Month-by-month tracking of my ETH2 staking investment
Month-by-month tracking of my ETH2 staking investment
I originally staked 1 ETH with Ankr Staker on February 17, 2021, and added the resulting aETH token to an ETH2 liquidity pool at SnowSwap. You see results from my first month here.
Less than 2 months in, though, I saw a tremendous opportunity. The Guarda team tweeted that GETH was trading on Uniswap at a rate of 1.5 GETH per ETH! I promptly pulled my funds out of SnowSwap and traded them, earning me about 1.2 SNOW and 1.47 GETH. So, that’s where the story picks up this month. (For reference, the GETH:ETH rate on Uniswap this morning was 0.98 GETH per ETH — so that turned out to be a really great deal.)
Even though I’ve swapped my original Ankr token to Guarded Ether, I can still track the investment month-to-month. Let’s look at the numbers!
Rewards = $ 1,090.89 Txn fees (est) = $ 200.00 --------------------------- Total ROI = $ 890.89
In a month that saw ether exceed $2,500 and set a new all-time high, it was pretty incredible to add 50% to my staked funds. I have earned an estimated $890 from 1 ETH in two months, which amounts to a 40% gain. Factoring in the growth of ETH, the investment has grown more than 70% in terms of USD in just two months.
GETH rewards accumulate each month and are paid in GETH, which means I can continue reporting monthly rewards. It’s unclear if I’ll receive rewards at the beginning of May or if I need to hold for a complete cycle. Either way, I’ll report back next month!
I remember reading about Ethereum 2.0 staking when it was announced last year. You needed 32 ETH, which is nearly $64k in today’s money, to do it — well out of reach for me, even then when ETH was only $700 or whatever it was at the time.
Leave it to the community to come up with solutions, though. Ankr, Kraken, and others offered the opportunity to stake ETH quantities as little as 0.1. This was perfect for me — I promptly staked my 1 ETH with Ankr, and I was given an ankrETH in return.
The cool thing about staking with Ankr is that the rewards accumulate, and you redeem your staked ETH plus the rewards when you exchange the ankrETH back to Ankr after the Ethereum 2.0 locking phase is over. It also means you can exchange the token, so if I suddenly started feeling bad about staking ETH, I’m not locked in the same way as if I’d done it officially with Ethereum. This proved to a really, really good thing for me.
I was immediately curious — I hopped over to Uniswap and checked the exchange rate. Sure enough, 1 ETH was trading for 1.60 GETH. Wow — mind blown. It felt a little too good to be true, and I wanted to do a little more research before committing. So, I got to work.
You can see step 1 of my research on the tweet itself. I asked Guarda why the value of GETH was so low compared to ETH, and they promptly fired back a 5-tweet reply explaining the history of GETH and why the market varies, along with a note about wanting to make their customers aware when a rare opportunity presents itself.https://adamprescott.wordpress.com/media/928f8b1f8e62c9a56d1ea68895f758f7Source: Twitter
Okay, this was still sounding pretty good. I looked up GETH on both CoinMarketCap and CoinGecko, and it all felt very suspicious. It was only a part of 5 watchlists on CMC, and it had just 17 likes on CG. The trading volume was also insanely low.
So, the next thing I did was to open a support ticket through my Guarda wallet. In the ticket, I raised the potential of a GETH scam that they were promoting via their Twitter account and asked if they could confirm the GETH token’s contract address, which isn’t found anywhere in the Guarda documentation.
Alright then. At this point, I decided to take the plunge. I went over to SnowSwap, where I had staked my ankrETH, and withdrew from their Eth2 liquidity pool. I checked exchange rates and found that WETH had a more favorable GETH exchange rate on Uniswap, so I elected to withdraw that instead of the ankrETH that I had originally deposited.
With WETH in-wallet, I headed to Uniswap and swapped it to GETH. Magically, the 1 ETH that I started with had been transformed into 1.47 GETH.
I logged into Guarda and imported my Ethereum wallet. Without any additional steps, the GETH was showing as staked ETH:
Additionally, as you can see in the screenshot, the next reward distribution will occur on May 1, 2021. That’s part of the deal when you stake with Guarda — they distribute rewards they earn to GETH holders each month.
The final step in my journey was to visit Guarda’s Telegram community to ask if need to do anything else to receive rewards. Once again, my question was answered promptly — and I was assured that I didn’t need to do anything else. I just need to hold onto my GETH to collect rewards.
I was already enjoying Guarda for staking ONE, ADA, and ATOM tokens, and I feel like I just hit the lottery with this swap. At the time I’m writing this, it looks like GETH has regained a lot of its value against ETH, and the exchange rate is not nearly as favorable. Still, getting an 18% bonus on your ETH isn’t too shabby…
Now that I’m a GETH holder, it’s great to see that the value has rebounded & recovered. I feel even better about making the move! If you’re looking to make a similar move, keep an eye on the price of GETH at CoinGecko. If Ethereum starts to surge, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the GETH drop price again, and that’s your chance to make the same move.
Thanks for taking the time to read about my experience. All the usual disclaimers apply. Be careful about making swaps on and know what you’re doing. When you hold GETH, you aren’t locked in. You can trade it away on Uniswap at any point. But, if you keep holding it, you’ll receive monthly rewards and be able to exchange it 1:1 when the next phase of Ethereum 2.0 is reached.
Theta Network has been very hot in the cryptocurrency & blockchain space recently. Its two tokens, THETA and TFUEL, both experienced explosive growth in March. THETA went from $3 to an all-time high of $14, earning itself a spot as a top-10 token by market cap. Similarly, TFUEL — the gas token of the Theta blockchain — grew from $0.09 to its peak value, $0.54.
The cool thing about TFUEL is that you can earn it simply by watching Theta.tv, a streaming service that has a similar look & feel to Twitch. TFUEL earned this way can be used to tip streamers, subscribe, and purchase rewards. You can’t withdraw this TFUEL, though, or exchange it for other tokens. If you’re curious about Theta at all, start there. Sign up and give it a shot. (Note that the sign-up link is a referral; it’s okay to work around that if you prefer.)
The Theta Edge Node
If you’re like me, when you earn by streaming, your first thought is, “Oh! I should keep this thing going 24/7 to earn more free TFUEL.” You can definitely do that, but there’s a better way — a way that doesn’t require you to actually stream content, and you’ll earn rewards in a wallet where you can send & receive them as you see fit: the Theta Edge Node.
Getting going is super easy; just download, install, and run. The only configuration is to enter your Theta wallet address, which will probably require you to do the extra step of creating the wallet if you don’t already have one.
Here’s the breakdown of exactly what to do, starting from scratch:
And that, my friends, is it! By default, the client will look for Cache and Compute jobs. Edge Cache works the same as what you experience while earning from Theta.tv by receiving streaming content and re-broadcasting it to other users. Edge Compute is more interesting, in my opinion, and is intended to be a “generic computing platform.” Here’s an excerpt from the Edge Node docs:
Such a platform allows Task Initiators to post tasks for Edge Nodes to download and solve. Task initiators also register the tasks and provide the TFuel rewards for each task on the blockchain through smart contracts. Tasks can be anything ranging from solving a set of equations, finding novel protein structures to help fight COVID-19, transcoding a video, to thousands of other applications that can leverage a network of distributed edge computing devices.
While getting started with Edge Compute, my immediate concern was how many resources it would consume. I was thinking of running the Edge Node on a part-time gaming PC that I use for mining, and I didn’t want Edge competing for GPU resources. The Theta documentation says this about its Folding@Home initiative:
Since bandwidth sharing utilizes minimal CPU and GPU resources, it means that Edge Nodes could also perform compute intensive tasks such as determining which drug designs could be effective COVID-19 antivirals.
So, this validates that Edge Compute is looking to take advantage of both idle CPU and GPU resources. I’m running it on my mining PC, and it hasn’t impacted hash rates so far — but I’m keeping any on it. (It also hasn’t earned very impressively, but that’s ok given that I don’t want it competing for those resources.)
Theta Network and Theta.tv are doing some really cool things. They’ve partnered with big names like Sony and Lionsgate, and they have co-founders from Twitch and YouTube as advisors.
The growth in value of THETA and TFUEL has been incredible, and there’s no reason to expect that they’ll stop growing — although certainly not at the same parabolic rate.
Running a Theta Edge Node gives users an effortless way to start earning TFUEL with idle bandwidth and computing resources, and it will only get better with time. Theta’s Mainnet 3.0 release is right around the corner, and it promises improvements for Edge Node users.
Then, three days after that, on March 24–a mere seventeen days after its launch — Viperswap reached $10 million in TVL.
That’s quite an achievement, but how does it stack up against its predecessors? Let’s make some comparisons against today’s top 5 DEXes, as ranked by DeFi Pulse:
At the top of the list is SushiSwap, which started on September 4, 2020, and exploded to $1.15 billion in TVL on September 9, 2020. This was largely due to a notable migration of assets from Uniswap. The migration may warrant an asterisk on the milestone, but it’s pretty incredible, nonetheless. 5 days.
Uniswap launched on November 2, 2018, and it took them until May 11, 2019 to reach $10 million in TVL. 190 days.
It took Curve Finance from February 10, 2020 until April 23, 2020 to accomplish the feat. 73 days.
Balancer launched on February 28, 2020 and hit the mark on June 1, 2020. 94 days.
Rounding out the top 5 is Bancor, which began on August 17, 2017 and passed $10 million 112 days later on December 7, 2017.
Reaching $10 million in TVL in just 17 days is pretty remarkable, especially when you compare it against the others listed above. Viperswap’s rise came about quietly, too, without much advertising beyond a handful of tweets from the community. It’s not slowing down, either, having already gained another 30% since hitting the $10M milestone yesterday. It could be halfway to $100M by this time next week!
This article’s focus has been total value locked, but the growth of Viperswap’s native token value and market cap has been equally impressive. The token began at $0.005 and has grown to just shy of $1, pushing the total market cap near $150 million.
I’ve written about Viperswap a couple of times now, and I maintain that if you try it yourself, it will re-write your expectations for blockchain apps. Harmony is so fast and cheap, and you can try Viperswap with less than $10 and see real earnings accumulate in real-time. It’s incredible.
The future for Harmony is bright, and Viperswap has the opportunity to play a central role. Harmony had its own news this week, launching a Binance Smart Chain bridge in addition to its existing Ethereum bridge. With that news, they explained that you couldn’t do a direct passthrough of tokens, for example, to send USDT from Ethereum straight to BSC. Instead, there will be separate ethUSDT and bscUSDT tokens. If/when Viperswap adds liquidity to facilitate this swap, it will be an easy, negligible-fee, non-issue to do the extra swap to make it happen.
I can’t wait to see what comes next from the Harmony and VenomDAO teams!
You’ve all heard about “mining” as it pertains to Bitcoin and Ethereum, right? Mining is necessary because these are proof-of-work (PoW) blockchains, and they require a lot of computing power to do all the verifications and validations to make it all work. The main complaints against PoW are that it’s slow because of the computing and expensive because of the computing fees.
The fees are a big problem, and that’s why Ethereum 2.0 is important — it represents the Ethereum network’s move from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. It’s also one of the main reasons why there’s so much excitement for “next-generation” networks, and perhaps none have more hype than Cardano.
Proof-of-stake means that instead of having miners competing and racing to find the next block in the blockchain, validators are randomly assigned to do it. To be a validator, you must “stake” collateral. Rewards granted to miners for discovering a blockchain block are instead given to the selected validator for doing its job.
That brings us to the point of this story. Not everybody wants to be a validator, but you can delegate your tokens to a validator and earn a share of the rewards. There are many ways to do this, but perhaps the easiest is to do it through a wallet provider, like Guarda. I’ll show you just how easy it is to stake Cardano using Guarda’s wallet in this story.
This tutorial assumes you have a Guarda wallet and that you’ve transferred ADA into it. Signing up for Guarda is pretty easy; go to guarda.com and follow the prompts. I purchased some ADA from CoinEx (note: referral link) and transferred it to my Guarda wallet, but there are many ways to do it.
Let’s stake some ADA!
Just a heads-up: this is going to be a short tutorial because it’s so easy. Begin by logging into your Guarda wallet and finding your Cardano wallet. Your balance should be visible, along with a Staking link below it.
When you click the Staking link, it expands to show a staking region. This is where you’ll see & claim rewards and stake/unstake. Click the Stake button to open a new Staking tab in the wallet.
Be sure to read the fine print. The approximate yield is 5%. Okay, that’s pretty good. Your funds will not be frozen and will remain free to move. Wait, what? The funds are still in my wallet, and I can move them. That’s downright awesome. Staking will be applied from the next epoch. The reward will begin to accrue from the 3rd epoch after staking. This means that it’s gonna take a minute before you start to earn rewards. You’ll see later in this story that the wallet view will show “round” information, which I believe represents these epochs.
Because it wouldn’t make sense to do anything less, the deposit amount defaults to the maximum and is read-only. Go ahead and click Next.
You’re presented with a confirmation screen. Note that I have to pay a network fee, so for small amounts — like the $50 I’m working with — it may not make sense. That’s 5%; it will take a full year of staking to earn that back! But, we’re in it for the science, right? So, onward we go. Click the Confirm button.
That’s it — done! The Staking link below your balance in the wallet list will now show additional details. Recall that in the staking details noted above, rewards will begin to accrue in the 3rd epoch after staking, and the epochs are about 5 days each.
Guarda makes staking Cardano and a handful of other tokens really easy. You maintain control of your tokens while you stake, and you begin earning rewards for many of them instantly. Cardano takes a few rounds before you start earning, but the process is completely painless.
Cardano is just starting to take off. It’s expected to launch support for smart contracts soon with its Goguen release, and many, many projects are being developed. There’s so much excitement for Cardano, and it will most certainly see a lot of growth in the future — so it’s a great token to hold onto for the long run. And, if you’re going to hang onto it, you might as well stake it and earn the additional rewards.
As a final note, I’m not affiliated with Guarda in any way. I first used it to stake Harmony ONE tokens and later staked Cosmos ATOM tokens, too. I’ve had great experiences with Guarda and will certainly move other tokens there for staking in the future.
The VenomDAO team just announced that they’d added APRs to their Viperswap liquidity pool UI, and they’re quite generous. Of course, it’s all very new and dropping quickly*, but the fact remains — the rates are insane right now.
*In just a few hours since announcing and sharing the screenshot, it’s already reduced to less than 14,000%. 14,000% still feels pretty okay, though, right?
The best part is that it literally takes less than 3 minutes (I used a stopwatch) to add funds to the liquidity pool, and there’s basically no minimum and near-$0 transaction fees. In this article, I’ll show you how to add liquidity with a tiny amount — just $30!
I’ve purchased ONE from Binance US, and there’s where the journey begins. We only need to do four steps:
Transfer ONE tokens to a MetaMask wallet on Harmony Mainnet
The easiest way to get your ONE address is to view your MetaMask account using Harmony Explorer, which can be accessed conveniently from the MetaMask UI.
Clicking the View in Explorer link will whisk you away to Harmony Explorer, where you can click-to-copy your ONE wallet address.
Now we take that value and enter it into the exchange’s withdrawal screen, jump through the necessary confirmation hoops, and seconds later, our funds are visible in MetaMask.
2. Swap for some 1ETH
To add liquidity to Venomswap’s pool, we need to provide equal amounts of two tokens. I want to contribute to the 1ETH pool, so I’ll convert half of my ONE tokens to 1ETH. Browse to https://viper.exchange and connect your wallet (make sure you have the Harmony Mainnet network selected).
$30 bought me 265 ONE tokens, so I’ll convert half of them to 1ETH on the Viperswap Swap page.
3. Add liquidity
After just a few seconds, the swap should complete, and you’re ready to switch to the Pool tab to add liquidity. Select the pair you’d like to provide and specify the amount. I have less 1ETH available, so I click the MAX button next to 1ETH to contribute the maximum amount. (I had trace amounts of additional 1ETH in my wallet, so I’m adding a little more than was shown previously in the swap screenshot above.)
4. Stake the LP token
Our final step is to stake the liquidity tokens we received for contributing to the ONE-1ETH pool. We do this by selecting the Staking tab and clicking the Deposit button.
As soon as the staking transaction is complete, you can watch your rewards begin to accumulate in real-time. For example, my $30 has earned 1.5 VIPER (about $0.30) since I’ve been writing this article.
It’s worth noting that rewards are boosted by the VenomDAO team for these first few weeks of launch, and 95% of rewards will be locked until the end of 2021, at which point they’ll gradually unlock over the course of 2022.
Still, Viperswap has been incredible, and I’m happy to sit on my VIPER tokens for these next 20 months. Since my last article, VenomDAO has hinted that a similar project will launch on Binance Smart Chain, and I’ve also seen VIPER appear as an untracked project on CoinMarketCap.
Harmony is so fast, and the transaction fees are so low. Viperswap really does a terrific job of showcasing both in addition to providing a tremendous earning opportunity during their first weeks of launch. I’m very excited to see what the future holds for both parties!
Ankr Staker shows rewards earned by displaying the current value of aETH in ETH. Similarly, SnowSwap’s liquidity pool displays the number of SNOW that have been earned. Each month, I’ll record the current prices of ETH and SNOW in USD, aETH value in ETH, and the total value of assets.
Txn fees (est) = ($200.00) Rewards = $ 81.78 -------------------------- Total ROI = ($118.22)
After 1 month, my net loss with estimated transaction fees is ($118.22), but most of the loss is due to the decrease in the value of ETH. In that regard, the SNOW I’ve earned offset some of the losses, but I’m still at a net loss due to transaction fees.
The combined ETH and SNOW staking rewards represent a 4.6% return in one month, which is more than I could’ve earned with other staking options, but SNOW is at a low point right now — we’ll see if it can turn it around next month!
I really fell in love with Harmony the first time I transferred ONE tokens. They boast 2-second finality and near-$0 fees, and it worked flawlessly as advertised.
Now that Viperswap is just getting started, I was pretty excited to try it out. Viperswap is forked from SushiSwap, which is forked from Uniswap, so you can easily think of it as “the Harmony Uniswap.”
Viperswap is very much in its infancy, and it doesn’t have all the coins you’d see with its ancestors. It wins massively, though: it’s fast and cheap! That makes it really easy — and fun — to experiment with.
In today’s article, I’m starting with just $20 in ONE, and we’ll head over to Viperswap and add funds to a liquidity pool and stake the resulting LP token for even greater rewards.
If you’d like to follow along at home, I started by buying $20 of Bitcoin Cash with my debit card and Uphold wallet, then sending the BCH to BinanceUS. (Why Bitcoin Cash? Find out here!) This was done to avoid lock periods with the funds and pay minimal fees. Once my funders were deposited, I swapped them to ONE, and that’s where our story begins.
Deposit ONE to your wallet
Viperswap works like many web3.0 applications. You connect your wallet and — boom! — you’re ready to go. So, to use Viperswap, we first need to move funds into a wallet.
I’m using the MetaMask browser extension. One hurdle to overcome is that you need a “one1” address to send your funds to. Getting the address is easy, but it’s a manual two-step process.
First, you need to add the Harmony Mainnet to your MetaMask account. This is done easily enough by following the instructions provided by Harmony here.
Once you’ve created the account, copy the “0x” address from MetaMask and head to the Harmony blockchain explorer. Search your 0x address, and you’ll find your one1 address. Not super hard, but not exactly intuitive, either.
With your one1 wallet address, you can withdraw your ONE tokens from BinanceUS just as you would any other token. When you do this, you’ll experience speed and low fees that will blow your mind, so hang on!
Once the transaction processes, you should immediately see funds in MetaMask. (Even though I was expecting it, I was still amazed by how fast it happens!)
We’ve got tokens, now let’s play with Viperswap. Viperswap has four main applications: Swap, Pool, Staking, and ViperPit. Today, I’m going to cover Swap, Pool, and Staking.
I want to earn some VIPER tokens, so I’ll contribute to the ONE-VIPER liquidity pool. This means I need to convert half of my ONE tokens to VIPER. (Author’s note: it turns out that some of my deposited funds with BinanceUS were still locked, so I’m doing the tutorial with just 200 ONE, or about $10.)
With my wallet connected, swapping tokens was a breeze. Just pick how many I want to swap and click Swap. It’s essentially $0 in fees and instant. In the blink of an eye, I have 28 VIPER.
Now let’s add some liquidity. Just click on the Pool tab, and click Add Liquidity button. I selected to provide VIPER tokens and used the MAX button to contribute my entire $10 to the pool.
After approving the transaction, you’re presented with another dialog that lets you know about the pool you’re contributing to. Not surprisingly, my $10 is good for less than 0.01%, but that’s okay — we’re here for the experience! Click the Supply button to supply funds to the liquidity pool.
In exchange for supplying liquidity, you receive LP (liquidity pool) tokens. My contribution was good for just shy of 53 ONE/VIPER LP tokens.
Finally, we can stake our LP tokens to earn more VIPER rewards. Go to the Staking tab, and click the Deposit button that corresponds to your LP token — in my case, the ONE-VIPER token.
You’ll once again receive a transaction approval box with details about what you’re doing. Go ahead and approve that. (Or don’t — it’s a free world.)
And for the final step, click the Deposit button.
That’s it! You’re done. You will immediately start earning rewards.
Viperswap is pretty amazing. In this story, I covered how to take just $10 in ONE, convert half of it to VIPER, add to the ONE-VIPER liquidity pool, and stake the resulting LP token.
The entire process took me about 15 minutes. That’s less than the time it took for the BCH transaction I mentioned at the beginning of the article to process.
The entire process, which took about 5 transactions, cost me less than a penny in fees. That includes withdrawing funds from the exchange, swapping half the tokens to VIPER, adding them to the liquidity pool, and staking the resulting LP token.
I’ve also been writing the article in real-time as I do this, and in the time it’s taken me to write the article — about 15 minutes — I’ve also earned 1 VIPER token.
How amazing is that!?
Everything I’ve experienced with Harmony is completely blowing my mind and re-writing my expectations for what cryptocurrency should be. I was exploring and experiencing Viperswap for the first time, right here, in real-time, and it destroyed all my expectations.
Great job, Harmony. Great job, Viperswap. I’m really looking forward to the future!
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.
Sign-up with Coinbase using a referral link to earn $10
Buy $200 of BTC from Coinbase (*required to earn the $10 reward)
Complete Coinbase quizzes to earn another $30 in rewards
Convert earnings to BTC
Sign-up with Celsius with referral code to earn $30
Transfer all BTC from Coinbase to Celsius; let sit for 30 days (*required to earn $30 reward)
Sign-up with Cake DeFi with referral code to earn $30
Transfer all BTC from Celsius to Cake DeFi
Convert half of BTC to DFI and add it all to BTC-DFI liquidity pool
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!
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!
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
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.
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!
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!