Back in 2017-2018, I was mining Ethereum and it was going pretty well... until it wasn't. Even though I've been investing in cryptocurrencies since 2017, somehow I have managed to escape becoming "bitcoin rich". So make sure to take everything I say with a grain of salt, because I would have done a whole lot better if I just put every dollar into Bitcoin and left it there. If I had done that, I would have at least 1 bitcoin right now. Instead, I have an extensive collection of so-called, "shit coins" (I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for some of them). This bull market, I have been determined to do things differently... to learn from my mistakes. I strive to dollar cost average into BTC and ETH and mostly leave alt coins alone, but I can't resist the temptation to get involved in these fringes of the crypto economy.
When I built several 6-card GPU mining rigs in 2017, I was mining Ethereum and wasting it all on ICOs that never materialized... or selling my ETH for USD to buy more GPUs. It was a lot of fun but then, all at once, the crypto market crashed and I got an electricity bill for a few thousand dollars. Suddenly, the noisy space ship in my garage didn't seem like a printing press for digital money anymore... it had become a constant reminder of my critical error. Mining in California isn't impossible, but I neglected to opt-in to the appropriate "time-of-use" plan that would have saved me a lot in penalty tier overages on my electric bill. I had misunderstood my monthly bill for a few months, and I think I was paying close to $0.50 per kWh for the very highest overage penalty tier during the worst of it. So I had accumulated all these overages in electricity fees that were not appearing on my "amount due" every month. Instead, they were on a back page that I hadn't seen. Furthermore, I had just reinvested (again) into expanding my Ethereum GPU-mining farm. I ended up taking a pretty huge loss. By September of 2018, when Ethereum had bottomed out around $200, I was truly wrecked. It hurt so bad.
I ended up trading something like 12-14 GPUs, 4-5 motherboards, CPUs, RAM, a ton of cables, and a handful of high quality power supplies, all to a miner friend (who was mining with free electricity in his company's aircraft hanger) and I walked away from crypto until December 2020. In the end, between sunk electricity costs and losses on mining hardware investments, I think I was out between $5,000 - $8,000. I could have gotten more for my GPUs, but I just wanted out and didn't want to deal with shipping them across the country or selling all of my components individually. I didn't want to run my miners through another scorching summer because they get too hot in the garage and they heat up the house too much when they're inside. I will never forget what a pain in the ass it can be to run mining rigs.
By the time the crypto market had bottomed out in 2018, I had already been participating in every random airdrop I could find. I was biting my nails watching the market tank and doom scrolling airdrop boards. It seemed like a worth while strategy to try to get a small piece of all of these blockchain start-ups early on for free. I was using every airdrop aggregator I could find and I had my ETH address, twitter handle, and email address, all saved to a special custom hotkey clipboard program so I could paste them into the airdrop form fields more efficiently. I'm sure I attempted to sign-up for many more airdrops than I actually ended up qualifying for or receiving, but in the end, I did actually wind up receiving quite a few of these random airdrop tokens. None of them have been worth anything for years, and then slowly the cream began rising to the top during this bull run. It's actually really cool to look at my airdrop tokens to see some of these projects that are still around and growing now after these past 2-3 years. Most of my holdings still aren't worth more than a few dollars, but I have several that have now grown to over $100. I think the most valuable airdrop I received has been ~9,500 MVL (mass Vehicle Ledger)... it's worth about $450 now, and I believe that was part of a blog bounty, so I probably received a little larger reward than usual. Altogether, I think my random airdrops from 2017-2018 are now approaching $1,000 USD in value. So perhaps, I can repeat something similar with a more targeted approach this time around.
Well now that I'm noticing some of my airdrop tokens are starting to mature, I'm deciding what to do with this information. When the value of an old obscure token rapidly increases several years after launch, it can mean two things. It's often a pump and dump in progress that raises the price for a few hours or days at best. But with many of these older airdrop tokens of mine that have gained some value recently, they are actually holding their value. When I look more into the projects, in most cases, they have now built and launched a decentralized application and their communities are clearly thriving. In some cases, after evaluating a project's current status, I have decided to buy some of their tokens to build my position which began as an airdrop. I'm now returning to my old habit of occasionally signing up for some random airdrops. I was signing up for so many airdrops back in 2017-2018 that my twitter and medium accounts actually got permanently suspended for "spam". So I'm not planning to go quite as crazy with it this time. Nonetheless, the first one I've come across that looks interesting and easy to participate in, is Sigma Protocol (SASH) or Sigmoid. I'm not sure which name to call it based on their branding. But I'm pretty sure it's "Sigma Protocol". Remember that these airdrop projects could be rug-pull scams and most of them, sadly, will probably fail... even with the best intentions. So just keep that in mind. We're just rolling the dice for a chance to get some tokens that ***COULD*** wind up being worth something. I learned about this airdrop on airdropalert.com and this medium post gives a lot of information on the project and the airdrop.
Sigma Protocol's website has some pretty interesting looking stuff. I haven't poked around their white paper too closely, but that's not really the point of participating in airdrops for me. Ideas mean nothing unless they are successfully implemented and effectively monetized by creating value and disrupting markets. I have no idea if Sigma Protocol is going to achieve this. However, I feel pretty comfortable spending a few minutes looking over the project and signing up for their airdrop, because who knows what it could end up being worth and it only costs me a little time. Hopefully, I also learn something new and valuable during the time invested in learning about this start-up. Sometimes, we can observe larger market trends by exploring the popularity of various airdops in niche sectors of the market. So, if the general idea or market sector sounds appealing to me, then I will generally go for it and sign-up for the airdrop. But if I'm going buy something and share with my friends to potentially spend their hard-earned (rapidly depreciating) USD to purchase INSTEAD of buying more Bitcoin, then I really have to have some degree of faith in the specific project. When it comes to Sigma Protocol (and most of the airdrops I will share here from time to time), I am personally not investing any of my money in them. In many cases, I couldn't even if I wanted to, because they haven't issued any tokens yet. So these airdrops are a wild shot in the dark that doesn't cost us anything.
With that said, Sigma Protocol looks pretty interesting. I see a lot of scope, including a swap and bond dex. They are trying to take on a lot and it's entirely community driven. Sigma Protocol is developing as a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) so the best way to evaluate its prospects for success are to participate in the community to get a pulse on how things are working out. Their Twitter has 51.2k followers.
The Sigmoid telegram group has 69,291 members. So they have a pretty large number of people following the project. I wonder where I might check in on the real-time status of the project development. I do see some activity on their Github, which is encouraging. The project is clearly in a fairly early stage.
Sigma Protocol is a "bond-based, decentralized monetary model" which appears to be leveraging ERC-659 (BEP-659) universal bond token standards.
There are no master private keys and the project is completely decentralized. So we will really want to see those social media pages come online and start bustling with volunteer developers.
Sigma Protocol is airdropping SASH, a "new generation sustainable algorithmic coin". And they emphasize the fair minting and distribution of SASH. SASH boasts some pretty extraordinary features, including that "The price of SASH will never fall under $0.5 USD".
The governance token (SGM) again has some extraordinary features, claiming "The price of SGM will never fall under their average minting cost."
If you want to participate in the SASH airdrop, you just need a telegram and a twitter or medium account and you can get started interacting with the telegram bot right here. Will it be worth your time? I have no idea. But these sorts of projects seem more promising to me than most of the presales and ICOSs that I have ever participated in. At this point, I think people are more inclined to trust projects that launch with a DAO format. But I don't see much evidence of a large developer community communicating anywhere. So, I'm curious how people are able to get involved if they want to help code it.
My final thoughts, are that my experiences with mining and previous market crashes have made me more intentional with my risk-reward profile. I don't want to maintain mining rigs in my home ever again... been there, done that. It's cool, but it's also a pain and the risk is still very real. The hardware ROI risk and the hassle factor of running PoW mining rigs make them unappealing to me at this stage. So, I'm willing to assume some more investment risk with a very small sliver of my portfolio because it informs my greater market strategy. The experience of learning about and using these early projects has given me perspective that I can use to make decisive investment choices. I don't want to invest in micro-cap projects with nothing built yet. I did that plenty during the ICO days, so I'm content to never do that again. However, I do enjoy scrolling through the airdrop aggregators sometimes to take stock of what's there. Trying to participate in every airdrop in crypto is literally a full-time job, so I don't think I'm up for that. But I will continue bringing you guys the occasional random airdrop that you can try to claim or ignore. The Sigma Protocol airdrop participation process is automated through their telegram bot and you have to follow them on twitter, retweet, and tag as well as following on medium. The telegram bot requests your Binance Smart Chain (BSC) address so you'll need one of those to receive the airdrop (eventually I'll write some more blog posts on using BSC). Lastly, you need 1 successful referral in order to qualify for the airdrop. So come on somebody, anybody, use my link and sign-up for the Sigma Protocol's SASH airdrop. Maybe we'll both be really glad you did. Maybe we'll forget all about it, and the tokens won't ever arrive in our wallets. Or perhaps they will, but they won't ever be worth anything. That's the more likely outcome. But I'm hoping we get lucky with Sigma... developing the crypto bond market more sounds like an appealing iteration in decentralized finance. And now I'm on their contact list, so I'll probably receive occasional email updates as well. Maybe they will introduce blogger bounty programs that we can join in the future.