Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Made Simple

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I first heard about Bitcoin many years ago, way before it took off. Unfortunately, I was busy with other projects and didn’t have the time to fully research the subject and thus missed the boat. Given how money works in this society, it’s no surprise that Bitcoin and other crypto coins took off, as they bypass the central banking system.

But I don’t regret it missing the boat. For those who remember the boom at the turn of the century, the frenzy that rocketed share prices sky high was followed by a massive dive. Well, that event marked the beginning of the internet revolution. Once the frenzy was over, only companies that offered true value where the ones that flourished—companies like Google, Amazon and Apple. Life changing technologies such as the iPhone and Facebook came after the frenzy.

That’s why I have no regrets about “missing the boat” on Bitcoin because in my opinion (based on history) we’ve only just begun.

What is Blockchain?

Let’s keep this very simple.

Blockchain is like a spreadsheet. It’s a place to record a transaction.

Imagine each row in the spreadsheet is a single transaction between two people, such as Bob gave $10 to Alex.

Blockchain is like a spreadsheet

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What makes Blockchain special is that each transaction is verified many times, by different members of the community.

A spreadsheet can be used for many things. And so too can Blockchain. Bitcoin is just one application of blockchain, just like Angry Birds is just one app available in Apple’s iTune Store.

In that sense, think of blockchain as a platform and the cryptocurrency as an app.

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Yes, you read that right. Cryptocurrency is just an “app.”  And money is only one use of blockchain.

So while there is a lot of talk about Bitcoin, what’s far more exciting is blockchain—that’s what makes Bitcoin work.

The possibilities of blockchain are endless. Ten years from now we’ll be using blockchain technology in ways we never dreamed of. Just like we never dreamed we’d all be connected via Facebook sharing videos with our friends from our phones.

One company that is putting the power of blockchain to work is USA based Sterling Consolidated (Stock Code: STCC - note they are a client of Melvin.Media so be sure to read this compensation disclosure.)

Sterling is a 50-year-old company that specializes in importing and distributing of o-rings—those tiny little rubber rings that you’ll find in all cars, hydraulics, aeroplanes, rockets, swimming pools and more.  


It’s an industry where most of the materials are manufactured in China. While this is cheaper than manufacturing in the USA, it presents other business burdens, such as long delivery times and high transaction costs. To find out how Sterling plans to solve some of these problems, visit

And for further reading of Blockchain I recommend The Internet of Money by Andreas M. Antonopoulos.

If you have any questions, feedback or want more articles on this subject, comment below or contact me.

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Building a Business That Works Without You (No matter where you are)

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Since 2002 I’ve used stats in my businesses to monitor progress.

Using stats I was able to grow and monitor the progress of accounting firm Chan & Naylor from a $2M firm to $10M in just two years.

Later we used stats in to monitor licensees spread around Australia and staff who work from home, some based in the Philippines.

I’ve used many different online apps (even paper!), yet none really worked smoothly, many had flaws.

But I’ve finally found an app that works. More importantly, I’ve finally found a company that is building apps that every business owner needs.

Mikel Lindsaar, founder and CEO

Mikel Lindsaar, founder and CEO is the creation of Mikel Lindsaar, a self-taught programmer who is an honest-to-god genius and business builder.

Mikel and I have known each other for many years. And over the past 5 years he’s invested heavily (both time and money) building the kind of apps that all business owners need.

The result of Mikel’s hard work is two powerful apps:

  • envisage - for stats

  • enlight - for training staff and selling online courses

I’m so impressed with Mikel’s work that I’ve agreed to join the company and will be helping expand internationally.

This video below provides a quick look at the benefits of envisage. You can try it for free here.

And here’s a sneak peek at a free course will soon be releasing:

To be the first to know when the course is ready, register for free below:

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Writer's Myth #1 - The Number of Words

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One of the most common myths I hear is that a book must be a certain number of words— not too many and not too little.

Let me tell you, that is an arbitrary rule.

Here's a principle you should follow: 


The whole purpose of writing is to
convey your message or story.


If you do it in a 100 words, great. If it takes 10,000, fine.

What's important is that your audience understands what you have written.

Some publishers or editors will tell you that a book should not be too big, but what about that classic Gone with the Wind with over 400,000 words?

Others will say that a book can't be too short either, then how to you explain the success of Fight Club with less than 50,000 words?

So throw away this myth and just write, say what you want to say, no more, no less. 

The only real purpose of counting words is to measure your daily or weekly production as a writer, if you must. I have personally never done so. I measure my production on the number of chapters I complete.

And as a self-publisher of 7 books, I don't need to adhere to someone else's idea of "ideal word count."

And never let anyone tell you that you need to write more or less. It's a myth.

Feel free to ask questions.

Hit the heart button if you liked it and leave a comment. 

How To Get Your Social Security Number (SSN) in the USA


To get your SSN you need to:

  1. Complete this form
  2. Visit your local Social Security Office
  3. Take your passport with you.

I was told I also needed a I-912 Visa Waiver Form, which is a form used at customs when you don’t have a travel visa. Of course, I do have a visa, so this was not needed. However, even the Social Securities Officer got confused on this point and said it wasn’t possible to apply without it. I explained that’s a visa waiver, and I have a visa, so he gave it a shot, entered the data in the system it worked!

Surprisingly, when the card arrived it was not as I expected. In Australia we have a medicare card that is plastic like a credit card. But a SSN Card is printed on paper and you are instructed to NOT carry it with you. Apparently all that is needed is the number!

Hope that helps.

Feel free to ask questions.

Hit the heart button if you liked it and leave a comment. 

How to get a B1 Visa for 6 month stay in the USA

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After writing my article on how to obtain an E2 Visa for the USA, I've had quite a few enquiries about visas. 

This article is about the B1/B2 Visa, it's ideal for those who want to stay longer than the 3 month granted to a tourist.

The "B" means "Business." It doesn't mean you can set up a business in the USA, but you can visit and promote your business (the one in your home country), visit suppliers, etc. The B1 is for the "business" person and the B2 is for their spouse and family. 

The B1/B2 is a 5 year visa that allows stays upto 6 months, with the possibility of extending to 12 months. 

Thankfully it's easier to get than an E2.

As a simple and rather obvious disclaimer, I am not a lawyer or immigration professional. This is not advice. It’s information from my own experience. Use at your peril (or benefit).

Here's how to obtain a B1/B2 Visa:

1. Get your passport photo taken, a digital version.
2. Complete the DS-160 Application form ( You will upload your photo as part of this process, and they'll let you know if your photo is acceptable.
3. Complete a profile at, this is also where you pay the application fee and schedule an appointment.

It can take 2 to 3 weeks to get an appointment.

Note: the website is shocking. Be prepared to be kicked out several times (like 20 or more) until it actually works. I think it might be part of the filtering process. Keep out those who are not very determined. 

The Interview

The interview process is the same as an E2, with the main difference being the types of questions they ask you. The assumption is that you intend to violate the B1 and try to stay in the USA in some way, so the main focus of the interview process is providing enough proof and certainty that you have ties in your home country and intend to return. It’s a case of assumed guilt and the need to prove your innocence.

Stage 1: Security

You go through airport-type security, surrounded by guys with guns. Your passport is checked 3 times before you take a seat and look at a wall. Your phone and belongings are confiscated. You are told to sit and wait until you are called. I think the purpose of this stage is to make you feel intimidated. It works.

Stage 2: The Pre-Check before the Pre-Interview

You are escorted by security guards to the interview room. First, you have to hand over your passport (4th time) though a thick plated glass window. Once verified that you are the same person on your passport, you are permitted to go through a security door and join the queue.

Stage 3: Pre-Interview

Behind a thick window sits a person who you converse with via a speaker. You hand over passports again (5th time). I was asked the name of my business, which I remembered without too much trouble. You are digitally fingerprinted, both hands. Then you are told to take a seat and wait for your name to be called.

Stage 4: Interview

Hand over your passports again (6th time). You'll be asked questions about your intentions to stay, what ties you have to your home country. They want to see proof that you will return and not violate your visa by overstaying.

Stage 5: Cashier

It costs $160 USD per person to get the visa added to your passport.

Stage 6: Complete

You hand over your passports to the interviewer. They'll courier them back to you within the week.

The entire process was perhaps an hour. The actual interview is a few minutes.

BONUS! Once you have your B1/B2 Visa, you can renew it via mail and avoid the interview process.

Hope that helps.

Feel free to ask questions.

Hit the heart button if you liked it and leave a comment. 

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Did You Know Debt Is Negotiable?

The Rich know everything is negotiable.
— Tony Melvin

The above quote is one of the key Rich Habits is. It applies to debt too.

All debt is negotiable including credit cards, personal loans and mortgages.

You can put them on hold.
You can reduce rates.
You can eliminate fees.
You can, in certain circumstances, reduce the debt by 90% (so you pay $1,000 to eliminate a $10,000 credit card).

All of this can be achieved when you:

  1. Realize that debt is negotiable.
  2. Know how to negotiate with lenders.

Here’s an example, a text message I received from one of my clients who was initially stressed out about his debt, but then he did the Rich Habits coaching.

You don’t have to feel burdened or stressed about debt because debt is negotiable, and you have the ability to eliminate it faster than you think.

The only missing ingredient is the know-how to do it. And you can get that by reading Rich Habits.

Check it out now.

I look forward to hearing your wins.

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Property Investors: The Difference Between USA and Australia


I’ve been studying the USA property market for some time now; there are lots of amazing opportunities with rental returns ranging from 10% to 20% of the total property value (e.g. between $50k to $100k rental income on a $500,000 property.)

For Australian property investors this is something new. The usual reaction from my American friends, whenever I tell them that Australians lose money on an investment property to get tax breaks, is “ That’s crazy!”

Of course, the Aussie market has a steady capital growth and unlike the USA, didn’t crash after the subprime fallout in 2007.

But still, the yanks think it’s a crazy system to lose cash flow and wait for capital growth.

However, the Aussie investor can get in on the USA market and use the positive cash flow to help ease the burden of the income loss created by negative gearing.

Research Results

Here’s what I’ve discovered from my research:

  1. Single family home can generate rental income of 10% to 15% per year of the property value (so it’s more if you use leverage).
  2. Multi-family homes (a block of apartments) can generate upwards of 20% annual income (of property value).
  3. Renovated or rehabbed properties can generate 30% increase in value (after costs), plus the 10% to 15% ongoing rental income (of the increased value).

Key points of difference

The main differences between the USA market and Australia is this:

  1. Australian landlords rely on capital growth to increase wealth, whereas in the USA, capital growth is secondary to rental returns.
  2. Debt reduction is easier in the USA. The added cash flow helps reduce debt creating equity and the ability to purchase more property, faster.
  3. In Australia, apartments are sold individually, some are owned by investors and others are owner occupied. In the USA, apartment blocks are called multi-family homes and the entire block is owned by an investor, with all apartments rented. (Note: the term condo is used when the apartment is owned by an individual, not by an investor.)
  4. Finance is cheaper in the USA and easier to obtain.
  5. Raising of capital has less restrictions in the USA.

With these differences, creating a portfolio of cash flow positive property in the USA is an easier task than it is in Australia. This doesn’t make Australian property investing ineffective, it’s simply means the strategy is different.

Using USA cash flow positive properties to ease the burden of your negatively geared Australian properties is something worth considering.

My Strategy

My plan is to build a very large USA portfolio that is a mix of all 3 methods above (single, multi and renos/rehabs).

If you’d like to invest with me, register your details below and I’ll send you the documentation once it is ready. In the meantime, feel free to reach out and ask any questions in the comments below or privately here.

And you don’t have to worry about any tenant issues, after all I’m an Aussie, all I have to say is, “that’s not a knife…”


Tony “Dundee” Melvin 😃

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Complete the form below to register your interest

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How to Write: The 3 Hats Every Writer Wears


I’ve never had writer’s block. I’ve never sat down and stared blankly at a screen. I’ve never felt the need to do something else instead of write.

I don’t think I have any special ability. I believe the reason is because I know exactly what hat I’m wearing.

hat noun, used to refer to a particular role or occupation of someone who has more than one. — Source Apple Dictionary

I know I have a dad hat, another for being a hubby and many different hats in my businesses.

The trick is to know what hat you are wearing and to not wear the wrong hat. I know from experience being “hubby” doesn’t work while I’m still wearing my “CEO hat.” And my kids don’t respond or enjoy my company if I don’t have my “Dad” hat on.

Understanding this concept of hats early in my writing career, I identified 3 different hats I wear when writing a book. As long as I know the hat I’m wearing and don’t mix them up, the writing process is smooth, easy and fun.

The hats of a writer are:

1. The Writer or Creator
2. The Reader
3. The Private Editor

The Writer or Creator

The writing process, be it fiction or nonfiction, is a creative process. While I am The Writer, I let the ideas flow. I don’t care about spelling, grammar, punctuation or even if I’m making any sense. Those jobs belong to the other hats. My job as The Writer is to get the ideas out of my head and into written form.

The process of writing starts from one idea and flows to the next. It’s a natural process with ideas combining into new ideas, each one giving birth to the next. You’ll never arrive at the end idea unless you let that process occur naturally, creatively, and without a care about what anyone will think about your idea, or if anyone will buy your idea, or even if the idea makes any sense. It’s a birthing process, and just like childbirth, it must be allowed to flow naturally, without intervention or interruption, until it is finished.

When the ideas stop flowing and you’ve written all you want to write, it’s time to switch hats.

The Reader

Typical page after it’s been attacked by  The Reader  (my  Rich Habits  book )

Typical page after it’s been attacked by The Reader (my Rich Habits book )

When changing from The Writer to the The Reader, I often print out my manuscript and go to a different place other than my desk. It might be a cafe, a park or even the couch. This break between switching hats helps clear my mind.

Typical page after it’s been attacked by The Reader (my new Rich Habits book due out October 2017)

I then sit down with a blue pen, my manuscript, and blank pieces of paper and I read. My manuscript is printed with double-spaced lines so I can easily make corrections. As I read, I notice obvious typos and circle them. I correct grammar, add punctuation and emphasis where required. If an idea strikes me, I’ll quickly switch back to The Writer and let it flow, using my blank sheets. I make a note in the manuscript where the new idea needs to be inserted.

As The Reader, I also might change the flow, rearrange parts or delete entire sections.

By the time I’m done being The Reader, my manuscript is dogeared, full of scribbles and food stains. Now it’s time to move onto the next hat.

The Private Editor

This hat is simple. I make all the corrections and changes highlighted in my manuscript. Using a red pen, I put a big line through each correction on my manuscript so I know I’ve done it. I type up any new ideas exactly as I’ve written them. Once everything is done, I’ll throw that manuscript in the bin and start the entire process again.

That’s how I write.

I never force myself to be The Writer if I’ve got nothing to say.

I usually have a general outline of a book and of the ideas I want to convey.

I never set a target on the number of words I must write. I just write, read and edit and repeat the process until the job is done.

Then I send it off to a professional editor who makes sure there ain’t no words spelled wrong and the grammar is good and proper and stuff — like this sentence. 😀

Simple, eh?

Give it a try. Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments. Hit the heart if you like it.

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Social-Triction (So-tri) — A New Genre of Storytelling


Firstly, some definitions ...

Social: As in social media, and in the adjective sense of relating to or designed for activities in which people meet each other for pleasure.

Triction: A coined word created from truth and fiction; it contains an element of both.

I believe there is a new type of storytelling.

Just in case my fictional writing fails to leave an indelible mark upon the literary world, I thought I should claim the title as “the-one-who-named-it.”

Social-triction is driven by the social interaction between fans and fictional characters who communicate with fans via social media.

Although the characters are fictitious, their interaction with the audience is real and the plot develops through that interaction. Real people and scenes may find their way into the story as it unfolds.

So-tri, as a genre, is used alongside any other genre, be it romance, action, mystery or science fiction. It has no limits.

My first fiction book, #JailbreakEarth — Mass Escape Plan, combines sci-fi, satire and a little mystery while using so-tri to build and develop the plot. I have written the book to appeal to an online, techie audience who I hope will find it funny and enjoy the ability to interact with the hero via social media. Time will tell if this first so-tri story is successful. Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed the writing and self-publishing experience. The process is quite different to writing how-to type books.

So-tri beyond Books

No doubt this method of storytelling will grow. A live TV show, using the so-tri method, could utilize the power of social media to directly interact with an audience in real-time. Like an improv on steroids! The characters (actors) need to adapt to the real-time responses of their audience. “Should Zoey kiss Josh or should she just walk away and go back to Zac, who loves her?” Let the fans decide. It would be fun to watch.

On a commercial front, it tells you if a book, play or movie is worth creating. Can you engage fans with a snippet of the story?

Using crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, it’s possible to generate both funding and a fan base by storytelling so-tri style.

Storytelling the Hacker Way

In 2009, as part of the $5 billion public offering of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg included a letter to investors. In that letter, he described “The Hacker Way” and defined “hacking” as “building something quickly or testing the boundaries of what can be done.”

He goes on to say:

“The Hacker Way is an approach to building that involves continuous improvement and iteration. Hackers believe that something can always be better, and that nothing is ever complete.” 
— Mark Zuckerberg

I believe The Hacker Way contains some real gems for storytellers. You no longer have to convince an agent or publisher to “buy your story.” You can put it to the test. You no longer need to write a 500-page novel; just release the first few chapters and see if anyone falls in love with your characters.

The Hacker Way contains two mantras storytellers can use.

Mantra #1: Done is better than perfect.

Just write, sing, act, direct — however you tell your story, tell it your way, in your style and don’t worry about it being perfect. Just tell it and get it out!

Example: Andy Weir, after being rejected by literary agents, decided to give his book away for free via his website one chapter at a time as he wrote it. He honed the story based on feedback from fans. At the request of fans, he made it available on Amazon for $0.99 and within 3 months, the Kindle edition rose to the top of Amazon’s list of best-selling science-fiction. He was then offered a publishing deal, and debuted at twelfth position on the New York Times bestseller list. Next came a movie deal which was directed by Ridley Scott and the lead played by Matt Damon. The book is called The Martian and is funny as hell.

So remember: Done is better than perfect.

The second Facebook mantra is: Code wins arguments. Rather than discuss and argue if a new feature will be accepted, used and liked by followers, at Facebook, they write the code and release it to a small group first to see what happens. As storytellers, we can modify this mantra for our purpose to this:

Mantra #2: Fans win arguments.

You’ll never know if people love your characters and plot until you share it. Applying Mantra #1 will help you find fans and in the end, it’s their opinion and their feedback that matters more than anything.

Example: INXS was a very successful Australian band in the late eighties. In 1987, they recorded an album that was rejected by their record label president, who insisted the band make another album; he even offered them a million dollars to do so. But the band persisted and the album Kick was eventually released and went on to become a six-time platinum selling album with over four Top 10 singles in the USA.

Fans win arguments.

A Storyteller’s Dream

Today, the corporate executives of the publishing world no longer make arbitrary decisions as to what will or won’t be popular. Today, they aren’t deciding on the next big thing — they’re looking for it.

Today, a storyteller can bypass the old system entirely.

Take your message straight to your fans with a YouTube channel, a Facebook page, a crowdfunding project and blog.

If it doesn’t work, adjust it. Listen to the feedback.

Sooner or later, you’ll strike a chord with an audience and your so-tri story may become the next bestseller.

It’s pure unhindered creation. It’s fun. It’s challenging. It’s rewarding. And if you keep at it, sooner or later some part of your fictional world — your dream — becomes true.

I wish you the best of luck.

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