How to turn $0.50 into $500 using Bitcoin

How I turned 50 cents worth of bitcoin into $500.

My Crypto Backstory

In November of 2016, Bitcoin (BTC) was worth $740. I researched BTC twice prior, once in March 2014 and prior to that back in 2011. In both cases, I thought that BTC was nothing more than Monopoly money. Some analysts were forecasting a dramatic double increase in the value of BTC before the end of 2018. This, along with the fact that just about anything from coffee to real-estate could be bought with Bitcoin now was certainly a motivating factor in my decision to finally jump in. Looking back, it was clear that I had missed the boat at least twice and I didn't want to miss it again.

  • 2011: $8
  • 2014: $340
Faucet Adventures

I was reluctant to buy Bitcoin with U.S. Dollars so instead, I decided to ease my way in with Faucets. For anyone unfamiliar with this term, a Faucet is a website that will give away tiny fragments of BTC called Satoshi in exchange for looking at paid ads.

With Faucets, it would take me hours just to earn $1 in BTC. Compared to how much I earned at work, Faucets certainly were not worth my time. But the experience faucets offered in terms of getting me involved with Bitcoin helped me to learn more about bitcoin and transaction fees and the various types of digital wallets that were available.

Bitcoin Gambling Sites

From there I stumbled upon several BTC gambling sites. Many of these sites had built in Faucets meaning that you could earn free Satoshi, and then gamble with that Satoshi on the same site. These sites earn BTC when players decide to spend their own Bitcoin to gamble with instead of using the tiny bit of Bitcoin that the sites gave away. This is the same strategy used in Vegas; hotels will give you complimentary chips to gamble with and then hope that you continue to gamble with your own money.

There was one specific site that I experimented with. The site would give you about $1 in BTC and then you could gamble with that playing virtual dice in an attempt to win more Bitcoin. When you lost all of your bitcoin, you could wait a day and they would give you another $1. Using their money to play with, I managed to make a small amount of Bitcoin and had it sent to my BTC wallet.

Bitcoin Mining

If you understand the basics of Bitcoin, then you know that generating Bitcoin is done through digital mining. Mining BTC is the process of solving math problems and facilitating bitcoin transactions at the same time. Mining in late 2016 wasn't the same as mining in the past because over time, the math problems become more complex. This is done to limit the number of new Bitcoins being introduced.

These days, if you intend to earn a decent amount of Bitcoin, then you need an entire room filled with computers or mining rigs. More specifically, GPU's are used to mine because they handle the complex math problems much faster than a computer CPU. Lots of miners join a pool of other miners and then share the profits. In many cases your electric bill for running the miners will cost more than your earnings.

I decided to try a user-friendly mining pool called Minergate. Note: Minergate today is quite suspicious and I would recommend that you do some research before deciding on them. The only reason I went with Minergate at the time was because their mining software was very easy to use, it worked with other crypto-currencies (called altcoins), and there was a newer altcoin called Monero that could be mined with a CPU. So I created an account, installed Minergate on all 3 of my older and unused laptops and for the next week I generated enough heat while running those laptops to keep my small apartment warm. At the end of the week I earned a grand total of… $0.25 mining Monero. It's possible to earn a fair amount of coins by mining, but using old laptops wasn't the way to do it.

Faucets, Gambling, and Mining: Not My Best Allies

Clearly, faucets, gambling, and mining was not working well for me. In order to benefit from the next big BTC spike, I needed a better way to earn Bitcoin so I joined several BTC communities and read through daily forum posts. The main thing I learned from this, was that nearly all Bitcoin offers were scams. But my knowledge of Bitcoin increased.

A Different Approach

I had recently read a book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad available on Amazon Prime (currently offering a free 30 day trial). It described the life of a young man growing up with two dads. One dad worked hard for his money before spending it and the other dad put his money to work for him. Hence one dad got poorer, and the other got richer. I realized that everything I tried followed the Poor Dad model; I was working to gain BTC, instead of putting what little BTC I had to work for me. In truth, one can make Bitcoins doing any of the things that I tried, provided that they do their research and deep dive for a solution. But I was ready for a different approach.

At the time, I had about $5 in BTC. This I gained from all of my previous experimentation with faucets and gambling with Satoshi. In terms of how much time I spent, the $5 I gained was definitely not worth it. But the knowledge I gained during this time gave me a good Bitcoin foundation. So I came up with something new and put 50 cents of my hard-earned BTC to work and with that 50 cents, I gained $500. When I shared my method with my boss, he too earned a profit, a profit that exceeded my own.


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