A U.S. Day Trader's Wish List: Will The Big Bad Bankers Listen?

By BitcoinGordon | BitcoinGordon | 31 Mar 2021

Crypto Gordon Freeman here. Since briefly setting aside my crowbar, I've managed to spend more than a little time learning about this crazy thing called cryptocurrency. Apparently, a bunch of computers get plugged in to a network and validate ledger entries, and out pops a new financial system. Sweet Mesa Madness! Also apparent; being an imaginary character with futuristic physics mad skillz, I seem to have a little bit 'o' a knack for this day trading thing. Technical Indicators, follow the news, be ridiculous on Crypto Twitter... I get it. Much safer than a zombie apocalypse. But, even several years into the revolution, the U.S. financial sector seems intent on playing their hand wrong... again... again again, and it's just plain annoying.

Let me break a little bit of this down. The world competes with the rest of the world.

Every country does it, and cultural centuries, dynasties, kingdoms, oligarchs, tyrants and dictators all leave their trail of perspective for which the rest of us to bear the weight. Japan, S. Korea and a few others, for instance, have gone from periods of extreme elitism and post-war poverty into massive boosts of ingenuity, determination and dominance in certain fields. Russia tends to be tech-savvy, but has never fully tossed aside the bravado and posturing of the cold war days, and spies and intrigue are just as real today as they were pre-internet on the U.S. and Russian fronts alike, though it is more of a silly 3D chess game today played through the media. China mainland exerts power from the top, while some of the most important innovation truly takes part in pseudo-independent territories off its coast, playing cat and mouse to keep band-aids on the global tech industry. Silicon Valley is practically a country unto itself, where U.S. fights to catch up with a balance of weak-minded politics from both sides of the aisle (choose your favorite flavor of stupid, there's something for everyone), where a very-dumbed down version of 1950's politics fights to remain relevant in a true technological renaissance that, to be honest, is to a point of needing clever minds to reign it in. There's little chance of proper actions on either side.

That's a very short top-down-view that plants enough controversy for the next 100 years, but Gordon isn't interested in getting in the trenches with that noise- just laying some groundwork.

Now, for the crypto-centric points. I not only day trade, but sometimes I actually LIKE day trading. I set goals and often I hit the mark. I can speak from the front-lines in a war against time and access, that it is NOT fun being a good crypto-trader from the U.S. In fact, it's downright embarrassing. A few years ago, the best way to get into crypto was joining a bank to CoinBase, in which case the instructions on the CB site literally tell you to get a rep on the phone and beg them not to 'protect' you from a potential scammer. You run a few circles of having them blacklist your CB account, get it approved, get it blocked again, and finally your bank, or in some cases your credit card, finally allows you the permission to do what you would like to do with your own money. In order to trade 'safely' on a 'legit' exchange, you either have to open an account in an American exchange almost guaranteed to be 1/30th of the volume of superior-programmed Asian platforms (that mostly pretend to be Maltese lol) at 300% higher trading fees, or risk dancing the no-KYC wars with foreign exchanges that do 2 important things: 1) block U.S. IP's and/or 2) have a running blacklist of top-tier VPN IP's including the best onion routers. 

A very short recap to 2020, one of the worst years of my life, to invite a redux article soon. I found a site with volume, street cred, and very low fees, traded well for several weeks, hired someone to custom make me a trading bot designed to help me speed up the limit sell orders. Not even 2 weeks into testing and using my bot, the platform essentially stole everyone's funds, made a cover-up story etc. I got deeply involved with the Chinese press and recovered my funds. 11,000 or more others were not so fortunate. I scoured the dregs of search engines for another site, got to know their team, and traded effectively on a second Asian site, and unfortunately I traded too well, and they accused me of manipulating the market, and forced me to give up my profit to get my principal off the exchange. A horrible time, huge amount of work and thank the Lord initial funds still secure, but now we're in a pandemic supposedly, and funds are drying up. Gordon did not make any royalties from the games of his zombie killing days, so his bags aren't huge yet. He's taking massive risks day trading, and every SAT counts. Scoured the internet again, found one last remaining Asian exchange with good cred, decent volume (albeit a lousy time covering up that they aggregate from Binance and have massive volume blackouts when trying to handle their own OTC orders) and again low fees. Around the time that Ether was rising to $370 I had taken my same initial stash and traded up to roughly one ETH in profits, they went into an unannounced site maintenance, and created a bug that stole exactly 1 ETH size funds in my wallet. Their system didn't even have an accurate way to show the false deficit. At this point, Gordon's feeling a sense of desperation, wondering if it is even worth the fact he is good at this stuff. He argues with every available child running admin help and finally has to literally recharge the account with enough funds to release the stolen funds stuck in their computer glitch to get my money off their ridiculous exchange. No, it was not the typical Telgram scam, but it was unbelievably ironic that it was so eerily similar how they handled the mess. Since Binance bought CMC and created the transparency on volume, I was happy to see their $1B volume shrink to $23M max, because honestly they deserve it. But, they still operate today!

Yes that is the short version. I always weigh safety in with fees, volume, support and liquidity, but at this stage, security, honesty, reliability were at the top of my list. I've adjusted my trading strategy a gazillion times to operate according to how an exchange works best (see my last post on how exchange rules affect your trading system). I can do it again. I talked with support at numerous U.S. exchanges. The 'no fees' exchanges for the most part are taking profits on the spread, which means the actual fee is paid in getting a bad market value on the coin, and you could be overpaying 1-7% on a trade which is insanity, but for me it meant limit orders that simply could not clear at the proper price. Platforms like Kraken and Gemini honestly are not that bad, but for my fast-paced low-profit trading model that earns the fastest and most efficiently, I still do not trade enough volume to get the fees where it earns me what my time is worth. So, I look to traditional stonk platforms like Fidelity, TD et al. As you now know, all of these large investment institutions and their backers are solely focused on Institutional clients and whales. There is quite the insider's club forming in crypto much like the regular world of finance. They are making the case for the very stereotype that makes the world hate our government and our banks. It is sad.

There are two important things I want to push with the background in this post. The first, is that I firmly believe this entire crypto industry is better off with ZERO regulation, which would actually allow the better side of a free market concept to ooze into the consciousness of countries that have a history of trying to micro-manage finance for their citizens, which is why crypto has become popular for the downtrodden to begin with! Trust me, if anyone has the right to an opinion on whether KYC/AML and all the SEC crap does anybody any good, it would be me. I knew better than to think that ANY government foreign or domestic was going to step in to help me, or the thousands of other traders who were scammed on one platform or another, and the few times anything does lead to success in sending a bad player to jail or recovering funds, it is years after the victims even sense the relevance. What works is getting online communities involved, posting news stories, prayer and determination when someone does you wrong. I've helped foreigners who are strangers edit copy on their exchange websites, debug their crappy order books, fought the injustice of them stealing profits and I did it all without the help of the CIA, FBI, SEC, FATF, FinCen or any of the silly task forces who have probably never tried to send a single cryptocurrency to or from a wallet. Having gone through hell and back more than once, I firmly believe we ALL benefit from online ratings, strong communities, the open market deciding whether businesses treat their users well etc. For every platform that folds to global governance over KYC, there will be a smart 'anti-fascist' in their parent's basement hacking into the account and stealing customers' photo I.D.s and SS#'s. It protects nobody. The only tool it actually provides is for the governments to form a database, to set up a future of crony-based triple taxation making profit almost impossible through legitimate means. How likely is it that the criminal underworld is financing anything close to the bags as the crooks in politics?

There is absolutely no reason that platforms from Charles Schwabb, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade and others should only cater to top-tier elite clients, when the masses are looking for an entry point to crypto. In stonks, these platforms compete now by offering commission-free trading with world-class front-end UI's, dark pools, after hours, and amazing support, and yet they will not allow the 24/7 crypto trading cycle that now serves more volume than many first-world countries!

Here's the deal, and obviously this will end up being a separate blog post, but when something does happen; extortion, hacks, phishing scams, a report can be filed and events investigated. Those protections and systems are already in place, and those agencies must do their own due diligence to get their technology up to pace with the brilliant hackers who are always ten steps ahead. KYC is something that criminals do not subject themselves to. DUH! So, you only risk stolen identity for millions of honest users and this is widely known.

Having said ALL of this, KYC is what it requires for my stupid U.S. bank to hand shake with my U.S. based exchanges, so I can be granted the honor of trading my own money at my own risk. Non-KYC was never a concern of mine when I traded on Binance (who later CZ claimed it was never meant to allow U.S., while I find it laughable the number of times they knew my U.S. IP's and also had an American flag in the country drop-down that allowed you to select U.S. lol), nor was it a factor in opening a KuCoin, Bitrue and a few dozen other accounts. Only the scammers were scamming, and I won't trust those platforms again. In order to plant a firm footing in some place I can get my work done, I either need a foreign exchange with the guts to do things right, with a volume-tiered-fee structure that actually allows smaller circulation to earn points similar to whales, or I need the large U.S. entitiees to value my business to the same degree as those who already have their millions of dollars. Someday I will be a whale, and the world of exchange will be at my choosing, but for now, the challenge is getting there.

So, we're finally to my point. Hopefully you have enjoyed the journey getting here.

The U.S. financial district is, in fact, an insider's club of the very epitome of rich old men that people associate with an otherwise wonderful, crypto-aligned-idealistic land. We still embrace the ideals of brotherhood, freedom and justice, but dangit if the greed, deception and power-mongering at high levels doesn't make it hard for the rest of the world to know the better qualities of our citizens. Place us in the middle of strategic baiting the populous against itself in warring factions, and it is unclear if we will stand as a nation. Still, like I believe in my own efforts, I believe that others just like me deserve the right to try to earn our way to whale status of our own efforts. There is absolutely no reason that platforms from Charles Schwabb, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade and others should only cater to top-tier elite clients, when the masses are looking for an entry point to crypto. In stonks, these platforms compete now by offering commission-free trading with world-class front-end UI's, dark pools, after hours, and amazing support, and yet they will not allow the 24/7 crypto trading cycle that now serves more volume than many first-world countries!

PayPal lets you buy crypto. VISA will let you pay with crypto. Robinhood lets you pretend to buy crypto. Kraken's been around for ages, and the wonderful owners have gone through the times of literally having their U.S. banks freeze their accounts and sometimes seize their assets with zero grounds, in punishment for doing crypto, and now they are becoming the first full-force U.S. crypto bank! Amen to that! But, there are just these tiny tweaks to the process that IS available to retail trading, that guarantees we remain ever-so-slightly behind the rest of the world. We sit at the bottom of the stack with Iran and N. Korea in access, privacy, security and volume and liquidity, and for absolutely no reason other than greed. The institutions and angel-investor-round-backed start-ups will all get their hands on Bitcoin to HODL upwards to $250K per coin, and most likely only at that point, will we see truly near-zero maker fees and $1B+ daily volume on individual platforms.

It is something the Asian world takes for granted, much like they pretend not to allow certain regions access, while secretly enjoying raking in the massive fees generated. U.S., you are going to find that greed and jealously guarding your power at the top, does eventually make it easy for other countries to overtake you in the tech and crypto sector. It won't be pretty, and if for no other reason than the fact that other countries will suffer in their economic downturns as a result, the retail individual with hopes, dreams, ambition and talent, deserves better. Get yer freakin' rules off of our backs, open the doors and let us in. The HODLers, investors, and traders alike deserve the same access as institutions, and we promise to play fair, but you gotta let us in. We deserve to have the same low fees and instant real market value, not some hopped up invisible hiked up price on the spread that runs through the hands of brokers before we get our coins. Lets level the playing field and pretend our leaders still represent the citizens who have a love for freedom in their hearts!

And on that note, Crypto Gordon Freeman, the free man, fighting for freedom, with retail trading in his heart and mad gainz in his eyes... out.

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Hi! I'm Gordon Freeman (I hear they made a likeness of me in some video game... totally unrelated... or...).


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