How to Earn 17,160% APR in 2 Minutes and 55 Seconds

A Viperswap ONE-1ETH liquidity pool tutorial

A Viperswap ONE-1ETH liquidity pool tutorial

Photo by Museums Victoria on Unsplash

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?

Source: VenomDAO on Twitter

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!

Source: stopwatch on my phone

I’ve purchased ONE from Binance US, and there’s where the journey begins. We only need to do four steps:

  1. Transfer ONE tokens to a MetaMask wallet on Harmony Mainnet
  2. Swap half of the ONE tokens to 1ETH
  3. Add liquidity
  4. Stake the resulting LP tokens

Ready? Let’s go!


1. Transfer to MetaMask wallet

The first thing you need to do is add Harmony Mainnet to your MetaMask wallet. It’s easy to do by adding a Custom RPC network to MetaMask and plugging in the correct values. Follow Harmony’s documentation for this here.

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.

Source: MetaMask

Clicking the View in Explorer link will whisk you away to Harmony Explorer, where you can click-to-copy your ONE wallet address.

Source: Harmony Explorer

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.

Source: Binance US — withdraw

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.

Source: Viperswap — Swap

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.)

Source: Venomswap — Pool

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.

Source: Viperswap — Staking

Conclusion

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.

Source: Viperswap — Staking

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!


This story was originally published on This Crypto Life on March 20, 2021.

ETH2 Staking Results (1 month)

Month-by-month tracking of ETH2 staking via Ankr & providing ETH2 liquidity with SnowSwap

Month-by-month tracking of ETH2 staking via Ankr & providing ETH2 liquidity with SnowSwap

Photo by Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash

I staked 1 ETH with Ankr Staker on February 17, 2021, and then added the resulting aETH token to an ETH2 liquidity pool at SnowSwap. Each month, I’ll publish a short summary of rewards earned and value over time.How to Stake ETH2 and Earn Double Rewards
A tour of Ankr Staker & liquidity provider SnowSwapmedium.com

Results

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.

|------------+-----------+-------+------------+------+-----------|
| DATE | ETH (USD) | aETH | SNOW (USD) | SNOW | Total |
|------------+-----------+-------+------------+------+-----------|
| 02-17-2021 | $1,851.14 | 1.00E | $0 | 0 | $1,851.14 |
| 03-17-2021 | $1,763.94 | 1.03E | $47.13 | 0.50 | $1,840.42 |
|------------+-----------+-------+------------+------+-----------|
Rewards:
0.03 ETH = $ 58.21
0.50 SNOW = $ 23.57
-------------------------
= $ 81.78
Txn fees (est) = ($200.00)
Rewards = $ 81.78
--------------------------
Total ROI = ($118.22)

Summary

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!


This story was originally published on Data Driven Investor on March 17, 2021.

I Just Blew My Own Mind Writing This Viperswap Tutorial

Fast, cheap, & profitable liquidity pools & staking on Harmony blockchain

Fast, cheap, & profitable liquidity pools & staking on Harmony blockchain

Photo by Austin Lowman on Unsplash

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.

Source: Harmony explorer

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!

Source: BinanceUS

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!)

Exploring Viperswap

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.)

Swap

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.

Source: Viperswap — Swap

Pool

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.

Source: Viperswap — 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.

Source: Viperswap — 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.

Source: Viperswap — Pool

Staking

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.)

Source: Viperswap — Staking

And for the final step, click the Deposit button.

Source: Viperswap — Staking

That’s it! You’re done. You will immediately start earning rewards.

Source: Viperswap — Staking

Conclusion

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.

Source: Viperswap — Staking

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!


This story was originally published on This Crypto Life on March 13, 2021.

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.

“Binance Announces New Browser That Earns BNB”

Photo by Tandem X Visuals on Unsplash

The browser + token + wallet + DEX quadruple-threat

A chromium-based web browser that lets you earn BNB by simply using the internet like you always have. You get all the same extensions & functionality that you know & love from Google Chrome, but now you’re also earning BNB.

Binance introduced BNB as a native token, and they incentivize its use by offering reduced fees when you pay using BNB. Using the Binance browser would be a no-brainer, right?

I’ve got bad news: the Binance browser doesn’t exist. (Yet.)

However, what if I told you “the next big exchange” was just getting started, and its token will offer the same incentives as Binance offers for BNB on its platform — and you can buy this token today for, say, $0.50?

And what if I told you this new exchange already has a browser that you can use to earn its magical native token?

That’s exactly what the folks at Brave are attempting to do with their 2.0 roadmap.


The Brave 2.0 Roadmap

In the roadmap announced on February 22, 2021, Brave lists the Brave DEX Aggregator — “DeFi for everyone” — as a key objective.

Brave will bring DeFi to everyone through a new decentralized exchange aggregator to enable token swaps with distinct advantages and added value for Brave/BAT users, including:
 • Discounts when utilizing BAT for paying transaction fees.
 • Discounts for users that hold BAT balances in their wallet.
 • Multi-chain support with many assets and blockchains.

Replace BAT with BNB, and it starts to sound an awful lot like Binance’s value proposition, doesn’t it?

Except, Binance doesn’t have a browser. And they don’t have a mechanism to deliver their token to millions of daily users for free. And they don’t have a way to use their token to tip websites and content providers in popular corners of the internet like Twitter and Reddit.

All Binance has is an established centralized exchange and limited-time advantage in the dApps ecosystem with Binance Smart Chain (BCS).


What If

It’s certainly a tall order but consider the possibilities. Think if you could go back in time and buy BNB for $0.50. I’m not suggesting that BAT is en route to USD 300, and I’m not suggesting a 10–100x spike in the next 6 months, but think about what they’re doing.

They already have a browser. They already have an established token.

As cryptocurrency and web3.0 starts to take off, the community needs to address things like Average Joe’s ability to connect a wallet to a website. The user will need to understand how to buy & trade tokens and interact with this new world.

Brave’s creating a new wallet and DEX that, coupled with incentives for using tokens earned for free just from using their Chrome-based browser, will surely become the default experience for the sea of lay users.

It’s a bold prediction, but Brave’s 2.0 roadmap is a step toward becoming the default gateway to cryptocurrency and the next generation of the internet. It’s an ambitious goal, to be sure, but it’s hard not to ask: what if they pull it off?


I’m looking for feedback! What do you think of the Brave 2.0 roadmap and my claim of their potential? Are we staring at a 100x opportunity, or will BAT continue to underwhelm? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below!


This article was originally published on read.cash on March 2, 2021.

How to Stake ETH2 and Earn Double Rewards

Featured image by QuoteInspector

A tour of Ankr Staker & liquidity provider SnowSwap

There are a lot of really cool dApps on Ethereum right now. The problem with Ethereum, though — as everybody knows — is the fees associated with its current proof-of-work validation. And that’s the promise of Ethereum 2.0: that the move to proof-of-stake will speed everything up and reduce fees.

Given my excitement for Ethereum 1.0, I was eager to get involved with 2.0. Unfortunately, staking ETH2 requires 32 ETH — and I had more like one.

There’s a solution for that, too! Staking pools! Today, I’ll share my experience with staking ETH2 and using the wrapped token to gain bonus rewards while my ETH assets are frozen.

Usual disclaimers apply. I’m a hobbyist. None of this is advice. Do your own research, and don’t gamble with what you can’t afford to lose.


Staking with Ankr

There are few ETH2 staking options available, but the first one I learned about was Ankr. Ankr Staker allows you to stake ETH2 with as little as 0.5 ETH. When you stake, you will exchange your ETH for an equal amount of Ankr’s wrapped token, aETH.

The cool thing about aETH is that it represents your ETH investment plus earned rewards.

When I joined, I staked 1 ETH and received 0.99 aETH. This was a little confusing to me at first, but it made sense after a week or so — I could see that 1 aETH was now worth 1.01 ETH, and after another week, it had grown to 1.03 ETH.

That’s pretty cool. My 1 ETH is frozen until the launch of Ethereum 2.0, but I can watch the value grow by checking in with Ankr.

What’s cooler is that even though I’m staked with ETH2 and my assets are frozen, I still have the wrapped token to play with!


Cool? Frozen? Let’s talk about SnowSwap!

I learned about SnowSwap from Ankr’s article on Medium, Stake aETH with our new partner SnowSwap. Well, that sounds just about perfect, right?

SnowSwap’s eth2SNOW liquidity pool solves two problems. First, it eliminates the ETH entry requirement for anybody interested in staking ETH2. You can trade for whatever fraction of an aETH you’d like, and any aETH you obtain can later be exchanged for the corresponding percentage of staked ETH plus rewards.

The second problem it solves is that it allows people who have staked their ETH to earn rewards immediately by serving as liquidity providers. Providing liquidity to the eth2SNOW pool offers a high APY, currently around 24%. Rewards are paid in SnowSwap’s native token, SNOW, so the profitability of rewards is tied to that.

Sound good? Let’s set it up!

First, you need to withdraw your aETH tokens from Ankr at the site above: eth2.ankr.com. Now head to SnowSwap and connect your wallet. Providing liquidity is a two-step process. First, exchange aETH for the LP token, eth2SNOW. Then, stake the eth2SNOW to begin earning rewards.

SNOW tokens have seen a lot of volatility in the past week — like just about all cryptocurrencies — and are currently worth about $46 each. The screenshot above is after just 10 days. At the presumably-budget-rate of $46, this still represents a $302 gain for the year. SNOW has been as high as $150 in the past month, though, so the final value earnings after a year could easily be 3x or more.

It’s also worth noting that SnowSwap is in its infancy and still running a beta version. I think this bodes well for its future, though, and I’ve seen estimates for SNOW as high as $700-$1500. The investment has the potential to be quite lucrative for the “frozen” ETH!


Conclusion

Using Ankr’s staking pool is a great way to start earning ETH2 rewards today, even though the rewards won’t be accessible until Ethereum 2 launches in 1 or more years. The wrapped token they return in exchange gives a distinct advantage, though, allowing you to provide liquidity and effectively earn double-rewards while you wait.

The gas fees to retrieve aETH, exchange for SnowSwap’s LP token, and stake the LP token were annoyingly high. It probably cost me $100 to do it all, but now that the resources are parked and earning, I feel pretty good about it.

Ethereum’s hurting right now because of its fees leading to an exodus to other chains like Binance Smart Chain, but they have a big lead on the rest of the pack. The competition will certainly chip away at it, but if Ethereum 2.0 can deliver on its promises before it’s too late, it’s going to see tremendous growth in value.

The pieces are in place, and now we wait and double-earn rewards along the way!


I’m looking for feedback! Are you excited about Ethereum 2.0? Have you staked elsewhere, or have you found a better use for a wrapped token? Leave a comment and let me know!


This article was originally published on read.cash on February 28, 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.