A few weeks, back I said I had a bit of a bit of a bit of a bitcoin. Well, last week I sold it at a small profit. It is not a game changer in my life or finances.
I was a believer in cryptocurrency. Today not so much. I think a digital currency will replace existing money, but it probably will be government controlled. That will be the total opposite of what the Bitcoin creator planned.
Bitcoin was a noble project. Its mission was to allow people to transfer crypto money to each other without involving banks or other fees. Today in my opinion, it has become a form of speculation.
The vultures are taking over. It is now subject to massive manipulation. Big players pump the price up to a high price. They then sell it at a price they are happy to make massive profits. This then causes panic selling. Left behind are small regular believers who in the end pay with losses for the profits of the few.
The masses are now being called on to participate in the Bitcoin revolution. It will reach 100,000 euro by the end of the year. One million in two years they are told. When the masses are asked to join the party, this is the time to be worried.
When the vultures get involved, there is one thing certain. Their mission is to take the most amount of money off the most people at the most convenient time. I was happy last week to jump off the Bitcoin ship with a very small profit.
I do find some of the Bitcoin believers funny. They are called moon boys. Bitcoin is going to the moon they yell. They mention the guy that has travelled from 2025 and said Bitcoin would be worth millions in a few years.
They never seem to mention that he has also said the world will be in chaos and the non Bitcoin majority will spend their time killing the people with Bitcoin. When you ask them this they just yell. We are going to the moonnnnnnnnn.
Selling my Bitcoin at a small profit and not holding on has made me wonder. I have always been prepared to take a risk. Some have worked, and a lot has not. When I take a risk, I am always prepared to lose. I have questioned myself this week if I am always prepared to win.
This week I met up with a former work friend and his family on holiday in Gran Canaria. As we enjoyed dinner, we reminisced about our hotel experiences. It reminded me of a short stint I had at a Dublin hotel as the Irish economy crashed.
The hotel in question was owned by an Irish developer who wanted to turn it into luxury apartments. As the economy went off the cliff, it became apparent he had paid way to much for the hotel. The banks came looking for their money. My friend recommended me as a consultant to help increase online reservations.
As 2008 was coming to an end, and the lights were going out all around Dublin, we planned a new year’s special offer to generate business. Most hotels were planning similar. A nearby hotel offered a limited number of rooms for one euro.
One of our team suggested we offer rooms for 20.09 Euro. This was to celebrate the new year 2009. I thought it was a novel idea. It was a gimmick with some but not all rooms available at this price.
After the Christmas break, I drove up to Dublin from Cork to prepare the new years offer.
We launched it on new years day with some newspaper adverts. It was a minor success. I wondered what people expected for 20.09 euro.
A perfect storm
A few days into the new year I was staying at the hotel. I had an early morning meeting in Dublin city centre. Before I left I checked how many online reservations came in overnight. There were twenty —five about five more than normal. I was not impressed.
Three hours later, I returned to the hotel. I checked new reservations. Three hundred new bookings in three hours. I asked the team if anything unusual had happened when I was at my meeting. No, they said. Maybe the new years offer had started working in those three hours.
My experience told me otherwise. Trends are trends, and if something had changed, there was a reason.
Every good story needs a villain
As the day unfolded, I discovered a few crucial things had happened. The Irish tourist board had published their forecast for 2009. Visitor numbers to Ireland would tumble in 2009. Hotels would have their worse year in living memory.
A journalist had seen the 20.09 euro offer. He also knew the hotel was owned by what was now the most despised people in Ireland as the economy went off the rails. The Irish property developer. He wrote his story.
The report. The devoloper and the offer created the perfect storm.
Online bookings exploded. The telephone lines exploded. TV stations arrived at the hotel looking for interviews.
We quickly arranged a management meeting. The management at the time was mostly inexperienced. Some suggested we stop the offer. I thought differently. The hotel was a combanation of three former hotels. We had almost 800 rooms. That January on most nights we sold 200 rooms. That meant 600 empty rooms.
I thought we should exploit the media storm. Keep selling the offer on days we had a lot of empty rooms. The media attention would not last long. A week at most. You could not buy this type of publicity. By the time it was over, I said everyone would know the hotel.
It lasted a month. I cannot say we very popular among other Dublin hotels. The hotel across the road called me. An old work colleague. You are killing us, he said. I reminded him of his one euro offer. The difference was our offer worked.
It was an interesting experience. The hotel was full. The bar was full. The restaurant was full. Eventually, things returned to normal. Prices rose, but people now knew us.
Shortly after I left the hotel after a disagreement with the owner’s gang. I had great respect for the team but not the gang.
I did try to recreate the strategy in other hotels with little success. I was missing one crucial ingredient. A Villain.
I enjoyed the chat about our hotel days. A lot of it was working in pressure situations. At times I miss those days, and I wonder if will experience similar again.
Castillo del Romeral gran canaria
I have now visited a lot of places in Gran Canaria. I have discovered some little known gems. As I made my way down south, I went to see a small town that had interested me on the map. Castillo del Romeral on the south-east coast.
The east of Gran Canaria is the part most affected by the wind. The day I visited Castillo del Romeral, I felt I was in a hurricane. A few kilometres away, there was not a puff of wind.
I am sure Castillo del Romeral has its good points. The walled sea pool looked a great place to swim on a calmer day.
Even allowing for the wind, the town did not impress me. I could not see myself living there. It’s a bit quiet for me, but that is just my opinion.
Maspalomas Sand. Sea and Sexo
Playa Maspalomas in Gran Canaria is one of the most famous beaches in Europe. It is famous for its long sandy beach and its stunning sand dunes. It is also famous within Gran Canaria for what goes on deep within those sand dunes.
A short video about Maspalomas and its shady secret.
Join me on my journey.
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