The world of cryptocurrencies 2

One month ago I wrote about Bitcoin, eGLD and my trading bot. A lot has happened since, so I thought it was time for an update.

First of all, Bitcoin has reached even higher all-time highs. On 14-01-2021 the price of 1 BTC was $40110,-. At the moment however, I have re-invested the majority of my BTC into other altcoins and only keep a tiny bit of BTC available for my trading bot to play with. There are a couple of projects, besides from Elrond, I learned about which show a lot of potential for 2021 and beyond, which is why I traded my BTC for these coins instead. My portfolio currently contains the following coins:

  • eGLD
  • Ethereum
  • Theta & tFuel
  • Polkadot
  • Cardano

I’ll try to explain why I invested in these coins, and will give a small update on what I’m planning on doing next. Oh and the trading bot? It has made a 6% profit over the last month, which is next to nothing, so I won’t be focusing any more on that at this time.

Ethereum 2.0

Ethereum is currently market leader when it comes to running smart contracts (which is crypto-talk for programs). It is widely used as a platform to start new coins, run decentralized programs and is used for decentralized finance. It has however, as I previously described, its shortcomings in terms of processing speed. Ethereum is trying to update the network to improve this, which is what they call Ethereum 2.0.
The way they are achieving this is by implementing something called ‘sharding’. Sharding means that one has several blockchains running in parallel, which all report and connect to a ‘main’ blockchain. This implementation goes in 3 stages, and the first stage went live on the 1st of December 2020. The implementation of the entire Ethereum 2.0 is not expected to be finished before 2022, but the continued attention towards Ethereum will make the price steadily go up.

It is said that Ethereum will increase in value very soon due to the current market conditions Actally today, 19-1-2020, Ethereum broke its all-time high at $1440,-! Historically, the price ratio between Bitcoin and Ethereum has been 1:32, so it didn’t really matter if you choose to hold one or the other, but I think Ethereum 2.0 might change this BTC to ETH ratio in the future. This made me convert some of my Bitcoin into Ethereum.


Theta is a very interesting project, because it’s going to solve a big problem which is going to get relevant really soon. What they’ve build (and patented!) is a blockchain based video-delivery network. To understand why this has huge potential, one has to understand the way all our YouTube/Netflix/etc. video’s are delivered to our devices. Around the world each video content provider has a number of huge datacenters running which stream video’s to many simultaneous users. This is by-far the biggest cost for content providers due to the sheer amount of energy these datacenters use, and are also the biggest bottleneck in providing consistent video quality higher than Full HD to all users connected to these datacenters. Delivering higher quality content to all users requires such high investments in new infrastructure that it is just not feasible.

The problem with today’s Content Delivery Networks.

Theta aims to solve this problem using a blockchain which allows users to buffer videos for other (nearby) users. This completely eliminates the need for a centralized content delivery datacenter, and instead allows users to share their available bandwidth by buffering and streaming content to other users, for which they get a fee in return (tFuel). This allows for much higher video resolutions and for example 360° virtual reality (VR) streaming.

The Content Delivery solution made by Theta.

The fact that Theta has managed to patent their protocol means that anyone who wants to use it will need to pay Theta a fee. It also means that no other crypto blockchain project can come along and try to steal away some of the market Theta is serving, which are all very good for the Theta coin price. I strongly believe this protocol will get widely used in a few years, and that Theta will go up considerably in the next 3-5 years.

Already today you can earn tFuel by downloading and running the Theta Edge Node. I have this running on an old laptop, and it’s earning me a steady amount of tFuel each month. I don’t think the price of tFuel will get very high, but so far my electricity costs are lower than the price of tFuel I’ve earned. If you just want to check out the videos on the network, you can do so on

Polkadot & Cardano

Polkadot and Cardano are said to become the other main competitors of Ethereum, together with Elrond. Polkadot is actually invented and developed by a co-founder of Ethereum, Gavin Wood.

Both Cardano and Polkadot have a very active community and a good business plan. Polkadot already has a working blockchain that people can use, Cardano has planned to release their blockchain in February/March 2021. Both Cardano and Polkadot have a very active community and a good business plan. Polkadot even became the 4th biggest crypto coin on 17-01-2020, surpassing Ripple (XRP), and only has Tether (a stablecoin), Ethereum and Bitcoin in front of it.

I don’t know too much else about these coins, but here I trust the community and have therefore bought myself into these projects.

Future plans

Honestly, when going down the crypto-rabbithole one can go very deep. So far, my strategy on the coins I’ve invested in have been going long (buy them, plan to hold on to them for a few years before selling them again). I have been learning more and more about the crypto world, and have started to get an interest in trading coins which are not yet listed on exchanges. These coins are usually high risk, high reward, but one can get a lot of help on Twitter and Telegram in identifying the high profile coins which are about to increase >10x in value.

In order to trade these type of coins, one needs to use Uniswap. During the coming period, that’s where I’ll be hiding :).

Happy trading!

Cheers, Jesper.

The world of cryptocurrencies

We’ve all heard about Bitcoin. Bitcoin was last week (20-12-2020) at an all time high of $24.171,-, and in the last couple of months I’ve been trying to get a grip on the world of cryptocurrencies. Admittedly, I’m still unsure about the exact workings and why Bitcoin is valued at the price it currently is at, but I’d like to share at least the process on how I got started and what I’m trying to learn and achieve.

Now before we go on, I have to explain a few terms I’ve learned on the way but didn’t know at the time.

  • Cryptocurrency: A digital asset which can be traded.
    • When it is traded, a record is created which is stored in a ledger.
    • The ledger uses very strong cryptography, to make it anonymous.
    • Any new entry (block) in the ledger uses the previous block for its calculations. Therefore, one cannot modify the already processed blocks (which store previous trades) as this would change all the blocks after it as well. This is also called a ‘blockchain’.
    • The ledger is verified by miners. For a new block to be valid and added to the ledger, at least 51% of the miners must agree.
    • You can store cryptocurrency in a Wallet. You often access a wallet by uploading a specific file (keyfile) to it, in combination with a password.
  • Bitcoin (BTC): The first and best known cryptocurrency.
  • Altcoins: All the cryptocurrencies which are not Bitcoin.
  • Smart Contract: a program which is stored on the blockchain, which automatically runs when certain conditions are met.
  • Ethereum (ETH): The first altcoin, and currently the highest valued altcoin.
    Etherium improved over Bitcoin by enabling Smart Contracts.
  • Elrond eGold (eGLD): an altcoin which is still under development.

Still on so far? Good, let’s go back in time a bit.

How I started with crypto

One day a few months ago, a colleague came to me and asked if I knew something about cryptocurrencies. I guess at that time I knew as much as the average person does, which is not much. I knew about the existence of Bitcoin, and that it seems like a balloon which can inflate and deflate in value very rapidly (I still think that). A couple of days later, this colleague came by again and told me very enthusiastically about Elrond eGLD. I didn’t understand much of it, but I ended up buying a bunch of eGLD. Naturally, the value quickly dropped by almost 75% after I bought it, but I kept most of it with the promise that the price eventually would go up. At the point of writing, the price has risen again to levels above my buy-in price.

eGLD price ($) since my buy-in. Each bar represents a day. The white dotted line is my buy-in price. Total range is 03-09-2020 till 17-12-2020.

So why am I holding on to eGLD?

This info I learned over the last couple of months. I am definitely oversimplifying things here, partly because I don’t understand it fully and partly to try and keep this story readable and interesting.

Elrond is a team which is developing the Elrond Network. Ever since Bitcoin came out, many different engineers have started an Altcoin which according to them would rival Bitcoin and eventually take over the marked-lead’. Until now, none of them have succeeded in taking over the lead from Bitcoin, mostly due to a lack of a good business plan. The Elrond team however has understood that in order to reach the masses, a cryptocurrency need 4 things to work well:

  1. A scalable infrastructure to run your systems on.
  2. A sustainable economic model which runs on the infrastructure.
  3. Make the technology invisible and accessible.
  4. Create tools for external developers to build applications on your infrastructure.

Bitcoin is in its core relatively simple. There is an infrastructure capable of handling an x amount of transactions each second, and there is an y amount of total Bitcoin available. This means that Bitcoin is a good store of value, and a good medium to trade money on. But essentially it only fits the second and maybe the third point, although I found it difficult to get started with trading due to all the new terms I’d never heard about.


Ethereum took crypto a step further than Bitcoin with the introduction of Smart Contracts. With the Smart Contracts, Ethereum adds a different dimension to the blockchain technology. They also did a good job in creating different tools for developers, and it is now running many different applications. However, Ethereum is still limited to an x amount of transactions per second.


The Elrond Network aims to address this final problem, and also improve upon the accessibility issue. Firstly, the Elrond Network blockchain is both scalable and adaptive, which means it is not limited to an x amount of transactions per second. Secondly, for their economic model, they’ve created a crypto coin which is called eGold (or eGLD). I’m unsure about how the economic model behind it works, but I’m reading it’s good and sustainable. Thirdly, to make the technology accessible, they are creating an app – Maiar. The Maiar app will allow anyone with a mobile phone and a phone number to access the Elrond Network. In the app, people can trade eGLD without having to understand wallets or needing to deal with keyfiles. I’m sure it will be able to do more in the future, but the key thing here is easy access for anybody. Fourth and lastly, the Elrond team is working on tools for external developers (one of them is called Arwen).

All these factors together make it sound to me like a good investment. Currently, the Elrond Network is live and one can do trading in eGLD. Once the Maiar app comes out and developers are enabled to create Smart Contracts on the network, it should become more and more attractive for people to start using the Elrond Network. Due to this, the price of eGLD is expected to go up exponentially. My plan for now is to hold on to my eGLD for a few years and to hopefully after that time be able to sell some of them for a nice profit.

Automatic trading

Me being educated as an electrical engineer results in that I’m always thinking about ways to automate things. A natural thought is then to check if I can automate trading cryptocurrencies. Such a program should in essence do the following:

  1. Buy crypto before the price goes up.
  2. Cell the crypto before the price goes down again.

Sounds simple, but (accurately) predicting the future of any market has been tried by many people before me who did years of studying into this field and nobody has been able to create an algorithm that is 100% successful. Me, who knows nothing about financial markets, will also not be the one who does this. However, I do have other skills; I know a bit or two about programming, and I am able to look at what other’s have created before me. After a bit of googling I found Freqtrade, an open-source crypto currency trading bot written in Python which is actively maintained. The idea is that you define a Trading Strategy where you define triggers for the bot to act upon. The bot looks at the market every couple of seconds, and if one of the triggers is met the bot either buys or sells your assets into other crypto-currency.

One of the advantages of using Freqtrade is that it has a Telegram integration, meaning the bot can send messages on your phone when it buys or sells, so one can keep an eye on its performance. It also has the possibility to backtest different Strategies on historical market data, and it’ll tell you how much profit the bot would have made. I therefore decided to install a copy of it on my server to see if I could get it working and I was able to let it make a profit.

My configuration

Initially, I started Freqtrade with the default configuration and pairlist. The pairlist defines which coin-pairs the bot is allowed to trade. This default configuration attempts to increase the amount of Bitcoin (BTC) by buying altcoins with BTC and selling them. Freqtrade has a couple of default strategies, but I soon found a Github page with many different strategies, which I was able to download and backtest with.

One of the things I found was that it was difficult for me to properly understand what each configuration did and how it was making a profit. The amount of parallel trades are usually limited to 2 or 3, so even if the correct conditions were met for the bot to buy it often would not make a trade since it already had the maximum trades outstanding. This, in my mind, introduced a system of randomness in an already very random environment. After a while, I settled for the following configuration:

  • Try to maximize the amount of USDT (an altcoin which represents the USD).
  • Only allow trading USDT to BTC. Allow 1 parallel trade, and use all my funds on this one trade.

This made backtesting and running the bot a lot easier, as I could look at the graph on Binance and verify its behavior. During the November BTC bull run (a bull run is a longer period of rising prices and optimism in the market) the strategy that would have made the most profit was the Simple strategy, which is based on this book. I therefore have been using this strategy over the last month to try and see if I could optimize it.

Does it work?

Yes and no. The bot is only as good as the strategy, and a poor strategy will of course lose a lot of money. The Simple strategy overall works well, however it has the tendency to buy at both low’s and high’s. It has therefore earned almost as much money the last month as that it has lost.

Profit & Loss (PNL) over the last month.

The Simple strategy buys when there is a positive movement going on in the market, and sells after 1% of profit has been made. However, when it makes a sale by nature the price is going up (otherwise it wouldn’t have made a profit), so it has the tendency to buy-in again soon after it did the sale. By this time the positive movement is often coming to an end and the market is going down again. In order to prevent the bot from buying at these high peaks, I added a 2 hour lock on the buy-process, meaning the bot will wait 2 hours after selling before it attempts to buy again.

Unfortunately, the bot was down for maintenance during the two days where the BTC price went up with 30%. This would have been the perfect time for the Simple strategy to shine and earn me some nice profits.

So until now no profit. Is it worth it?

Wouldn’t it have been better to just invest in some BTC one month ago and call it the day? Currently, if you just look at the profits, yes. However, this neglects the fact that I’m having a lot of fun trying to optimize this bot and that, by the time it works well and the price of BTC suddenly does go down drastically, my bot will guarantee that I’m not loosing too much money either. I’d argue that the main purpose of this bot is not to make as much profit as possible (I have eGLD for that), but mainly to learn and to have fun.


This article is written by a financial noob. I’ve tried getting things correct and understandable, however if you feel something is off please let me know!

Cheers Jesper

Steampunk Taptower build

I can’t believe this project took me almost a year to complete! In August 2019 I was browsing around Thingiverse for some cool idea’s to 3D print, when I found a Steampunk Tap Handle made by Fuzzie/The Beergineer:

I knew I wanted this as well, so I 3D printed the parts, spray-painted them and assembled them together with some scrap tubing and 8mm screwing rods. I also had some leftover APA102 LED strip from the Ambilight system laying around which could be used to light up the tap handle, and I ordered a couple of Arduino Nano’s to control this LED strip.

The assembled beer tab, with multi-colored LED’s on the inside.

The prototype was up and running rather quickly. I put the Arduino on a breadboard, connected the light strip to it and uploaded the code from The Beergineer. Before it worked though I made some changes to the code, which can be found on Bitbucket (including the changelog). Most notably I introduced interrupt-based reading of the push button opposed to polling it. This push button is used to change the light pattern shown inside the tab handle. I also programmed it so that every time the button is pressed, the new state is written to EEPROM so the same light pattern is shown after a power outage. Lastly I changed the main loop from an if-else loop (which had 4 if-statements) to a switch, to prevent unnecessary calculations.

Arduino Nano on a breadboard. Note the beautiful ‘push button’, aka red wire with capacitor.

And it was at this moment where this project ended up in a moving box, and didn’t find it’s way out until June 2020…


Almost 10 months after I started this project I dug up the beer tap as we would be going to our cabin during the holiday, which is where I planned on installing this. Before installation the Arduino was put inside a plastic box and covered in hot glue, to give it some resistance against rain. I soldered the wires to the headers, installed a push button on the outside of the case and put a Molex connector on the wires to make installation easy. Additionally I added a switch connected to the Arduino, which can turn the LED’s inside the handle on and off.

On the top: planning the box-layout.
On the bottom: components are in place.


At our cabin we have a refrigerator with a beer tab on top. Installation was a matter of unscrewing the old tab and screwing on the new tab.

Installation of the Steampunk Beer Tab.


During the night, the LED’s inside the Tab Handle create a very cool looking scene:

The Beer Tab at night, showing different light patterns.


I think this was a fun little project to do. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to properly hide the cables as the metal in the tab tower was too strong to drill through with the tools we had available at the cabin. Therefore, they run on top to the black box which holds the Arduino. Other than that, I am very happy with the result.

Cheers! And don’t forget, keep Beergineering!


Roborock S5 Max

Please meet Dustin! For my girlfriends birthday I bought a Xiaomi Roborock S5 Max, after having talked about it for many months. I dislike vacuuming and do this at most once a week. My girlfriend on the other hand would like me to vacuum every day, so we both agreed this could be a very good solution for the both of us! The Roborock S5 Max is able to do both vacuum cleaning and mopping, and I haven’t been able to find any negative review of them, hence why I choose this model.

The Roborock S5 Max has the possibility to change the name. So after a short brainstorm session with the family ranging from Bob, JARVIS (which is already the name of the house) and Dusty we landed on Dustin.

First impressions

My first impressions with this product are very positive! Dustin has a LiDAR sensor peeking out from the roof, which it uses for navigation and mapping. The mapping feature is very impressive, as it creates a 2D map of my house while it is vacuuming. Simultaneously it logs on the map where it is and where it has been. In addition to the LiDAR it has a big bumper with a pressure sensor on the front to stop it running into low items, and sensors on the bottom preventing it from falling down the stairs.

  • Running Dustin for the first time. On the top, mapping the house for the first time. On the bottom, mapping and cleaning were done.

After the house was mapped you can manually divide it into different rooms. This allows you to clean specific rooms, or set different vacuum/mopping settings depending on which room it is in. The map also allows for setting ‘no go zones’ and ‘virtual walls’, which make it not go into a specified area.

The LiDAR is slightly offset from the middle. This means it can do a 360 on the spot to very accurately see depth, which means you can manually set it anywhere in your house and it is able to locate itself and automatically drive back to the dock. I have tried this a couple of times, and in ~80% of the instances it successfully managed to locate itself in the house and return to the dock.

  • Mapping complete, and the house is divided into rooms. Also a no-go zone (the red square) and no-mopping zones (the purple squares) have been set up.

Using the map you can also drop a pin to where you want it to go to. After it reached this location, you can tell it to do a ‘Spot Cleaning’, which cleans an area of 1,5m² around that spot. Very handy!

Are there any shortcomings?

I have found a few so far. When the LiDAR sees a mirror, it is convinced the room is 2x bigger than it actually is due to the reflection. This causes it to misjudge where walls are, and it get’s confused as it tries to reach these spaces. In my case, when cleaning the hallway it finds that there must be a room connected to the hallway that extends into the wardrobe, and that it actually extends all the way into the living room. It then tries to drive around to the other side to access this room, only to see that there actually is a wall there. It tries this three times in a row before it gives up cleaning this area (but hey, it shows commitment!).

  • On the left, the map is shown as when Dustin is placed in front of the mirror. The closet is painted red in Photoshop, and it can be seen that the walls on the back of the closet have disappeared. On the right, you can see that Dustin tried to drive back and forth a couple of times, and that when it is on the back side of the closet the walls are drawn as they are.

Another shortcoming is that it sometimes gets stuck on the doorway steps, especially when it tries to drive parallel over the doorway steps. There might be a solution by creating a separate room over these doorsteps as suggested on Reddit, but I haven’t been able to test this properly yet.

Lastly, I haven’t been able to find a way to integrate this unit into my Athom Homey. To centralize all my automation’s I’d like to have it integrated into Homey, but unfortunately the Xiaomi Mi Home library is not updated which means it cannot talk to this Roborock model. For now I integrated it directly into Google Home (an integration that would normally have been done through Homey), which at least enables voice steering.


So far, Dustin has been vacuuming our house multiple times in the last week. The rest of the family seems to be happy with him as they are using him extensively and without my help. I have good faith in that I’m able to fix the doorway problem, and if all else fails I can always make them lower so that Dustin is able to clear them better. All in all, I am very happy we finally have one running around :).

If you have any tips/updates on the Homey integration or the other issues I’m seeing, feel free to drop me a comment below!

Awning Motor

I bought this 200 watt motor to motorize our awning. This specific model is a Dooya DM45RM tubular motor, which is able to deliver 40 Nm of torque. Hopefully this will pull our 7 meters long sunshade in and out without problems.

As a bonus, it looks like this unit can be connected directly to Homey, which also means a Google Home integration (via Homey) is possible (‘Hey Google, give us some shadow’). I’m looking forward to install this bad boy!