Amazing pic took by @derangedvisions
It all started in 2016-2017... maybe.
When I was 14 years old I entered high school, meeting one of my friends who invited me to the world of cryptocurrencies and who (later) would end up showing me Steem/Hive, but I will explain it in more detail.
The Venezuelan crisis started long before I was born, but, unfortunately, I had to endure its highest points in the middle of my youth. When I entered high school I used to see a lot of kids with bad nutrition, skinny and even some of them fainted while we sang the national anthem (something we did every 7 o'clock in the morning).
In my second year of high school I met a person named Hildemaro, this person was the one who introduced me to cryptocurrencies and their ability to offer a refuge to the Venezuelan people. Initially I didn't pay much attention to it, but it wasn't until I got home and looked up the word "Bitcoin", finding a coin that cost about $400 at the time. Honestly, my eyes lit up, the spark of research and motivation I required was right in front of my eyes and, seeing that at that time the situation was getting extremely hard for my family, I thought I had found a way to become a useful piece in my family's financial situation and without a doubt I jumped right into this world.
Obviously, not everything is rosy in the garden.
My intention was only to make money, most of my time was spent on researching things like "How to make money with Bitcoin?" and not on things like "What is Bitcoin?", a mistake that ensured I spent a very hard time trying to make my first pennies, although I won't judge my past-self, as, I was only about 14-15 years old at the time.
I remember I started on freebitcoin.com, and then on another platform called btcclicks, amazingly I managed to get about 5-6$ at that time while also trying to mine with a pc with 1 GB of RAM and a Pentium (I had not the slightest idea how POW works).
All the money I managed to raise I put in Poloniex, it would have been about 5 months since I started and I already had some acquaintances who were helping me over time, they were the ones who introduced me to cryptocurrency trading and also explained to me how although I could make a lot of money with it, I also ran the risk of losing all my money.
To be honest, I only listened to the part about "making a lot of money", so I put all my money in Poloniex, a well-known exchange at the time, it just happened what was supposed to happen: I noticed that I couldn't withdraw my money back as Poloniex had a pretty high minimum withdrawal rate compared to the little money I had (I would say the minimum withdrawal rate was 0.001-0.0005 BTC, and I barely had 0.0001 BTC XD).
I will skip much of the story and speak directly to where I found blogging as my first source of income:
Taringa, my first blogging platform
Taringa was not just my first blogging platform, it was the first platform that allowed me to earn cryptocurrencies through blogging. I honestly don't remember very well how the economic system worked, but, I know that people would visit your post and give you some kind of rewards called "bits" (I think it's quite similar to the donation system that exists in Twitch nowadays), and this was where I was able to see my first considerable earnings in crypto.
I spent quite some time making content on Taringa, I must admit it had a pretty shaky performance, most of the content was fucking shit and the way to make money was too easy to be true, I'm not sure if it was really sustainable, but, as far as I understand, the bit program was cancelled some time ago, so I must assume it went straight to failure.
After leaving Taringa
That day I was reading creepypastas and I got a message from Hildemaro telling me that he got a platform similar to Taringa, but much bigger and with more opportunities. This is where my first account was born: @jeanxd
My idea to make content quickly was to copy and paste content from the Facebook page where I was reading creepypastas. Amazingly I had some common sense (and I think Hildemaro had explained a bit about how @cheetah worked at the time) and I asked the administrator of the page where I was reading creepypastas for permissions to copy and paste the content, so I did.
I know I failed miserably, my content was not visited by anyone and I saw no reason to continue publishing here, but I don't know exactly if that was really the reason why I abandoned the platform.
I know there was a time where I moved away from cryptocurrencies as I really thought I couldn't do anything else here, so I focused on my studies. Some time later, the same friend as always, Hildemaro, insisted me again to join Hive, I think it was 1 year since my first account, so it was then that I created my second account (and the most known by the people I know): @flaws.
A rough start, but that's the way things always go
At the beginning I had the same problem as with my first account: nobody could see me. To sum it up, I spent months reading and posting even though almost nobody visited my blog, after some time, I managed to join a project that had just received a delegation of 1 million SP at that time: @steempress-io.
I remember there was also a project called @utopian-io, so the "-io" in their names meant something good. I dedicated myself to learn about SteemPress and how it worked, a knowledge that I then used to help many people who wanted to learn how to use the plugin and include it in their blogs. My days were based on teaching Spanish speakers how SteemPress worked and how they could generate a lot more interaction with their WordPress blogs while redirecting traffic (or at least that was the intention) to Steem at the time.
I think the idea behind @steempress-io was always pretty good, I wish a cool project like that could be implemented again. I know it still exists and is now called @exxp, but, they are not as active as they were in their best moments. Hopefully @fredrikaa and @howo are planning something really great
After helping so many people on the SteemPress Discord server, I was able to make myself known much more in the community, I remember being a content creator for @oracle-d, I also worked as a translator for @blocktrades. Those were pretty exciting times for me, making Steem my home and the place that taught me to mature (both financially and personally).
I was always trying to contribute my little knowledge in the many projects that made life in Steem, then the home change happened and now we moved to Hive. Despite not being as old a user as many, having lived in the bid-bots era, the fight we had against "Justin gay" and the amazing comeback of nonameslefttouse at the time, all were really exciting and important moments that allowed me to learn a lot more about this amazing blockchain. (And they were also moments that allowed us to get to where we are now).
I even tried to create a chess project where I planned to integrate Venezuelan chess into Steem, which I did and it was going incredibly well, but then the pandemic wiped out all my plans and it was a real blow to me.
I may be skipping a lot of things after @derangedvisions created this account for me, first of all: My friend Hildemaro ended up being a completely persecuted user on Steem-Hive for trying to abuse the platform in many possible ways. I (Jeancarlos Garcia) left the community because, added to the fact that I felt obligated to make content on a daily basis to have financial sustenance at the time, it was quite an emotional blow the pandemic issue and how I had to cancel the first project that I felt was going to benefit Hive incredibly.
My account was left in Hildemaro's hands after it was hacked and he completely destroyed the reputation I had built on it, which I then announced through my Discord (well, I didn't like the idea of people believing that the same person who was trying to do something for Hive months ago was now desperately trying to take milking the reward pool).
But.. Why are you still here?
Short answer: I missed Hive.
Long answer: Before I came back to Hive, I had many friends ask me how to integrate here and, although most failed or just got tired, there was one in particular who never got tired and is currently making amazing art content, her name is @nicxi. Honestly, she was the main reason why I came back to Hive, she always told me how she was doing, the way she got excited when people like @ocd took a look at her content, and all that emotion she transmitted when talking about this community really made me very nostalgic.
I had a job (a mini-tasking platform called Appen) where I didn't really make a lot of money (at least not enough to say I made "a lot of money"), but at least I made enough to stay alive and give my family something to eat. I was in a group where we helped each other to do chores, but, incredibly I was kicked out of the group for saying "damn", kind of comical, but shortly after that a lot of people left the group, I'm not saying it was because of my expulsion, but I guess it was a pretty big indicator that that community just wasn't a good place.
I am really happy to be here again, some time ago I stopped using Facebook and replaced it with Quora (a question-answer platform), and now I replaced Quora with Hive. I'm here because Hive is a place where I met so many people, where we lived incredibly exciting events without knowing where the road was going to take us and where it will take us in the future. We are living proof that a community can face any problem that comes its way and that decentralization is possible, Hive is the home of many, many dreams and ideas, the home of the hopes of many, many users, Hive is our hive and we are its bees.
I'm happy to be here now, thank you so much for reading this.
And.. How did you get here and why are you still here?
Thanks @themarkymark for this initiative, was quite fun to make a post like this