Bitrefill: Buy Gift Cards & Top Up Airtime with Bitcoin ...

Where can I purchase instant Straight Talk Mobile refills with bitcoin?

submitted by defconoi to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Where to buy Straight Talk refills for Bitcoin?

I've been google searching and can't seem to find one vendor that sells these refill cards, would prefer instant delivery if possible rather than be mailed a card, any suggestions appreciated. What ever happened to that cell phone refill service?
submitted by defconoi to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

$5 free with Bitrefill for purchasing $50 gift cards

$5 free with Bitrefill for purchasing $50 gift cards
Bitrefill provides products and services that allow anyone to live on cryptocurrency more easily. Bitrefill.com provides a catalog of gift cards, prepaid mobile refills, and Lightning networking services that can be purchased using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies worldwide.
Bitrefill have gift cards available in the UK for both online and high street retailers such as Amazon, Sainsbury's, Argos, ASDA, Currys PC World, Steam, Tesco and loads more.
They're currently offering $5 in BTC for purchasing a total of $50 in products with them.
You also get an extra bonus of credit in Bitcoin when you purchase the gift card. This cash back bonus is 1-4% depending on the retailer.
If you have a Coinbase account Bitrefill allows you to pay using your balance there so there are no network fees to pay.
You can withdraw the $5 bonus straight away.
Steps
Sign up with my referral link / non-ref (no bonus).
Make sure the code c3jwekFR is entered in the I have a referral code box.
Purchase a total of $50 in products. This can be spent all in one go or spread across multiple products. ( I purchased a £40 voucher to be sure, this is just over $51).
You'll see $5 bonus in BTC added to your wallet immediately after payment.

Links
Referral link: https://www.bitrefill.com/signup/?code=c3jwekFR
($5 bonus)
Non-ref link: https://www.bitrefill.com
(no bonus)
More info about the Refer-a-Friend Program: https://www.bitrefill.com/refer-a-friend/
Proof of $5 reward: https://imgur.com/a/v84L0Zu

If you a bit of crypto and haven't tried Bitrefill yet now is the time. You can always sign-up and just use it to purchase a gift card when you need. I have just signed up to buy a gift card for a friends birthday in Brazil in their local currency. I wouldn't have been able to do this without using Bitrefill. It is a really good product for saving money on gift cards around the world using your crypto.
submitted by TidyCompetition to beermoneyuk [link] [comments]

How to start making money/profit easy if you are a newbie, and you are disoriented. (CUSTOMS) Plus: Budged Loadout that works well against any type of player/gear.

First of all, this guide is for starters, and is focused on the Marked Key room of the Dorms in Customs, where is the most valuable items in this map on most cases. Before this guide, you have to learn the map, the extracts, etc., but I will make a summary anyway.
The items that can drop in this place are, for example:
*Weapon Case
* Document Case
*Money Case
* Keytool, (this ones you can sell well, or you can keep it if needed)
* Weapons with value worth 50k-100k roubles (AS VAL, SA-58, TX-15, VSS, HK, M4, etc) * and ammo (sometimes m995, m61 and igonik that are quite expensive).
Ok, let's get started!
First, you must buy the Markey Key Room, for the Marked room in Customs on the flea market, it’s 70k-90k worth (sometimes), Check always that the key you'll buy IS 25/25 USES! Don't worry about the price, it’s cheap and it pay itself very fast.

Marked Room Key
Second point: Learn the map, very important info. Your spawn needs to be favorable to get to the dorms first, or at least second, if your spawn is far from dorms, you have to change your objective (hunt the scav boss, do quests, farm scavs/hidden stashes, join other pmc's fights), you can pass through the dorms anyway but it would be looted most of the time, you can get lucky tho, If you have a favorable spawn, stick to the objective, and don't lose time.
RED BOX: BAD SPAWN - BLUE ARROW: GOOD - DECENT SPAWN:
Customs Map with references.

Third point: Rush the 3 floors dorms (where the marked room is) and go straight to it. (Third floor, last dorm in the right with the marks and candles) Tip: When you reach to the door of the marked room, don't open it, go outside behind the marked room, and watch through the window (you can hold C and move the wheel of the mouse to stand or crouch slowly so you can watch clearly what's inside the room, sometimes stuff inside aren’t worth it, so you won’t spend your key in useless stuff). When you realize the loot inside is valuable, go and open it. If the loot is worthy, but not so much to get hyped, don't open the door and roam a bit. If you reach first, wait for other player to come, and ambush them, try to not make noise and hear (wear contacts if you can), with a good positioning and nice aim you can take down players easily. Always take care from the 2 story dorms because there, other players have a good sight of your building.

Marked Room from the 3rd story Dorms, in the third floor, last door right side. (with the marks and canddles)

Window behind the marked room where you can see the loot inside, before open it.
Fourth point: If you get some juicy loot from the marked, or also a player, you need to make your escape fast. A tip if you are been surrounded and get trapped in the marked room: you can rush to the roof and jump from there to a fence (so you don’t take great damage) and escape. I highly recommend to always take 7k roubles in your secure container to use the Dorm V-ex Extract if you are with some very valuable loot (weapon case for example) and you don't want to risk it. Sometimes this saves your life If you spawn in the side of the Crossroads extract (Because de ZB-1011 extract is so far), meanwhile, If you spawn to the other side, almost always the "Smuggler's Boat" Extract is up, and is really close to the Dorms, you can take that risk If you want.
Place when you can jump without taking much damage if you are surrounded in the third floor, in the 3 story dorms, Customs. Always fall in the fence.
DORMS V-EX - Extraction behind 3 story dorms that you can take if is up, you need 7000 roubles, and takes 1 min to extract (hide behind the red gate and get in the car when is 10 seconds left to not expose too much)

Dorms V-ex Extract second Pic. Get close to the car and press F to pay the extract, then wait.
Fifth point: Maybe you will fail the firsts attempts or get so lucky that no one rush the dorms and you get some really good loot. Expect the unexpected. This is random, but most important, do this a couple of times, and you will learn how to fight in the dorms. Learn the better spots, do quests meanwhile too, that’s not a waste of time at all. With time you will know If there's people inside of the dorms or not. Your hearing is your best friend (mainly if you are solo player, stealth is your advantage). Mark spots, play sneaky, play smart. Don't rush.
Important Info: Scav Boss usually spawns in the 3rd floor Dorms (where the marked room is) but not so often, and If you go straight to the third floor, isn't likely to be even a guard in that floor, but there's always a chance… If you want to ignore him, rush the third floor through the side stairs and take a look, you call if there's a guard or two (even the boss) and you want to fight him. Scav boss can spawn in the 2nd floor Dorms too, so take care giving your position through the windows in the 3rd floor Dorms because they shoot you at sight and have sick aim from long range.

Scav Boss Bodyguards (Scav boss gang) they protect the scav boss Reshala.
Reshala, the Scav Boss of Customs. Spawn: 3 story dorms, 2 story dorms, gas station. Always been guarded by he's bodyguards, good loot. (bitcoin, keycard, weapon, meds)


BUDGET LOADOUT TO RUSH THE MARKED ROOM AND FIGHT PLAYERS. (WORK AGAINST WELL GEARED PMC'S)

SSh-68 HELMET: best helmet quality=price, high ricochet chance, LVL3, can save you many times!

6B5-15 ZH-86 ULEY ARMORED RIG: This armor rig is one of the best quality price too, armor 4, and you can trade in ragman with some SOAP and TOILET PAPER. You can drop this and pick other's players armor, hide it if is insured and have decent durability.
6B5-16 ZH-86 ULEY ARMORED RIG: This armor is pretty decent too, is LVL 4, and repair better than the one before. Just need LVL 2 RAGMAN to buy it.

Any comtacts, audio is one of your best tools to fight, try to get this always, mostly when you are playing alone!

any kind of AK-74, caliber 5.45x39 (I prefer the AK-74N but there's little difference between they), take 3 or 4 magazines in total. If you survive, try to get some attachments (mostly muzzle recoil reductor, sight, grip), By preference and playing alone, I try to get a silencer as soon as possible.


AND THE MOST IMPORTANT THING, THE AMMO: THIS IS THE BETTER TO WORSE AMMO FOR AK (5.45X39) Credit of the image to: u/sunmachine_
7N39 IGOLNIK: if you get your hands in this, make sure to use this in a well geared pmc, this penetrate any kind of armor. but is quite expensive. Don't buy it if you are in a budget.
BS AMMO: Second Best ammo, a little bit weaker that Igolkin, but a little bit cheaper too. I highly recommend get at least 30 bullets for your first magazine. And use it wisely.
BT AMMO: When you are in a budget, this is your second best ammo, usually you will kill one or two with your first magazine with BS AMMO, but if you don't your second ammo need to have at least this ammo to finish the rest. Quite decent but hardly penetrate lvl 5-6 chest armor. With this ammo go for the Head or ambush players. Tip: You can get easily a lot of this in Reserve on the top of green boxes, they are in packages of ammo, do scav runs sometimes to exclusively refill your ammo stash, you can get BS too.
BP AMMO: The last decent ammo to kill players, but cheap. Use it to kill under lvl 4 armor players or scavs/ scav boss.
PS-PP AMMO: This two ammo I only recommend to use against scavs, almost no penetration up to armor lvl 2-3.
Other ammo below: NOT RECOMMENDED AT ALL.

My loadout always is ONE MAG OF 30 bullets (or 60 mag if I can afford it to kill squads) of the best ammo (IGOLNIK IF I CAN GET IT, IF DON'T, BS!), then 2 mags of BT AMMO, then 1 mag of BP or PP, exclusively to kill scavs (They always scream at you behind walls so you can notice them, so they give you the chance to change your mag to the shitt*'s one.). And one cheap grenade (RGD-5) if you can afford it, this can save your life and take you out of hard situations sometimes. With this, you can kill one or two, or even three full geared guys with some patience, good spotting, and good aim.
The weapon and ammo is all preference, and looking for the best quality-price. You can use for Budget weapons like SKS, or VEPR HUNTER too, but they are single fire and struggles a bit to fight 2-3 man squads. Up to you guys :)

CAR MED KIT: 6000 roubles for a decent 220 heal/bandage. Good price=efficency.
Painkillers to keep fighting even with a black leg, or run to positionate better.

At least a Scav Backpack, or a Berkut. or similar space. This can carry two normal space weapons. Decent storage.
TIP WHEN LOOTING PLAYERS IN DORMS, OR SURROUNDINGS: When you kill a player, make sure it was alone, be patience, repositionate and take a good look to loot, then, If your items are insured, hide them in dorms nobody look (dorms opens with no loot that can be closed), the bathroom, big bushes, etc. And equip the enemy gear, with this, you don't care anymore if you die because your things are secured (just waste ammo and meds).

That's all guys! It's a solid playstyle, I use it and get me a lot of profit. I hope is useful for someone!

My discord for help, or more tips: Foca#6577. I'm aiming to become a Sherpa and help others.
If this guide have good reviews, i'll make more :)
submitted by Fitzgerald94 to EscapefromTarkov [link] [comments]

Influx of new players means its time for a guide again!

Welcome to Tarkov!

This game is going to kick your ass. Hopefully I can make your ass-pounding a little less raw. Take these tips with a grain of salt as they are from personal experience from a veteran.

Starting Out

Questing

Traders

Prison Wallet

Let's talk about your pouch slot. Starting out you will either have an Alpha (2x2) or a Gamma (3x3) case depending on what edition of the game you bought. Simply put, more space in your pouch is more money in your butt. You can't put guns or anything in them, but you can stuff any valuables in there. Most important thing is to most valuable single slot items you find in raid in your butt to help recoup your losses if you die.
Also, keep the keys you need in your butt. Take them out when you don't. Getting a Keybar helps but it can take time. You might have more luck buying an early Docs Case on the flea market.

Gear

Armor - this is my 5 second armor explanation, be gentle
Helmets - ayy lmao
Ammo - also quick and dirty. ALWAYS REFER TO THE CHART. ALL HAIL THE CHART.

Save These Things

These items are immediate prison wallet candidates. I'll separate them by quest progression and then by value. Keep quest progression items you'll need them to complete quests!
Quest Items
Valuables
This list used to be short... now almost everything has SOME value. I would say go into your Hideout and look at what it costs to build stuff. When in doubt, put it in your butt and figure out what it is worth later. Here are some highlights though.

Hideout

I'm not going to go into too much detail here but we can start with a few tips.

Raiding

Scav

Recommendations for Low Levels

Ammo
Armor
Helmet
submitted by GlazedHam13 to EscapefromTarkov [link] [comments]

Bull Bitcoin’s Dollar-Cost Averaging tool for Canadians: a detailed overview

Hello fellow Canadian Bitcoiners!
I'm Francis Pouliot, CEO and founder of Bull Bitcoin (previously known as Bitcoin Outlet) and Bylls.
I haven't been active on Reddit for a while but I thought I'd pop back here to let the community know about our new dollar-cost averaging feature, "Recurring Buy"
This post is a copy of my most recent medium article which you can read here if you want to see the screenshots. https://medium.com/bull-bitcoin/bull-bitcoins-dollar-cost-averaging-tool-for-canadians-the-right-time-to-buy-bitcoin-is-every-day-82a992ca22c1
Thanks in advance for any feedback and suggestions!
[Post starts here]
The Bull Bitcoin team is constantly trying to reduce the frictions ordinary people face when investing in Bitcoin and propose innovative features which ensure our users follow Bitcoin best practices and minimize their risks.
We are particularly excited and proud about our latest feature: an automated Bitcoin dollar-cost averaging tool which we dubbed “Recurring Buy”.
The Recurring Buy feature lets Bull Bitcoin users create an automated schedule that will buy Bitcoin every day using the funds in their account balance and send the Bitcoin directly to their Bitcoin wallet straight away.
We put a lot of thought in the implementation details and striking the right trade-offs for a simple and elegant solution. Our hope is that it will become a standard other Bitcoin exchanges will emulate for the benefit of their users. This standard will certainly evolve over time as we accumulate feedback and operational experience.
In this article, I cover:
The problem that we are trying to solve
Recurring Buy feature details, processes and instructions
The rationale (and tradeoffs) behind the main feature design choices
Bull Bitcoin is only available to Canadians, but non-Canadians that wish to have a look at how it works are welcome to make a Bull Bitcoin account and check out how it works here. You will be able to go through the process of create the schedule for testing purposes, but you wont be able to fund your account and actually purchase Bitcoin.
What problems does Dollar-Cost Averaging solve?
The most common concern of Bitcoin investors is, not surprisingly, “when is the right time to buy Bitcoin?”. Bitcoin is indeed a very volatile asset. A quick glance at a Bitcoin price chart shows there are without a doubt “worse times” and “better times” to invest in Bitcoin. But is that the same as the “right” time?
Gurus, analysts and journalists continuously offer their theories explaining what affects the Bitcoin price, supported by fancy trading charts and geopolitical analysis, further reinforcing the false notion that it is possible to predict the price of Bitcoin.
Newbies are constantly bombarded with mainstream media headlines of spectacular gains and devastating losses. For some, this grows into an irresistible temptation to get rich quick. Others become crippled with the fear of becoming “the sucker” on which early adopters dump their bags.
Veterans are haunted by past Bitcoin purchases which were quickly followed by a crash in the price. “I should have waited to buy the dip…”
Many Bitcoin veterans and long-term investors often shrug off the question of when is the right time to buy with the philosophy: “just hodl”. But even those holding until their death will recognize that buying more Bitcoin for the same price is a better outcome.
Given the very high daily volatility of Bitcoin, a hodler can find himself in many years having significantly less wealth just because he once bought Bitcoin on a Monday instead of a Wednesday. His options are either to leave it up to chance or make an attempt to “time the market” and “buy the dip”, which can turn into a stressful trading obsession, irrational decisions (which have a negative impact on budget, income and expenses) and severe psychological trauma. In addition, trying to “buy the dip” is often synonymous to keeping large amounts of fiat on an exchange to be ready for “when the time comes”.
There must be a better way.
Bitcoin investors should be rewarded for having understood Bitcoin’s long-term value proposition early on, for having taken the risk to invest accordingly and for having followed best practices. Not for being lucky.
Overview of features and rules
In this section I go into every detail of the Recurring Buy feature. In the following section, I focus on explaining why we chose this particular user experience.
The user first decides his target investment amount. Ideally, this is a monthly budget or yearly budget he allocates to investing in Bitcoin based on his projected income and expenses.
The user then chooses either the duration of the Recurring Buy schedule or the daily purchase amount. The longer the better.
The frequency is each day and cannot be modified.
The user must submit a Bitcoin address before activating a Recurring Buy schedule. By default, every transaction will be sent to that Bitcoin address. It’s the fallback address in case they don’t provide multiple addresses later.
Once the user has filled the form with target amount, the duration and the Bitcoin address, he can activate the Recurring Buy Schedule.
The user is not required to already have funds in his account balance to activate the schedule.
We will randomly select a time of day at which his transaction will be processed (every hour, so 24 possible times). If the user insists on another time of day, he can cancel his Recurring Buy schedule and try again.


The Recurring Buy feature as displayed on bullbitcoin.com/recurring-buys
The schedule is then displayed to the user, showing the time and date at which transactions that will take place in the future. The user will be able to see how long his current balance will last.
He can follow the progress of the dollar-cost averaging schedule, monitor in real time his average acquisition cost, and audit each transaction individually.
At this point, the user can and should change the Bitcoin address of his next transactions to avoid address re-use. Address re-use is not forbidden, but it is highly discouraged.
After having modified the Bitcoin addresses, there is nothing left for the user to do except watch the bitcoins appear in his Bitcoin wallet every day!
The Bitcoins are sent right away at the time of purchase.
Bitcoin transactions using the Recurring Buy feature will have the lowest possible Bitcoin network transaction fee to avoid creating upwards pressure on the fee market impact other network users.


What users see after first activating a schedule
The Recurring Buy schedule will be cancelled automatically at the time of the next purchase if the balance is insufficient. He can add more funds to his balance whenever he wants.
The Recurring Buy schedule will continue until the target amount is reached or until the account balance runs out.
The user can cancel his Recurring Buy schedule whenever he wants.
If the user wants to change the amount or duration of the schedule, he can simply cancel his current schedule and create a new one.
Each schedule has a unique identifier so that users can keep track of various schedules they perform over time.
Once a schedule is completed, either fully or partially, a summary will be provided which shows the number of transactions completed, the average acquisition cost, the total amount of Bitcoin purchase and the total amount of fiat spent. Useful for accounting!


A partially completed Recurring Buy schedule cancelled after 9 days due to insufficient funds
Though process in making our design choices
Recurring Bitcoin Purchases vs. Recurring Payment/Funding
The first and most important design choice was to separate the processes of funding the account balance with fiat (the payment) from the process of buying Bitcoin (the purchase). Users do not need to make a bank transaction every time they do a Bitcoin purchase. They first fund their account manually on their own terms, and the recurring purchases are debited from their pre-funded account balance.
Another approach would have been to automatically withdraw fiat from the user’s bank account (e.g. a direct debit or subscription billing) for each transaction (like our friends at Amber) or to instruct the user to set-up recurring payments to Bull Bitcoin from their bank account (like our friends at Bittr). The downside of these strategies is that they require numerous bank transactions which increases transaction fees and the likelihood of triggering fraud and compliance flags at the user’s bank. However, this does remove the user’s need to keep larger amounts of fiat on the exchange and reduces the friction of having to make manual bank payments.
Bull Bitcoin is currently working on a separate “Recurring Funding” feature that will automatically debit fiat from the user’s bank accounts using a separate recurring schedule with a minimum frequency of once a week, with a target of once every two weeks or once a month to match the user’s income frequency. This can, and will, be used in combination from the “Recurring Buy” feature, but both can be used separately.
The ultimate experience that we wish to achieve is that users will automatically set aside, each paycheck (two weeks), a small budget to invest in Bitcoin using the “Recurring Funding” feature which is sufficient to refill their account balance for the next two weeks of daily recurring purchases.
Frequency of transactions
The second important decision was about customizing the frequency of the schedule. We decided to make it “each day” only. This is specifically to ensure users have a large enough sample size and remain consistent which are the two key components to a successful dollar-cost averaging strategy.
A higher amount of recurring transactions (larger sample size) will result in the user’s average acquisition being closer to the actual average Bitcoin price over that period of time. Weekly or monthly recurring purchases can provide the same effectiveness if they are performed over a duration of time which is 7x longer (weekly) or 30x longer (monthly).
It is our belief that the longer the duration of the schedule, the more likely the user is to cancel the recurring buy schedule in order to “buy the dip”. Dollar-cost averaging is boring, and watching sats appear in the wallet every day is a good way to reduce the temptation of breaking the consistency.
We do not force this on users: they can still cancel the schedule if they want and go all-in. We consider it more of a gentle nudge in the right direction.
Frequency of withdrawals (one purchase = one bitcoin transaction)
This is one of the most interesting design choices because it is a trade-off between scalability (costs), privacy and custody. Ultimately, we decided that trust-minimization (no custody) and privacy were the most important at the expense of long-term scalability and costs.
Realistically, Bitcoin network fees are currently low and we expect them to remain low for the near future, although they will certainly increase massively over the long-term. One of the ways we mitigated this problem was to select the smallest possible transaction fee for transactions done in the context of Recurring Buy, separate from regular transaction fees on regular Bitcoin purchases (which, at Bull Bitcoin, are very generous).
Note: users must merge their UTXOs periodically to avoid being stuck with a large amount of small UTXOs in the future when fees become more expensive. This is what makes me most uncomfortable about our solution. I hope to also solve this problem, but it is ultimately something Bitcoin wallets need to address as well. Perhaps an automated tool in Bitcoin wallets which merges UTXOs periodically when the fees are low? Food for thought.
When transaction fees and scalability becomes a problem for us, it will have become a problem for all other small payments on the Bitcoin network, and we will use whatever solution is most appropriate at that time.
It is possible that Lightning Network ends up being the scalability solution, although currently it is logistically very difficult to perform automated payouts to users using Lightning, particularly recurring payouts, which require users to create Bolt11 invoices and to convince other peers in the network to open channels and fund channels with them for inbound capacity.
These are the general trade-offs:
Send a Bitcoin transaction for every purchase (what we do) - Most expensive for the exchange - Most expensive for the user (many UTXOs) - Increases Bitcoin Network UTXOs set - Inefficient usage of block space - Most private - Zero custody risk
Keep custody of the Bitcoin until the schedule is over or when the user requests a withdrawal (what Coinbase does) - No additional costs -No blockchain bloating - Same level of privacy - High custody risk
Batch user transactions together at fixed intervals (e.g. every day) - Slightly lower transaction costs for the exchange - Same costs for the user - Slightly more efficient use of block space - Same level of UTXO set bloating - Much lower level of privacy - Slightly higher custody risk
Single address vs multiple addresses vs HD keys (xpubs)
The final decision we had to make was preventing address re-use and allowing users to provide an HD key (xpub) rather than a Bitcoin address.
Address re-use generally decreases privacy because it becomes possible for third-party blockchain snoops to figure out that multiple Bitcoin transactions are going to the same user. But we must also consider that even transactions are sent to multiple addresses, particularly if they are small amounts, it is highly likely that the user will “merge” the coins into a single transaction when spending from his wallet. It is always possible for users to prevent this using Coinjoin, in which there is a large privacy gain in not re-using addresses compared to using a single address.
It is important to note that this does not decrease privacy compared to regular Bitcoin purchases on Bull Bitcoin outside of “Recurring Buy”. Whether a user has one transaction of $1000 going to a Bitcoin address or 10x$100 going that same Bitcoin address doesn’t reveal any new information about the user other than the fact he is likely using a dollar-cost averaging mechanism. It is rather a missed opportunity to gain more privacy.
Another smaller decision was whether or not we should ask the user to provide all his addresses upfront before being able to activate the schedule, which would completely remove the possibility of address re-use. We ultimately decided that because this process can take a very long time (imagine doing Recurring Buy every day for 365 days) it is better to let the user do this at his own pace, particularly because he may eventually change his Bitcoin wallet and forget to change the addresses in the schedule.
There are also various legitimate use-cases where users have no choice but to re-use the same address . A discussion for another day!
Asking the user to provide an XPUB is a great solution to address re-use. The exchange must dynamically derive a new Bitcoin address for the user at each transaction, which is not really a technical challenge. As far as I can tell, Bittr is the only Bitcoin exchange exchange which has implemented this technique. Kudos!
It is however important that the user doesn’t reuse this XPUB for anything else, otherwise the exchange can track his entire wallet balance and transaction history.
It is worth noting that not all wallets support HD keys or have HD keys by default (e.g. Bitcoin Core). So it is imperative that we offer the option to give Bitcoin addresses. We believe there is a lot of potential to create wallet coordination mechanisms between senders and recipients which would make this process a lot more streamlined.
In the future, we will certainly allow users to submit an XPUB instead of having to manually input a different address. But for now, we wanted to reduce the complexity to a minimum.
Conclusion: personal thoughts
I have a somewhat unique perspective on Bitcoin users due to the fact that I worked at the Bitcoin Embassy for almost 4 years. During this time, I had the opportunity to discuss face-to-face with thousands of Bitcoin investors. One of my favourite anecdotes is a nocoiner showing up at our office in December 2013 with a bag full of cash attempting to buy Bitcoin, “I know how to read a chart”, furious after being turned away. Many people who went “all-in” for short-term gains (usually altcoins) would show up to the Bitcoin Embassy office months later with heart-breaking stories.
This isn’t what I signed up for. My goal is to help people opt-out of fiat and, ultimately, to destroy the fiat currency system entirely.
This instilled in me a deep-rooted concern for gambling addiction and strong aversion to “trading”. I do not believe that Bitcoin exchanges should blindly follow “what the market dictates”. More often than not, what dictates the market is bad habits users formed because of the other Bitcoin services they used in the past, what other people are used to, and what feels familiar. Running a Bitcoin company should be inseparable from educating users on the best practices, and embedding these best practices into the user experience is the best way for them to learn.
Another important anecdote which motivated me to build a dollar-cost averaging tool is a person very close to me that had made the decision to buy Bitcoin, but was so stressed out about when was the right time to buy that they ended up not buying Bitcoin for a whole 6 months after funding their Bull Bitcoin account. That person eventually gave up and ultimately invested a large amount all at once. In hindsight, it turned out to be one of the worst possible times to invest in Bitcoin during that year.
Investing in Bitcoin can, and should be, a positive and rewarding experience.
Buying Bitcoin every day is the right strategy, but it is not necessarily lead to the best outcome.
The reality is that the best time to buy Bitcoin is at when market hits rock bottom (obviously). Sometimes, the upside from buying the dip can be much bigger than the risk (e.g. when the price dropped below $200 in 2015). But these are exceptions rather than the rule. And the cost of chasing dips is very high: stress, investing time and mental energy, and the very real psychological trauma which results from making bad trading decisions. Ultimately, it’s better to do the right thing than being lucky, but it’s not always a bad idea to cheat on your dollar-cost averaging from time to time if you can live with the costs and consequences.
Yours truly,
Francis
submitted by FrancisPouliot to BitcoinCA [link] [comments]

Re-Launching The Borderless, Unkillable Crypto-Fiat Gateway, DAIHard. Enter or Exit Crypto via Any Fiat and Any Payment Method, Anywhere in the World, Without KYC. All you need is a little Dai.

Some of you might recall recall our initial facepalm failed launch about 3 months ago (post-mortem here). Well, we're back--this time with an audit and some new features. This version of DAIHard should should die a little harder this time ;)

The Audit

After shopping around a bit in the auditor space, we decided to go with Adam Dossa--the very same Adam Dossa that actually found our launch vulnerability and responsibly disclosed it to us! You can see his report here. By the way, Adam has been a gem: friendly, professional, timely, and flexible. Definitely keep him in mind if you need an audit!

(Re)Introducing DAIHard

Following is an updated version of our original launch post. If you've already read that, you might want to skip to the heading What's New in v0.9.2. Or you can go straight to the app or go to our info site for more info!
Here is a legitimate concern most of us are familiar with:
To enter or exit the crypto economy, we rely on centralized exchanges such as Coinbase, which track their users, impose limits, and are tightly coupled to their jurisdiction and its banking system. And for all we know, any day now regulations could start tightening these controls further (*we've actually seen some of this play out in the two months since our first launch post). In light of this, can we say in any meaningful sense that crypto is anonymous, limtiless, borderless, immune to regulation, and (most importantly) unstoppable?
To really address this concern, we need a completely decentralized gateway between fiat and crypto: something that extends the benefits of crypto to the very act of moving between the old and new economies. But the design of such a platform is far from obvious.
(Localethereum comes close, but as discussed under Unkillable, it doesn't quite cut it. And Bisq is decentralized, but has significant UX hurdles.)
We believe we've found a solution. We are proud to present:

DAIHard v0.9.2 - Almost Definitely Not Broken This Time

If you want to jump right in, we recommend first watching our latest usage demo (7 min), then diving in and giving it a shot with a small amount of Dai. (Try it on Kovan first if mainnet is too scary!)
DAIHard extends many of the promises of crypto (borderless, anonymous, limitless, unstoppable) into the exchange mechanism itself, allowing anyone, anywhere to bypass centralized exchanges and the control they impose.
More concretely, DAIHard is a platform, run on smart contracts, for forming one-off crypto/fiat exchanges with other users, in which:
Again, our latest usage demo (7 min) shows this process in action.

Two drawbacks

You Need either xDai, or both Dai and Ether, to Use The Tool (At Least For Now)

If you want to buy Dai on DAIHard, you must already have Dai--1/3 of the amount you want to purchase--to put up as a burnable deposit. For example, if you only have 10 Dai now, you can only commit to buying 30 Dai, and must complete that trade before using the newly bought Dai to open up a bigger offer (for up to 120 Dai that time).
Most tragically of course, this means that if you don't already have some crypto, you can't use this tool to get crypto--this is why we avoid calling DAIHard an onramp specifically. This comes from the fact that both parties must have "skin in the game" for the game theory to work, and a smart contract can only threaten to burn crypto.
We have some ideas on how to address this drawback in the not-too-distant future, which we'll write about soon. For now it's time to launch this thing and get some users!

Dangerous and Scary To Use

In rare cases, a user may have to burn Dai and face a loss on the entire trade amount. The necessity of this ever-present risk is explained in detail in DAIHard Game Theory.
However, a cautious, rational user can gather information (possibly via our [subreddit](daihard)!) about how people have used the tool, successfully and unsuccessfully. They can then create a buy or sell offer with wisely chosen settings based on what has worked for others. Other cautious, rational users can find this offer and commit to the trade if they dare. We expect the vast majority of committed trades should involve rational, cautious users, and should therefore resolve happily.
Still, inevitably there will be sloppy trades that result in burns. As the tool is used, we'll be keeping a close eye on the frequency of burns and keeping you guys updated (perhaps via a "System Status" utility similar to the one found on MakerDao's explorer). In the end, though, we expect the risk in using DAIHard to be comparable to the risk of using any exchange or DNM: ever-present but low enough for the platform to be useful as whole.
So, while DAIHard will never shut down and can't perform an exit scam, the bad news is it's not risk-free. Users will have to approach DAIhard with the same level of caution they would with any new exchange (albeit for different reasons and with a different approach).
So what's the good news?

The Good News

While these drawbacks are significant, they enable some remarkable features that no other crypto/fiat exchange mechanism can boast.

Unkillable

(Correction: Bisq seems to have a decentralized arbitration system)
We are aware of no other crypto/fiat exchange platform that is truly unkillable. Bisq and localethereum comes close, but both localethereum relies on centralized processes of arbitration. This means their fraud-and-scam-prevention system can be sued, jailed, or otherwise harrassed--and if that part stops working, it doesn't matter how decentralized the rest of the system was.
DAIHard, in contrast, gives the users the power to police and punish each other, via the aforementioned credible threat of burn. This is simple game theory, and the rules of this game are etched permanently into the DAIHard Factory and Trade contract code: impervious to litigation, regulation, and political pressure.
This Factory contract has no owner and no suicide or pause code. It cannot be stopped by us or anyone else.
Like Toastycoin, this thing was immortal the moment it was deployed (even more immortal than RadarRelay, for example, which does rely on an ownership role). Both DAIHard and Toastycoin (and probably whatever we build next) will last for as long as a single Ethereum node continues mining, and it will remain easy to use as long as someone can find the HTML/JS front-end and a web3 wallet.
(The HTML/JS front-end (built in Elm, by the way, with the lovely elm-ethereum!) is currently hosted on Github pages, which is centralized--but even if Github takes down the page and deletes the code, it's a minor step to get the page hosted on IPFS, something that is on our near-term roadmap in any case)

No KYC, No Limits

It's smart contracts all the way down, so DAIHard never asks any nosy questions--if you have Metamask or some other web3 wallet installed and set up, with some ETH and Dai (or just xDai), you can immediately open or commit to a trade. You don't even need a username!
(In fact, we're so inclusive, even machines are allowed--no CAPTCHA here!)
You're limited only by the collateral you put up, so if you have 10,000 Dai you could open up a buy offer for 30,000 Dai (or a sell offer for 10,000 Dai) right now.
We do reccommend trying the tool out first with a small amount of Dai... But we're not your mom! Do what you want!

Borderless

It simply doesn't matter where you are, because DAIHard doesn't need to interface with any particular jurisdiction or payment system to work. DIAHard works by incentivizing people (or robots?) to navigate the particular real-world hurdles of bank transfers, cash drops, or other fiat transfer methods. These incentives work whether you're in America, Zimbabwe, or the Atlantic; they work whether the fiat is USD, EUR, ZAR, seashells, or Rai Stones; and they work whether your counterparty is a human, an organization, a script, or a particularly intelligent dog with Internet access.

Any Fiat Type, and Highly Customizeable

Here are some examples of the types of trades you might create or find on DAIHard.
As the DAIHard community grows, users will doubtless find much more creative ways to use the system, and we will discover together which types of trades are reliable and which are more risky. Because users can set their own prices and phase timeout settings, we expect the risky trades to charge a premium or have longer time windows, while the reliable ones rapidly multiply at close to a 1:1 price ratio, with quick turnaround times.

Extensible (with profit) by Third Parties

Not satisfied with our interface? Do you have some nifty idea for how to display and organize user reputation? Or maybe some idea for how trades could be chained togeher? Maybe you'd like to design a notification system for DAIHard? Maybe you just want a different color scheme!
Well, you won't need our permission to do any of this. Any tool that watches the same Factory contract will share the pool of trades, regardless of which tool actually creates the trade. This means we don't even have to fight over network effects!
And if you look closely at our fee structure, you might notice that only half of the 1% DAIHard fee is "hardcoded" into the Factory contract. The other half is set and charged by our interface. What does this mean for you? If you go out and make a better interface, you can essentially replace half of our 1% fee with your own fee--it's up to you whether it's smaller or larger than the replaced 0.5%.
The reason for this is to explicitly welcome other developers to extend what we've built. For as long as our team is the only one improving the platform, a threat to us is a threat to future upgrades. But if others begin extending the DAIHard platform too, then DAIHard will not only be unstoppable as it is today, but also grow unstoppably.

(For Real This Time) This Is a Big Fucking Deal

DAIHard is a turning point in crypto and a breakthrough in decentralized markets, and is an irreversible augmentation of the Ethereum platform.
What we've built is a gateway to crypto completely devoid of centralized components--rendering entry and exit to crypto unkillable, flexible, borderless, and private. Centralized exchanges, and the control they impose, can now be bypassed by anyone with Dai and a web3 wallet.

What's New in v0.9.2

There have been many changes made since our first failed launch, but there are two rather important ones: xDai support and reputation tools.

xDai support

DAIHard is now operational on xDai, a sidechain whose native token (xDai) is pegged to the Dai (and therefore $1). Add the xDai network to your Metamask (or just install Nifty Wallet), then switch to the xDai network in your wallet, to try it out. xDai has some pretty incredible benefits, compared to vanilla Ethereum:

Reputation tools

We now have a few reputation tools. First, on any open trade, there is a widget showing the number of releases, aborts, and burns the given address has been involved in as that role (buyer or seller). Clicking on this expands the widget to show more detailed information, and also provides a link to a page that lists each trade this user has been or is involved in.

What's next?

We have tons of ideas on how to improve the product--too many, in fact, to commit to any before we get a good chunk of user feedback. Here are some of our favorite ideas:

Near-Term, Smaller Features

  1. Lots of usability improvements.
  2. A "System Status" utility similar to the one found on MakerDao's explorer).
  3. Marketplace / My Trades rework.
  4. A "QuickTrade" page, offering Trade Templates as an alternative to the current Create Offer page.

Big Exciting Features

  1. Bootstrapping people with no DAI via other mechanisms and community outreach.
  2. Partial commits to trades. eg. Place a 10,000 DAI trade and allow it to be picked up in blocks larger than 500 DAI at a time.
  3. More chains, get this thing working on Bitcoin via Rootstock, on Ethereum Classic and Binance Chain.

Stay Informed!

A lot of the above features will be prioritized more clearly as we get user feedback, and we will be posting fairly frequent updates and articles on our info site. If you don't want to miss anything, note the subscribe widget and sign up!
submitted by coinop-logan to ethereum [link] [comments]

My Story, Some Other Stories, and Thoughts On The Recent Events Surrounding Kratom

Hey everyone.
So I've been browsing this subreddit every day since the ban was announced, and never would have guessed that Kratom had such an active following that were so passionate about keeping it freely available to others.
I live on the east coast, and have been subject to seasonal depression during the cold winters ever since I was young. I've seen different physicians and psychologists about it, but it seems my brain chemistry just gets out of whack, and I consistently wake up feeling fatigued and really emotionally low during those months.
Over the years I've tried a number of amphetamines - that made my heart race, made me dizzy, and gave me tunnel-vision like focus rather than boosting my mood or stabilizing my energy levels (not to mention leaving me subject to the cardiotoxicity associated with them).
I've gone the whole nine yards with tons of different SSRI's that made me feel too manic and gave me miserable brain and body zaps as I tapered off each one that was ineffective. Not to mention, I've tried all the 'natural' treatment suggestions like vitamin D, SamE, etc. and hardly noticed any difference.
I tried Kratom on a whim one day while I was at the head shop and saw one of the lower quality bottles of capsules for sale. The cashier said he'd taken it for years, and it didn't affect his ability to focus at work - rather improved it. This particular bottle was of Maeng Da. The moment that day my first capsules kicked in, I felt completely at ease. I felt like I'd taken a sip of the perfect cup of coffee, and could tackle anything... But I had nothing to do that day (this was a summer at Uni, I was off work). I stood up, twisted and cracked my back (I've got fairly bad scoliosis and TMJ) and my neck and went outside. I lounged on my porch, and felt as if I was taking in all the positive energy from the warm sun, and called all the friends I had neglected to speak to for a while.
I really loved Kratom from the start, and found this community online and started purchasing larger quantities and different strains (my two favorites have always been white veins for productive days, and red veins for lax evenings). I made an effort to share it with anyone who was interested - especially those who had troubles with opiate addiction and dependency.
That's about the extent of my story. It has helped me get through the winter more than anything else I'd tried. I haven't taken Kratom for at least six months, and usually, during the warmer months, I have no issues getting a small 30-50g pack and enjoying it on and off. But during the winter, I've never been more eager to spring out of bed and start my day than when I had a tablespoon of Kratom ready.
The special thing about my story, and the others' that I'm about to share, is that I'm from a county that's notorious for opiate trafficking and abuse. We had the 2nd or 3rd highest heroin trafficking rate in the whole country for at least a decade. My dad was a paramedic on the city fire department for 20 or so years, and I can't tell you the number of times he'd come home or mention at holiday gatherings how his whole work day was going on runs and giving Narcan to people who overdosed on heroin.
It was quite ironic, last winter, going to my Aunt and Uncle's house and seeing them getting ready for a funeral for my 25 year old cousin - who had overdosed on heroin just weeks before my visit. Just a year or so before that, a friend of his shot up while driving with some friends on the highway, and collided straight into a semi. Some of his friends died in that accident, and he ended up a paraplegic. Moments after they told me of my cousin’s death, a political ad came on the TV. Who else could it be, but our democratic candidate for senate.
The commercial faded in from black, and (scumbag) was standing in a mourning mother's living room on a snowy day. She was sitting on the sofa, holding a picture of her son, crying. He put his hand on her shoulder, and said, "I'm [scumbag politican], and I care about stopping the opioid epidemic." The fuck he did. Scumbag politician doesn't give a fuck about anything but winning his campaign. He’s selling the same brand of populism we’re seeing in campaigns at all levels, from politicians that state their platform tongue in cheek and act like they’re going to fight for you, but won’t do shit for anyone once they’ve secured their position in office.
Had he truly cared, he would have campaigned in my county - that is filled with mindless doped up zombies who are slaves to their opiate addictions. My county, that despite its well known issues with opiate trafficking and addiction, ignorantly decided to ban the sale of Kratom over a year ago (which meant nothing since you could drive a half hour to the next county and pick some up). My city, where painkillers were the choice drug over alcohol and marijuana in high school. My city, that’s not a major city, that folks from the bigger and more wealthier cities within a 100 mile radius come just to get their heroin and pills. My city, where we bust ‘pill rings’ every few months of folks who ‘doctor shop’ in a 600 mile radius just to bring the Vicodin and Percocet back and sell it to everyone for criminal, unsustainable, prices per pill.
I had a roommate at Uni, that I shall call A. A was 28 years old, hadn’t finished college, and seemed to remain dependent on his mother. She ran a local cleaning business, and he was in charge of a lot of the hiring, management, and general business. A had quite a story, that I never would have guessed. Back when A was in high school, he cut the tip of his finger off with a power tool in shop class. He said they’d attempted 9 surgeries to try to get it back on right, but ended up cauterizing that part of his finger. That was his introduction to opiates - a tragic accident in high school. He had seen a doctor after the first surgery, who wrote him a prescription for Percocet with unlimited refills. Well, one day, his doctor randomly decided to cut him off. Not only did he not write a script with no refills, but he would not write him a script any longer. Being close to my home county, A turned to heroin for a while… but by the time I met him, he had been buying Suboxone directly from dealers and using it for maintenance. One of the first things he said after he told me his story was that he wished he could redo his 20’s all over again - without ever having touched opiate medications or heroin. He felt guilty and said he screwed up his whole life.
I was always suspicious of A. Despite being part of the local business with his mom, he rarely left the apartment. You could always tell when he had his Suboxone, because he’d be sitting on the porch playing the same game on his cell phone for hours on end. Eventually, despite an agreement between us that we could share his internet if I paid half, it was shut off. I had to subscribe myself and pay it in full. When I inquired about his internet, they said he hadn’t paid his bill in months. Weeks after that, I heard yelling between him and our landlord one evening. He hadn’t been paying his rent. He was forcibly evicted not long afterwards.
My other friend I’ll mention, B, is a family friend’s father. B is a U.S. Air Force veteran, who received a dishonorable discharge. Despite being the one who did the majority of the work on the planes in his flight, he was subject to a lot of torment by a higher ranked officer. Before inspections, the officer would deliberately mess up his bed sheets, or unscrew the lightbulb above his bunk - once he even super glued his coffee mug to the bed frame. B grew fed up, and chased the senior officer down with a railroad tie one night. Somehow, despite other lower ranked officers siding with B, the senior officer was able to get him discharged without receiving any punishment himself.
B doesn’t get very good pension, but he is paying rent and is helping finance his son’s college. He’s growing old, and his health is in poor shape. B has had 5 or so heart attacks in the past couple years, and scared a nurse away because he was lying in his hospital bed with no pulse and woke up the moment she came in. Usually when I go visit B, he appears to be in great pain. He complains that his head is throbbing most of the day, and that he often times has trouble breathing. He too, has become a slave to opiate medications, and uses them illicitly. He pays 8 dollars per Percocet, and uses multiple a day - loading them in his pill crusher and snorting them up his nose the moment he needs relief. It seems he has prioritized them over buying food for himself and his son.
As it turns out, when I offered some Kratom for A to try, he had believed some of the misinformation published about it on the internet - and was too scared to try it. He genuinely believed he was safer and better off with his Suboxone habit. He pays much more than B each day to maintain his Suboxone habit - as evidenced by his internet being shut off, and him being kicked out.
I didn’t learn of B’s pill habit until a week or so before the ban was announced, and I hadn’t had the money in that time to buy him some to try. I feel horrible about it, because it could have been a lot more sustainable financially, and less of a risk to his health.
These are just a couple stories, and in the area I live in, everyone knows a handful of people like this. I haven’t shared them yet because the Kratom ban makes me very sad and angry with what my father, family, friends, and I have witnessed firsthand in our area regarding the opiate epidemic.
With that, let me correct Mr. Rosenberg’s quote to the press:
"I want the Kratom community to know that the DEA does [not care for their lives one bit, nor do they care about science or public opinion]."
"Our goal is to make sure this is available to all of them [on the black market, after we’ve labeled every single one of them a criminal for not being dependent on opiate medications instead]."
A lot of you have tied this ban to Big Pharma, and their perceived threat towards their ever growing revenues from selling opiate medications. You’ve provided figures in the tens of billions of dollars for their revenues from selling a single name brand opiate painkiller. You’ve linked several media stories about how they’ve been trying to patent and do something with the active compounds in Kratom. Some of you have said that conspiracy goes too far.
Either way, I think we can agree that Big Pharma and the DEA are our number one enemies. As much as we may call out the politicians for being crooked phonies, we’ve gotten a lot of their support in this struggle. Big Pharma is putting their billions into lobbying the same phonies that are running a race on the opioid epidemic and don’t give two fucks about it, instead of researching and developing opiate-free pain medications and especially non-addictive ones at that. Look at the controversy surrounding the Epi-pen lately. I don’t need to say much about the DEA, or Rosenberg, or The War on Drugs…
What I will say is, whether or not the ban goes through, Kratom will still be on the market. There have been a lot of posts asking about that… whether it would exist on Darknet markets. The gist of what I’ve heard from other users is that it would be too risky to ship per pound / revenue, so a lot of it would be extracts and not plain leaf.
But extracts can work, right? I have also read a lot of stories bout extracts, and not plain leaf, that helped people get off of heroin.
So whether or not this ban goes through, we should take it upon ourselves to continue to fight the opioid epidemic, with our own cure. Knowing A and B, and so many folks like them, and their unique stories, I’ve always pondered what good we could do if everyone shared Kratom with just three painkiller or heroin addicts they knew, and helped them make the switch. We may need to start investing in Bitcoin, and start teaching these folks how to navigate Tor like true ‘criminals’, or perhaps do that ourselves and take on the role of ‘drug dealer’... But wouldn’t it be worth it to make such a difference in people’s lives? If DEA was truly Big Pharma’s puppet in this decision, because they perceived Kratom as a financial threat to their ever growing opiate industry, wouldn’t it put a smile on your face knowing that after this controversy, we put Kratom on the map and decimated their precious painkiller sales and saved lives by switching everyone over?
Again, I’m truly amazed by what I see browsing this subreddit everyday, and seeing the support for Kratom by the general public, big media outlets like Forbes and Huffington Post, and the rallying done by everyone. We have such a diverse group telling #IAmKraton stories (we need #WeAreKratom too with all of this unity, IMO). It’s amazing that we have a voice like the American Kratom Association - not to mention their $100,000 donation - and Pain News Network. But regardless of whether or not we can stop DEA and Big Pharma on our plight...
Let’s fuck ‘em right in the pussy.
submitted by Red_PillCosby to kratom [link] [comments]

[Table] IamA guy who accidentally started a soy candle business while high. AMA! (Second time)

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2013-12-21
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
Why soy? It was the first wax I stumbled upon when I started my candle making supply search. The more I learned about it, the more I liked it. It's made from soy beans, so it's renewable, and all the beans are grown in the Midwest. I grew up on a farm, so I know how important it is to support farmers. It's completely biodegradable and nontoxic. You can literally eat it. When I started researching paraffin wax, I was shocked. It's a byproduct of petroleum refinement, and contains carcinogens that cause cancer. It's not renewable, the process of getting it is quite damaging to the environment, and the wax burns faster than soy.
Hm, interesting stuff. Are most candles made of paraffin wax? Yes. I imagine the fact that it wont spoil like soy wax will is the reason it's used by large candle companies.
What is the half-life of a soy candle? One year.
I bought two candles from you in early October; Oakmass and Amber and Falling Leaves. By far the greatest candles I've ever had. They last long, smell insanely nice and actually scents up a room, and you're local-ish! When I order more, can I do a home pick up and burn one with you? Candle burning not required. You're too kind! I'm glad you liked them. Yeah, we can definitely burn up if you want to. Save a little cash on shipping, too.
I hope you don't wind up murdered. We can carry concealed weapons in Wisconsin.
Are you in Madison? Madison is kinda weird, but I love it. I'm just outside of Madison.
Do you ever smoke with the soy candles man? Who's he?
On a scale of 1 to Unicorns, how high were you? Banana.
So I could get a candle named CUNT_DESTROYER? Yes. If you tell me to name it that, I will. It's your money, yo!
Have you considered applying for Shark Tank? That would be an interesting episode. I would never get a deal on that show, nor would I want one. Giving up any ownership is not an option. This is all mine. I would, however, love the national publicity. That would help my growth tremendously.
Just have a really nice intro, of explaining your candles, and all of that stuff so people get interested. Then just bomb the interview, act like a dumbass so you get no offers, have a big billboard with your website and stuff behind you. There ya go. Alright. Somebody call Hollywood and get me on that show!
For someone who isn't a candle connoisseur, what is your favorite scent? recommendations? I have a lot of favorite scents. Oakmoss and Amber is earthy and sweet. Caribbean Teakwood is dark and leathery. Blueberry Cheesecake makes you want to eat the candle, itself... Those are just a few of my faves, but I really like most of the scents I offer.
But CAN you eat the candles? It is just soy right... Without scent oil and dye, you could eat the candle. Soy wax is actually a really good skin moisturizer. Mix a little extra virgin olive oil into pure soy wax, and say goodbye to dry skin. I should start offering that...
What candle best covers up the smell of pets? All of them are scented strongly, so they'll do a good job. Except for maybe a scent like Rain, or Ocean Mist... They are just a lighter scent. Strong, but light.
Anything special you do to prevent frosting? Frosting is a tricky one... I can't give away my secrets...I've spent months trying different environments to let the candles cure in...but I've eliminated it as well as I can. Most candles have none, but a few have a little patch or two of frosting. The appearance of frosting is a good indicator of your candle being made with 100% soy wax, though, so it ain't all bad.
For those of us who don't know, what is frosting and why would you want to prevent it? Frosting is when the wax crystallizes during the curing process. It does no harm to the candle, it's just not pleasing to the eye for some people.
So pretty much frosting is a little tiny ugly mark on the candle? It can be tiny marks, or cover the whole thing. Most of it depends on the curing process, but they are still sensitive to rapid temperature drops after the wax is set.
Would you consider making a subscription candle service? I burn candles all day every day it would be awesome not to need to lug them from the store every week. That's a cool idea. How would I go about doing that?
Let me know if you need help with the set-up :-) I use Wordpress for my site, and Woocommerce for my cart. Will those work? I will need help with the set-up.
I must of missed the first ama and the repost in trees. But i need the story on how you started a soy candle business while high. got any tips for a stoner who is trying to start his own company? whats your favorite scent you have? I was high, staring at a candle burn for a long time just thinking about stuff. Then I realized that I couldn't smell that fancy Glade candle at all. I wondered if I could make my own candles better than Glade. So I browsed candle making supplies online, ordered 10 pounds of wax, 2 dozen jars, and some lilac scent oil. Several minutes later, I completely forgot I had done all that. Didn't think about it again until boxes showed up at my door. I had the "oh yeah, that's right!" moment, and got to work. I made all the candles and gave them away to friends and family. They liked them so much, they started requesting scents and paying me money for them. Then, local stores started contacting me to let them sell my candles. A few news papers interviewed me about my business, as well. It just keeps growing. And all I wanted to do was see if I could make a candle better than a air freshening company. I can assure you I have succeeded in doing that.
My tip would be to find something you think you can do better than what's out there, and then do it.
My favorite scent right now is Winter Cabin.
Please tell me you told the news outlet's that you were high when you started your business. "I was lying on my couch, staring at a candle for what seemed like hours..."
That was the closest I've come.
Do you sell on amazon? No, but somebody recently gave me the idea to sell there. I look to expand my presence online quite a bit in the new year.
How do you get stores to sell your candles? Have you ever thought of outsourcing production to China? Some stores contacted me about selling my stuff. With others, I would just walk into a store with a couple candles and sell them on why they should carry my candles. I would never move production to China. I would like to become the largest candle company in the US, with everything made right here.
Was there a time where you weren't sure you could be successful because it was an idea you got while high? Not for that reason, but there have been times when I wondered how I would make people aware of my products. How would I become successful if nobody outside of southern Wisconsin has heard of me? I worried about stuff like that. Then, I did my first AMA, and the exposure from Reddit helped build a coast to coast customer base that to this day continues to grow.
You seem to have great ideas when stoned. Do you come up with your new products while high? I ask a lot of questions. I ask people what they want. I'll be adding a 16 ounce candle in a glass container, soon. Double wicked...just have to work out the right wick combination... People have been asking for a larger size, so I'll sell a larger size. It's your money, you know? If you want me to make something that I don't have, and I can get the stuff to make it, I'll do it.
Do you use hemp wicks, and if no, why not? I haven't tried them yet, but I'm always trying new wicks to find the perfect one, so I'm sure in the future I will eventually try them. Whether or not I end up using them is dependent on how they perform.
I'd love to try your candles if you found a way to use wooden wicks. I found a wood wicked candle about a year ago and burned it sparingly just so that I could enjoy it longer (the sound is just heavenly), but now I can't seem to find another. TL;DR: Maybe try wooden wicks? :D Wooden wicks are on the horizon! Stay tuned...
How do your wax melts compare to the name brand (Scentsy) melts? Definitely thinking about buying some tonight. The only way for you to find out, is to try them. But, mine honestly blow scentsy's away. My wax melts are 6 ounces, compared to scentsy's 3. The cubes are one ounce each, and I get at least 5 days of noticeably strong scent release while keeping the warmer going 24 hours a day. Then, you'll get a few more days of adequate scent release. If you try them and don't think they're better, send them back and I'll refund your money. I've offered that return guarantee since I started, and haven't had a single thing sent back to me. I'm pretty sure you'll like mine more.
Can your melts be used in a Scentsy warmer? Being from Wisconsin myself and a warmer user you have me very close to switching my business. You certainly can!
Did you get a business license? If so, what kind? No.
How much money have you made from these soy candles? Is your stock public? I'm a one man operation who has reached the point of outgrowing his kitchen, and moving into a larger work space. The money has been a nice boost to my income, but it's nothing I can survive on by itself. No, stock is not public...I hope it never is.
Does this mean you have a day job? What do you do other than make and sell candles? Yeah. I work for a place that makes reed switches and various sensors for all kinds of applications.
Where are you based out of? South central Wisconsin.
Is that near Eau Claire? I'm in Waterloo. Just outside of Madison.
I'll be going to Madison for school in January. I may have to stop by and get a gift for someone. Or, you know, candles are awesome too. If it was okay to stop by, would there be a potential sniffing of various scents available? Also you made Bacon specifically in time for the AMA, didn't you? I usually have candles ready to be shipped out that you could smell. I started offering bacon a couple months ago due to demand from my previous exposures on Reddit. Give 'em what they want...
I go to the UW! They don't let us burn candles in our dorm, though. :( I make wax melts, too. If you buy a warmer, you can use my melts!
Have you consulted with any other self made entrepreneurs on how to make your operation fully sustainable? What, if any tips have you gotten? All of them tell me to keep doing what I'm doing. I've been trending up since the beginning, so if I keep growing at the pace I have been, I'll be there in a few years. I'm in no hurry. I want to do things right and maintain a top-notch product.
Is this the plot of Our Idiot Brother? Did Paul Rudd steal your life to make a movie? Yes he did, but how can you be mad at Paul Rudd?
Would you ever make a peony scented candle? Peonies are my favorite flowers and I haven't found a peony candle ever and I really like your candles. Also, I think this is really cool what you're doing. I hope it all works out! I'm getting one for my best friend for Christmas. I can get that scent. Next time I order supplies, I'll pick some up. Thanks!
Whats your company name? Mack's Olfactory
I see you have scent melts! Are those also soy based? If so, do they last longer than non soy based ones? Am I just silly and all the wax is the same wax for your products? Everything I make uses 100% soy. I've never used paraffin ones, so I don't know, but everyone tells me mine are stronger and last longer than Scentsy's.
Well, just bought 4. Wondered if you had ever seen a coiled candle Link to www.thisiswhyimbroke.com. I've always thought they looked cool. What's the worst smelling candle you've made? Like you were going for pineapple, but ended up with vomit. Thank you for trying them! I've never seen a candle like that before, but it's cool as hell! All of the scents I use come pre-bottled, so I'm not mixing anything myself. But, I can't stand the Banana Bread and Coffee scents. I just don't like them.
Do you plan on ever mixing your own scents? No. I don't have time for that. And I can buy thousands of different ones premixed.
Where would I go to be able to purchase one of these amazing candles? I'm being a little lazy and can't figure out how to search for this. Link to my website
I love you so much. I shared your candles with my peoples on facebook. NINJA EDIT: They are also cheaper than I thought they would be! I'm so excited. I love you, too! Thank you for sharing my link. I hope you enjoy them!
How fast is your shipping time? Do you offer overnight or next day? I hadn't heard of your candles before, and I know some people who would over them for Christmas presents. I make them to order, and I use priority mail from the USPS. They'd never get to you before Christmas. Sorry.
Hey you might not know, but are they GMO soybeans? Just curious. "The short answer is no. Only a very small percentage of the total US production of soy wax is organic. About 98% of the soybean harvest has been either genetically modified (GMO) or non-GMO mixed in with GMO soybeans. All of the soy wax in the US is made by just four companies, and none of them currently process organic soy oil into candle wax at this time."
Wish your stuff was cheaper to ship to Canada. I remember we traded PM's last time you posted, but it just didn't make sense to pay that much for shipping. What are some scents you thought would turn out nicely, but ultimately failed? I wish it was cheaper, too! Dozens of Canadians have wanted to buy, but nobody wants to pay $25 shipping costs. If a certain scent doesn't turn out nice, I'll try it from a different manufacturer. None of the marijuana scents have turned out nice, though. They don't smell anything like the real thing.
Is $25 a flat rate? That wouldn't be too terrible overall, if it was a big order. I'm in Canada and I see at least 8 scents that I would have to have :P. The weight has to stay under 4 pounds. Go over that, and the price skyrockets.
Ah, yeah that makes more sense. Approximately how many 8 oz candles would that be? 3.
That's really cool man. Think you could easily make candles in a low-resource environment? I'm a Peace Corps Volunteer who's got no fridge and no reliable electricity or running water- think I could do it? If you can start a fire and melt wax to a specific temperature, yes.
Simpsons or Family Guy? Both. I've been watching the Simpsons since they were on the Tracy Ullman show, and I enjoy the ridiculousness of Family Guy.
You're locked in a room with the CEO of ikeas teenage son and you have to choose what to watch between the two for the whole next eight days... If that's the scenario, then I choose Simpsons because I could easily watch the Softball episode over and over again for 8 days.
Damn it, Mattingly! I thought I told you to trim those sideburns!
Alright I'll buy your candles. Pleasure doing business with you.
Who's your favorite cast member on Friends? Don't know. Never watched it.
I was hoping for the answer Chandler... Ha! Nice.
Piggy Wiggly exists that far north? Always thought that was a southern thing. They're all over Wisconsin.
I'm actually making soy candles tomorrow for Christmas presents- any tips? Also, I was thinking about adding candy canes because they're gonna be peppermint scented. Would that be okay?? Be gentle when stirring in the scent, and pay attention to temperature details. I wouldn't add candy canes to a candle...unless you love mayhem.
off, Macks Olfactory is very clever and made me giggle. But my question is, have you ever tried anything like this before(starting your own business) and if things were to take off do you think you can keep up with the demand? Thanks for the ama and best of luck. I will be ordering soon! I've never done anything like this before. My dad ran two businesses, farming and a dump truck contracting company, so I can fall back on him for advice and whatnot, but so far I've done everything on my own. Promoting on Reddit has sometimes overwhelmed me with orders, and it would take a couple months to fill orders, but I needed that to find out what I had to do to keep up with the demand. Upgrading my equipment and production capacity will resolve that. I'll be able to make dozens of candles an hour in the near future.
Do you have a Marijuana scent? I haven't found one that smells anything like the real thing. I wont offer it if it's garbage.
I'd love to get some of these mailed to australia, would that be possible?? Shipping to Australia is over $40, unfortunately.
Hey Mack. I just placed another order a couple days ago. Will it make it by Christmas? Probably not, unfortunately. I just finished up all the orders placed before December 15th. Nothing placed after that has shipped yet.
Does the bacon scented candle really smell like bacon? And if so, would you ship to the UK? It has a Bacos smell to it, but it's not that bad.
Whats cent would be the best to have sex to? Long story short, I had a 14 hour sex marathon with this woman I worked with that started as a joke, but ended up happening. I had strawberry candles burning the whole time. To me, that is the best scent to have sex to.
How profitable is this business? Better than minimum wage? Also have you tried making any candy scents? Specifically chocolate. It's profitable. I'd have to sell a lot to live off the income, which will become easy to do once I start selling a lot because buying a ton of wax and jars all at once will save me tens of thousands of dollars compared to what I'm paying now in smaller quantities.
I'll look for a chocolate scent for you.
How can I be more like you? I really don't know.
What's your opinion on higher-end, "designer" candles? For example, Comme Des Garcons and Cire Trudon. Do you think that your candles compare, in quality? How did you learn to make candles? Would you consider apprenticing, or something like that, at a company like Cire Trudon to increase your candle-making prowess? Rip off. Mine may not look as fancy, but I'll go head to head with anyone when it comes to how well the candle can scent a room. And you'd have to be crazy to spend almost $100 on a 9 ounce candle...
Do you take bitcoin? No, but I should probably start. I laughed at the notion a few months ago when they were about $110... Kicking myself for that one.
How did you come up with the money to get started? I have an idea and no clue where to go from here. It only cost me about $100 to get started.
My only question is this: Where the hell were you a month ago when I was trying to figure out what christmas gifts to buy?! Hopefully, we'll both be around for a long, long time. There will be more Christmas's. More birthday's. Mack's Olfactory will be right here.
Would it be possible to make a candle that smelt like a fireplace? Would be nice for the apt. dwellers. I can and will do that.
Leg hair shavings? Okay. EDIT: I suck at jokes. That sounds like a wonderful idea, but I'd rather use that money to buy Christmas gifts for my family during this season. I've spent too much on myself already! That's the first thing I thought of, too. I didn't understand how hair was going to help me match scents.
You've mentioned before you're able to get pretty much any scent for someone who wants it. What is this range limited by? Is there a catalogue of scents to choose from besides those on your site? The range is limited by Google's ability to find the scent for me.
Is the business how you make your living? Not yet. I still have to work a full time job, which makes making candles difficult, especially when you get 60 orders dumped on you all at once like what just happened to me... I'll hopefully get to that point in a few years.
Where do you get the scents from? Do you just add a couple of drops of "blueberry" and get blueberry candles? This sounds very nice, btw. I hope you can maintain the quality and the vibe... I buy all the scents pre-bottled and highly concentrated.
Super late to this, but I would like to get some of your wax melts. What warmeburnewhatever it is do you recommend, and how exactly do you use them/how long do they last? Do you run the warmer constantly, or in cycles? I recommend any that has a 20-25 watt bulb in it. To use them you simply break off a cube, like getting an ice cube out of the tray, and you toss them into the warmer. Mine will emit a strong scent for about 5 days running 24 hours a day, then you'll get adequate scent for another few days. You can run the warmer whenever you want. It doesn't have to be all the time.
What's the difference in wax melts and breaking off chunks of candle wax to melt? Also, how long do your wax melts last? The candle wax I use for containers is a softer wax than the blend I use for the wax melts. The container wax is like soap. The wax melt wax is firmer and more brittle. One of my wax melt cubes will emit strong scent for about 5 days, being on 24 hours a day. Then, they will emit adequate scent for a few more days after that.
I used to joke about manly saw dust scented products... any chance that could come in a candle? I'll look for sawdust scent oil. If I can find it, I'll sell it.
Hello! Checked out your website and was wondering what your wicks are made out of? I'd like to purchase some for a pregnant friend and I've read about avoiding wicks with lead, and to look for cotton? Thank you Lead wicks aren't around anymore. Just like lead paint and leaded gas is no more. My wicks are made of cotton.
After reading through this AMA I would like to buy some candles, live in Sweden. Will you ever start to ship internationally? If I can find cheap shipping, yes.
This is awesome. Do requests cost extra? I really love sunflowers. I can get sunflower scent oil. Next time I order supplies, I'll pick some up. There's no extra cost.
What do you use to add scent to candles? And do you make it yourself? I buy pre-bottled, highly concentrated scent oils.
Dude I have a candle business too!!! Lol. How many candles can you make per batch? Right now, 7. But last night I bought equipment to be able to make dozens at a time.
Soy wax also burns at a lower temperature, so if you spill it on your skin (or put it there on purpose -- whatever floats your boat) you are less likely to get burned. It also cleans up with soap and water unlike regular wax. Soy wax is awesome! Do you ever refill containers for people? People who buy them locally will return the jars for me to reuse.
Have you ever made a pot-scented candle? Several, but none of them have smelled like the real thing.
Did you make the first candle, or find somebody who would? I've made every single one I've ever made.
Do you have a dog named Willie Nelson? No. I have a cat named KitKat.
Question two: have you seen our idiot brother? Yes. Paul Rudd stole the story of my life and made a movie.
If you do custom scents can you do one that smells like a Douglas Fir? The vast majority of Christmas/Pine/Tree smells just all smell like bad air fresheners to me. Like that little pine tree people put in their cars. I'd absolutely love a candle that actually smells like a Christmas tree. I will search for that.
I'm late as hell to the party, but i was curious if your business as it stands now is profitable/sustainable? It's been profitable since day one. If it keeps growing the way it has over the past 2 years, I should be able to live off the income. Fingers crossed!
What's your gross revenue and net profit? I'll let you know once my taxes are done.
Not anymore... That's why Mark Cuban is my favorite billionaire. Dude is good at making money, but he understands that there needs to be a fairness to it, otherwise it becomes harder for the little guy to make it...just like he did.
You make me a candle that smells even remotely like Angel Whispers from Glade and I'll be a huge customer. As soon as I found that scent they discontinued it. I can get you that scent... Next time I order supplies, I'll buy some.
Call it "Pisces Dream" and you'll be my hero! Send me a pm when you get some made. You got it!
WOAH! What a great idea! You should definitly have a website or something that a customer can go online and easily pick out a nice scent they like and be able to have it named after them! [3]+ I make all the labeling myself, so if people ordered something but wanted the name changed to whatever, I can do that. Just put in the comments when ordering that you want the name changed.
I will snap order 5 of those bitches. Now, if you can make a cherry/peppermint blend, and call it "Serenity", you will receive 10 additional orders from me. I will be ordering that scent on Monday. I don't know how shipping will be with all the holidays coming, but check back in a week or two, and I will have "Pisces Dream" ready to go...along with several other new scents. I'll look for a cherry/peppermint blend, too.
You're a bad motherfucker. Gettin shit done. The candle industry isn't going to revolutionize itself...
Oh! Oh! Oh! Glade used to make a soy candle called "earthly awakening" that I was obsessed with. It was also discontinued. If you can make a replica of this you've just earned yourself another life long customer. I can't find a replica of that scent, but Amazon has a six pack of them available. There's only one left, so you better hurry! It's $56.
Depending on the laws of the state it may not be required, nor be applicable. Some areas, like my state (Colorado), have no such thing as a "business license"... Instead, there are forms and licenses with different names and purposes, which may be optional depending on the nature of the business. I've asked several business owners around town if I need any business licenses, and they say no. I might need a sellers permit, though.
If you could make a eucalyptus scented candle I'd be pretty keen on it. Straight eucalyptus?
You totally should do this AMA with a butcher and a baker... for science. Besties.
Last updated: 2013-12-26 01:16 UTC
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