Dumping knowledge while I have it for my future self.
Where to buy it: Binance.Us, but it takes a long time to get verified. Much better trading tools – can do limit trades, stop limits, etc. Coinbase.com, I was already verified there so it was easier to get back in. Only does Market price trades at least at my level, there’s a Pro thing as well. If you are international, Binance is a good place to go. CEO seems very honest. Many exchanges: https://coinmarketcap.com/rankings/exchanges/
Has it arrived: Yes, institutions and companies are getting into it, especially as Fiat currencies print money like crazy.
Why is it trustable: Its code, its decentralized, once the rules are set in place, they cannot be changed except by a truly majority vote of stake holders / miners (depending on your coin). Thus, it is not subject to the whims of a central authority to twiddle with the supply. Oh, and the code ensures stuff like money cannot be double spent, that once its done it cannot be un-done, etc. It does, however, require the Internet and electricity to function, so its not quite the same as Cash or Gold.
But isn’t it just made up? Yes, its as made up as the … German Papiermark or the US Dollar. There’s a consensus of human belief in its worth, and in that there is trust, and thus it exists.
How many people believe in it? 33 million or so right now, and now it includes folks like Square and PayPal and JP Morgan.
But there are so many of them? There are also many possible Social Networks, yet Facebook / Twitter seem to be “winning.” Somebody could clone Facebook, but unless you have the community buy in, you have not got anything. But you can have a cool set of features. But community may still not buy in. Similarly, the “winners” by Market Cap right now are these (coinmarketcap.com); they all have “features”:
Bitcoin = original, most widespread. Super fixed supply, which will yield a mad scramble as Demand picks up. Now super hard to mine. May get Smart Contracts soon?
Ethereum (ETH) = easier to mine (I can mine it on my GTX1070), but going to transition over to “staking” soon. Can do smart contracts where you put code in with the value. Many many other coins use Ethereum (2.0, not classic which is ETC) as their “backbone”.
After that, you’re starting to pick and choose. XRP was a big hitter, but there are .. lawsuits and problems there, at least in the US.
Where to learn more: I’d recommend these Youtube channels: https://www.youtube.com/c/CryptoDaily (very engaging entertaining host), or https://www.youtube.com/c/CoinBureau (much more bookish, slower pace of videos, but incredible research). There’s also Chicken Genius Singapore https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0OnreqP55xLpA6W5nzxb5Q who touches on it a bit, but more focuses on Not Being a Donkey.
I want to mine something with my hardware: https://whattomine.com/ choose your video card and exchange of choice. Right now ETH works. Costs me 40 cents a day (140W), earns about $2.30 a day (at current exchange). Basically, the CPU heats my attic office during winter, I don’t have to run a heater as much. Summer probably a no-go for me.
Dealing with Taxes: In the US, you get to report everything, and you really need to use software to calculate that. Expect to spend $100 per fiscal year on that software, unless all you do is stay on one Exchange, in which case they may have reports you can download. I personally use cointracking.info, its not the easiest to use, but it supports API pulls from Coinbase and Binance and Trezor, so I’m good with that.
Hardware Wallet: I got a Trezor; but reality, unless you get above say $10k in a exchange account, don’t bother. I no longer use my Trezor.
How to actually do Crypto: Don’t do what I did. Instead, Dollar cost average – a little bit per paycheck – into.. pick two or three that you think might be around long term. Do that for 3.5 years awaiting the Bitcoin Halfling .. https://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-halving-explainer – March 11 2024 .. and then think about exit strategies at that time, and the year or so after that. (Maybe – institutions may change the charts). Understand the Bitcoin / Altcoin pump cycle and “Altcoin Season” – https://medium.com/swlh/understanding-cryptocurrency-market-cycles-for-better-investments-c6cc4bc80099 – before you go putting money in Alt Coins. While your money is in Crypto, its not available for anything else unless you get a line of credit against it.
Next post may stay private, its about how I … screwed up, and lessons learned.