Monday, March 3, 2014

Email Subscriptions - Sample and Introduction

I mentioned in the previous post that I was considering trying out an email subscription model for some of my content. I got some takers on the idea -- thanks to all of you! -- and so I composed and sent out my first email today. To give you an idea of what would go into the email subscriptions, I am going to post the majority of that email here -- minus the specific mention of coins as well as my "What to Mine" table showing the calculations and the analysis. If you'd like the full email, just drop me a note and a donation ($5 or equivalent in any of the major cryptocurrencies for now will do -- if needed, I can get you an address for any other coins you might want to donate).

Welcome to my first official subscriber email on what to mine. Disclaimer: this first email might be (okay, *is*) a bit longer, and I'm trying to decide on a good subscription rate. I said "donate $5 or more and I'll tell you what I'm mining", but I'd like to hear your thoughts on this. Should I have individual, weekly, and monthly rates? (I don't want to do yearly, as I can't guarantee I'll be doing this consistently for that long!) If so, how often should I update, and what should the rate be? I'm sort of thinking three updates per week might be a good start -- Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I could do $5 for a single update, $10 for the week, or $30 for the month. Does that sound like a reasonable structure, or should I charge more/less? If you would, please email me back with your thoughts. Also, there's a lot of other "stuff" to discuss as I kick things off; I'll add some of this to the blog, minus the "what to mine" table and lists of specific coins. And with that out of the way....

I already emailed a few people earlier this past weekend, but of course prices, difficulty, etc. change regularly. The short summary is that right now, the most profitable coins tend to be those that are not using standard scrypt. This is hardly surprising, considering there are well over 100 "major" (i.e. on an exchange) scrypt coins now. The trick is figuring out which of the alt-coins are going to be worth something in the long run. My thoughts are that for a coin to truly succeed, it needs to be something different/new/useful. LTC is the first scrypt coin, and it's still doing okay (though clearly having trouble of late). VTC, MAX, DRK, XPM, QRK, etc. were all really great to mine early and hold. Sadly, I'm not even sure which coin was the very first scrypt-jane offering (YAC?), but hopefully you get the point. Don't underestimate the power of marketing either -- a "dumb" coin with the right marketing hook can take off in a big way; it might die out just as quickly, but the momentum of belief can be slow to change (DOGE, AUR, and other coins fall into this category).

Now, as I see it there are a couple ways of going about mining. One is to look for the truly special coins and hop on those and hold for a while -- it's what I've done with VTC, DRK, and to a lesser extent MRC. Truth be told, I don't particularly care for the rewards structure of MRC, but so far it's doing okay; the coming month will or so will be telling as the rewards will start to decline in a few days, and price will either stay where it is and/or stagnate, or the "decreasing value" of mining will start to increase the price. It really can't go much lower, as it's currently trading at 3-4 satoshi, but we'll see. If it goes down, I "lose" potentially half to three quarters of my MRC value, but if it goes up to 10-20 satoshi (which is my hope!) I could realize some nice profits. The other option is to simply try to mine any new coin, hold a chunk of them for a while to see if price goes up, and you'll get some winners and a lot of losers -- or you could try to cash out as fast as possible if the coin is listed on an exchange, and potentially make some decent returns. This requires a lot more time and dedication, so most of us don't go that route I think.

I suppose I should quickly put in here that a "satoshi" is termed as 0.00000001 coins. The code for Bitcoin originally defined that as the minimum value you could trade, and if BTC prices go up into the tens of thousands or more perhaps they will one day update the client to allow for smaller transactions, but for now that's where we are. All of the other coins have stayed with the same core code structure in this area, so the smallest amount you can buy/sell of any coin is one satoshi.

Going with the above, that means any currency traded against BTC has a minimum value of 1 satoshi BTC (around $0.0007). That's not much, but with coins like DOGE, MRC, FLAP, etc. issuing billions of coins, and mining bringing in millions of coins per day, that quickly adds up. I have to admit that I'm still shocked that DOGE ever reached 50 satoshi, let alone 280 (or the current 170 or so satoshi). If any of the "billions minted" coins I'm holding hit even 50 satoshi, I'm looking at potential gains of 20X or more. But I think DOGE is a bit of an anomaly, so I wouldn't count on a repeat performance from most clones. If you're interested in trying "day trading" of cryptocurrencies, you could also try to do the old buy low/sell high approach on some of these low-value coins -- if you can buy at one satoshi and sell at two, you double your coins every time the buy/sell cycle repeats. However, the exchanges fill bids/asks in a first come, first filled basis, so as an example if there are already bids for a billion CAGE at 1 satoshi and another billion asks for CAGE at 2 satoshi, you could be waiting a long time for your orders to get filled. (And of course some coins trade against LTC or DOGE as a way to overcome the 1 satoshi minimum issue.) And if a coin ever reaches the point where no one is interested in paying even 1 satoshi per coin, you're left holding the bag.

With all of the above out of the way, let me note that I'm only one guy, and I already have a full-time job, so I can't hope to track everything. I've wondered if perhaps I could build a large enough readership/subscriber base that I could actually make this a full-time job and perhaps invest more time/effort into some programming and such to automate pulling data for more coins, but that's a big pile of work to tackle right now. In short, I'm going to tell you what coins I *have* tracked in a second, but there's a very real (and even very likely) chance that I've missed something good. If you know of something better and want to give me a heads up, that would be great, and if if I agree I'll even give you a free week of email updates, but if you want to keep your "trade secrets" I won't blame you. :-)

So what am I tracking (and in some cases, mining)? Basically I have a bunch of coins where I've downloaded the wallets, synced up, and can reasonably easily check difficulty and pricing. That in turn let's me determine profitability. It's like Coinwarz, except I track most things manually -- and I can also track the newest coins. It is a bit of a pain, and actually mining on any of the coins requires registering on a new pool (unless solo mining is viable, which is typically only in the first hours of a coin's life), creating workers, editing your miner configuration files, etc. Again, it's a pain, so I usually only switch what I mine daily, and there are quite a few coins where I downloaded the client and perhaps even registered with a pool and did some mining before I decided, "Nope -- this coin is going nowhere." Here's the current list, with exchange prices, difficulty, and reward values current as of (around) 11:00AM PST, March 3...

[SNIP!]

The missing content includes a table of the coins I'm tracking (and felt were worth including) along with several more paragraphs of analysis. And as a final comment, if you're buying any hardware and Amazon has prices that you like (and you're in the US), shop there via my Amazon Affiliate Links and let me know what you ordered (and when) via email. For every $100 ordered via Amazon, I'll credit you with the equivalent of $5 towards these email updates -- so $200 ordered gets you a week at my current pricing, $600 would get you a month, etc. You can also shop via my Newegg Affiliate Link, but the commission there is so low (1%) that I can only give $5 credit per $400 ordered. Then again, that's just one R9 280X so it can't hurt. :-)

Rest assured, the email updates won't replace me writing on this blog. There are still many other topics I want to tackle, when I get the time. Hopefully that will be later this week....

18 comments:

  1. Hey Jarred, I had sent you a donation through Coinbase, but didn't get the full email....check out Coinbase and let me know if you see it. Thanks, Matt

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  2. I find it really amazing that MRC is as low as it is. It seems the MRC community is shooting itself in the foot by assuming that the price will magically go up once it becomes ultra-rare, and thus refuses to market it until then. I would dump them all except, like you said, it can't go much lower.

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    1. Yeah, but it will never be "ultra rare" given the number of coins being minted. When you generate 46,500,000,000 coins in the first few months of existence, the cryptocurrency can never hope to be worth as much on a per coin basis as something like LTC where there will only be 84 million coins. When it becomes more difficult to mine new coins in a few months, there will still be lots of people holding a ton of MRC. We'll see what happens -- if Poloniex becomes hot with LTC/MRC trading, we could see prices drop to less than 1 satoshi BTC.

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  3. So I don't mind paying for info, but I'm a bit worried that whatever you're mining is either a.) what I'm mining, or b.) less profitable than what I'm mining. I would recommend something more interactive.. A web board to discuss what to mine. Would cost a few bucks a month, but would let you respond to questions and make updates regularly, rather than a newspaper model.

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    1. Hey, if you subscribe I'll happily answer any questions (within reason). If you're already checking lots of coins however, there's a good chance you already know as much as I do -- this is mostly for people that don't want to do additional research on their own, and to keep from "killing" profitability by directing lots of people at the coins that are working well for me right now. :-)

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  4. BTC stolen from Poloinex. https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=499580

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  5. Hi Jarred,
    I only have 1 GPU so make about $3 per day... $5 per e-mail would wipe out any profit I make. Maybe you could charge a little less to increase the number of subscribers!?

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  6. Jarred,
    I sent you a payment early this morning, please let me know if you received it. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Kyle,

      I'm not sure if I saw your payment or sent a copy. Can you email me (jarred.walton at gmail dot com -- note the two R's!) and I'll check. A few of the email addresses are not really clear who they belong to. :-)

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    2. Hey Jarred,
      I just sent you another gmail from my address. Please let me know if you need more information. Thanks

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  7. Hey Jarred,
    I've commented and sent you three emails, but haven't heard from you... I sent you a payment, but haven't heard from you... What gives...???

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    1. Hi Matt,

      Can you check your spam folders? I've actually sent it three times now, including once from my Comcast address. (I'm assuming your Matt Alb...., right?) If you have an alternate email address I can try, let me know.

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    2. Thanks man...not sure what is going on.... I just sent you an email from an alternate address. Sorry for the hassle.

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    3. To Jared or Jarred? I don't see it on my Gmail yet. Hahaha....

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  8. Hi Jared - big fan of the blog, sent you $5 on coinbase for the first issue of your newsletter.

    Regarding price - that's a tricky one. This sort of info can be very valuable for people with high hashing power, and you deserve to be compensated for the work of manually updating tables and whatnot. However a lot of people with less mining power would be precluded from buying at a price of $5 per issue. Personally I am running 2.1 mh/s scrypt, so it wouldn't make sense for me to subscribe. I'll probably buy a copy every few weeks just to stay marginally updated and give you my support, but I wouldn't be able to subscribe regularly.

    If you could devise some sort of way to price discriminate based on people's hashing power, that'd be ideal, but I'm not sure how you'd do it.

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    1. Yeah, unfortunately that's a bit hard to do. I did offer a discount for subscribing for the month, and there's always the "buy some hardware via my links" so you can have more than 2.1MH approach, Hahahah... If you think you can offer me some useful service in exchange for a subscription, let me know!

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    2. I made a purchase with your amazon link but was not able to locate the email to notify you of my purchase. Can you post your email?

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    3. Sure... I need to make this more visible in some way (without getting a ton of spam).

      jarred.walton [AT] gmail [DOT] com

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