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Author Topic: rpietila public diary  (Read 86108 times)
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April 12, 2013, 12:20:08 PM
 #1

Hi, welcome! Very many links saying "Bitcoin" and the like, point to the thread. This is a 30-60 minute deeper-than-the-surface reading experience on Bitcoin. We don't link back to shallow things, at least mainly. This thread is actively moderated, so we encourage quality visitor content, but on the other hand both my own and visitor content will be moderated (deleted) after it is no longer relevant for new readers. We don't have time for critique, please have your thread for that. Oh yes, and we do use "minicoins" (/millibitcoins/mBTC) instead of bitcoins (BTC/BTC)

Daniel 4:4 (rpietila at ease)

I started this thread in the depth of the bottom of Bitcoin price (about 0.05/mBTC). Originally it started a humble way like this:

"I figured out, some people may be interested what I am doing right now. In the past, I have spammed the Mt.Gox wall observer and numerous other threads with this info, but a dedicated thread may be in order. So, from now on, I will post the bulk of my notes to this thread. I will try to grasp the feeling of the moment."


In two short months, very many things have happened, and I have even been denied & prevented from upgrading the diary from the psychiatric ward. Now as I am under medication, it is good to have some things in order, and return the reading experience to what it should be.

TL;DR:
Bitcoin's exchange value can and will go to $300,000 per BTC ($300 per mBTC)
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April 12, 2013, 12:21:10 PM
 #2

As I write, the USD/mBTC is crashing hard, struggling at 0.055 at the moment. But I am too busy to care.

I left for work at about midnight Finnish time (UTC+3), in anticipation of the Mt.Gox opening 5 hours later. I live in downtown Helsinki with my wife and Hilla the Beautiful (9 months soon). We have an apartment facing a park, in about 1 kilometer distance from most places of interest. My office is about 500 meters away, it is furnished in the style of the lobby of a 1960s Soviet hotel. It is in fact a former hotel, but the redecoration is recent.

Before going to sleep, I looked at the grim situation in the exchanges and bought 105,000mBTC from Bitstamp at 0.062.

Roni woke me up at 4:30, he is working for me as a bitcoin broker. He has 2 years experience on Bitcoin, about 8 months full-time. With me he started Monday last week.

We had a guessing, how low it will go. We decided to set the buy orders between $0.017 and $0.050. I had specifically banned all sell orders, because I did not trust the information flows, and gave P=0.8 chances that Gox had not improved its system enough to eliminate Goxlag.

When Gox opened, we could not buy anything as our guess was too low. Order placement did not work well enough, so we just invested all the money in other exchanges at about 0.070. Inter-exchange arbitrage was deemed too difficult.

I got back to sleep soon after, only to wake up at 10:30. We took a 1-hour breakfast in a cafe down the street.

Previous day I had secured money in the exchanges by buying codes at face value. I think it was worth it, since we got the money invested at good price today. I also learned about an interesting thing, which is perhaps the single most astounding fact underlining my conviction that Bitcoin is here for good, and that the current prices will be regarded as a steal barely months from now:

I find it funny that bitcoin is such a revolutionary technology that even in the midst of its own crash, it is the only sure way to transfer wealth across the world. Today I met a businessman who, in anticipation of the crash, had sold many bitcoins in an exchange. He has 10,000s of fiat currency, but the exchange limitations will not allow him to withdraw it. Even if they did, the wire would take days. His fastest and most reliable way to cash out is to buy the bitcoins back (at a lower rate, but with a fee), withdraw them, send them to me, and take an instant SEPA transfer or cash from the counter. Think about it - how can bitcoin crash, as it is vital for transferring the proceeds of its own crash to the owner's hand?

After coming from breakfast, Roni concentrated on arbitraging, and I took my phone to call clients. I have a huge waiting list of people willing to buy bitcoins, and the limiting factor is my own time. I try to spend at least one hour per day to call my list, and on average I can close about 20,000 €/hour. I make anything between 5 and 15 percent, for the last 2 weeks, it's been closer to 15%.

Today I could offer for 10% over spot, at about €0.067 (you notice the convention: the currency is assumed to be USD if not specified, and I switched to mBTC last Friday and encourage the others to do so as well). This was possible because of the quote above. I am able to buy the fiat that you cashed out, but which is now trapped in the exchange. But the way to buy it is for the seller to transfer it to bitcoins, take it out, and sell the bitcoins to me at a discount. I offer 3-5 days bank payment, and it is working like a clock. I can sell the bitcoins on, don't have any risk, am not in a hurry, and rake in 5+10%.

I am currently selling bitcoins in my website. Today I got only one call, though. I have high minimums between 2,000 and 5,000 €, depending on the load. Serving one customer takes about 20 minutes plus the backend time, so I cannot really try to serve them all. The most I can take is about 4 per day, so you should not blame me for an attempt to make each of them the most profitable for me.

Today was the second day of bitcoin accounts in my other business. This one allows people to buy bitcoins with the silver they have already stored in the vault in Tallinn. There is about 100,000 ounces of silver there. The only problem is that if bitcoins gain traction, we will need to sell some of the silver to balance our position. For our customer, it is the effort of one email to transfer 20,000 € worth of silver to bitcoins. For us, it is a 25-kilogram silver bag that we need to sell in an illiquid market where we are already the largest player.

The "bitcoin fixing" in Silvervault today (12:00 noon Estonian time, which is the same as Finnish time, UTC+3) was € 0.0758. Funnily enough, it is not even shown in our website yet, so none of the buyers today even know as of yet, how much they paid for their bitcoins. They do it under the assumption that "the fixing is at most 10% over the price quoted in the exchanges".

It is nearing 17:15, and I need to close my 17-hour workday - admittedly I slept about 5 hours of it though - and go to spend the evening with my family. Roni already left 2 hours ago, his day was therefore shorter, although as I was sleeping, he was catching arbitrages. I needed to quit Skype when I started writing this, since he was so eager posting stuff that it distracted my attention. My last advice for him was to take a good rest over the weekend. He is a young guy and has a bitcoin position himself. It's been a ride.

It is going for 0.077 as I write. Oh, in about 1 hour or so, I have made DELETED dollars or so, just holding bitcoins.

For the longest time.

I hope you enjoyed reading, feel free to comment!
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April 12, 2013, 06:38:52 PM
 #3

I find it funny that bitcoin is such a revolutionary technology that even in the midst of its own crash, it is the only sure way to transfer wealth across the world. Today I met a businessman who, in anticipation of the crash, had sold many bitcoins in an exchange. He has 10,000s of fiat currency, but the exchange limitations will not allow him to withdraw it. Even if they did, the wire would take days. His fastest and most reliable way to cash out is to buy the bitcoins back (at a lower rate, but with a fee), withdraw them, send them to me, and take an instant SEPA transfer or cash from the counter. Think about it - how can bitcoin crash, as it is vital for transferring the proceeds of its own crash to the owner's hand?

A youtube dramatization of this woud be killer PR.

By the way, I'm very happy to see this thread. It makes me less glum about the crash, though for now it seems to be holding right at exponential support.

I agree, perhaps someone with skills can do it.

Just ponder for a moment - if we assume that my man sold 500,000mBTC at $0.20, making $100,000 almost pure profit, what can he do to realize his gain?

Exactly, buy 1,500,000mBTC at $0.067. Transfer it to OTC merchants. The OTC merchants sell it on, to their customers, fresh people who have no business panicking, as they cannot in general even sell the bitcoins online, so the merchants can easily stop the panic from spreading. Forced strong hands. (Yes, I did refuse one "last week entrant" selling order today for $0.06. The guy will thank me for it. I only allow people to make money with bitcoin, not lose it)

Oh, and don't forget, there are only so many coins for sale... Wink

Indeed. Now it gets interesting. Somebody sells 500,000mBTC and ends up spreading 1,500,000mBTC to the offline hands.

Why is the price rising... Roll Eyes
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April 12, 2013, 08:40:44 PM
 #4

Meanwhile in another thread. Funny that I vary my style according to the thread...

I think the "worst" is behind us. The weekend will see a healthy upwards consolidation (EDIT: as of this writing, the price was $70 and already we are much higher), and next week we will reach the trading range of $100-$120.

There is no psychological support for sub-100 prices. Read: bulls will just buy as long as they see any coins offered for double-digits, and considering that the number of coins is limited, but the number of bulls is not, the outcome is obvious. I also resumed buying at $62 and will happily buy more at anything below $80 this weekend. After 1-2 weeks I am confident to pay $100 per coin. These levels allow me to buy as much as BTC500 per day, something that I never imagined would return!  Grin Grin

Actually there was no "worst". The tree was shaken, and most of the rotten apples are now gone. Almost a million coins changed hands already, achieving the long-term healthy objectives of:

- Balancing the inordinate amount of bitcoin wealth that the early adopters have, compared to their feeble actual position in the real economy, and lacking resources to employ their coins to the good of mankind. (These mainly sold in the run up.)

- Destroying the leveraged speculators and warned the potential future ones. Leverage is meant for controlling large trading positions with small cash outlay, in order to offset risks. Creating risks for yourself, as if bitcoin value appreciation (+600% year-to-date) wasn't enough, is beyond me. I hope the rest of you will sell sub-100, so that we will see a period of price stability. Don't let the door hit you, etc.

- Establishing (hopefully! - this one has not come yet) a stable price for new entrants, big and small

- Enriching people like me, who will provide services in the bitcoin community in the future, and need huge stashes of coin to do so effectively. My coin count was essentially flat (or in slow decline) during the early days of April, but now I think the position is at least BTC1,000 bigger than 48 hours ago. Did not have time to count the coins yet, they are just spread in unique receiver address offline generated paper wallets all over the place, and my broker is having the weekend break he truly deserves  Grin Grin
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April 13, 2013, 04:52:24 PM
 #5

I keep reading the title as Reptilia(n) public diary

As you are not the only one to say this <sigh>, please tell me what this reptilian thing is? I have a pleasure to not know anything at all what you are talking about..

I suppose it is because the characters resemble the word "reptilian", those lizard-like things...
My guess is that it is simply your name in the format R. Pietila. Probably *  Roll Eyes

Edited, just in case I nailed that...
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April 13, 2013, 06:34:43 PM
 #6

YEAH BUT WTF DO THESE LIZARDS HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING???

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1860871_1860876_1861029,00.html

http://revolutionoftruth.blogspot.com/2007/05/reptile-conspiracy-theories.html

http://www.newdawnmagazine.com/articles/new-reptilian-world-order

or just google "reptilian overlord" ..  

In Short:  Planet Earth is actually run by a race of shape shifting reptilians.. Their ultimate purpose is the subjegation and enslavement of the human race.

The "overlord" theme ties in nicely with the fact that you are one of the more dominant personalities on this forum.....

All hail our new Reptialian Overlord..

Sigg
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April 13, 2013, 07:22:56 PM
 #7

Ok.. despite the controversy on my origin, I will continue with the ways, how to make more money with bitcoin:

3. First-level arbitrage (over space). This is a staple of all dealers. They are essentially making first-level arbitrage every time they close a deal. I am a dealer since at least 1986, and a full-time precious metals dealer since January 2006. Somebody wants bitcoins. OK, you pay 2% over spot. Somebody wants fiat. OK, you get spot-2%. The actual percentage varies.

This can also be used without needing to find clients. You can have money and coin in different exchanges, and simultaneously execute buy and sell orders in them, locking in risk-free gains. Today there was an opportunity to buy at 0.090 in Bitstamp and sell 0.110 in Gox. That was valid for about 200,000mB, which (would have) turned out $4,000 gain.
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April 13, 2013, 09:54:30 PM
 #8

4. Second-level arbitrage (over time). Now, this one is tricky. Let's suppose you have value in both Mt.Gox and Bitstamp, and the price in Bitstamp is almost always 1-5% higher. You want to arbitrage the difference, but if you do, you will need to recycle your fiat from Bitstamp to Gox. The exchange rate trends upwards, which makes you lose outright if you tie up a lot of your funds in fiat for the transfer period of about 7 days.

The way to make profit is to chart the premium, and find out when it is the lowest and when highest, and what there "trading values" are. If you sell at Bitstamp when the difference is 5% (and buy back at Gox), and do the opposite when the premium is only 1%, you will realize a profit, regardless of either 1. the exchange rate, 2. its trend, 3. its volatility, or 4. whether one of the exchanges is patently higher than the other. The only thing that matters, is that there is volatility in the premium of one exchange over the other. And granted there is Smiley
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April 14, 2013, 12:53:02 AM
 #9

Well said, I like your friend's story, and that's why unfair early adopter advantage is a myth.

To give you some perspectives, there was a top calling thread on this subforum started in January, many people, maybe in hundreds, posted their guesses on the top, not even one in January had expected the price to go over $100, not even some fanatic permabulls.

By the way, how does the lobby of a 1960s Soviet hotel look like? I am curious.

That very friend of mine called the bitcoin bubble already last autumn. He said it will go to 0.300 and drop to 0.120. It felt preposterous back then as we were not even near the old ATH of 0.032. I adopted his thinking in January and publicized it here in the forum. From the hindsight he was quite correct while shepherding his sheep. All the exchanges peaked at around 0.266-0.318. The period of stability, if we will see it, will likely be very close to 0.120.

As for the visual image, you will have to wait until I get some technical help Smiley
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April 14, 2013, 11:08:50 AM
 #10

From another thread. Quotes edited to show the values in millibitcoins (originally: BTC).

Then along came the people like mr rich suit in this thread, who bought up all the BTC they could find, not to use as a futuristic currency, but to hold as a commodity so it could hopefully make them money.

The real problem is that bitcoin was designed as a currency, but is this year being used by the vast majority of its holders as a high risk high return high volatility speculative commodity.

1) BTC will return to something close to its stable value last year. In this case mr rich suit (remember he said "I only bought a meaningful number of bitcoins this year", and all his high finance type buddies will end up either with losses, or have sold out to a greater fool and made their money.  Either way they'll move on to something less stable and more speculative until the next bubble and bitcoin will get a lot of liquidity back. Meanwhile bitcoin is back on the road to more widespread adoption as a currency.
2) liquidity will stay low, and millibitcoins will fluctuate from $0.1, to $0.5, to $0.05, then back to maybe $0.1 or $1. Many will make a fortune. An identical number will lose a fortune. all the big companies like Silk Road (I use the term company loosely there) and Wordpress  will switch over to litecoin or a different crypto currency, and bitcoin will just be a bunch of bytes, used for nothing but a bunch of people selling coins back and forth to eachother while hoping to come out on top (i.e satoshi dice with lower transaction fees)

Thank you for your concerns. I take the time to explain some of the motivations behind my actions, related to the quoted part of your post.

1. Yes, we bought up pretty much all we could find. The deciding moment was the resilience of Bitcoin community in the face of the fork last month. The issue was fixed with 10x more professionalism and determination than can be found in wall street. This gave me the confidence to go "all-in". I realize that every one of the current USD/BTC exchanges is unable to cope with the demand, but that will not affect the bitcoin protocol. I have no reason to panic if Mt.Gox closes down entirely. The people will find the way to buy bitcoins if they want them. The premier newspaper in Finland ran a 2-page article on Bitcoin today, without a single fundamental misunderstanding. I will roll-out a comprehensive newspaper ad campaign next week in all Finnish newspapers with 100k+ readership. I am selling bitcoins to people for a 10% fee. Bitcoin is so small at present, the value of the real estate in 1 kilometer radius from my house is more than an order of magnitude bigger. Give me 3 months to raise the awareness, so I can buy all the bitcoins anyone wants to sell for sub-$0.05 per mBTC, to sell them OTC for profit.

2. I don't believe the majority of bitcoins are in speculative hands. Speculators don't hold positions for long, and prefer to use leverage, options, etc. and not own the underlying. Even if there are many speculators out there in number, the number of physical bitcoins they hold at any given moment is negligible, by which I mean less than 500,000,000mBTC.

3. There is no way for bitcoin to return to any stable value less than $10/mBTC. What you don't seem to understand is the supply/demand dynamics. Ben Bernanke has said, "there is this technology called printing press". As he speaks the truth, and there actually is such a technology, everyone should be aware that he can cap dollar's appreciation at any time by just doling out $100,000 of physical or digital cash to every citizen of his country (note: currently USD is not created by printing press, rather than loaned out at interest, which is a diametric opposite of a printing press - but he nevertheless has the printing press also, and the means to use it).

With bitcoin, there is no printing press. Barring a flaw in the protocol, nobody can create bitcoins at will. This leaves bitcoin's fate (as regards to its purchasing power) to be decided in the open market between the current bitcoin holders and current fiat holders. A popular misunderstanding is that the price of something is somehow decided by popular vote. If 90% are bearish on bitcoin, its value should decrease, don't you think so? I am afraid you are wrong. The price is decided by the highest bidder, compared to the lowest seller. There are only so many bitcoins out there, and much more dollars (and real physical wealth, such as gold, silver, land, RE, shares of income-generating businesses, which can also be exchanged for bitcoins). Last week, Wikileaks divulged that there is $32 trillion parked in a certain tax haven. If 0.01% of this money wants to buy out all the bitcoins in existence, they would be valued at $0.29/mBTC. In reality, about 90% of bitcoins are not for sale at below that price, so basically a sudden influx of $3 billion to bitcoin, would raise its price far above $1.

In a free market, only the ones that trade, have a vote. If you don't have any bitcoins that you are willing to part with, you have pretty little business trying to force its price down. If you don't have fiat (or anything else valuable) that you are willing to part with, you have not much chance to raise the price of bitcoins. Currently only about 100,000 people in the world are influencing bitcoin's price in any way. When the rest join in, the only candidate they have in their ballot is "UP". Shorting bitcoins is not only hazardous due to the instability of the platforms, and stupid, because the price is in uptrend, it is also almost impossible, because the large buyers/holders of bitcoins will take delivery, abolishing the chance to naked short it, up to any meaningful degree.

4. I knew of Bitcoin when it was still a non-traded currency. I chose my entry point to be much later, when I could trade the fiat (that I am good at making in the meantime) for bitcoins with ease. Now I recently decided to go all-in, which means that I have invested everything that I can afford to lose. Believe me, I don't regret for a second if the technology blows up. I still have my emergency gold and silver, my other businesses, my family, and my Lord. In the event that nobody else is buying bitcoins, I will buy them all the way to the bottom, and we will continue to play poker with the 10+ billion millibitcoins with my friends, hosted by the sole functioning node in my engine room. I am having a serious fun with this, I am grateful to satoshi, early adopters, devteam and (even) the operators of Mt.Gox for allowing me this chance to influence history. I will not lose my weekly bottle of Riesling no matter what happens to the price. My aim is to develop a healthy bitcoin brokerage, and continue to run it until I move on to other things. At that time I will sell it to the big guys coming after me, for 10,000,000mBTC (+ the book value). The big boys will not buy anything for less than $500 million, so either we make it or break it.

5. I would be sorry to see if you sell out too early. May I suggest you to use the method I deviced for myself, when I still had the mindset of "selling to the strength". After the initial investment, you just wait for the price to double. As it doubles, you sell 25% (or whatever you are comfortable with, as long as it is less than 50%). If it doubles again, you sell 25% of the rest. Repetitio ad infinitum. This way the dollar value of your remaining bitcoins can only ever grow (provided that bitcoin goes up, of course). Also your living standard increases all the time. If it crashes, you still win.
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April 14, 2013, 11:12:31 AM
 #11

Quote
The premier newspaper in Finland ran a 2-page article on Bitcoin today, without a single fundamental misunderstanding.

See? Your school did better in teaching math then those which educate the so called "American journalists." Now try to be appreciative! Grin

https://tlsnotary.org/ Fraud proofing decentralized fiat-Bitcoin trading.
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April 15, 2013, 09:59:39 AM
 #12

Well said, I like your friend's story, and that's why unfair early adopter advantage is a myth, if you have held through so many peaks and troughs without selling out, you must have got balls of steel and ridiculous belief in the whole system, or deeply involved like the VC of a startup, you deserve the reward from free market, not any lucky kid which happened to start mining early could do this.

The third option, why somebody would now have anything between a million and 25 million, is just being so ignorant to not care about the price or its swings. If you have other things in your life, and your investment was just a speculative longshot anyway.

Some of my friends who bought bitcoins last autumn, only checked the price in March, to find out that they were sitting on 500% gains. Even the following story is true: Easywallet started having a 12% APR storage fee for large balances in November. My clients still have anything up to 300,000 mBTC in easywallets (which they started to use before the storage fee), which now generate hundreds daily to the system administrator.

I am just too busy to call all of them and advice that Easywallet is not suitable for storing EUR 10,000s per URL, and it is also costly as you lose 1% of the balance monthly.

Nouveau riche and their problems...
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April 15, 2013, 03:00:28 PM
 #13

Hello all,

I think this is a good spot for me to introduce myself to the Bitcointalk community. I have been a long time reader of this forum since 05/2011, but I have not been writing here. I am well known in Finnish Bitcoin community, but internationally I am a new face. I met handful of you in London Bitcoin conference, where I was representing Bittiraha.fi. Bittiraha.fi belongs to Prasos Oy, a Bitcoin company in Finland. I am proud to be one of the founders of that successful online startup.

I met Risto for the first time last autumn in some Bitcoin related stuff. Immediately we had a four hour meeting, found out that our companies can do mutually profitable business together, and that has been going on from ever since. Lately, as he said, he offered me a strong position in his organization and I did not hesitate to take it. I had a lot going on in Bittiraha.fi as well, but for now I leave it in excellent hands, while I concentrate on some new stuff and learn from a respectable and successful businessman. I will finish a capital round which I started and leave the company standing stronger than ever before.

Alongside some occasional coffee making, I was immediately given quite free hands to explore ways to accumulate more wealth (=bitcoins ldo) for Risto. That is what I have been doing and what I will be doing. I feel so supercharged with Risto's resources, finally some serious wall building. I just hope he would drink less coffee so I could focus on making bitcoins.

Something about myself. I am 25, keen on computers, game theory, Buddhism. I have studied Information and Knowledge Management master of science program in Tampere University of Technology, but for the last three years I just have not had time for it! I traveled the world quite extensively, then I found out about Bitcoin and it immediately got all my attention.

To contribute some about recent events.. yes, Friday was interesting trading day for all of us brokers. My own position is long term hold and as a broker for Risto I would not even have time to think my own coins. Anyway, during Friday we focused in buying. Our first approach did not work, the price did not dip enough. The second approach was to systematically get it in with $51-$71 range and it worked perfectly during the afternoon. Yeah, it took some waiting, but it is game of patience!

Thursday was also interesting day.. I made my weekly wage for Risto in less than two hours. Raking in bitcoins so fast made me happy. I was very tired all day as I was woken up around midnight to follow the cra.. price correction and I did not get any more sleep. Volatility creates opportunities and I focused on low-risk but medium-yield moves in couple of exchanges. Luckily being competitive RTS player gives me an advantage with rapid clicking of mouse! I hope we will see a quiet day or two during next week so I may focus on improving my trading tools. I have to setup quickly: backup Internet connection, a multi-display setup, customized programs and some improvements on data sheets and charts used etc.

I look eagerly towards future. I think we are headed into interesting times as Bitcoin is quickly becoming main stream.
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April 15, 2013, 04:29:10 PM
 #14



Well, there is no free lunch: a 10% monthly gain on your trading capital is easily offset if the half-life of an active bitcoin exchange is 5 months  Undecided
that is for sure. Note that i still think it s a pretty good buisness with return superior of what i initially think.
Now i personally lost money (well not yet but bitcoin-24 smell very bad now) in that game too.
I guess it s always the same, only invest what you can afford to loose.


The cost of mediation increases transaction costs, limiting the
minimum practical transaction size and cutting off the possibility for small casual transactions

Satoshi Nakamoto : https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
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April 15, 2013, 05:49:57 PM
 #15

I like this thread, gives me a glimpse into the inner workings of a "career in bitcoin" ;-)

You have inspired me to finally get off my ass and start selling bitcoins locally, OTC. I won't be making $10,000 an hour, but I'll be spreading the love and making a little extra on the side. I'll definitely be looking here for useful things to incorporate - even with the huge differences in scalability between a bitcoin mogul's operation and a little person selling on localbitcoins, advice like "don't spend too much time negotiating with picky clients when there are 10 other people waiting who will pay the price you give them without complaint" is golden.

Several thumbs up, I'm liking this diary so far.
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April 15, 2013, 08:42:07 PM
 #16

Since this is a diary, and not a rant or a collection of my theoretical thinking, I might perhaps post what I did today.

We had agreed to meet in the office at 9:00, and Lauri would come one hour later. Lauri worked for me as an operations manager in my mobile scrap gold business last summer. He is expert in newspaper advertising, as the scrap gold business was at that time all about newspaper advertising. It cost in excess of $20,000 per month to keep one mobile gold buying desk open. The rent per 24 days was more than $5000, and the advertising cost also $5000+. The rest was personnel and overhead. People ridiculed our humble plastic equipment, asking, whether we would soon be rich enough to actually rent a permanent shop. I had one all the time, with the montly expense running at about $2000 excluding my salary. They did not know that I could rent 2-3 prime permanent locations for the price of one mobile buying desk.

Oh sorry, I need to stay in topic. Lauri is an expert in the field that I was about to start a skirmish in - newspaper ads. The reason why I needed such, was simple. I want to sell bitcoins OTC for a nice margin, and I figured out there was an opportunity in the market for the following reasons:

- The current operations in Finland - other than me - are designed for nerds, by nerds. And that market is more or less tapped.

- There was this 2-page featured article in Helsingin Sanomat on Sunday. In addition, the morning TV today was also heavy on Bitcoin. There were three experts on the subject doing the talking, and the reporter was appreciative. Even the recent crash was not an issue, rather it was presented as a buying opportunity. (Seriously - this is a state-owned TV!) The general populace is primed for Bitcoin, but the supply is not there.

- It cost a mere $5000 to put a postcard-sized ad in the newspaper, and our profit margin is 15%. Our break-even point is therefore about $35,000 in cumulative sales, which I estimate will be achieved in 48 hours. Everything above that is pure profit. (OK, Roni's estimation of the payback time is 4 days, and there is no guarantee about it ever paying back and blahblah, but I am positive. You will see if I am wrong, since most of the time I am)

- Organising such a(n ad)venture is fun and easy for me, and easy enough for someone else to do after me. I believe we got a headstart of at least a day, maybe more. While there are many organizations capable of doing the frontend part, the backend (exchanges, etc.) is sorely lacking, and realistically I don't expect any competition from anyone. It's like the 7 days' war. Either you got the coins, but you are not a businessman, or you are a businessman, but you ain't got the coins, and won't get any to sell in at least a week if you start now. The only one who can quickly sell you such a number of coins is me, and I will not be selling them to anyone for any less than 10% over spot, which makes a profitable resale difficult. Checkmate. No competition Smiley

First at about 11, I bought 10 one-kilo silver coins from a gentleman for 68,000mBTC. In dismay I had realized that silver price had dropped 10% since Friday. Even 30 days before it would have meant a busy week for me, writing articles about silver, but now I didn't have time to think about it. I sent Lauri to realize some of our gold reserves and he netted about 21,000 € for 19 ounces. Much less than planned.

Most of the time went to practical details with the newspaper ad. Our staple graphic designer was busy with other orders, so we needed to quickly get a new one. Partly because of the risk associated with this (we had about 3 hours from the decision to put a large ad, to the materials deadline), we decided to use a very plain ad. It is similar to the one appearing soon in the central part our website, but larger. 

Somebody dropped by to pick up her paper wallet of coins I had sold the previous week. I had a lunch, river crab cocktail feta salad, with coffee, since there was no wine left. Tomorrow we have our private club upper layer meeting, which will feature wine and champagne. Exactly two weeks before, our reason for celebration was breaching $0.1 from the downside. Now we can celebrate the same number again. I hope for the next 12 meetings we could celebrate $0.1, since that would be an excellent round number breather, during which we can gear up our engine and gobble up lots of coins for reasonable prices. Due to my intuition that I am not the only one hoping, I won't count on it, though..

For that reason I extended our trading capital to buy Goxmoney for $50k. It is 500,000+ millibitcoins, man! Our trading position is over 100% right now, since I have accounts payable in excess of the fiat-denominated cash equivalent. Either I get to sell 1,000,000mBTC to the public during the rest of the week, or I need to sell it in the exchange. The latter option would be a wash or maximum a 5% profit (the discount I apply to buying Goxmoney). If USD/BTC tanks hard, it will be an "ouch".

My silver dealing is nearing an inflection point. The paper silver price is dropping like a stone, and physical premiums are skyrocketing. Today's fixing in Silvervault was 16.05 EUR/AGD, which evaluates the entire content of our vault at a measly EUR 2 million. When the Bitcoin millionaires start to cash out, there'll be a whiplash of 20% immediate increase in the silver price, followed by a 30-day busy importing period, during which any additional demand can only further push up the price. This is in absence of external shocks, which will no doubt be many... such as our main supplier in the U.S. being almost constantly out of stock for 2 months now.

We did not actually do more than 8 hours in the office. The closing of the day was about rolling out our newspaper ad campaign to 4 other newspapers the next day, counting money and hunting receipts for bookkeeping. When dealing with physical cash you need to do this every once in a while - we even have the term "kymppi" (literally: a ten (grand)) which represents a stack of physical euros with an approximate total value of 10k. Sometimes you go wrong, though.. today one kymppi only contained about EUR 3,000 since there were 20 € notes in the middle. We seldom see anything except 50, 100 and 500 € notes in quantity.

After taking care of my daughter during the evening, the family went to bed. I finished some buy orders, will set some sells to the $.12 range in no hope that they'll be fulfilled but just in case, finish this post, and start polishing our website for the new visitors tomorrow morning.

I will be in London Th-Su this weekend.
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April 15, 2013, 11:03:13 PM
 #17

I like this thread, gives me a glimpse into the inner workings of a "career in bitcoin" ;-)

You have inspired me to finally get off my ass and start selling bitcoins locally, OTC. I won't be making $10,000 an hour, but I'll be spreading the love and making a little extra on the side. I'll definitely be looking here for useful things to incorporate - even with the huge differences in scalability between a bitcoin mogul's operation and a little person selling on localbitcoins, advice like "don't spend too much time negotiating with picky clients when there are 10 other people waiting who will pay the price you give them without complaint" is golden.

Several thumbs up, I'm liking this diary so far.

Thank you, this is the intention. Bitcoin is so very small at present. I get labeled a bitcoin mogul, although in reality I own 3 coinshops in tiny European countries and my staff number about 5 Smiley

Never invest more than you can afford to lose. If your intention is to life an easy life, sell to the strength. If you want to be a bitcoin mogul, buy bitcoins with all your spare cash. If enough businessmen do this, bitcoin will be quite valuable.
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April 16, 2013, 09:13:30 AM
 #18

Why do you use mBTC instead of BTC? Just wondering

I think it better represents the actual position of the basic unit in the universe of values and speculation.

Bitcoin is currently traded like a stock. The market cap of listed companies divided by their share count, gives the share price. The companies cannot easily influence their market cap (increasing this is generally their aim, though). What they can do with ease in most jurisdictions, however, is to adjust the number of shares by splitting and (less commonly) reverse-splitting them.

I followed the development of Nokia Corporation in 1993-2000 from a diversified unprofitable midsize Finnish company, to the unrivalled global mobile phone giant. The market cap rose more than 100x from the bottom in 1993. Nokia did not want their share to look expensive, bubblish, or "too rich and lazy" at 266 euros, though. They kept on splitting it to keep the price in their sweet spot range.

Small companies that are risky, often want their share price to be in the sub-$1 range to attract the kind of people looking for quick profits, and also to mask illiquidity. Just consider, if bitcoin "ask" is $140 and "bid" is $120, it looks very wrong. Otoh, if a millibitcoin trades in between 0.12-0.14, everybody is OK with it, since you cannot expect anything more from a penny stock.

In my opinion, it is much more fitting for the current state of Bitcoin, to have a stock of 21 billion basic units, trading at 0.06 at present, than to have 21 million units trading at $60.

The change is voluntary, except in this thread, where you risk your post to be moderated if you don't abide the rules  Cheesy Oh well, I have deleted most of your posts anyway in order to keep it readable. After all, I am developing a story, which you can read starting from the OP all the way to the last page, without dying of boredom. Please tell me how I am doing!



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April 16, 2013, 12:13:32 PM
 #19

For that reason I extended our trading capital to buy Goxmoney for $50k. It is 500,000+ millibitcoins, man! Our trading position is over 100% right now, since I have accounts payable in excess of the fiat-denominated cash equivalent. Either I get to sell 1,000,000mBTC to the public during the rest of the week, or I need to sell it in the exchange. The latter option would be a wash or maximum a 5% profit (the discount I apply to buying Goxmoney). If USD/BTC tanks hard, it will be an "ouch".

So far, an "ouch"  Sad

My silver dealing is nearing an inflection point. The paper silver price is dropping like a stone, and physical premiums are skyrocketing. Today's fixing in Silvervault was 16.05 EUR/AGD, which evaluates the entire content of our vault at a measly EUR 2 million. When the Bitcoin millionaires start to cash out, there'll be a whiplash of 20% immediate increase in the silver price, followed by a 30-day busy importing period, during which any additional demand can only further push up the price. This is in absence of external shocks, which will no doubt be many... such as our main supplier in the U.S. being almost constantly out of stock for 2 months now.

Silvervault hit 17.38 (up) today in the face of paper crashing, because the physical premium in the U.S. (Apmex) is already $6 per ounce(!!), which is incorporated into the formula. So far no cashing out of Bitcoin millionaires though, that would be interesting.
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April 17, 2013, 08:26:20 PM
 #20

Oh well.. good days, bad days.

Tuesday I started my new OTC selling market. It's now been two days. I had high expectations of the ad making money in two days, but...

...the reality so far is one minimum size (€500) order. So far it is insignificant compared to my other businesses, where we are talking in excess of 10,000 euro deals and 1,000+ profit per day. Because although I am wrong most of the time, I don't like it. So I had a bad day. Roni was sick and didn't show up. Lauri was organizing the next round of newspaper ads.

Also we had a higher echelon club meeting with low attendance. Perhaps people were in a bad mood because of bitcoin hitting $0.05, and did not care to show up. Also everyone was too tired after a stressful week that the meeting was closed already at about midnight.

The following day was more of a success. I was very interested to find Sergio's newest analysis on the Bitcoin network of 2009. It seems that Satoshi himself mined most of the coins in 2009. This subject has intrigued me a long time, finally now I have the answer.

Also because of customers showing up, I sold some silver and bitcoins today, and bought some scrap silver and gold. The total rake was about EUR 1,500 which is basically OK. A funny detail was a gentleman buying silver with 20 EUR notes. I did not want to count the bills, so I weighed them instead. About 260 grams of funnypaper bought him 6.5 kg of silver.

We decided to organize a senior-level Bitcoin miniconference in June. A deep experience for a handful of people is our aim. I am currently restricted from providing any more info on this, but I am enthusiastic myself.

What I believe will be my greatest service to the Bitcoin community, is to organize a "dealer network" of BTC dealers and traders. The aim is to develop a members-only clearing system for large USD/BTC transactions. Bitcoin needs to grow up - too many people think that Mt.Gox has anything to do with the fair value of BTC. A system with periodic orderbook matchings and clearings, price lock-in with no cash outlay, and T+3 settlement of trades (both fiat and BTC will change hands 3 days after the trade) works very well in physical silver, and will work with BTC.

In contrast, the exchange-centered system is a neverending source of problems in both. Just have a look at silver price "dropping" in the COMEX exchange (due to persistent manipulation, fully exposed 5-10 years ago but still ongoing), while physical silver is about same price as before the crash, but harder to find for the reason that the exchange is messing with the price signals. Soon we will see a two-tier pricing of BTC if we do not remain vigilant... one price for bogus exchange trades, and one for actual hard blockchain transactions. The dealer network, connecting all interested parties with active BTC trades and 1,000,000mBTC or more trading capital, is what I will be helping to succeed.

The weekend from now on I will spend in London, likely not posting here very much.

We are now getting a green candle after a week of red. Very, very, good. I mean both the red ones and the green. My guess for the trading range a few days ago, was $0.10-$0.12. Since we spent such a long time sub-0.1, it is now a resistance. Support is in 0.05. Therefore if I had a trading mentality, I would sell at above $0.09, aiming to buy back lower. In reality swing trading is something I almost never do. Since my broker is sick, he can't do it either. So don't worry about any crashes because of my actions.

Call this a week.
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