Seawater Beer – It exists, but it really shouldn’t.

I was out with the wife the other night, having a couple of beers at Mr Banks.

Mr Banks is a brewery that do real beer, the stuff that tastes amazing, and brewed using good quality ingredients. Beers like this Red XPA, which was a real treat with its malty aroma and hoppy and equally as malty flavours.

A good example of a beer

But we’re not here to talk about good beer, we’re here to talk about the odd and disturbing experience that is seawater beer. A beer that I unfortunately encountered at a Spanish Bar that my wife and I visited after growing tired of drinking good beer.

I might be ignorant of some important and vital piece of beer brewing information, but why the hell would you want to brew a beer with sea water? Most good brewers take all steps to ensure their water supply is as clean and free of impurities as possible. Clean and purified water that is low in salts ensures that the flavours that the brewer is attempting to bring out in their brews comes through as cleanly and effectively as possible.

Hmmm sea water…

In my mind, adding sea water to your brew sounds like complete insanity. I cannot fathom how sea water would add in a positive way to the flavours of a beer. In the brewers defence, they do filter the water but the question still has to be asked as to why they think sea water is a great addition to a beer. I truly don’t understand how, but apparently this beer has won some awards. So it seems that there are people out there who like this beer and willingly choose to drink it. Even after sampling it for the first time. Insanity, I know.

And there are even people out there who believe this beer is good for them, and that it prevents hangovers. This chap raves about the beer and its supposedly magical properties. He claims that the beer has the following properties:

  • It’s packed full of electrolytes as a result of being brewed with sea water. Clearly the guy has never heard of sports drinks if electrolytes is what he’s seeking.
  • It’s great for hydration. No, alcohol is never good for hydration…
  • It makes him urinate less. Could that possibly be the result of drinking salt water?
  • It didn’t give him a hangover. Even though he woke up with a hangover. 
  • It’s good to drink after exercise. A theory that was debunked a long time ago.

So I suppose I should tell you what I actually thought about how this beer tasted.  It’s probably quite obvious by now that I’m not a fan. But if it isn’t clear, I’m not a fan of this beer.

Oh look, a salty brew

The beer looks great in a glass. It has a lovely misty amber colour and pours with an impressive off white head. But that’s where the praise ends.  The aroma is quite literally of a stagnant ocean.  On the palate the beer has mild carbonation and a stale bitterness overpowers any normal beer flavours that you might be expecting.

And that’s really all there is to this beer.  A beer that looks nice, but smells bad and tastes equally as bad. I dislike this beer so much that I won’t even bother you with the usual beer data.  Simply stay away from this terrible idea of a brew. You’re not missing out on anything, I assure you.

NOIA Network – Faster Internet for us Plus a Passive Income for You!

Preamble

In this article, I discuss the NOIA Network and their solution to making the internet quicker, more efficient, and giving users an opportunity to earn a passive income through the use of their idle computing resources.

NOIA have already launched their testnet, and are inviting anyone interested in their solution and project to create and account and to start contributing your idle computing resources to the testnet.

I’ll discuss the benefits of contributing your computing resources to the NOIA Network during this article.

Our internet speeds could be a lot better

In a world where our advances in technology are rapidly progressing, our global internet infrastructure is largely fragmented and often lacks integrity.

Our internet speeds vary drastically across the globe, and some developed nations actually have internet speeds that are slower than some developing nations.

And these greatly differing internet speeds are largely the reasons as to why data transfers between distant locations can be incredibly slow and inefficient. To many, these problems don’t seem like a significant issue. But for website operators who want to deliver content to global audiences, varying internet speeds can be a significant issue. Especially where that content is resource intensive, such as video and live streaming content, which is becoming more and more common in these modern times.

Content Delivery Networks

Content delivery networks (CDNs) were created to help alleviate these data transfer problems.

“CDN providers maintain globally distributed, strategically placed Points of Presence (POP) or Data Centres, that are used to cache content locally and deliver it based on the geographical proximity of a request.” Source

CDNs effectively allow for resource intensive content to be loaded quickly, regardless of the geographical location of the website visitor.  Currently, CDNs form the backbone of the internet and are responsible for the majority of the content distributed globally today.

Source

In 2016, the CDN market was valued at USD $6 billion.  BY 2022, CDNs, and similar products, is projected to grow to a market size of USD $31 billion.  This is a big industry, and ripe for disruption.

This presents an interesting problem however.  The global internet infrastructure is not developing fast enough to manage the ever growing demand.

Video content creation, online gaming, Virtual Reality technologies, and streaming of video and gaming content are growing at fantastic rates and shows no sign of slowing down. So it’s plainly obvious that our rate of infrastructure development will be hard pressed to keep up with the continually growing demand for our ever more resource intensive content preferences.

Source

There’s also a few problems with relying solely on CDN infrastructure for content distribution:

  • CDNs are highly centralised – therefore open for control and manipulation.
  • Where their distribution is limited, their benefits for content delivery is limited.
  • The current CDN market is dominated by Akamai and Amazon. Therefore the cost to access these services is decided by only 2 key players in the market.
  • The infrastructure required, using current technologies, to improve the distribution of bandwidth intensive content worldwide is incredibly expensive. This will likely slow technological developments in this area greatly unless an innovative solution is developed.

The NOIA Solution

When looking at the problem described above, the team behind the NOIA Network recognised that the available bandwidth capacities per household continue to increase rapidly, creating a large volume of idle bandwidth across the globe.

This idle bandwidth presents a fantastic opportunity to address the shortfall in available bandwidth globally, and the high level of centralisation in current networks.

Every computer that is connected to the internet already forms the backbone of the internet, however these computers typically only consume data, rather than streaming data to other users.

As stated in the NOIA white paper:

“By connecting thousands of participants willing to share the idle resources of their personal computers, we can create a sharing economy of data transfer – one that is virtually limitless in terms of scale.

Everyone choosing to participate in the network will pool the unused bandwidth and storage of their computers, creating a highly decentralised and ever scalable network of nodes that are capable of delivering bandwidth intensive content across the globe in a highly efficient manner.

A decentralised network provides a wide range of benefits to the consumer, including:

  • A greater level of security, with no central organisation controlling the Network.
  • Highly efficient and cost effective, with no central entity controlling the network there are no overheads to pay. In addition, the more nodes on the network and more distributed their locations, the lower the energy costs will be to transmit bandwidth intensive data.
  • Utilising technology such as this brings with it increased opportunities for innovation, such as other decentralised services, the further development and utilisation of artificial intelligence technologies, and hosting platforms.
The NOIA Technology Stack

The Architechture

The NOIA Network is comprised of two separate structural elements that will define the network and its features:

  • Content Scaling Layer (CSL)
    • Which will include peer to peer file sharing protocols, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technology that will determine how content will be delivered throughout the network.
  • Governance Layer
    • Which is a set of smart contracts located on the Ethereum blockchain which define what NOIA tokens are and how they are transferred between nodes.

Ultimately the CSL will act as the backbone of the network while the governance layer will enable the transfer of value throughout the network.

Who are NOIA?

“NOIA is the next-generation content scaling network, powered by blockchain technology. It utilizes unused bandwidth from computers around the world to create a widely distributed, efficient and integral layer of internet infrastructure for global content delivery. NOIA is designed to serve as a bandwidth optimization mechanism for every type of web content and provide a significantly more effective and decentralized delivery method across the internet.” Source

NOIA will use next-generation peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing protocols, artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology  to combine hundreds of thousands of computers to serve as nodes in one single “intranet” and provide an opportunity to every web content provider in the world to use this “intranet” to deliver their content across the globe.

NOIA’s aim is to become a fully self-sustained and decentralised network of hundreds of thousands of nodes that pool together to share their resources, These nodes will be governed by the rules in smart contracts and operated with NOIA tokens. The nodes within this network will serve as a never  before seen infrastructure layer that will provide the fastest, most optimised and cost-efficient content delivery system on the internet.

The Team

The team behind this project is impressive.  The founders have put together a highly skilled and extensive team of personnel who are well equipped to deliver the project’s roadmap.

Founders and Business Team
Advisors
Tech Advisors

The Roadmap

Source

So far, NOIA have achieved all scheduled items on their roadmap, which isn’t all that surprising given the size of the team who are working on this project.

The Testnet for the NOIA network has already been released.  What this means is that NOIA are inviting you to create an account and start using the network, whether that be through providing your computing resources to the network or via the purchase of resourcing power for your project.

Why share your computers bandwidth and storage capacity?

Users who choose to share their computer’s idle bandwidth and storage will be rewarded for doing so in the form of NOIA tokens. They can then use these tokens to either purchase services through the NOIA network, hold them with the view of accumulating wealth, or convert them to their currency of choice.

The NOIA Token Economy

The NOIA token is the only currency used within the NOIA network.  Therefore, people wanting to purchase services within the NOIA network will purchase these services using the NOIA token.  According to the white paper, one token purchases the equivalent of 5 GB of data transfer however this amount is likely to be different today as the value of the token is not pegged.

Typically, current content delivery service providers charge around US $0.08 cents per 1 GB of data transfer. NOIA expects that, using their network, 1 GB would cost roughly US $0.01 cents which makes the NOIA Network substantially cheaper than current providers.

Why use the NOIA network to distribute content?

Using the NOIA network will be much more cost effective in comparison to utilising CDN networks. In addition to this, with the ever expanding distribution of nodes on the network, there will be a much greater efficiency in the distribution of content.

The high level of efficiency gained on this network is thanks to blockchain technology, which has the capability to be autonomous and is highly scalable.

“A Smart Contracts layer within NOIA’s network governs all relationships between the different actors in the network by providing a framework for the creation and flow of value within it.” Source

Using the NOIA Network to create a passive income stream

If you’re like me, then you’ll really be wanting to know about the potential to create a passive income stream by contributing computing resources to the NOIA Network.

This passive income stream will be created by setting up your own node, or series of nodes.

The NOIA white paper describes nodes as being:

“Nodes will be comprised of either previously idle home networked computer (which had been a net cost to their owners), and dedicated network endpoints expressly purchased for the purpose of earning NOIA Tokens.”

The free market will determine how much each node will earn, particularly due to the variability in the amount of resources each node contributes to the market, however NOIA believes that the median payout per node will be in the vicinity of US $50 per month.

Use of Nodes and Smart Contracts on the Network

NOIA tokens will be awarded to nodes based on a number of variables:

  • Amount of storage contributed to the network
  • The bandwidth utilisation (the rate at which a node is serving content)
  • The uptime factor (how much time is the node available/ accessible on the network)

Assuming that your node is contributing a significant amount of storage capacity, bandwidth and is available 24 hours per day, it could easily expected that you will be earning a passive income above the median rate of US $50 per month.

My personal opinion is that the earning potential of the NOIA network is well worth testing. And I’m currently in the process of setting up an account on the NOIA Testnet. If you have a computer available that you can leave running for 72 hours per week or longer, then I encourage you to start contributing to the testnet to determine the level of passive income that you can earn from the NOIA network.

It’s a win-win for everyone

Using the NOIA Network is a win-win for both the users who provide bandwidth and storage to the network and for those who choose to distribute their content via this network.  Users who provide their bandwidth and storage are rewarded via payment in NOIA tokens while those distributing content via the network are rewarded by a highly efficient network and a highly cost effective network for content distribution.

The NOIA Testnet is live! And I encourage you to get involved and try it out. Personally, I’ll have my own node set up very soon.  I’m very eager to see how many tokens my little computer can generate for me.

So set up your own node and let me know how it goes for you.  I’ll report back to let you know how my own node performs over the coming weeks.

NOIA Network – Faster Internet for us Plus a Passive Income for You!

Preamble

In this article, I discuss the NOIA Network and their solution to making the internet quicker, more efficient, and giving users an opportunity to earn a passive income through the use of their idle computing resources.

NOIA have already launched their testnet, and are inviting anyone interested in their solution and project to create and account and to start contributing your idle computing resources to the testnet.

I’ll discuss the benefits of contributing your computing resources to the NOIA Network during this article.

Our internet speeds could be a lot better

In a world where our advances in technology are rapidly progressing, our global internet infrastructure is largely fragmented and often lacks integrity.

Our internet speeds vary drastically across the globe, and some developed nations actually have internet speeds that are slower than some developing nations.

And these greatly differing internet speeds are largely the reasons as to why data transfers between distant locations can be incredibly slow and inefficient. To many, these problems don’t seem like a significant issue. But for website operators who want to deliver content to global audiences, varying internet speeds can be a significant issue. Especially where that content is resource intensive, such as video and live streaming content, which is becoming more and more common in these modern times.

Content Delivery Networks

Content delivery networks (CDNs) were created to help alleviate these data transfer problems.

“CDN providers maintain globally distributed, strategically placed Points of Presence (POP) or Data Centres, that are used to cache content locally and deliver it based on the geographical proximity of a request.” Source

CDNs effectively allow for resource intensive content to be loaded quickly, regardless of the geographical location of the website visitor.  Currently, CDNs form the backbone of the internet and are responsible for the majority of the content distributed globally today.

Source

In 2016, the CDN market was valued at USD $6 billion.  BY 2022, CDNs, and similar products, is projected to grow to a market size of USD $31 billion.  This is a big industry, and ripe for disruption.

This presents an interesting problem however.  The global internet infrastructure is not developing fast enough to manage the ever growing demand.

Video content creation, online gaming, Virtual Reality technologies, and streaming of video and gaming content are growing at fantastic rates and shows no sign of slowing down. So it’s plainly obvious that our rate of infrastructure development will be hard pressed to keep up with the continually growing demand for our ever more resource intensive content preferences.

Source

There’s also a few problems with relying solely on CDN infrastructure for content distribution:

  • CDNs are highly centralised – therefore open for control and manipulation.
  • Where their distribution is limited, their benefits for content delivery is limited.
  • The current CDN market is dominated by Akamai and Amazon. Therefore the cost to access these services is decided by only 2 key players in the market.
  • The infrastructure required, using current technologies, to improve the distribution of bandwidth intensive content worldwide is incredibly expensive. This will likely slow technological developments in this area greatly unless an innovative solution is developed.

The NOIA Solution

When looking at the problem described above, the team behind the NOIA Network recognised that the available bandwidth capacities per household continue to increase rapidly, creating a large volume of idle bandwidth across the globe.

This idle bandwidth presents a fantastic opportunity to address the shortfall in available bandwidth globally, and the high level of centralisation in current networks.

Every computer that is connected to the internet already forms the backbone of the internet, however these computers typically only consume data, rather than streaming data to other users.

As stated in the NOIA white paper:

“By connecting thousands of participants willing to share the idle resources of their personal computers, we can create a sharing economy of data transfer – one that is virtually limitless in terms of scale.

Everyone choosing to participate in the network will pool the unused bandwidth and storage of their computers, creating a highly decentralised and ever scalable network of nodes that are capable of delivering bandwidth intensive content across the globe in a highly efficient manner.

A decentralised network provides a wide range of benefits to the consumer, including:

  • A greater level of security, with no central organisation controlling the Network.
  • Highly efficient and cost effective, with no central entity controlling the network there are no overheads to pay. In addition, the more nodes on the network and more distributed their locations, the lower the energy costs will be to transmit bandwidth intensive data.
  • Utilising technology such as this brings with it increased opportunities for innovation, such as other decentralised services, the further development and utilisation of artificial intelligence technologies, and hosting platforms.
The NOIA Technology Stack

The Architechture

The NOIA Network is comprised of two separate structural elements that will define the network and its features:

  • Content Scaling Layer (CSL)
    • Which will include peer to peer file sharing protocols, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technology that will determine how content will be delivered throughout the network.
  • Governance Layer
    • Which is a set of smart contracts located on the Ethereum blockchain which define what NOIA tokens are and how they are transferred between nodes.

Ultimately the CSL will act as the backbone of the network while the governance layer will enable the transfer of value throughout the network.

Who are NOIA?

“NOIA is the next-generation content scaling network, powered by blockchain technology. It utilizes unused bandwidth from computers around the world to create a widely distributed, efficient and integral layer of internet infrastructure for global content delivery. NOIA is designed to serve as a bandwidth optimization mechanism for every type of web content and provide a significantly more effective and decentralized delivery method across the internet.” Source

NOIA will use next-generation peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing protocols, artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology  to combine hundreds of thousands of computers to serve as nodes in one single “intranet” and provide an opportunity to every web content provider in the world to use this “intranet” to deliver their content across the globe.

NOIA’s aim is to become a fully self-sustained and decentralised network of hundreds of thousands of nodes that pool together to share their resources, These nodes will be governed by the rules in smart contracts and operated with NOIA tokens. The nodes within this network will serve as a never  before seen infrastructure layer that will provide the fastest, most optimised and cost-efficient content delivery system on the internet.

The Team

The team behind this project is impressive.  The founders have put together a highly skilled and extensive team of personnel who are well equipped to deliver the project’s roadmap.

Founders and Business Team
Advisors
Tech Advisors

The Roadmap

Source

So far, NOIA have achieved all scheduled items on their roadmap, which isn’t all that surprising given the size of the team who are working on this project.

The Testnet for the NOIA network has already been released.  What this means is that NOIA are inviting you to create an account and start using the network, whether that be through providing your computing resources to the network or via the purchase of resourcing power for your project.

Why share your computers bandwidth and storage capacity?

Users who choose to share their computer’s idle bandwidth and storage will be rewarded for doing so in the form of NOIA tokens. They can then use these tokens to either purchase services through the NOIA network, hold them with the view of accumulating wealth, or convert them to their currency of choice.

The NOIA Token Economy

The NOIA token is the only currency used within the NOIA network.  Therefore, people wanting to purchase services within the NOIA network will purchase these services using the NOIA token.  According to the white paper, one token purchases the equivalent of 5 GB of data transfer however this amount is likely to be different today as the value of the token is not pegged.

Typically, current content delivery service providers charge around US $0.08 cents per 1 GB of data transfer. NOIA expects that, using their network, 1 GB would cost roughly US $0.01 cents which makes the NOIA Network substantially cheaper than current providers.

Why use the NOIA network to distribute content?

Using the NOIA network will be much more cost effective in comparison to utilising CDN networks. In addition to this, with the ever expanding distribution of nodes on the network, there will be a much greater efficiency in the distribution of content.

The high level of efficiency gained on this network is thanks to blockchain technology, which has the capability to be autonomous and is highly scalable.

“A Smart Contracts layer within NOIA’s network governs all relationships between the different actors in the network by providing a framework for the creation and flow of value within it.” Source

Using the NOIA Network to create a passive income stream

If you’re like me, then you’ll really be wanting to know about the potential to create a passive income stream by contributing computing resources to the NOIA Network.

This passive income stream will be created by setting up your own node, or series of nodes.

The NOIA white paper describes nodes as being:

“Nodes will be comprised of either previously idle home networked computer (which had been a net cost to their owners), and dedicated network endpoints expressly purchased for the purpose of earning NOIA Tokens.”

The free market will determine how much each node will earn, particularly due to the variability in the amount of resources each node contributes to the market, however NOIA believes that the median payout per node will be in the vicinity of US $50 per month.

Use of Nodes and Smart Contracts on the Network

NOIA tokens will be awarded to nodes based on a number of variables:

  • Amount of storage contributed to the network
  • The bandwidth utilisation (the rate at which a node is serving content)
  • The uptime factor (how much time is the node available/ accessible on the network)

Assuming that your node is contributing a significant amount of storage capacity, bandwidth and is available 24 hours per day, it could easily expected that you will be earning a passive income above the median rate of US $50 per month.

My personal opinion is that the earning potential of the NOIA network is well worth testing. And I’m currently in the process of setting up an account on the NOIA Testnet. If you have a computer available that you can leave running for 72 hours per week or longer, then I encourage you to start contributing to the testnet to determine the level of passive income that you can earn from the NOIA network.

It’s a win-win for everyone

Using the NOIA Network is a win-win for both the users who provide bandwidth and storage to the network and for those who choose to distribute their content via this network.  Users who provide their bandwidth and storage are rewarded via payment in NOIA tokens while those distributing content via the network are rewarded by a highly efficient network and a highly cost effective network for content distribution.

The NOIA Testnet is live! And I encourage you to get involved and try it out. Personally, I’ll have my own node set up very soon.  I’m very eager to see how many tokens my little computer can generate for me.

So set up your own node and let me know how it goes for you.  I’ll report back to let you know how my own node performs over the coming weeks.

Is KuCoin Safe to Use?

I was chatting in Discord today rather than creating content for Steemit. This seems to be a frequent problem lately. But an article posted by someone raised some concerns about the cryptocurrency exchange – KuCoin.

Source

KuCoin lists their address as being in Hong Kong, which makes them appear to be exempt from China’s crack down on Cryptocurrencies.  The problem is that the address listed by KuCoin appears to simply be a virtual mail box, rather than the address of a bricks and mortar business.

So it would seem that KuCoin has no real presence in Hong Kong. The article then states that KuCoin are hiring staff in Sichuan, China. So appear to be operating their exchange out of China. If this is the case, then it places them in the firing line of China’s crackdown on cryptocurrency websites and domestic exchanges.

Even more concerning, however, is that the author of this article actually visited the office in Hong Kong that KuCoin has listed as their address.  The employees in office are working for a different company that isn’t affiliated with KuCoin, who had never heard of them.

Source

KuCoin is registered under a secretarial company called Smart Team Secretarial Ltd who once operated out of this office, however the employees of this office stated that this company had moved out years ago.

So what does all of this mean?

My main concern is that KuCoin are operating from an unknown location and are potentially operating out of China, which puts them at risk of China’s current crack down on cryptocurrency trading, websites and exchanges.

But a quick search on KuCoin’s website leads you to this announcement:

“Dear KuCoin Users,There have been rumors that KuCoin’s central office in Hong Kong is empty. In fact, KuCoin’s public address in Hong Kong is merely a mailing address of one of KuCoin’s many subsidiary companies. KuCoin Headquarters is in Singapore. KuCoin has always been a global firm, with over 300 employees and four major offices in China, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

KuCoin has been growing at an incredible speed and will be growing even faster in future. We are grateful for all of the support from our community and stay tuned for some incredible news which we will release soon.

Thanks for your support!
The KuCoin Team”
So it would seem that KuCoin at least are trying to be somewhat transparent. It still leaves a little to be desired since they haven’t listed their physical locations.  But it does give us a little confidence that they are willing to address the concerns raised.
Will I continue to use KuCoin for my trading? Yes. Will I leave my coins on the exchange? Absolutely not.
But you shouldn’t leave your coins on exchanges anyway. Trade safely!

I feel like an idiot…

So I’ve spent countless hours researching different coins to invest in recently. Coins that offer Proof of Stake and Masternodes have really taken my interest. And I’ve found some great coins to invest in amongst the utter crap that you’ll find in the vast sea of coins out there.

I had some basic criteria as to what the coin must provide in order for me to be interested in investing in it. And if these boxes were ticked I’d continue my research into the coin before investing.

  • Relatively stable price;
  • Listed on a decent number of exchanges in addition to some good exchanges;
  • Good team behind the coin;
  • A good community supporting the coin;
  • A solid purpose for the coin i.e. what problem does it solve?
  • Ability to offer a reliable and passive income stream.

The thing is, Steem ticks all of these boxes and then some. I’ve always known this, but I hadn’t really considered that what I was searching for all this time was essentially another Steem.

Image courtesy of @gamani who probably stole it from somewhere else

Price

We all know that the crypto market is in full bear mode right now. So while Steem has been on a southward trend, so has the whole market. And when we get that occasional green day, Steem is one of the coins that typically shows a decent recovery.

Exchanges

Steem is listed on all the exchanges that I need access to – Binance, Bittrex, and numerous others. This makes it easy for me to convert my Steem and SBD to other currencies or Fiat.

To date, I haven’t converted my Steem and SBD to Fiat but I have converted a portion to other currencies such as BTC, EOS and IOTA. My goal is to have a Steem funded and nicely diverse portfolio of crypto, but with Steem as my greatest holding. And I’m making some decent progress here, hence my research into other coins lately.

The Team

You’ll always get people banging on about how little Steemit Inc do and the mistakes they make, but at the end of the day I see that they are continually working on the blockchain and I’ve even been fortunate enough to speak with some of the Steemit Inc team members.

I have a lot of confidence in the Steemit Inc team and the potential of the Steem Blockchain. So I’m happy here.

Search pixabay.com for “smart people” and this is what you get

Purpose

If you don’t know the purpose of the Steem blockchain and currency then perhaps you should do a little reading. There is huge potential for the Steem blockchain and currency, just look at how insanely massive @steemmonsters has gotten… I never saw that coming.

A Passive Income Stream

And this is probably the thing that has me most excited and the one thing that made me realise how stupid my search was for a passive income stream in the crypto market.

The more Steem Power I hold, the greater my passive income stream becomes. So why the hell would I send my Steem off to the exchanges when I can simply generate that passive income right here?

There are so many options for a passive income stream on Steemit. You just have to know where to look.

If only it were that easy

 

Delegating to the bid bots

This is often one of the first methods that people think of when looking for a smart use of their Steem Power. And it could be a great option for you.  You can earn anywhere between 15% to 30% return via delegating to these bots. But, personally, this is not what I want to do.

I understand the purpose and benefits of a bid bot, but I don’t want to give them access to my Steem Power. I’d much rather use other strategies to generate my passive income.

Lease your Steem Power

Leasing your Steem Power makes sense to me. There are a few ways you can do this. The one that I am most familiar with is via Minnowbooster however you can also lease your Steem Power via Smartsteem.  Once you have created your account with Minnowbooster you can look through the available Steem Power leases available, and if you choose to, you can lease out your Steem Power to another Steemit user.  The period of time of leases can vary, as with the anticipated earnings.

Sell your vote

This is something that I have done for a long time. And I currently do it via MinnowboosterSmartsteem  also offer this service, and I’ve very recently started testing them out. For both Minnowbooster and Smartsteem, if you sell your vote you earn 85% of the profit in addition to your usual curation rewards.

From my experience, and a common recommendation by both services, is that you really should only sell a small percentage of your vote. I only sell up to 25% of my voting power. This allows me to still upvote the content posted by the people who I follow and upvote comments on my posts.  I have sold 100% of my voting power in the past, at a time when I needed to earn some quick SBD, but it takes way too long for your voting power to recover to make it worthwhile.

The biggest benefit of selling my vote is that if I cannot log on to Steemit for a period of time, I know that my voting power is being used and I am earning a small passive income from my Steem Power. It’s a brilliant service, and one that I will continue to use for a long time.

Delegate to an App, Service or Community

Some apps, services and communities will reward those who delegate to them. Not all of these are passive income streams but the rewards can be great.

For example, the @minnowsupport project will give you upvotes on your content if you delegate to them. And if you delegate to @dtube you receive a passive income in the form of delegator rewards.

Courtesy of @minnowsupport

Summary

This is far from a comprehensive write up as to what you can do with your Steem Power in order to start generating a passive income stream.

I like to control my Steem Power as much as possible so I don’t delegate anything personally (other than a short term delegation to @cyclefeed), I only sell 25% of my voting power. And I also like my vote to mean something to the people who interact with my content and the people who I follow. If I delegated most of my Steem Power my vote would return to 1 cent again which wouldn’t be much fun for anyone concerned.

But the point is, regardless of how I choose to utilise my Steem Power, I am able to earn a passive income stream by making smart use of it. And that passive income is quite likely higher than what most other currencies out there are offering.

And earning this passive income much simpler too. I don’t have to set up a masternode. I don’t have to set up a mining rig in my house.  And I don’t have to run the risk of sending my coins to an unknown wallet to be part of a shared masternode service as well.

So make smart use of your available Steem Power. Grow it as effectively and quickly as you can. It will only benefit you in the long term.

How are you currently using your Steem Power? Tell me about it in the comments.

 

Images courtesy of pixabay.com unless otherwise stated. Some links above may contain referral links.

Re-learning the art of the interview (read – I suck at interviews)

It’s time to find a boss again

I’ve decided to head back to my old career, so have been applying for jobs once again. What this means for my business, I’m not too sure. It can operate without me, but I suspect that the performance of the business will head south with me not being present on a regular basis.

I have the business up for sale anyway, so I’m not too worried about what happens to it. What I am worried about are my pitiful interview skills.

An accurate representation of my recent interview

Once upon a time, back when I was an employee, I used to be an absolute pro at interviews. It was rare that I wasn’t offered a job after completing the interview. But wow… how times have changed.

Once upon a time I would:

  • Research the company extensively to understand their direction, recent achievements, standards of practice etc.
  • Understand all requirements of the role and breadth of responsibilities.
  • Have prepared answers for the standard suite of questions and any position specific questions that I was able to anticipate.
  • Have a list of questions to ask about the company and role.
  • Know the names and positions of the people interviewing me.
    and so on.

I was always prepared, and would walk into the interview with the attitude that I already had the position. This may sound arrogant, but by acting this confident I never felt nervous.

So what happened?

I suppose it’s a lack of practice. If I total it up, it would be almost 6 years since I actually interviewed for a position. And when you’re self employed the idea of interviewing for a position sounds like hell.

I interviewed for a position early last week, and while I was well and truly qualified for the position I made some absolute blunders during the conversation.

Egg and my face were in alignment
  • I mentioned aspects of employment that I didn’t enjoy.
  • I actually swore… (facepalm…)
  • I went off on tangents rather than sticking to the topic at hand.
  • I spoke too much about my experience that was well beyond the level of responsibility of the role.

Needless to say, I could have done a lot better in this interview however I still have hopes that I am offered the role. The position, while not overly challenging, will be fun and it will allow my wife and I to move back to our home town of Adelaide.

So now it’s the waiting game, which is the worst part of interviews. Everything is an unknown until you get the call that lets you know the outcome.

Masternode Coins – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I mentioned in a recent post that I have been on the hunt for a good masternode coin to invest in. If you missed the post and don’t know what a masternode is then check it out so that you’re up to speed.

The search for the right coin has been long, tiresome, and at times very depressing. The reality is that there are a lot of terrible coins out there. Many of them are outright scams, so finding the good ones can be a real problem.

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Masternode coins typically operate on a Proof of Stake model rather than Proof of Work. What this means is that if you hold a certain number of coins, and elect to operate a node then, via the running of this node, you receive regular rewards. Some coins also provide you with a reward if you “stake” or simply hold your coins rather than trading them. By holding your coins you receive a regular reward into your wallet, which is simply an incentive to ensure that the demand for the coin remains high rather than having people activity trading the coin on a regular basis.

The endless stream of shit coins

In all honesty, I very nearly gave up on finding a decent masternode coin after a week of searching. Coin after coin was proving to be utterly useless and often just a blatant scam.

I generally follow a simple series of checks when assessing whether or not a coin is worth my time:

  • Does the coin serve a real purpose or solve a real problem?
  • Is there a white paper to review?
  • Have the team identified themselves?
  • Is there financial backing behind the coin already?
  • Is the Return on Investment reasonable (above 100% is preferable)?
  • Are they present on all the usual social media channels and is there an active community in these channels?
  • Is the GitHub available and frequently updated?
  • Is the road map available, current and being met?
  • Is the coin listed on multiple exchanges and is there some volume there?

I’m sure there are plenty of other checks that I could do but these are generally enough to tell me whether or not the coin is worth investigating further.

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If the coin passes most of the above checks I tend to then spend some time in the Discord and/ or Telegram channels for the coin to see what the community is like. I do this to see if the community is positive and excited about the coin or simply complaining about the progress/ lack of progress or the lack of communication from the development team.

If I’m happy with everything that I see then I start monitoring the price movements of the coin. I don’t want to just buy right in. If the coin is heading on a downward trend then I want to see if I can grab it at or near what I believe will be the bottom.

If you’re wondering what a shit coin looks like then look no further than many of the coins found on masternodes.online or masternodes.pro. The perfect example of a shit coin is this one right here. The coin serves no purpose, there is no team, the website is incomplete, and so much more! Finding shit coins is easy, if only the good ones were so easy to find.

Sometimes you also stumble across a coin that might not be worth investing in, but is fascinating all the same. I came across Aquila recently, which is a coin that had been abandoned by its development team (read shit coin here) but the community decided to pick up the mess and rebuild it into something worthwhile. The community behind this coin now helps other abandoned coins recover and rebuild to something better and they make some revenue from the assistance that they provide. The community behind Aquila appear to be doing some good work, but sadly the coin just doesn’t seem to be worth investing in right now.

Finding that golden egg

I have found a couple of gems though, and I’m currently getting to know the community and watching the projects for a while before jumping in with an investment.

The masternode coins that I like stand out for truly obvious reasons. So far, these projects are:

Ambrosus

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This project is providing a blockchain solution to supply chain management, logistics, and is providing anti-counterfeiting measures.

Other than the website being a pain in the rear to navigate, this coin has a good team behind it, is making great progress, is listed on decent exchanges and ticks pretty much all of the boxes that I need to see ticked before getting interested.

Apex

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I’m really excited about Apex, this company is providing a broad range of solutions and already has excellent backing:

“APEX is the blockchain infrastructure for next-generation of consumer applications, helping solve and optimize incumbent problems in consumer internet and B2C interactions. APEX provides an enterprise blockchain solution for agile creation of custom dApps with increased privacy and  ownership of data, interactivity of consumer experiences, and connectivity of value.”

What’s even more impressive about this coin is that, not only does it tick most of the boxes on my checklist, it already has a range of existing customers who are ready and waiting. The company behind this coin have made fantastic progress to date as well. What’s interesting, is that they are yet to list on some decent exchanges, but when they do I’d expect to see some great movement in the price of the currency.

There’s a lot to this coin so I’ll do a more detailed write up in the future.

The good coins exist, I promise

In the world of masternodes and proof of stake coins, the good coins can be bloody hard to find. They do exist though, but finding them can be very draining of your positivity and will to go on.

I’m yet to make an investment, given that the market overall right now is heading south. I expect to make my first investment into a proof of stake coin next week however. So will definitely let you know what that is as soon as I put my money with my mouth is.

Did Ross Ulbricht Really Deserve a Double Life Sentence?

A few months ago I listened to the fascinating story of Ross Ulbricht. If you don’t know who this man is, you’ve been living under a crypto rock. Ross is the man who created The Silk Road, an online marketplace that was located on the dark web and used to sell drugs and many other things in exchange for Bitcoin. Ross was eventually caught in 2013 and given a double life sentence for creating this marketplace, and has now served 5 years of his sentence.

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The brilliant thing about this marketplace is that it was one of the first places where Bitcoin could be used to buy products, and it also created a safe environment in which people could purchase their drugs. I’m not a drug user, but if I were, I would much rather purchase my drugs via an online marketplace like the Silk Road than from someone on the street. Dealers on the Silk Road built up reputations based on the quality of their product, so you’d have some confidence that the product you were purchasing was as advertised and of decent quality.

The Silk Road was incredibly successful, and Ross made many millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin during the time that he operated the site. It is estimated that Ross made more than 600,000 bitcoins in commissions from the site which, in todays value of Bitcoin, would be worth roughly US $4.9 billion.

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Ross’s story is fascinating stuff, and well worth reading or listening to.  I’m not going to recount the story here as I don’t believe I can do it justice. So I would encourage you to listen to the Casefile Podcast which gives a good run-down of the story. You can find Part 1 of the podcast here.

I will include one caveat here though; this podcast tells the story based on the court proceedings and documents only, it fails to provide the story from Ross’s or his family’s perspective. There are a lot of problems with this case, and many errors made during the judgement. There are even examples of tampering with evidence which went unchallenged along with apparent corruption throughout the proceedings. You can read about this at the Free Ross website, this is also an interesting read and partly why I am writing this post today.

I am writing this post today because Ross has received a double life sentence for creating his online marketplace. His crime was not violent, and those who were convicted of selling drugs on his marketplace received much lesser sentences.

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The reality is that Ross was much like the creator of Amazon or Ebay. He provided the platform for the sale of these products, but wasn’t responsible for every item that was listed on the marketplace. Sure, he sold some magic mushrooms and possibly some weed but he wasn’t the sole distributor on the platform. In fact he sold substantially less product on the platform in comparison to most of the dealers who used his platform.

There have been examples of child pornography on Facebook, of Amazon selling cyanide to a young girl who then committed suicide, and many other examples of online marketplaces being used for questionable activities. But the CEOs and owners of these marketplaces have never been sent to jail.

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Ross should not be serving a double life sentence, he should not have been charged as a kingpin, which is a charge given to leaders or organised crime syndicates. Realistically, Ross should have already served his sentence. This is a man who is highly unlikely to go on and commit another crime. Let alone a violent crime.

So I encourage you to look at this case and see it for its failings. This man was given a sentence that was completely unjust and unreasonable. And I ask that you sign this petition to encourage the American government to overturn his charge.

I also encourage you to read or listen to the Silk Road story, it’s one of the most fascinating stories that I have ever heard. But a very sad one given the outcome.

Sign the petition here.

 

Ballarat, Beer & Masternodes!

Beers in the Rat (and what the hell is a Masternode?)!

And this time there’s more than one beer to talk about.  That was a beer filled weekend indeed. My wife and I ventured off to the little town of Ballarat for a friends birthday this weekend, so I took the chance to try a few new beers while there.

There’s wifey in the distance. 🙂

I was actually expecting to visit a local brewery, since Ballarat has a couple of great ones. But instead, we visited a bar next to our hotel which stocked around 200 craft beers.

It was an impressive line up, so rather than just have one or two, I once again went for the paddle.

There’s nothing quite like a good paddle.

Of course, I chose my favourite styles of beer. An IPA, an IIPA, a Porter and a Stout. All from different breweries, but all Australian.

Two Birds Brewing – Rye IPA

Two Birds Brewing is a brewery located in Melbourne. They’re well known for producing some quality beers. The brewer describes the beer as being malt driven with spicy and fruity aroma. Personally, I found it to be a fairly traditional IPA that was a little on the weak side in terms of fruity aromas, strength of hops and bitterness. It’s a decent IPA, but nothing I would get too excited about.

Bells Brewing Co. – Malted Double IPA

Bells Brewing Co. is located in Geelong, Victoria and is a brewery that I’ve never encountered before.  I’m glad I did.  This was an impressive IIPA that was both fruity in aroma, on the palate with an excellent strength of both hops and bitterness. It’s a beer with a complexity that you can appreciate, so was definitely a stand out on this paddle.

Odyssey Craft Brewing – Caramel Porter

Odyssey is another Victorian brewery, and another that I had never heard of before. This porter is pretty much as described, lots of malts and caramel on the nose, and not at all subtle hints of caramel on the palate.  It’s a sweet porter, which was pleasant. Overall this was quite an enjoyable beer, but not all all session-able.

Fox Hat Brewing Co. – Phat Mongrel

Fox Hat Brewing Co. is an Australian brewery, located somewhere in Australia. I’ve found with this review that some breweries are terrible at telling us where they are located, and these guys are the best at avoiding the provision of a location.

At least their beer is good.  The Phat Mongrel is an Oatmeal Stout. And I’ve discovered in recent months that I love a good Oatmeal Stout.  This one is very much a traditional Oatmeal Stout, it has strong hops aroma and is smooth on the palate with a mild bitterness. It’s a very easy drinking Stout and quite a stand out for me.

BeerTypeOriginABVRating
Two Birds Brewing Rye IPAIPAVictoria6.43.5
Bells Brewing Co. Malted Double IPAIIPAVictoria7.54
Odyssey Craft Brewing Caramel PorterPorterVictoria54
Fox Hat Brewing Co. Phat MongrelOatmeal StoutVictoria6.5%4

Masternodes – a worthy passive income stream?

Right now, I’m researching how I can expand on my passive income streams in the cryptocurrency world.  This research has lead me to masternode coins. If you’re like me, then you’ve probably never really learnt about masternodes before as well, and possibly have never heard of them. So what is a masternode?

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“a masternode is a server on a decentralized network. It is utilized to complete unique functions in ways ordinary nodes can’t. It can be used for features like direct send / instant transactions or private transactions.

Because of their increased capabilities, masternodes typically require a sizable investment in order to run. But this is where incentivization comes into play, as masternode operators are rewarded by earning portions of block rewards in whatever given cryptocurrency they’re facilitating.” Source

When purchasing a masternode you are buying a set number of coins and staking these coins in a wallet that is left open to verify that you hold the required number of coins in order to operate a masternode. The number of coins can vary from 1000 to 50,000 coins, depending on the coin.

The first and most popular of the masternode coins is DASH. And for many, DASH has proven to be a great investment. Due to the popularity of DASH however, a masternode costs a substantial amount of money – as of right now the cost to purchase a DASH masternode is almost $240,000.

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Are masternodes worth investing in?

Essentially, by running masternodes you can generate a passive income stream of your chosen coin. But the good quality coins in this space are limited. It appears that this type of coin is becoming increasingly popular, and with it are all the scams and shit-coins.

Finding a good quality coin to invest in is hard, and I’ve spent many hours sifting through the wide range of coins listed on sites such as masternodes.online and masternodes.pro to see if I can find something suitable to invest in.

The return on investment varies massively from coin to coin as well.  There are some coins that only provide a few percent return, while others can offer many thousands of percent return. And of course, with the increasing promise of return comes an increase in risk. What goes up fast, often falls very fast as well.

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So, if you’re thinking of investing in a masternode you’ll need to do extensive research to confirm that you have found a quality coin with a solid purpose and team behind it. I’ve found many coins don’t even list the team behind them, and have come across some where the developers have simply walked away from the project. I was even quite sad to enter a telegram channel where the masternode holders had only just discovered that the developers had left the project. And as I sat there chatting to the people who were left holding large bags of a worthless coin, they discovered that the developers had just launched another scam coin and had listed it as offering a 30,000% return on investment. This is clearly a risky game.

The point is, masternode coins can offer an excellent source of a passive income but you need to be aware of the risks involved.  My checks to confirm that a coin might be worth investing in tend to include the following:

  • Does the coin serve a real purpose?
  • Is there a decent team behind the coin?
  • Is the return on investment worth the effort?
  • Is there an active and engaged community behind the coin?
  • Is the coin listed on a number of exchanges, including reputable exchanges?
  • Is there a decent volume of coins being moved every 24 hours?

I’m yet to find a coin that I feel comfortable investing in, so will report back once I make my first investment in a masternode and will provide a write up on how I went about setting one up.

Have you invested in masternodes yourself? I’d love to hear your experience in the comments below.

My Steem Story – 297 Days of Steemit

This is my entry into an excellent competition being run by @whatsup.  If you don’t know who @whatsup is, he’s a very active Steemit user who works hard to increase the level of engagement we see on our posts. He also creates consistently interesting content, so check him out.

This competition is quite simply telling your story as to how you came across Steemit and your experience to date on the platform. So here’s my little tale.

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Finding Steemit

I heard about Bitcoin back around 2012 when it reached $20 and hit the mainstream media for this price rise. I was working on a mine site and thought I’d grab $1000 worth as soon as I got to my computer.

As with many people, I forgot about it, and never bought a single coin. So when cryptocurrency started getting back into the media in October 2017, I remembered hearing about Bitcoin back in 2012 and kicked myself very hard for not buying $1000 worth back then. In 2012, $1000 worth of bitcoin would have bought me 50 coins, and 50 coins when Bitcoin reached its’ peak of $20,000 would have been worth $1,000,000. I could have quite literally become a millionaire with an investment of $1000.

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As a result of recognising this missed opportunity, I started researching the cryptocurrencies a little more deeply. I was reading blogs, listening to podcasts, and watching various YouTube videos on the topic. Eventually, I stumbled across a podcast by Chris Coney (@marketingmonk) where he was discussing Steemit and other currencies.

Naturally, being someone who enjoys writing, I headed straight over to Steemit and created an account.  I didn’t even browse the posts on Steemit before creating an account, and if I’m honest, that’s probably a good thing.  Many a content creator could easily be scared away if they looked at the posts under the “new” tab and even the trending tab for that matter.

My Steemit Journey so far

I didn’t take Steemit all that seriously when I first started.  Initially, I just wanted to see how easy it was to earn some free crypto. So I was posting what can only be considered rubbish. In time though, I started taking the platform a little more seriously and started to think more seriously about the type of content that I wanted to produce and the topics that I wanted to discuss on my blog.

I started writing about wildlife photography, beer, wine, my early research into cryptocurrencies and a few other topics.  I started entering writing competitions and writing about very personal stories and experiences.

When the crypto market went through the highs of late 2017 I started pumping out as many as 5 posts a day on Steemit and it was at this time that I discovered what it was like to be a shit poster. My content wasn’t great and my posts were only taking a few minutes to produce. Thankfully, I started questioning what I wanted to be known for on Steemit, so in early 2018 I pulled back on my posting frequency and started caring about the quality of my content.

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Over time, my writing style has evolved and become more structured. I’ve started learning about the strategies that can be used to increase engagement if that’s what I’m after or simply how to properly structure a post in order to communicate your chosen message.

And I haven’t just produced written material over this time. I’ve even tried my hand at creating videos on DTube which is something that I never before would have done had it not been for some encouragement from a fellow Steemit user and a curiosity to see if I could actually do it.

And when it comes to Steemit, there are many ways to earn your currency.  A few months ago I launched Steemit Shop Australia, which was an online store that sold Steemit and DTube merchandise. People could pay in Steem and SBD if they chose to, and many people did.  The store was fantastic, but sadly wasn’t earning enough to maintain itself. So I have closed the store for the time being with plans to open a new one in the coming weeks. You can still by merchandise from me though, check out the post I wrote about this yesterday. One of the coolest things about my shop is seeing people all over the world wearing my merchandise (check the shirt that @snook is wearing in her video, here, that’s one of mine).  It’s been amazing to see just how far reaching this little shop that I built one night over a few beers has reached.

I was even involved in the creation of @blockdeals, which was a deals and coupon listing platform built on the Steem Blockchain. This is an awesome use of the Steem Blockchain where users can be rewarded for finding awesome deals and coupons, and sharing them with the community. Through their sharing of these deals, the user gets rewarded in Steem and SBD. So, in theory, a person could earn enough currency to buy the product they find if the community likes their post enough. We were unable to get the delegation needed to make this project a success though. So the team has disbanded. There is hope though, I don’t think the devs have entirely given up on the project so we may see something come of it yet.

And through my writing posts and engaging with other Steemit users, I  stumbled across some fellow Australians on Steemit and was invited to join the #TeamAustralia community. This proved to be an excellent decision as I’ve since met a number of Steemit users face to face at meet ups in Melbourne and even a couple of Steemit users in Adelaide.

So lets summarise my mistakes on Steemit to date and the things I’m glad I did and experienced and will continue doing.

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My mistakes

  • Cashing out my earnings early on. Don’t do it, power up everything. I’d be at more than 2000 SP by now if I hadn’t tried my hand at trading on the exchanges with the Steem and SBD that I made in the early days.
  • Shit posting – just don’t do it. It ruins your reputation as a content creator and it can be hard to earn the the respect and trust of your fellow Steemians if you become known for it.

Things I’d do again and keep doing

  • Going out of my way to meet people, both online and in real life. I’ve met so many amazing people on Steemit so far, and continue to do so.
  • Having a big focus on creating quality content rather than a vast quantity of content.  It doesn’t matter if your earnings are a little less, your followers will appreciate you all the more if they see you care about quality over quantity.
  • Entering as many competitions as possible. Getting your content in front of new people through competitions is one of the best things you can do. Plus the prizes can be great.
  • Getting out of my comfort zone and making videos on DTube.
  • Getting involved in new projects on the Steemit and the Blockchain.  My online shop and @blockdeals were both excellent things to create and be involved in. And my online store will definitely be live again soon.

The Future

Right now, I’m trying out @steempress for my blogging and have returned to creating written content rather than blogging.  I’m also spending a large amount of time researching cryptocurrencies and the various ways in which we can invest in them.

This is partly so that I can diversify my cryptocurrency holdings but also so that I can help others learn about this little world of ours.

I’ll probably continue to create video content, but for the time being I’m enjoying writing again. It’s what I do best.

And of course, I’ll be releasing my new store in the future as well, which will hopefully stock some different products from what I have listed previously.