If I Could Start My Crypto Life Over

Five tips for new cryptocurrency investors

Five tips for new cryptocurrency investors

Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash

In the grand scheme of the cryptocurrency universe, I’m still a relative noob. I’ve only been in the game for a few months, but I’ve learned A TON in a short amount of time. Now, looking back, I feel like Rod Stewart famously sang:

I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger

I mean, 100 days younger, but still — the point remains. So, here are 5 things I wish I would’ve known when I was getting started. I’m not trying to sell you on any of the products or services I mention, but I’ll include referral links at the end of the article to use if you’re interested.


#1 Learn the tax rules

It feels dumb to say, but I didn’t even think about taxes when I started. I was carefree and carelessly tradin’ and buyin’ and sellin’ and just havin’ myself a grand ol’ time. And then I learned that most of what I was doing probably had tax implications.

&*($#.

Luckily, this was only about one month into the journey, and it wasn’t too terrible to get caught up on things. Still, this was my biggest regret in the beginning.

Now, I keep a spreadsheet for all my transactions. I record the cost basis and realized gains & losses when selling or trading. It still gets pretty complex in a hurry, so I also use free services CoinTracker and Koinly to help.

The point here is to know that there are rules and get ahead of them, so you don’t find yourself playing catch-up later. Because it really stinks.

#2 Compare exchanges

I don’t remember how I ended up with Coinbase, but that’s where I started. I’m glad that’s where I started, though, because one of the cool things about Coinbase is their “earn” program that lets you watch videos about new cryptocurrencies to earn small rewards.

Currently, you can earn about $30 in rewards this way. Not only is it great for getting some free crypto, but I also found it interesting to learn about the new cryptos themselves. This helped me understand the bigger picture and how cryptocurrencies play an increasing role in the world.

So that’s one cool thing about Coinbase, but I also find myself looking longingly at Binance and wishing I had assets over there to move onto the low-fee Binance Smart Chain (BCS). And both Coinbase and Binance don’t have certain cryptocurrencies I wish I could buy.

This is why I suggest you shop around. Compare what promotions and sign-up there are to take advantage of. Look for cryptocurrencies. Consider what fees might be involved and lock periods before you can move funds off the exchange. Please do your research so you can maximize rewards and not feel trapped when it’s time to do the things you want to do.

#3 Invest some stablecoins

This one stings on the heels of a bad week because I didn’t do this. There are really great interest rates available, and having the non-volatile assets available to buy the dips is a real treat.

The first place I recommend for this is Celsius. They offer a 12.5% return on most stablecoins. In addition to great rates on stablecoins, they also offer returns for many popular coins like BTC (6%), DASH (5.5%), MATIC (13.99%), and many others. It’s set-it-and-forget-it gains that you earn just by having funds in your wallet.

Celsius isn’t available everywhere, though. Nexo is another site that offers 12% returns on stablecoins and many others. BlockFi is a third option, but they offer just 8.6%. (However, I just read today that BlockFi is a good play to deposit funds and then use your one free withdrawal per month to move USDC to Celsius as a way to dodge fees.)

Having a pile of high-interest earning stablecoins is also great for making sure you have money to pay taxes at the end of the year. (Remember #1?) Consider the 12% return rates here against banks, where high-yield savings might earn you 0.5% interest. Even the stock market, with all its risks, can’t guarantee you these returns.

The tradeoff is that these funds aren’t FDIC insured. Certain providers offer different assurances, so again, do your own research.

#4 Invest in DeFi

Those stablecoin interest rates I was talking about are pretty impressive, but they pale in comparison to the return rates offered by many defi apps. Look around, and you’ll see APYs north of 200%.

I’ve invested a small amount with Cake DeFi, and I’ve been excited about the result. They offer $30 for signing up, and you can earn 130% APY with their BTC-DFI liquidity pool, 5–7.5% on BTC with their Lapis service, or 37% by staking DFI.

DeFiChain (DFI) is their native coin, and it’s trading for about $3.50. Cake DeFi’s goal is to bring user-friendly, high-return crypto financial services to the masses, and so far, they’re delivering. I like here because of the high returns plus the high potential of the DFI coin.

I’ve invested $500 with Cake DeFi, and every day I earn about 0.50 DFI and a couple of satoshis of BTC. I did the match, and the story checks out: it amounts to approximately 130% APY return.

Cake DeFi is just one option, though, and not an especially popular one at that. Harvest, Beefy, and many others exist — look around!

#5 MetaMask & Web3.0

It took me a minute to understand how a lot of the distributed apps (dApps) worked. It’s a different world. You don’t sign up with usernames and passwords and have accounts. Instead, you connect your wallet, and that’s who you are.

I started using Trust Wallet, and it’s been fine. There’s a built-in browser that I can use within the app that seems to work pretty well. I can also use the MetaMask browser extension for Chrome to use the same wallet on my desktop computer.

This has allowed me to expand into ETH2 staking and investing with SnowSwap and use one of the most popular dApps — Uniswap — to obtain tokens that aren’t available through the exchanges.

It’s a non-intuitive process to pick up coming from the traditional internet world we all know & love. And I’m a pretty tech-savvy person. Just having the awareness that this is a thing probably would’ve been enough to make it intuitive enough to grasp, but there’s no web3.0 handbook that really spells it out.


“Free $150” Startup

Here’s what I’d do if I were just getting in. This process earns about $150 in rewards with minimal effort using many of the tools above.

  1. Sign-up with Coinbase using a referral link to earn $10
  2. Buy $200 of BTC from Coinbase (*required to earn the $10 reward)
  3. Complete Coinbase quizzes to earn another $30 in rewards
  4. Convert earnings to BTC
  5. Sign-up with Celsius with referral code to earn $30
  6. Transfer all BTC from Coinbase to Celsius; let sit for 30 days (*required to earn $30 reward)
  7. Sign-up with Cake DeFi with referral code to earn $30
  8. Transfer all BTC from Celsius to Cake DeFi
  9. Convert half of BTC to DFI and add it all to BTC-DFI liquidity pool
  10. Wait 180 days (*required to earn $30 reward)

At the end of this process, you’ll have earned $10 + $30 + $30 + $30 plus another $100 or so from the liquidity pool — that’s double your money in about 6 months!


Conclusion

So there you have it, my top 5 things I wish I would’ve known when getting started.

First, make sure you know your tax rules so you don’t create a paperwork nightmare or land yourself in a financial/legal mess. Shop around for different exchanges to find the one that serves you best. Set aside some stablecoins to generate steady, non-volatile growth to cover expenses, keep funds for strategic investments, and take advantage of lucrative investment opportunities on emerging defi platforms. Finally, learn to use a non-exchange wallet to participate in the new web3.0.

It’s been a wild few months learning about all this, and I’ve had a great time. I hope these tips help you get up to speed quickly and avoid some of the mistakes I made along the way.


I’m looking for feedback! What do you think of these tips? Do you have other ideas that should be included? Leave a comment and let me know!


Referral links

In case you want ‘em.

  • Binance US — Binance Smart Chain & BNB
  • Cake DeFi — $30 sign-up reward
  • Coinbase — $10 sign-up reward — earn $30 in free crypto
  • Celsius — $30 sign-up reward (1319904a9e)

This article was originally published on read.cash on February 27, 2021.

5 Ways to Earn Free Crypto Doing Things You Do Anyway

Generate passive micro-income that can easily grow to hundreds or thousands of free dollars

Generate passive micro-income that can easily grow to hundreds or thousands of free dollars

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

The cryptocurrency community has slowly been building an alternate universe where everything is incentivized. For every task, there’s a site or an app that wants to pay you with their token.

My purpose here isn’t to recruit you or trick you into signing up using referral links — I want to let people know about all these cool things!. That said, I’ll include referral links at the bottom if you do want them. (But seriously, that’s not why we’re here.)

Here’s the secret to success with these faucets, though: don’t try to maximize your earnings. Just use them for what they are. If you try to game the system by running multiple accounts or keep things pumping 24/7, you’re going to burn out (or get banned) over a few dollars. If you just use them, you’ll have fun and earn money without even realizing it. And don’t be quick to cash out, either. Reinvest that money and hold it. The biggest earnings in crypto come from the token gaining value over time. $10 earned from using your browser could turn into $300 in the span of a month.

So, without further ado, let’s look at some ways to earn free crypto by doing things you do anyway!


Do you like using the internet?

Use the Brave browser. When you opt-in to their Brave Rewards program, you’ll get ad notifications that earn you BAT. You don’t need to look at the ads or do anything; you get paid just for receiving the notifications. You can use Brave on all your computers and Apple & Android devices to earn more rewards.

BAT has gone from around $0.20 three months ago to more than $0.70 now. Brave has an ambitious roadmap that will reward users who keep BAT in their wallets and use them to pay for fees in their upcoming DEX. Earning a few dollars each month in BAT could easily turn into $100 or more with a bit of time.

But do you like searching for things on the internet?

Use Presearch. Presearch is a decentralized search engine that rewards you with PRE for every search you do, up to a limit per day. Like BAT, PRE has seen significant growth in the past 90 days, going from $0.01 to $0.08.

Last month, Presearch released an update that reduced its static 0.25 PRE per search to a variable amount that’s been around 0.12 PRE. While this is a decrease in earnings, it suggests to me that Presearch is adjusting for future growth and sustainability — a good sign for PRE earners & holders.

Got anything like Twitter?

Use Noise.Cash — built by the same folks as Read.Cash! I particularly enjoy Noise because a lot of the community is focused on cryptocurrencies and related projects. These are subjects my real-life friends & family aren’t into, so Noise really scratches an itch.

Noise gifts you a balance of free tips every so often, and you receive a cut of the tips you reward to others. It’s fun, and it’s easy to earn a few dollars per week just by talking with friends.

Don’t get greedy, though, and don’t try to game the system, or they’ll cut you off from free tips. Just be yourself, enjoy the experience, and you’ll find the earnings pile up quickly. Much like Read.Cash, everything you earn on Noise is paid in Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

How ‘bout watching videos?

Use LBRY. It’s the cryptocurrency world’s version of YouTube. If you’re a creator, you can even link your YouTube channel to import your videos. Using LBRY will earn you their token, LBRY Credits (LBC).

It shouldn’t surprise you to hear that LBC has gone up significantly in value this year, going from $0.03 in December to nearly $0.20! You earn rewards for signing up and doing simple things like visiting daily and following others.

What about streaming, like Twitch?

Use Theta.tv. Theta provides a mix of video game streaming and other programming, but it feels very Twitch-like. The cool thing about Theta is that while you watch, your unused bandwidth is used to re-broadcast the stream to others — and you earn Theta Fuel (TFUEL) for your contribution.

And guess what? TFUEL has gone from less than $0.02 to $0.15 in the last three months.


Conclusion

There’s increasingly a crypto alternative for everything, and if the thing you want doesn’t exist, give it a minute. There are projects for finding jobs that pay you in crypto. There are plenty of games that reward you in crypto. There are social media projects. The things I’ve listed above are just scratching the surface.

The services aren’t as polished and robust as their mainstream counterparts, but they’re made up of growing, vibrant communities. And more importantly, they serve their purposes well.

Individually, these applications and services may not pay very much, but nearly all of them are experiencing tremendous growth. You might as well start earning a few dollars here and there for all the things you’re doing, anyway. After a few months, those few dollars from those few things will turn into more dollars, and as these projects take off and grow, they’ll turn into even more dollars.


I’m looking for feedback! What other services should be part of the list? Do you like learning about offerings like this, or are these things that everybody in the community already knows about? Let me know by leaving a comment below!


Referral links

Here’s another thing about the crypto community: everything’s got a referral code. If you’re interested in trying the services mentioned above, consider supporting me by using the following links!


This article was originally published on read.cash on March 8, 2021.

BCH is the Easiest Way to Move Funds Between Exchanges

Bitcoin Cash works the way cryptocurrency should

Bitcoin cash works the way cryptocurrency should

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

In my short time as a cryptonerd, I’ve come to acknowledge two realities. First, my funds almost always enter via a centralized exchange. Think Coinbase or Binance. And second, whatever next coin I want will inevitably only be available on a different exchange than where I have the available funds to buy them with.

My solution to the coins-I-want-aren’t-on-my-exchange problem has been to sign up with multiple exchanges and deposit more funds to buy the new coins. This was possible in the past because I was transitioning from 100% money in banks and looking to slowly moving assets into cryptocurrency, anyway. In a way, it helped me by giving me an excuse to put more funds into cryptocurrencies!

More exchanges, more problems

But, alas, I’m getting to the point where I don’t have more assets I want to move, and “just deposit more” is becoming an increasingly less desirable option. So, what can I do?

Well, the first and most obvious thing I did was to transfer BTC between exchanges. It’s the currency of the future, right? And all the exchanges have it? Feels like a no-brainer.

…right?

Well, this is where we hit cryptocurrency’s biggest problem: fees. To send $15 of Bitcoin, I need to pay almost $2 fees. That’s a 13% tax to send money to yourself!

Source: author screenshot of Coinbase

And that’s exactly where the miracle of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) shines through. Want to guess how much it costs to send $15 using BCH? It’s about 0.00000226, which is roughly $0.001.

The other beautiful thing about BCH is that it’s everywhere you want to be. At the time of writing, it’s the 11th largest coin by market cap. That means you can convert or trade any currency on any exchange to BCH and send it to any other exchange where it can then be converted or traded for another currency.

How about an example?

Here’s the specific task I needed to do yesterday. I had about $300 of The Graph (GRT) on Coinbase that I wished to convert to Cordana (ADA). I used Coinbase to convert the GRT to BCH, which cost me nothing. Then I sent it to my Uphold wallet, which again cost me nothing — a fraction of a cent. And finally, I converted the BCH to ADA in Uphold, which basically cost me nothing.

This entire cross-exchange coin swap was basically free, all because of Bitcoin Cash.

Compare this to doing the same operation on, say, Uniswap, where you could easily pay more than $15 in fees to exchange $15 in tokens. (Which I have regrettably done!)


I’m still pretty new to Bitcoin Cash, and I’m not sold on it as a long-term investment growth opportunity — but I can say this: it handles the job of low-fee fund transfers remarkably well. It makes moving funds between exchanges completely painless, which improves accessibility to many cryptocurrencies.

It’s certainly looking like BCH will be my go-to for fund transfers, and I’ll also be keeping an eye on its longer-term potential as a result!


This story was originally published on This Crypto Life on March 7, 2021.

If I Could Start My Crypto Life Over

Featured image by Braden Collum on Unsplash

Five tips for new cryptocurrency investors

In the grand scheme of the cryptocurrency universe, I’m still a relative noob. I’ve only been in the game for a few months, but I’ve learned A TON in a short amount of time. Now, looking back, I feel like Rod Stewart famously sang:

I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger

I mean, 100 days younger, but still — the point remains. So, here are 5 things I wish I would’ve known when I was getting started. I’m not trying to sell you on any of the products or services I mention, but I’ll include referral links at the end of the article to use if you’re interested.


#1 Learn the tax rules

It feels dumb to say, but I didn’t even think about taxes when I started. I was carefree and carelessly tradin’ and buyin’ and sellin’ and just havin’ myself a grand ol’ time. And then I learned that most of what I was doing probably had tax implications.

&*($#.

Luckily, this was only about one month into the journey, and it wasn’t too terrible to get caught up on things. Still, this was my biggest regret in the beginning.

Now, I keep a spreadsheet for all my transactions. I record the cost basis and realized gains & losses when selling or trading. It still gets pretty complex in a hurry, so I also use free services CoinTracker and Koinly to help.

The point here is to know that there are rules and get ahead of them, so you don’t find yourself playing catch-up later. Because it really stinks.

#2 Compare exchanges

I don’t remember how I ended up with Coinbase, but that’s where I started. I’m glad that’s where I started, though, because one of the cool things about Coinbase is their “earn” program that lets you watch videos about new cryptocurrencies to earn small rewards.

Currently, you can earn about $30 in rewards this way. Not only is it great for getting some free crypto, but I also found it interesting to learn about the new cryptos themselves. This helped me understand the bigger picture and how cryptocurrencies play an increasing role in the world.

So that’s one cool thing about Coinbase, but I also find myself looking longingly at Binance and wishing I had assets over there to move onto the low-fee Binance Smart Chain (BCS). And both Coinbase and Binance don’t have certain cryptocurrencies I wish I could buy.

This is why I suggest you shop around. Compare what promotions and sign-up there are to take advantage of. Look for cryptocurrencies. Consider what fees might be involved and lock periods before you can move funds off the exchange. Please do your research so you can maximize rewards and not feel trapped when it’s time to do the things you want to do.

#3 Invest some stablecoins

This one stings on the heels of a bad week because I didn’t do this. There are really great interest rates available, and having the non-volatile assets available to buy the dips is a real treat.

The first place I recommend for this is Celsius. They offer a 12.5% return on most stablecoins. In addition to great rates on stablecoins, they also offer returns for many popular coins like BTC (6%), DASH (5.5%), MATIC (13.99%), and many others. It’s set-it-and-forget-it gains that you earn just by having funds in your wallet.

Celsius isn’t available everywhere, though. Nexo is another site that offers 12% returns on stablecoins and many others. BlockFi is a third option, but they offer just 8.6%. (However, I just read today that BlockFi is a good play to deposit funds and then use your one free withdrawal per month to move USDC to Celsius as a way to dodge fees.)

Having a pile of high-interest earning stablecoins is also great for making sure you have money to pay taxes at the end of the year. (Remember #1?) Consider the 12% return rates here against banks, where high-yield savings might earn you 0.5% interest. Even the stock market, with all its risks, can’t guarantee you these returns.

The tradeoff is that these funds aren’t FDIC insured. Certain providers offer different assurances, so again, do your own research.

#4 Invest in DeFi

Those stablecoin interest rates I was talking about are pretty impressive, but they pale in comparison to the return rates offered by many defi apps. Look around, and you’ll see APYs north of 200%.

I’ve invested a small amount with Cake DeFi, and I’ve been excited about the result. They offer $30 for signing up, and you can earn 130% APY with their BTC-DFI liquidity pool, 5–7.5% on BTC with their Lapis service, or 37% by staking DFI.

DeFiChain (DFI) is their native coin, and it’s trading for about $3.50. Cake DeFi’s goal is to bring user-friendly, high-return crypto financial services to the masses, and so far, they’re delivering. I like here because of the high returns plus the high potential of the DFI coin.

I’ve invested $500 with Cake DeFi, and every day I earn about 0.50 DFI and a couple of satoshis of BTC. I did the match, and the story checks out: it amounts to approximately 130% APY return.

Cake DeFi is just one option, though, and not an especially popular one at that. Harvest, Beefy, and many others exist — look around!

#5 MetaMask & Web3.0

It took me a minute to understand how a lot of the distributed apps (dApps) worked. It’s a different world. You don’t sign up with usernames and passwords and have accounts. Instead, you connect your wallet, and that’s who you are.

I started using Trust Wallet, and it’s been fine. There’s a built-in browser that I can use within the app that seems to work pretty well. I can also use the MetaMask browser extension for Chrome to use the same wallet on my desktop computer.

This has allowed me to expand into ETH2 staking and investing with SnowSwap and use one of the most popular dApps — Uniswap — to obtain tokens that aren’t available through the exchanges.

It’s a non-intuitive process to pick up coming from the traditional internet world we all know & love. And I’m a pretty tech-savvy person. Just having the awareness that this is a thing probably would’ve been enough to make it intuitive enough to grasp, but there’s no web3.0 handbook that really spells it out.


“Free $150” Startup

Here’s what I’d do if I were just getting in. This process earns about $150 in rewards with minimal effort using many of the tools above.

  1. Sign-up with Coinbase using a referral link to earn $10
  2. Buy $200 of BTC from Coinbase (*required to earn the $10 reward)
  3. Complete Coinbase quizzes to earn another $30 in rewards
  4. Convert earnings to BTC
  5. Sign-up with Celsius with referral code to earn $30
  6. Transfer all BTC from Coinbase to Celsius; let sit for 30 days (*required to earn $30 reward)
  7. Sign-up with Cake DeFi with referral code to earn $30
  8. Transfer all BTC from Celsius to Cake DeFi
  9. Convert half of BTC to DFI and add it all to BTC-DFI liquidity pool
  10. Wait 180 days (*required to earn $30 reward)

At the end of this process, you’ll have earned $10 + $30 + $30 + $30 plus another $100 or so from the liquidity pool — that’s double your money in about 6 months!


Conclusion

So there you have it, my top 5 things I wish I would’ve known when getting started.

First, make sure you know your tax rules so you don’t create a paperwork nightmare or land yourself in a financial/legal mess. Shop around for different exchanges to find the one that serves you best. Set aside some stablecoins to generate steady, non-volatile growth to cover expenses, keep funds for strategic investments, and take advantage of lucrative investment opportunities on emerging defi platforms. Finally, learn to use a non-exchange wallet to participate in the new web3.0.

It’s been a wild few months learning about all this, and I’ve had a great time. I hope these tips help you get up to speed quickly and avoid some of the mistakes I made along the way.


I’m looking for feedback! What do you think of these tips? Do you have other ideas that should be included? Leave a comment and let me know!


Referral links

In case you want ‘em.

  • Binance US — Binance Smart Chain & BNB
  • Cake DeFi — $30 sign-up reward
  • Coinbase — $10 sign-up reward — earn $30 in free crypto
  • Celsius — $30 sign-up reward (1319904a9e)

This article was originally published on read.cash on February 27, 2021.

Robinhood, the Crypto Gateway Drug

Featured image by YIFEI CHEN on Unsplash

How I moved from slingin’ stonks to cryptocurrencies

It all started with a birthday check from Grandma. I’m 40, but I still get birthday checks from my grandparents. Cute, right?

The pandemic was in full bloom, and there wasn’t much for me to do with my birthday bucks — so I decided to head to everybody’s favorite virtual casino: Robinhood.

I was classic dumb money, investing in a certain electric car company — let’s call it Schmikola — and other less-bad-but-still-bad choices. I learn from my mistakes, though. With every misstep, I became a little smarter.

I moved from following the herd to making better, educated decisions. I was diversifying. I decided ETFs were better and started putting money into them instead. Things were growing and moving in a positive direction.

But then I realized I have a 401k for that. I asked myself:

What am I trying to do here?

That’s when I ripped it all out and put it into bitcoin. (Keep in mind that “all” is my original birthday money plus weekly investments of about $50. We’re probably talking about $500 at this point — not my life savings.) Can you guess what happened next?

Source: my Robinhood portfolio

That’s how my fascination with bitcoin and cryptocurrency began. I started exploring outside of Robinhood and discovered an entire world of choices and freedom. It’s become my number one hobby, and that’s what brings us to today.

I’ve since moved all my funds from Robinhood and into exchanges, wallets, and investments. Robinhood’s okay for getting started if your only goal is to have some skin in the game. It’s crypto with training wheels. You can’t make as many mistakes, but you also lose all freedom.

There are two things Robinhood steals from you: choice and opportunity. You’re limited to the handful of cryptos they offer, which is less than ten in a sea of thousands. And since you don’t have control of the coins themselves, you can’t use them for investing — and the investment returns in the crypto space are mind-boggling good.

That’s how my journey began. After leaving Robinhood, I began to explore the various exchanges and opportunities. I started researching lots of different cryptocurrencies. I’ve learned a ton, and I’ve had a lot of fun along the way.

In my next article, I’ll talk about how I’d start if I could restart from the beginning. There’s free money available if you know where to look. I could easily double my same $250 birthday investment in less than 6 months, and I’ll show you how. Stay tuned!


Please note that this is my hobby. This is not financial advice, nor am I qualified in any way, shape, or form to give financial advice. Learn with me; have fun with me, but do your own research and only gamble with money you expect to lose.