more expensive in the decades to come. Think .00000001 BTC = $20 by the year 2150.

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