When I joined, I wasn't even sure if Steem(it) was for me. I had doubts if my SP would ever reach 50, and investing in STEEM surely wasn't part of my plans. Not to mention I had never fiddled with cryptocurrencies before despite having been reading a lot about them...
At the time (beginning of 2018), 1 STEEM was costing more than 3 BRL (my country's currency, Brazilian Real), so buying STEEM with money from my own pocket was totally out of the question. The opposite seemed more attractive, to get what we earn here and trade for actual money... of course, only if managing to earn more than just cents, which I was already sure wouldn't happen. We not only earn nothing, but also have to spend our own money? "No way." In my head, this made absolutely no sense. Every time someone suggested buying STEEM, I discarded the possibility right away and said that I would grow my account just with post rewards and see where it would lead.
Time passed. Even though I'm not much of a social media person, and the post earnings are nothing impressive, somehow I really like it here, and this led me to stick around. Growing the account only through post and comment rewards really takes much time, effort, and patience. It took me almost a year to reach 100 SP. And it also took me a while to finally begin to understand why one would want to put money on the platform rather than the other way around. It's not just a matter of buying STEEM to increase SP, like paying for items in a game just to increase your upvote value. Of course the person can do that if he/she so chooses, but there's more to buying STEEM than just that.
There are projects that give returns proportional to the SP we delegate. They earn from the curation rewards of the posts they upvote using the delegated SP, then shares the profits with the delegators. This is one of the ways to invest in STEEM. Another way is to trade STEEM and SBD on the internal market and try to sell them for a higher price than when you bought them, but that's harder to get the ups and downs right, and riskier than earning passively by just delegating SP.
Still in 2018, after the STEEM and SBD prices had taken a huge drop, the thought of using my actual money to buy some STEEM crossed my mind, but I wasn't brave enough to do it at the time. I decided to let the idea "mature" a bit first, and find out if I'd be dedicated enough to the platform for that.
At the beginning of 2019, I went through hardships in my offline life and lost inspiration to keep posting on STEEM, but as things finally began settling down, I became excited about STEEM again. By that point, other different ways to invest in the platform had appeared, like for example:
- Sell or rent cards of the game Steem Monsters/Splinterlands, or sell the DEC tokens that we earn as we win battles in the game.
- Sell the various tokens (like other cryptocurrencies) that have been appearing on the STEEM blockchain thanks to Steem Engine. These tokens may be earned as post rewards or as SP delegation returns, or bought with STEEM, and may be sold on the Steem Engine market.
With the wave of new tokens that we can get by delegating SP, as well as some projects that give returns on delegated SP that had already piqued my interest before, the idea of investing in STEEM surfaced once more.
Then I remembered that last year I had bought a small amount of crypto just to try things out, and decided to trade some of it for STEEM. Since I had never traded other crypto for STEEM before, I chose to do a test first. I sold a very small fraction of my crypto and traded it for 4.858 SBD through BlockTrades. Thankfully, the SBD arrived in my STEEM account just fine. I added it to some SBD that I had accumulated from post rewards, and traded 10 SBD on the internal market for around 33 STEEM. I added that to some more STEEM that I already had, and powered up 35 STEEM. That got me from 136 SP to 171 SP.
Thanks to the recent dip in crypto prices and the STEEM price being so low, it was as though STEEM were in a Black Friday sale! At the moment I wrote this, 1 STEEM was costing around 0.82 BRL. With 3 BRL (around the price of the STEEM when I joined), now it'd be possible to buy almost 4 (around 3.65) STEEM! So, I couldn't resist!
Since the first SBD test had gone well, I thought I was ready to buy STEEM for good. However, I wasn't. I spent a month chasing the crypto prices, like in a cat and mouse game. As soon as I tried to buy and created a limit order a little below the price the crypto was trading at, the crypto would rise. As soon as I tried to sell the crypto I already had for a slightly higher price than I had bought it, the crypto would drop! It was both frustrating but funny at the same time. Since I wasn't in a hurry, I decided to just keep at it until I finally got it right.
I heard rumors that the STEEM prices might rise after the arrival of HardFork 21. That big update has a lot of controversial points, and whether the prices will rise or drop is yet to be seen, but if the price rises, it may once again become too expensive for me to buy STEEM! So, I thought that if I were to buy STEEM to have enough SP to invest (delegate to other projects), the time would be now. Thankfully, the limit trades were on my side this time, and I managed to buy STEEM for a price I think was worth it.
I bought 282.290 STEEM for a crypto amount that cost me 234.01 BRL, and powered everything up. This got me from 236 own SP to 518.7210 SP, and I suddenly became a minnow! When I was buying STEEM, I had thought I'd be a bit short of becoming a minnow, but the power up actually put me above 500 SP! I can't even fully believe it yet! I had thought I'd be a plankton for many years, if not forever. But again, for a long time, I had thought I'd have to grow my SP only through post rewards, and when I began considering to buy STEEM, I had thought of buying way less (like 50 or 100 at most).
Below is a screenshot I took right after powering up (the numbers will have changed a bit by now):
Image source: screenshot of the page on SteemWorld showing my stats
I'm still deciding how to invest this SP. The options that I'm considering are:
- Increasing my delegation to @brazilians, a project that supports the Brazilian community (it's the one that's giving me most returns, as weekly STEEM payouts). It gives returns of 0.38% per week, or around 1.52% per month (considering a month with four weeks), or around 18.24% per year.
- Increasing my delegation to @minnowsupport to earn more PAL tokens, as it's proving to be hard to earn PAL (most posts tend to get me less than 1 PAL after the rewards are split between the curators and me). I have delegated 20 SP and am getting only around 0.08 to 0.25 PAL a day. Increasing the delegation to like 50 SP wouldn't change that number much (still very far from even 0.10 PAL), so I'm not sure about it.
- Delegating to @steemmonsters to earn DEC tokens. A 100 SP delegation gets around 14 to 20 DEC per day, from what I've heard. If I delegate 50 SP, I assume I'd get around half of that (from 7 to 10). But we can easily earn that amount just by winning a few battles... though I haven't played the game much lately, and this is the reason I'm thinking of delegating, to earn some DEC passively, but I'm still not sure.
- Delegating to SteemAce (@good.game) to earn GG tokens. Their delegation plan post says a 100 SP delegation gets around 2.5 GG per day. In a reply to a comment, they said that they are accepting delegations smaller than 100 SP, but the actual plan was to have 100 SP be the minimum amount accepted, and that this may become the case in the future. If I were to delegate, it'd be less than 100, and I'm a bit worried about this.
The choice is hard. In the end, the only option I'm sure about is the Brazilians one! If I leave 50 SP undelegated to avoid RC problems like is often recommended, I'll have 288 SP available to delegate, and can't just go throwing 100 SP everywhere. Not to mention that if I delegate it all, my upvote value will be back from 0.0006 to 0.0002 again... but since the SP I bought is mostly for investing, I'll probably delegate it all. Until I decide what to do, though, I guess I'll enjoy my slightly increased upvote value for a while. ;)
My earnings obviously won't be so big because the amount I'm investing is small, but it's a start. If the prices remain attractive, I may invest more. Probably little by little, until I eventually get the hang of the limit trades to be able to get the most of my crypto meant to be traded for STEEM, and also get the hang of tax-reporting with crypto and become more confident that I'm doing everything right.
Disclaimer: keep in mind that this post is not an investment advice. It just reflects my opinion. For me, investing in STEEM seems like an interesting option now, but may not be for everyone. As with other cryptocurrencies, the potential for gains is there, but there is also the possibility that the STEEM price drops even more etc.. So, it is always good to emphasize what they always say:
Do not invest more than you can afford to lose!
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