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Sentinelrv Blog

What I've Been up to Since the HCU Closed (How I Made $250,000 in One Month)

First, I apologize for the sensationalist headline I used. I just want to make sure all my old HCU friends that still visit GameSpot read this. While it's true, I'm not encouraging anyone to be irresponsible with their money. In fact, I talk about that further down in my post.

Anyway, one of my old HCU members (Sam) contacted me on Facebook about what my involvement with Peercoin is, since I had made several posts about it. I decided to respond to him and explain my entire story so far and felt it was good enough to post here to let people know what I've been up to since the Headcrab Union closed. I also tell you toward the end where you can find me hanging out in case you wanted to swing by. So the following is my response to Sam...

No Caption Provided

Hey Sam, I'll detail my entire story here for you. Firstly, do you understand what Bitcoin is? If not, let me explain. Bitcoin is a peer to peer digital currency (or cryptocurrency) that can be sent anywhere in the world 24/7 without the large fees you have to pay when using credit/debit cards or wiring money. It's also a decentralized currency, meaning no one person, institution or government has control of the money, for example the Federal Reserve System which controls the US dollar. This prevents the currency from being devalued through inflation of the money supply, since nobody can counterfeit Bitcoins. It's a property of Bitcoin that's hard coded into the system.

Now if you already know about it, you'll probably know about the crazy price increases. From 2009 to the end of 2012 it saw a steady rise to about $13. Over the last year its value has exploded to over $1,000. A lot of this is due to speculation over its price, but because of the mainstream exposure, many businesses are now starting to adopt it as a means of exchange. Only a very small percentage of people in the world own Bitcoins at this moment, so it has MASSIVE room to grow. Its dollar value will only increase as more people and businesses start to adopt it as a medium of exchange.

Back in March/April there was this huge Bitcoin bubble where the price went from around $35 to $266 and then crashed back to Earth for the next couple months until it started to rise again. I knew about Bitcoin from hanging around Libertarian forums during Ron Paul's presidential campaigns, but never really researched it. During this large bubble I took notice and finally started to research what it was all about.

Besides learning about Bitcoin, I learned that there were other cryptocurrencies called alt-coins which were based on Bitcoin, but provided some kind of change or improvement. The second most popular cryptocurrency was called Litecoin and at the height of the Bitcoin bubble Litecoin was about $5-6. As soon as Bitcoin crashed, Litecoin went along with it down to $1 each. At that point after the crash I bought 5,000 Litecoins. My thinking was that Bitcoin was too expensive at that point to buy. If Bitcoin became a mainstream currency though, there were going to be competitors that would also rise in price with it. So I bought Litecoin without really doing that much research on it, mainly because I hadn't been in it that long and hadn't had the time to read more about it. I saw an opportunity when the price crashed and took it.

After I made that purchase, I had a long time to do research. What I found was that most of the alt-coins were copycat clones of Bitcoin with only slight changes. Most of the coins didn't have enough differences to warrant their creation in the first place. These coins were created by scammers who would amass a large amount for themselves and then release to the public, hoping that their coin's value would rise along with Bitcoin and they'd get rich. Out of all the junk/scam coins I knew there had to be someone in the cryptocurrency community that offered a coin with real improvements over Bitcoin. I just had to keep looking.

And that's when I found out about Peercoin. The developer of Peercoin immediately stuck out to me as somebody who knew exactly what he was doing. His name is Sunny King and likes to remain anonymous, similar to Bitcoin's creator Satoshi Nakamoto. He's somebody with a clear long-term vision for his creation and it reflects in the design of his coin.

I'm not an expert on how Bitcoin works yet, but I understand some of the basics. New coins are created through a process called mining using a proof-of-work based system. Mining is carried out by people running the Bitcoin client on their computers. In order to mine for Bitcoins, the client has to solve complicated math problems. The first computer to solve the problem gets rewarded with the newly created Bitcoins. During this process, the client also works to secure the Bitcoin network and I believe it helps to process transactions for other people around the world.

So Bitcoin needs these people to run these processes in order for the whole system to function. The monetary reward is what motivates people to do it. This has created an arms race between people trying to capture the rewards of Bitcoin mining. First people mined with CPU's, then GPU's and now more recently asic miners, which are specialized processors designed specifically to mine Bitcoin.

The Bitcoin network is most secure from attack when it's decentralized, but that's not what's happening. Bitcoin is becoming increasingly centralized by the day. The reason for this is because normal people with CPU's and GPU's can't afford to mine Bitcoin anymore, so they don't. This puts control of the entire network into the hands of a dwindling number of people that can afford to mine. These people have entire rooms filled with processing equipment. This is dangerous because the more centralized Bitcoin becomes, the more unsecure and open to attack it becomes. Today the process of mining requires a massive amount of energy to be expended in order to secure the Bitcoin network.

This is why Peercoin was created. The developer Sunny King realized early on where Bitcoin was headed, so he designed a cryptocurrency to prevent this from happening. Rather than relying solely on a proof-of-work based system to mine coins, he developed a new system called proof-of-stake, stake meaning the amount of coins a person claims ownership to. Proof-of-Stake goes about mining a completely different way which prevents the hardware arms race created by proof-of-work based systems like Bitcoin. This mean Peercoin is an energy efficient coin, requiring much less resources to secure its network. Using this new method it also provides a higher degree of security by maintaining network decentralization. It also provides owners of the currency 1% interest on their holdings as a reward for proof-of-stake mining. Another difference is that where Bitcoin has a hard cap of 21 million Bitcoins that can ever be created, Peercoin has no hard cap and is designed to simulate gold, an ever expanding money supply, but a low inflation rate of 1% a year.

So after a lot of research, I realized that Peercoin was the real deal. Unlike a lot of the other copycats and clones, Peercoin offered many improvements and innovations in its design which completely separated it from Bitcoin. After reading a lot of replies and interviews from its developer, I've concluded that Sunny King is a genius and knows exactly what he's doing, so I sold all of my Litecoins and bought Peercoin when it was still only around .15 cents a coin. After bills, every paycheck I've gotten this year has gone almost completely into Peercoin. I've now amassed a grand total of around 30,000 Peercoins.

And as I predicted, now that Bitcoin is starting to become more mainstream, people are starting to look into the alternate coins. Peercoin is now the 3rd largest cryptocurrency under Litecoin and Bitcoin and growing in value by the day. Earlier in the week it hit around $8.50, which is a profit of around $250,000 for me. I'm somebody that's used to not having any money, so this is absolutely insane! The best part is that it can only keep growing in value as more people find out about Peercoin and its improvements over Bitcoin. It's entirely possible that Peercoin could be the Facebook of cryptocurrency, where Bitcoin was the MySpace. One introduced it where the other improved on it.

Obviously I don't know what's going to happen in the future. For all I know everything could crash and go back to zero and I'd lose everything, but I don't think it will. I believe cryptocurrencies are here to stay and I'm going to hold my Peercoins for years before I ever think of selling them.

Now, let me answer your question about my involvement in Peercoin besides just buying them. I got involved in the Peercoin community when it was still very young and my role in that community has been expanding ever since. The first major thing I did was to organize a design contest to create Peercoin's logo, which turned out amazing and has already been featured in several mainstream media programs and newspapers. Having the logo created was my biggest contribution to the community I think. Since then I've taken on the role of managing the Peercoin Facebook page. I also help out with promotion on Reddit and am involved with building the community and helping out with developing the main website. I pretty much try to help out wherever I feel I have something to offer.

Now if you'd like to learn more, I'm going to give you a bunch of links, the most important of which are our main website and the forum. They're both listed first. If you'd like to research Peercoin then please use these resources. If you have any technical questions, rather than asking me (Because I'm not a complete expert) head on over to the forum and ask them. I post there all the time, so you'll see me there and in chat. If you decide to get into this, please remember to be responsible with your money and know that nothing is guaranteed.






I Think Maybe my Time Here on GameSpot has Come to an End...

I tried to bring the HCU's activity around by coming back, but I'm starting to think now that maybe I should just disband the union and move on from GameSpot. Check here for my writing on the subject and reply if you want to have any say on the matter. I may make my decision by tomorrow.

EDIT: I decided to keep the union alive because there were people that requested me to keep it open. I instead transferred leadership to MichaelP4. This is it. I'm not coming back this time. I will remain as an officer and post from time to time. Good luck to the new leader!

HCU's New Telegram System - Post a comment and let me know if you got a PM!

This is The HeadCrab Union's new telegram system! Please check out our new telegram and post in the comments section to let me know whether it's working or not. Most of you probably didn't know that The HeadCrab Union is active again, and this is because the official union telegram system has been broken. For years, I've been unable to remain in contact with most of you, but now the problem should be solved. Please check out the latest HCU updates in that telegram and post to let me know whether you got the PM. I hope to see some of you on the forum!

The Council of Unions Interviews Sentinelrv, Leader of The HeadCrab Union

I was recently requested by The Council of Unions to do an interview on my time as leader of The HeadCrab Union

"Our first interview of 2011 is with Sentinelrv, the dedicated and passionate leader of The HeadCrab Union and longtime unions advocate. He tells us the highs and lows of being the leader of one of the largest unions on GameSpot."

In the interview I talk about the HCU's history and community, our success, the challenges of union leadership, union redesign and a lot more. You can check out my interview here.

Please Watch For Liberty: The Ongoing Story of The Ron Paul Revolution

This is a post I made on Facebook...

Please read my post below, because it could affect your entire future and only you can do something about it. If you're too impatient to read it, please make sure you at least watch the video I linked below, which I played a very small part in developing. If you do neither, don't come complaining to me when the economy collapses. You and I are the only ones that can help to prevent this from happening by spreading the word. Below are the video link and password.

Video Link: For Liberty: The Ongoing Story of The Ron Paul Revolution

I'm sure there are a bunch of people here on Facebook that wonder why I post so many updates about 2012 presidential candidate Ron Paul. Some people in my family even like to joke around that I seem to be obsessed, lol. Yet, they don't seem to understand why I care so much about this. They've never been exposed to the liberty message like I have because they don't pay attention to what's going on around them. I care so much because I believe Ron is the only one running that truly understands the problems this country is facing. I really can't stand it when people ignore these issues or even joke about them. They don't seem to understand how serious things are going to get if nothing is done soon to fix the problem. Try $10 to $20 for a gallon of gas, the result of the value of our dollar collapsing. It's not just gas either. Everything will cost that much! I don't laugh about things like that....

Just like in the 2008 election, Ron is the only one running in 2012 that understands the root cause of our economic crisis. If you were only to listen to his explanation of why the economy is suffering, you'd realize that it's going to get much worse, because no other running candidate is addressing the root cause of the problem, which is the Federal Reserve System, the institution that prints our money out of thin air. The Federal Reserve is destroying our currency (the dollar) and the country along with it, and yet nobody but Ron Paul understands why this is happening, and he's the only candidate trying to save us from it. We're going to experience an economic collapse in the near future that eclipses the one we just went through in 2008. It could be worse than the Great Depression. All those running against him completely ignore this issue. Because they ignore the root cause, they cannot fix the problem and the economy will continue to get worse until all your savings are literally wiped out by devaluation of the dollar.

Besides his deep understanding of the economy and other issues, he's the only candidate running that has a strong record of doing exactly what he says he's going to do. He always votes in line with the constitution, even if he's the only one voting against a bill. He doesn't care what people think of him. He only cares whether something is constitutional or not, and whether it's in the best interest of this country. You can actually believe everything he says, unlike all the other phony presidential candidates we've had over the past couple of decades.

If you really want to know why I support Ron so much, the best suggestion I can give to you is to watch the video I linked above. This is a very high quality production and I played a small part in its development. It presents the truth about what really happened during Ron's 2008 presidential campaign. It also shows you how principled of a person he is, how he stands by the constitution no matter what, even in the face of harsh criticism from the news media and the establishment status quo candidates who have no principles to speak of, who flip-flop on the issues just to appease voters. Please watch this video to get the real story of the Ron Paul Revolution. That's all I ask is for you to watch it and form your own opinion. Again, you'll need the password, which is 2012. I hope you like it and I hope it brings you a new sense of hope for this country.

So What Have you Been up to Since The HeadCrab Union Closed?

The HeadCrab Union (at least on GameSpot) closed at the end of 2007. That's three and a half years. What have you been up to during that time? Post your story here.

Me personally, I lost my job around the time the HCU closed. I moved from South Jersey to Davenport Florida (Around Orlando) to live with my cousin. The economy turned sour and for a year I couldn't find a job down there. I was forced to sell my Nissan 350Z in order to continue paying the rent. All my money was sucked up during this time until I was basically flat broke. We then moved to Melbourne Florida, which is next to Nasa, located in Cape Canaveral. Only there did I finally find a job working night shift at a gas station. Because I didn't have a vehicle, I was forced to ride my bicycle back and forth to work. I did that for another year before finally moving back to New Jersey in June 2010, where I got my old job back again. I've been working there since that time.

That might seem depressing and unproductive to you, but you're not seeing the whole story here. It woke me up to what the real world is really like. Unless Ron Paul is elected president in 2012, this country is headed for economic collapse. I understand now that I can't rely on a company to keep me employed during bad economic times. I don't want to become dependent on somebody else for my well being. Job security doesn't exist anymore. Because of this, unlike most people I've decided not to attend college. Anything I need to know I can learn myself. What's my plan of action though?

In 2009 while in Florida, I met a group of people learning currency trading or Forex underneath a millionaire trader. The group was just forming at the time. The person everybody is studying under is a great guy that wanted to share what he's learned with a small group of people, similar to the story of the successful Turtle Traders. No, he's not making money off of us by selling his advice. He's stuck with the group for the last two years giving free guidance. What I first realized though is that trading is largely an emotional game. Yes, there is technical knowledge needed, but unless you're able to gain full control over your mind and emotions, you'll fail before you've even begun. Because of this, I made the decision that BEFORE I studied any trading, first I needed to master psychological and emotional control of myself.

Over the last two years I've studied thebest books on self-development. What I soon realized is that most self-help authors understand what they're teaching, but they don't communicate that knowledge well, leading to mass confusion. There are so many concepts that are espoused in these books, persistence, goal setting, visualization, positive thinking, the self-image, neuro-associations, affirmations, confidence, self-esteem, motivation, beliefs, etc... The main problem is that these concepts are scattered throughout the books without any hint at how they all interconnect with each other. My goal over the last two years has been to analyze that connection, to understand how everything fits together into the larger picture, and the discoveries I've made about myself have just been unreal. What I now understand is that people believe they have control over themselves, but in reality they do not express any control. Instead, they allow everything else, both internal and external to control what they think about and how they feel. What I've learned is how to take back that control and use it to achieve anything you desire.

I'm writing a detailed book based on everything I've learned over the last two years. Some of you got the chance to read the initial version that I posted here on the forum. The current version is much more advanced. My first step to becoming indepent is to finish this book, learn some internet marketing and sell it online. Once I'm making enough money in order to stop working, I'll then dedicate all my time and focus to studying currency trading. It's going to take years to reach that level where I'm consistently making money, but once I reach that level, everything will take off from there. Because of my training in psychology and self-development, I'll be able to completely committ myself to this goal no matter what type of failure I encounter and however long it takes. That's the benefit you gain from having full control of your mind and emotions. My goal is to become very weathy, no matter what happens to the US ecomony and its dollar. Dependence on a company for my entire financial future exposes me to too much risk. I like the idea of going all out better. Once things start to happen for me, I might move to Miami, though I haven't officially decided on that. It needs to be a tropical location with plenty of activity and a great night life. First things first though, first I need to finish my book.

So what's your story? What have you been up to since The HeadCrab Union closed? Again post your story here.

HCU Alert: The HeadCrab Union is Active Again!

This is an announcement to all members of The HeadCrab Union. For those of you who don't remember me, I used to be the leader of The HeadCrab Union, which also happens to be the first union officially endorsed by GameSpot. It was also the #1 union out of thousands for quite some time. You should already know this since you joined it, but it's a union dedicated to the games that VALVe Software makes, including the Half-Life series, Portal, Counter-Strike, Team Fortress 2, Day of Defeat, etc... Many of you will probably best remember me though as the creator of the Unions: Version 2 Project.

Without going into all the details of why we closed in the first place, I've come back to keep the union running at a basic level, which includes some news posting and management of the forum. This contrasts with how the HCU used to be run, which featured many quality features such as interviews, a fully functioning navigation system, game guides, downloads, cheats, etc... I will not be going to that extent because I don't have the free time I once used to have. News and the community will be the focus this time. We'll keep it simple!

Remember the forum rules. The forum is for discussion of any VALVe related game, although we do allow any type of discussion, even off-topic. Check out the forum sticky, because all the major threads are linked in it. I understand it's been a while, but it would be nice to start something up again, so if you were a long time HCU member, please check out the forum again and post from time to time.

What I'll be doing over the next month is posting all the major articles we missed since the end of 2007. There's a lot, trust me! This includes the release of several high profile games, such as Left 4 Dead and Portal 2. It will take me so long because there is an artificial posting limit of ten articles I can create in a day. Because of that, it will be a drawn out process to update the news.

For all of you who were once active members, why not stop by and say hello again. Maybe we can get the community going again. The HCU's forum is still here. Why not discuss Portal 2 if you haven't gotten a chance to. Come visit the board, relax and remember the old days!

The Science of Self Change: The Most Important Thing You'll Ever Read!

Hello everyone, it's been quite a while. I'm stopping by to share with you the most important thing you'll ever read, at least as I've been told by people who I've already shared it with. It's an article that I've personally written after a years worth of study. The article is too large to fit on my blog, so you can read it here on this forum thread, which is located on my old union. If you leave feedback for me, it can be done either on this blog post or on the article itself. Hope it helps you out! ;)

EDIT: Sorry, but I deleted the post because I plan on selling it as an ebook soon.

Vote Yes For Union Improvements!

You can vote here. The thread is being watched by the GameSpot staff. Here is my quote below in response to a GameSpot admin's post.

[QUOTE="Donkeljohn"]I appreciate the votes and the written expression of support for unions. Understanding how many people want unions improved is critical for determining overall priorities for the many important GameSpot projects we have in the pipeline. Right now we don't have a brand new union system waiting in the wings to be simply switched on if enough people vote.Sentinelrv

As creator of Unions: Version 2, I guess I should say something on this...

Really, I'm completely stunned at this quote. I understand and agree with what it's saying, but after two years since the thread's creation, we find out that basically no work has been done, and that you're still gauging the union system's importance to the GameSpot site in order to set development priorities? The priority of the union system's development should have been well known by now to both CNET and the GameSpot staff. Have you not noticed the thousands of threads requesting union enhancements, the banners in people's signatures, the blogs, my 2,500 post thread called Unions: Version 2 detailing a complete plan to succeed the current system, probably the biggest thread in Site Enhancements ever?

How is it even possible that the staff of this website can even question the amount of interest in the union system? As somebody who used to be the main driving force behind union improvement on this site, that quote just confuses me after seeing the hard struggle of the GameSpot community to even get a staff member to acknowledge that they were even considering working on improvements. It's just completely stunning!

Now as for if unions should still be improved.....As many people know, I was leader of The HeadCrab Union here on GameSpot. I was upset after GameSpot screwed our union over on a union improvement deal made to me by Greg Kasavin and after the Jeff Gerstmann incident, the HCU left GameSpot, and we're currently almost done creating our new website. GameSpot also did us dirty by snatching our GameSpot Endorsement from us without even contacting me about it, even when I said that we would probably still update our old union for GameSpot's members. So as you can see, GameSpot and me have some bad blood between us.

Because of all this, I don't have very much desire for GameSpot to improve unions, especially since I won't even be benefiting from the improvements. I do understand though that people have stayed strong and waited for two years now for improvements, so they should still get what GameSpot promised me a long time ago. If improved, the union system has a lot to offer GameSpot. I'm done explaining why. Go look up one of my other union improvement topics.

So yes, I still want to see the union improvements done, because I know they will extremely benefit the site as well as the community........and GameSpot definitely owes their community big time after all these mess ups. I would even consider regularly updating the old HeadCrab Union for the GS community if GameSpot apologized to me and gave us back our endorsement. It's the least they could do to make up for all the excuses, delays and broken promises.