This may seem a tad outrageous, but I sincerely wish I could give all of my Math students $20 worth of cryptocurrency to trade. I’d do it out of my own pocket. It can’t happen for a lot of reasons
some of which would likely get me fired, but I can tell you that never in my life have I personally been so immersed in math and its practical application. Graphing, unit conversion, percentages, and more all wrapped up in minute-by-minute 24-hour adrenaline – it’s all there.
I tend to go from passion-project to passion-project (usually in 7-year cycles). Well, as many of you know
because I won’t shut up about it, I recently fell down a rabbit-hole into the world of block-chain, bitcoin, and cryptocurrency. On a vacation in Las Vegas this past November, I got a bee in my bonnet about adding a little Bitcoin to our family resources… a kind of “modern gold;” a just-in-case-someone-launches-a-nuke kind of due diligence emergency stash. I plan to post about the specifics of my journey at a later date. In the meantime, I’m posting links to a few resources I have learned from, value, and use so I can point my friends here when they have questions. Disclaimer: These are part of my own personal journey – what I have watched and used. In no way, shape, or form should this material be construed as financial advice. About the only advice I’ll give is this: Imagine any money you plan to invest being stolen, shredded and set on fire by dancing raccoons wearing tutus and leather helmets. If your first reaction wouldn’t be to laugh and post the scene on Instagram, you are probably putting too much money into cryptocurrency. Because the dancing raccoons – or worse – are out there. More on that another time.
RESOURCES (LAST UPDATED 2018/4/25)
- Ever wonder how Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) actually work? – A great, albeit longish, video.
- Blockchain Expert Explains One Concept in 5 Levels of Difficulty | WIRED – A description of the important underlying technology beneath Bitcoin. Important: Bitcoin used a blockchain, but blockchain is the same as bitcoin.
- Taxes: What you should know about digital currency
The most straightforward,
relatively stress-free way to acquire any cryptocurrency is from a trusted friend, assuming they have the currency you want. After all, digital currencies are designed for this kind of transaction. All you need is a “wallet” deposit address and you can receive currency peer-to-peer. As the fees for converting cryptocurrency into fiat currencies which is just a fancy name for the stuff you lose in the cushions of your couch tend to be quite high (3-10%), you will be doing each other a favour by trading this way.
However, there are sites for turning fiat currency into cryptocurrency:
- START HERE -> Coinsquare – The path of least resistance for Canadians to buy/trade key cryptocurrencies. I have yet to test taking money back out yet though. [My referal code is 729543A8C. Depending on the promotion running, this may get you cash back on your first deposit of $100 or more.] Also has an app that works using touch ID on my iPhone for security.
- Coinmama – I used this site to buy my first Bitcoin via credit card
until the credit card company decided that was a bad idea. UK based. Invasive amount of personal info required to sign up, but it worked.
- CanadianBitcoins – Based in Ottawa. I’ve used this site to take money from my bank account and turn it into bitcoin. More importantly, I’ve used this site to turn bitcoin back into Canadian dollars in my chequing account.
- Coinbase – This is reportedly a good site for my US friends. That said, it looks like Canadians using the site will me on Uncle Sam’s IRS radar, so I’m not sure you want to sign up there. That said, by all reports reputable.
For more information, check out: https://www.buybitcoinworldwide.com/. And before you ask, no, you do not have to buy an entire coin. Most cryptocurrencies are divisible
like actual dollars that breed those dimes you find in the dryer.
Where I trade
Just like regular money (aka fiat currency), you can trade between one currency and another. Exchanges facilitate this process, allowing people to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others for any number of other cryptocurrencies.
- Binance – This is a great exchange based in China for trading in the lesser known cryptocurrency. Think penny stocks. Do yourself a favour and buy some BNB cryptocurrency when you start using this site. It will help cut your trading fees by 50%. [Referal code: 11788815]
- Kucoin – A binance look-alike. Several harder to get alt-coins & NEO pair trading here. (Invitation code: 2KRfe) Note: Owning >6 KuShares (KCS – the in-house cryptocurrency) gives owners a tiny fraction of every transaction fee charged in the currency traded. Translation: I am collecting pennies worth (aka Dust) of dozens of cryptocurrencies simply because I own a few KuCoins on this site. If volume on the site ever gets really large, this could be very interesting. For now, it is more a fascination than a wise investment.
- Cobinhood – The self-proclaimed “World’s First ZERO Trading Fees Cryptocurrency Exchange” makes money underwriting ICOs. As a side-effect, this exchange is often the first place new cryptocurrencies show up.
Where I am testing trading
- Cryptopia – Based in New Zealand. A very rich feature set.
Where I mine
It isn’t profitable for an individual to “mine” for bitcoin anymore, but there is a way around that – cloud mining. You essentially lease a portion of a much larger mining operation. I used some of my profits from trading to get into mining and so far these mining operations appear legit. (In the past, many mining operations have turned out to be Ponzi schemes).
- HashFlare – This site allows you to buy portions of their contracts with other mining operations. I have been mining for a while now. As of 20180224, the maintenance fees on BTC have been brutal. If BTC stays above $7K, mining can be profitable (especially when banks only offer 2% on savings), but not as profitable as it first seems as the numbers quoted are typically gross revenue before maintenance fees). [Referal code:9FAB3455] [Update 20180426: Hashflare recently ran a promotion with greatly reduced rates and reduced the minimum withdrawal amount. As a result, they are currently sold out.]
- Genesis Mining – This company actually does most (all?) of its own mining. Sadly, most contracts for the major currencies sell out quickly. (You can use my affiliate code is jOYcAt to get a 3% discount). Modest returns. The user interface and reporting features need improvement.
- Ice Rock Mining ICO –
Ever had the desire to throw your money down a hole in Kazakhstan?This is a super-high risk investment, but the prospect of a lifetime revenue stream is compelling. This opportunity is unique in that your initial investment will come back to you as (eventually) tradeable tokens and any mining revenue will be on top of that. I couldn’t resist putting a toe in the water here even though the “if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is” bells are going off like crazy. Note: Their profit calculations seem off, so don’t buy based on the projections given. But even a little bitcoin a month could really add up over years if the company can stay in business and their business model seems sustainable. That said. Hole. Ground. Kazakhstan!
- Miner One ICO – Similar to the Ice Rock Mining’s ROCK 2 token described above except this mining operation is in Sweden. I haven’t invested here yet, but likely will soon to diversify my mining efforts.
Apps I use
- Drakdoo – Cryptocurrency graphs, charts, and alerts on your phone. Used daily.
- Crypto Pro: Bitcoin Ticker – My current phone fidget
finally dethroning Clash Royale. I use it to give me a minute-by-minute estimate of each of my cryptocurrency portfolios and an overall total. Apple Watch friendly.
- Binance App – Android only. The app for the trading site I use.
My “sit on the couch and trade while watching Dancing with the Stars” tool.
- Jaxx – My first phone based Bitcoin/cryptocurrency wallet. Functional but likely not the best choice anymore because of high transaction fees.
The hardware wallet I use
- Ledger Nano S – With any luck you will profit from being into cryptocurrency which increases your risk of losing your money. “Cold storage” using an offline device is a way to lessen the risk.
- Tradingview – Charts and tools. I am currently trying out the pro version. Enjoy being able to visually place alerts.
- Cryptocurrency Market Capitalizations – Information and charts about almost all of the cryptocurrencies out there.
- Bitcoin Hashrate Distribution – Who’s has actually mined BTC in the last few hours. A useful tool for setting pool allocations on Hashflare.
- BitcoinTaxes – I recently discovered this tool for calculating capital gains taxes on trades. I am not an accountant, so I have no way of knowing if the calculations it is doing are legit for Canada, but it looks like they are.
At the very least it should make me look like I at least tried when the inevitable audit happens.[Referal Code: p4nYs3Wy] Warning: It is possible to set up automatic updates, but it requires giving out your exchange secret keys to do this. I’m super uncomfortable doing this (at least without more research), so have chosen to import excel documents of the trades I’ve made on binance instead.
Haejin Lee is very influential. Even if you don’t believe anything about his techniques, others do. Follow his twitter account here.
- When to Buy and When to Sell using Elliott Waves
- An Effective Buying & Selling Strategy: Laddering; A Tutorial on to Cast a Ladder
There is a ton more to add, so bookmark this page. I’ll add to it as I learn.
Is there something I missed? If so, please leave a comment below.
Full disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links that will benefit me if you use them on your own personal journey (mostly when you sign up for things). However, this was not the reason they were included. This page represents a collection of links that have been useful to me.