Sunday, December 31, 2017

Bitcoin and Crypto Currencies

This year has been the year that Bitcoin has come back to life. After years of stagnation, the crypto currency has gone up more than 10,000%.  It started the year at $996/BTC.  It reached a high of $19,795 on 12/17/2017.  As of today Dec. 25th, it has come down to $15,437/BTC

I first purchased my first bitcoin on Feb 28th 2015.  BTC was trading at $256.08  I only got $40 worth or .148694 of a coin.  I wanted to buy an Apple TV from some website that only dealt in bitcoin.  It turned out to be a scam and I never got my Apple TV.

From that transaction, I had some change about .00584185, which was worth about $1.65 at the time.  I just left it in my account.  Now 2.5 years later that change was worth $35 on Oct 31st, 2017, so I cashed most of it out after bitcoin skyrocketed to $6333.61/BTC.  If I kept that initial $40 in BTC, it would have been worth $942, on that date.  My chump change had turn into real money and I had recouped my losses.

Aug 1st, 2017 "Bitcoin cash" was forked from the main blockchain and I got some of this in my account for owning some bitcoin at the time of the fork.  That has climbed to and now have $17.50 in Bitcoin Cash.  So I have offically made more then my initial investment.

No telling when this ponsi system will last, but it could last a while as people look for a way to handle large transactions without any central government monitoring the usage.

To get involved with bitcoin, I would suggest signup with a account.  You can deposit money into this account and trade 4 different crypto currencies: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin.

Ripple is an up and coming coin that the major banks have created and this might be the next big wave.  Unfortunately, you can not buy it directly now.  You need to buy Ethereum first and then Ripple.

First you need to setup a coinbase account and buy Ethereum from somewhere like Coinbase. After you do that, you can transfer the ETH to Binance and exchange it for XRP on Binance’s site. To setup an account with Binance, go to

More than half of all Ripple coins in circulation today are held by banks and Ripple has specifically been created so that it cannot become hyper-inflated like US dollars and other countries' currencies. There are only 100 billion Ripple coins in existence and the developers say no more will be created. The founders of Ripple have voluntarily placed 20% of the XRP coins into escrow accounts that will release about 200-300 million coins per month for the next five years. Only about 2-3 million Ripple coins will be released each day each month, so the market will remain stabilized and never become flooded with XRP. Since supply and demand regulate value, the demand for XRP will steadily grow as it becomes more accepted and it will grow at a rate that will not be able to overshadow the available supply. If the demand is greater than the supply, the value will rise and the people who own large amounts of XRP will have increased wealth. It is rumored that global banks own around 40 to 50 percent of the Ripple that has already been distributed. 
Since Ripple is only about one dollar per coin right now, XRP is still an affordable investment option for new people wanting to invest in cryptocurrency. Here we are just a few days before Christmas 2017 and the people who bought Ripple right before Thanksgiving paid around ten cents per XRP coin and they have already made a 1,000 % return on their investment in a few weeks and are projected to keep making higher returns as Ripple becomes a mainstream form of payment in 2018.
International wire transfers of money between banks in different countries currently take about ten minutes to complete. The bank that is receiving the money also must front the funds to their customer before they actually receive them from the international bank. Since the 100+ world’s largest banks have gotten together and agreed to begin transferring funds via RippleNet instead of traditional wire transfers, the time and fees associated with the transfer are remarkably lower. Transactions on RippleNet require no funds to be fronted, only take 3 seconds to complete and they will cost the banks 30% less in crypto transfer fees than wire transfers. With faster, cheaper, and less risky transfers quickly becoming available through Ripple, wire transfers are going to soon be as obsolete as a fax machines and rotary phones. 
Just like other cryptocurrencies and credit cards, Ripple is not backed by gold, silver, or any other asset so it is not tangible, meaning you can not hold it in your hand. Other currencies like the US dollar are supposedly backed by gold, but Ripple is backed by nothing. Seriously. Ripple, is literally just imaginary money that has been created out of thin air. Americans have seen money created out of thin air before though, so this is really not a new idea. 
Back in the late 1950's, the ever innovative think tank over at American Express set a new trend in the financial industry when they first introduced Americans to unsecured debt through their new invention called the credit card. The credit card was a unique creation of its time because it allowed users to carry long term debt with cumulative interest instead of requiring it to be paid back to the store each month like was required of charge cards. Credit cards could also be used anywhere, unlike charge cards that could only be used as the specific store that issued them, such as Sears, Montgomery Wards, etc. The compounding interest accumulated each month was a revolutionary new way for American Express to make real money off the intangible money they created through issuing revolving credit lines off of the imaginary money. Shortly after the launch of American Express, also in 1958, Bank of America created the BankAmericard credit card, and Visa cards created a card too. Then MasterCard was created in 1966, followed by Discover card in 1985. There have been other credit cards created over the years that have not been accepted mainstream and eventually faded away. 
American Express was not actually the company that thought of the credit card idea though. In reality, the copycats at American Express took the idea from the original developers of the credit card, which was Diner's Club. The Diner's Club card allowed cardholders to eat at restaurants throughout the month and then pay for the total of their bills at once when their billing cycle occurred. American Express just modified and expanded the idea before they went to work marketing the credit card to all types of business owners as a new form of payment that they should start accepting from customers. American Express eventually bought out Diner's Club so they could eliminate their competition and control the market. American Express essentially created the original how to guide for other financial entities who wanted to start making real money out of imaginary money through the use of credit cards. And in case you skimmed over this really long post and missed bullet point number one from earlier, I'd like to remind you that American Express is the main implementation partner involved in expanding the use of Ripple globally. Their old buddies over at Bank of America are also huge players in this real life global game made up of Monopoly money that is coming in 2018 too.
All of the cryptocurrencies you’ve ever heard of until now have been created by mining coins. Deregulated cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, etc. are mined using special computer-like machines that work to solve mathematical log rhythms as quickly as possible to earn coins. These mining machines produce a lot of heat, use a lot of electricity to operate, and can take a while to produce the coins. It can be costly to mine coins, so miners have to be able to balance their electric bill usage in comparison to the anticipated future value and demand of the cryptocurrency they are mining. Anyway, the point is that all cryptocurrencies are created by a lot of humans using mining machines that they purchased and pay for the electricity to use to develop their cryptocurrency…….until now! 
There was absolutely no mining involved with the world's first regulated coin, Ripple, so that means no one invested time and energy to create or “mine” each individual coin. Literally, with the stroke of the global financial industry’s magic wand, one hundred billion XRP just suddenly appeared out of nowhere and into the control of banks all over the world who want to transfer funds faster and cheaper. 
Cryptocurrency that is not backed by mining did not exist within a digital currency before Ripple came into existence. A cryptocurrency that is backed by banks has also never happened before. The two industry firsts combined, along with founding partners like Google bring an extreme amount of power, wealth, and control to the the powers that be and also regular citizens who invest in large amounts of Ripple before it becomes mainstream in 2018. 
The biggest difference between Ripple and all the other cryptocurrencies out there is that the banks and credit card companies actually created Ripple themselves, so this is the only cryptocurrency that they are going to agree to accept. This is also why so many libertarians and free-thinkers dislike Ripple, they feel it goes against everything cryptocurrency was created to represent. Since every other cryptocurrency out there is deregulated in the free market ---and the banks and governments love to regulate everything, they are not willing to accept cryptocurrencies which they cannot control, hence the reason they are rejecting the acceptance of Bitcoin. But, since the banks created Ripple themselves, they can control anything and everything about it, so therefore they will gladly accept their own currency as payment for goods and services. 
Basically the banks, credit card companies, and world governments just took the same idea that Bitcoin had, copied it, modified it a little, created their own rules and regulations for it, and then in 2018 they will have a global marketing team promoting their goals of Ripple being accepted as a common currency everywhere in the world. With hopes to kill off all the non-regulated cryptocurrencies, Ripple’s plan is to become the official digital currency of the world. As people start wanting to exchange other cryptocurrencies so that they can have more Ripple to spend on daily purchases, the banks will slowly gain over possession over large portions of the deregulated currencies too. 
I think Ripple will be the main cryptocurrency that replaces cash and it’s going to start happening in 2018. The banks want to get Ripple into the mainstream market so it can be traded and spent for goods and services. Whenever the 100+ banks worldwide who already support Ripple begin encouraging people to exchange their US dollars, pounds, pesos, yin, etc. for Ripplecoin, the old tangible paper currencies are likely to never be seen again except in coin collector’s books or inside of glass cases at museums. 
To better understand this theory, just consider the circulation of the new US bill designs. Think back to about 10 years ago or less, when money had a slightly different look. US dollars and coins were both redesigned in the 2000’s, but still look pretty similar to the prior currency, except the new versions have a watermark, different people’s faces, and other minor differences. Anyway, when is the last time you saw one of those old style $20 bills? It’s probably been a while. Businesses still accept the old style $20’s, but whenever those old $20’s get deposited at the bank, and someone later withdraws the draw money, the bank will give out the new $20’s instead of the old ones so that the old ones are eventually eliminated from circulation. This is standard procedure for removing old currency from circulation. Banks are going to soon be pushing Ripple in 2018 because its fees are so much lower, so you can bet they’re also going to be removing tangible currency from circulation as they replace it with the digital currency that they will control.
People thesedays have no problem handing over cash to their bank and then using their Visa or MasterCard debit card that is attached to their checking account to spend the funds. Because people are already conditioned to spending and transferring money with using a hard plastic card or through an app on their phone, it will be easy to have the general public adapt to using Ripple. The transition will be so seamless that many people will not even realize their credit or debit card has been replaced with digital currency. Ripple cards will probably closely resemble today's credit/debit cards with a chip inside. People will soon be using their Ripple cards or Ripple app on their phones to pay for everyday items at restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, etc. where they are currently using debit cards, credit cards, or cash. 
Ripple was made in the USA. It was founded and created in 2012 by Silicon Valley's biggest investors and tech companies. I can't find much evidence to prove this yet, but I personally believe that Ripple was developed to balance the US deficit that was created by auto industry bailouts and America’s foreclosure crisis of 2007-2009. Banks in the US hold a lot of international debt due to their dealings with bailing out giant corporations who were going bankrupt. By creating a new type of currency and having it replace the old currency in which they have lots of debt is a relatively simple way to exchange a large amount of international debt with a growing investment that financial entities control themselves. 
There is a lot of talk in the crypto community right now about Ripple being added to Coinbase in January. This is a huge deal because Coinbase is the most popular mainstream cryptocurrency trading platform in the United States. It's very simple and easy to use. Since Coinbase does not currently allow users to trade funds for XRP, most people are not trading it right now because it is the most difficult coin to trade. That being said, within the past two months, Ripple has soared to 4th place on the list of largest traded cryptocurrencies in existence. What that means is that a few people own very large amounts of the globally regulated cryptocurrency. Those “people” are the big banks and powerful governments of countries all over the world. Whenever Coinbase adds Ripple as a trading option in January, then regular US citizens are going to be panicking to get Ripple coins like what happened with Bitcoin a few months ago. If you don’t believe me, read up on how people in Japan are acting right now over the introduction of Ripple throughout Asia. 
As I stated earlier, I am not a financial adviser. I am not licensed to provide any financial advise or to advise you how to invest your own money. I am also not affiliated with Ripple, Bitcoin, or any other company that has a corporate stake in any cryptocurrency. I am just an informed citizen because I have done some research. I make no guarantees that any of the information I've mentioned is even accurate --- I just found it through a search on Google. Please do your own research and make investments and financial decisions based on your own research. 
I’m sure this post is going to get a lot of questions from people wanting to get into Ripple now, while the price is still under $1.00. If you choose to make the financial decision to own Ripple, here’s what you need to do:
Go to Coinbase and create a new account for yourself. If you appreciate this information, please use my referral link to sign up at link.
Coinbase cooperates with the IRS, so they will want to know your social security number, get a copy of the front and back of your driver’s license plus a second form of ID, such as a utility bill in your name. You’ll also want to link a credit or debit card to your account so you can buy cryptocurrency using your bank’s debit card quickly. Coinbase allows you to link your checking account too, but it takes a few days to be verified. You will need to save the 12 random words, known as a seed phrase, somewhere will you will never lose them. If you are new to creating crypto wallets, you will want to read up about seed phrases at…/ before you make a mistake and lose access to all your funds forever. The fastest way to verify your account and start buying cryptocurrency is to use a credit or debit card on Coinbase. After you get your Coinbase account created and verified, then you need to buy some Etherum (or if you already own Bitcoin, this is an opportunity to trade it for something better with cheaper fees). Then type in whatever US dollar amount you want to purchase in Ethereum (ETH), buy it, and then it will show up in your Coinbase account immediately. 
Next you will need to create a Binance account so you can exchange your Ethereum for Ripple. Again, if you appreciate this information, please use my referral link at enter referral ID 17797611 when you setup the account so I can earn some free cryptocurrency. You will need to provide Binance with your social security number, ID, and verification process, like you did with Coinbase. You do not need to link your Binance account to your bank or debit card because the source of your funds will be sent from a cryptocurrency address on Coinbase. With the historical crypto rush happening this month, Coinbase is really busy. It might take up to 30 minutes for your funds to be received on Binance’s website, but if you keep refreshing your screen you can watch the progress. If you do not know how to send to/from cryptocurrency addresses yet, check out YouTube for tutorials and safety tips about how to manage your crypto passwords. 
Next you need to exchange your Ethereum (ETH) for Ripple (XRP) on the Binance website. To do this, just click the Funds tab, select Deposit/Withdraw, and then create a new Ethereum (ETH) wallet address. After you have an Ethereum wallet address created on Binance, copy the address. Then go back over to Coinbase and click on the Accounts tab. Paste your Binance Ethereum wallet address inside the recipient's address box along with the amount of ETH that you want to trade for XRP and press send. It will take a few minutes for the transaction to fully appear in your Binance Ethereum wallet, but you can watch the progress if you keep refreshing your screen. Once you have Ethereum in your Binance wallet, then go to the Deposits/Withdraws tab to create a new XRP wallet to hold your Ripple. Next, click on the Exchange basic tab to begin exchanging your Ethereum for Ripple. Locate the light blue and white chart in the top right corner, and then type XRP into the search box and then double click on the ETH/XRP option and star to add it to your viewing window favorites. Then look toward the center of the page for the green Buy Now button. In the area above the green Buy Now button, verify that you have selected XRP (not some other currency by mistake), click on the Market tab, select to exchange 100% of available funds (Binance will take a small service fee), and then press Buy Now. The Ripple you just traded your Ethereum for will appear in your XRP wallet immediately. You'll know it has been completed when the ETH balance changes to zero or just a few leftover pennies and the XRP balance changes to a number other than zero. 
I’m sure people are going to have lots questions and detailed directions will be difficult to write up. I will be making a video after Christmas that teaches people how to buy and trade Ripple. I’m by no means an expert on Ripple, I simply did some research and you should do the same. It's really not a hard concept to understand once you realize the ripple in the global economy that Ripple was created to create. I come from the real estate and banking industry background, so I see the potential of Ripple and I know it’s huge. Ripple is going to be taking over the world economy in 2018. But don’t take my word for it, go do some research yourself. I hope reading my opinions of Ripple will interest my friends and family to read up on it for themselves and choose to take advantage of investment opportunities before they pass them by. 
Sign up for Coinbase here:
Sign up for Binance here:
Track how much XRP you can exchange for a US dollar here:
May 2018 be a year filled with health, wealth, happiness, peace, joy and financial success for us all. Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Getting Free Stuff By Being a Amazon Reviewer

Been getting allot of free stuff lately on Amazon.  I sign up to a Facebook group called Amazon Reviewer And Buyers &Amaozn Super Deals Sellers post stuff for free or reduced pricing, in exchange for you to buy their products and give a review.

There is also another Facebook group called Amazon Peak Reviews.  It works in a similar fashion, but you need to review 4 items, before they trust you enough to pay you back right away with PayPal.

Most of these suppliers are from China and they know that positive reviews are what sells on Amazon.  They use to give out codes to get stuff, but Amazon was cracking down on the practice.  We should all be watchful for fake reviews.  You can use this site or to check any product for being fake.

Here is the play book to get free items:
  1. You need to PM(Personal Message) the seller that you want to review an item 
  2. They will ask for your Amazon profile, to see how your existing reviews
  3. They will ask if you have a PayPal account
  4. If they like what they see, they will offer you a rebate or incentive
  5. Most of the times you need to purchase from Amazon with your credit card
  6. Give them the order number
  7. The seller will pay you back thru your PayPal account.  I give my PayPal.Me link and get the funds immediately.   
  8. Sometimes they will give you a code that you can use to get the item for very cheap.  

Below are all the items I have gotten pretty much for free.  The drone I got for $10.  Most of these items are fulfilled by Amazon and on Amazon Prime, so I get them in 2 days and since the companies are based in China, no sales tax!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Austin Poker Places

Austin just open its 2nd Texas Card House in north Austin!  I played some poker at its South Austin location.  It was about a 35min drive for me.  The North location is only about 15min on Research Blvd and Anderson Mill.  So far, I have not lost a dime, except for the membership fee.  

The game play is against other players and there is no rake.  To enter the poker room, it costs $10/day and they charge $10/hr for use of the "club."  The place was started by a former State Legislative staffer who knew the letter of the law.  The place takes no "rake" from the pot and the dealers can not be tipped.  All the players have an equal opportunity to make money from each other.  The house can not legally make any money from the game play.  So far it seems like a formula for success!

As the success of Texas Card House has been.  Others have decided to join the game.  Round Rock has open a similar style room in June 2017, called Chisholm Trail Card Club.  They charge $5/day and $8/hr.  I played there once and it was round n round.  I had a very loose player to my right, so I cashed out pretty well.  First timers get free membership entry.  Call (512) 986-2137 for more details.

Pflugerville has also open up a poker room, called Prestige Card House in June of 2017.  They only charge $5/day and $6/hr.  The lowest cost in town, so I will be checking these guys soon.  Call (347) 850-3730 for more information.  UPDATE: The Prestige Card House removed the $5/day and now charges $8/hr.  I have played here a few times and have not lost yet.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Rideshare Back In Austin

Governor Abbott signs HB 100 on May 29th, 2017, Memorial Day and brings back Uber and Lyft to Austin, TX.  It has been exactly 3 years since Uber and Lyft originally started up in Austin, in the Spring of 2014.

The city has had plenty of ups and downs, during the past 3 years.  The first few months, Uber and Lyft operated without the city's official blessing.  Mayor Leffingwell only indicated that the city should have Uber and Lyft, but city officials considered ride-sharing illegal without an operating authority and a chaffer's license, but Uber and Lyft operated until the city passed an ordinance making TNCs like Uber and Lyft officially legal within the city limits.

After one year of operating, the new city council was elected and decided to update the ordinance with additional regulations. The new council only had one hold over from the old council, Kathie Tovo and she voted against the original TNC ordinance.

The new city TNC ordinance mandated a finger print back ground checks in 2015.  The fingerprint check, was to be phased in over a 2 year period.  Uber and Lyft proceeded with a petition to ask the people to vote on the new ordinance.

In May of 2016, Prop 1, did not pass, Uber and Lyft stopped operating within the city limits.  Ten other TNCs entered the Austin market:  WingZ, GetMe, Fare, Fasten, RideAustin, InstaRyde, ScoopMeZtrip,  Tride and Arcade City.

The big guns, Uber and Lyft, focused their efforts on the 2017 State Legislative session.  In 2015, we did have a ride-share bill that past out of committee, but that bill never made it for a House vote.  In 2017, the legislators saw what Austin did and made the Ride-Share bill a priority.

The 2017 session had a total of 4 ride-share bills filed.  Three in the Senate (SB113, 176 361) and one in the House (HB 100).  House Bill 100 passed by 75% and passed in the Senate by 68% after Senator VanTaylor changed his vote in favor the the bill.  You can view the final Senate vote here.

The Governor signed it 12 days later and since we had 2/3 approval, it goes into effect immediately. I went to the signing ceremony where I meet the Author Rep. Chris Paddie, Senate Sponsor Charles Schwertner and the Governor.  A couple hours later, I also picked up my first Lyft ride!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

KVUE on Texas Statewide TNC Bill Progress

Amber Downing at KVUE asked for an interview on the current state of ride-share in Austin, TX.  The State is in the middle of approving HB 100, that would make State wide regulations for Transportation Network Companies in Texas.  The House has already approved the bill with 75% approval.

Here is the 6PM Show

Here is the 5AM and 6AM show

Below is the State of Affair Committee Hearing