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 2019/3/13)
- 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 -> Shakepay.co – This is currently the easiest way for Canadians to acquire cryptocurrency. The Shakepay app is available via the Apple App store (and Google Play?). I have successfully sent money to and from the platform to my big 5 Canadian bank account via e-mail transfer. Typically, the transfers show up quite quickly. Fees are fairly reasonable when compared to other options. [My referral code is QBMBNGR. If you deposit $100 or more with the code, the current promotion rewards you with $10.]
- Coinsquare – Another hassle-free way to buy your first cryptocurrency. That said, deposit/hold times are longer than with Shakepay. Includes simple trading. There is a Coinsquare app that works using touch ID on my iPhone for security. [My referral code is Fe2Xr.]
- 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.
- Crex24 – This is a small exchange, based in Crete, that is home to many of the lesser known POS coins I trade.
- Crypto-bridge.org – This is a not-for-beginners distributed exchange. Another important exchange for lesser known tokens.
- HitBTC – A few unique coins here. Notoriously difficult to withdraw coins, but I have done it. The trick is to be patient and to whitelist your withdrawal addresses. There are built in delays setting this up.
- 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.
- Cryptopia – Based in New Zealand. A very good source for low market cap coins. ** NOTE: This exchange was recently hacked and they are rebuilding. Ironically, the systematic way that they are tackling this has actually increased my confidence in the intentions of this site. **
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). That said, in this bear market, mining isn’t terribly profitable.
- 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 was a super-high risk investment, but the prospect of a lifetime revenue stream is compelling. This opportunity is unique in that you hold your initial investment in ROCK2 tokens much like shares. Mining revenue is paid out monthly to wallets holding th token through a somewhat complicated process and I have received payouts even during this bear market. 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. 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. This mining operation has yet to generate any real revenue for me.
Proof of Stake Pool
Many crytpocurrencies offer rewards to users who hold a minimum number of locked up tokens. The process tends to be a tad complicated, and more importantly, cit can be expensive to own the entire amount required. There are several sites that allow you to own a share of this larger amount and split the profits with the other owners.
- Simple POS Pool – Hands down the easiest staking pool I have tried. Simply deposit funds and you are off to the races.
Apps I use
- Drakdoo – Cryptocurrency graphs, charts, and alerts on your phone. Used daily.
- Coin Stats – 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.
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.
- Shrimpy.io – This site is an excellent “set-it-and-forget-it” site for automatically trading the assets in your portfolio to maintain a certain percentage value of each coin. Includes dedicated tools for asset allocation, rebalancing, and backtesting. The best thing is that the basic service is currently free. Highly recommended, especially for inactive traders.
- 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 – A 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.