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 2018/1/6)
- 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:
- 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.
- Coinsquare – A new discovery. In my limited experience, the path of least resistance for Canadians to buy cryptocurrency. I have yet to test taking money back out yet though. [My referal code is 729543A8C. Depending on the promotion running, that may get you a discount on fees.]
- 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 you people to turn Bitcoin into Ethereum into any number of other cryptocurrencies.
- Binance – This is a great site 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%.
Where I am testing trading
2018/1/12 – Binance is currently closed to new registrations, so I am trying out other exchanges. If you are not able to get into Binance, these may be possible alternatives.
- Cryptopia – Based in New Zealand. A very rich feature set.
- Kucoin – A binance look-alike. Several harder to get alt-coins & NEO pair trading here. I’ll be moving my RaiBlock coins here to test it. (Invitation code: 2KRfe)
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.
- HashFlare – This site allows you to buy portions of their contracts with other mining operations.
- 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)
Apps I use
- Jaxx – My first Bitcoin/cryptocurrency wallet. Functional but likely not the best choice anymore.
- 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.
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.
- Cryptocurrency Market Capitalizations – Information and charts about almost all of the cryptocurrencies out there.
- Tradingview – Charts and tools. I am currently trying out the pro version. Enjoy being able to visually place alerts.
- Bitcoin Hashrate Distribution – Who’s has actually mined BTC in the last few hours. A useful tool for setting pool allocations on Hashflare.
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.