I only recently started purchasing and using crypto, and I figured I would put notes from my notebook for this journey. I keep a record of the accounts I have or that I wanted to use and some of the good and bad things that I noticed. I always do things the hard way, so, hopefully these notes help you avoid some of my mistakes:
Where to get cryptocurrency?
Okay, I started with Coinbase. A little research tells you this is not the best exchange This includes staking options, fees, and other overhead that cut into your ability to make some profit investing or staking. I generally still purchase through Coinbase only. Credit Card fees are expensive everywhere and I have yet to find someone else that I "trust" for my bank info.
Reasons I Chose Coinbase (pros):
1. I am in the United States and an American citizen. This seems to be our best option, as the KYC process for many other exchanges seems to disallow Americans (i.e., Poloniex). Yes, there are ways to get around this. I don't want to. If you have a method you use, I would love to hear about it in the comments.
2. Coinbase is simple and easy to use.
3. Coinbase allows zero fee payments into USDC.
4. Coinbase was known to me before I started this journey.
5. Staking Tezos and getting interest from USDC is easy.
But, the cons:
1. Coinbase does not have nearly as many coin options as other exchanges. I have interest in a lot of other crypto, but they aren't on Coinbase. Coinbase supports: BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, LTC, EOS, XTZ, XLM, LINK, USDC, ETC, DASH, MKR, ATOM, ZEC, BAT, ZRX, KNC, OMG, REP, DAI, and OXT.
2. There is a fee that is charged changing either USD or USDC to another cryptocurrency besides USDC. These fees seems expensive to me, and I do not have a good table of the rates, so I use Coinbase and at the "Review Purchase" point, I decide whether or not I want to make the purchase. The rates seem very bad for low dollar trades. After $100, the fees seem to be a percentage fee and not a flat rate. As far as I can tell, the flat rate structure is $0.99 from $1.99-$10.99, $1.49 from $11 to $26.49, $1.99 from $26.50 to $51.99, $2.99 from $52 to ~$200. After $200, the fee appear to be $2.99 + some percentage of the balance over $200. If you spend $51.99 you only get $50 of crypto. Crypto to crypto trades are free within the exchange (except USDC).
3. Coinbase has limited functionality and slow non-automated trading (stop/limits, etc.). Slow is probably not the correct term. I will say that I literally could not make a purchase or resell when the March 12 fiasco hit because Coinbase could not keep up. It happened so fast I could not capitalize on the selloff. With more functionality and automation, I could have made money.
4. Staking rates are pretty weak on Coinbase and staked coin is also limited. Coinbase stakes Tezos (low 5%) and USDC (1.25%). Atomic desktop wallet has better rates for staking Tezos (high 6%), and allows for staking Tron, Cosmos, Band Protocol, Ontology, Lomodo, NEO, ALgorand, Atomic Wallet Token, Vechain, and incorporates Tron Airdrops. I stake in Atomic now. (https://atomicwallet.io/)
5. Waiting days before you can move your money outside of Coinbase sucks. This is typical of exchanges, but it is annoying, especially when you want to buy into something right then and there.
So, looking for a better option, I found Coinbase Pro (https://pro.coinbase.com/) here is the information I have on that experience:
- Account is mostly set up based on your Coinbase Account.
- Transferring money from Coinbase to Coinbase Pro is feeless and is very quick compared to other transfers. I believe the transfer between wallets can occur during the Coinbase waiting period for your funds to clear.
- It is a different wallet, not just a different view of your Coinbase wallet.
- Coinbase Pro allows much more functional trading. If you are looking to trade based on fiat to crypto or crypto to crypto with a stop or limit order, this is much easier, and automated.
- However, staking goes away for you in Coinbase Pro. I did not see any information on this and was hoping to move my staked Tezos over to Pro and buy against the XTZ-BTC exchange if rates were reasonable. I found this out through an e-mail from the Coinbase staff. Coinbase addressed this issue quickly, but it was frustrating for me.
After about 2-3 months, I use Coinbase to purchase USDC, and then transfer the USDC to BlockFi, where it earns 8.6% interest instead of the Coinbase 1.25%.
BlockFi's current rates are here: https://blockfi.com/rates/
I use Coinbase as a holding or purchase point for crypto and have less than $10 USD equivalent there. I have accounts on Binance (https://www.binance.us) and Kucoin (https://www.kucoin.com) as well. Binance is to purchase BNB in order to buy AWC and stake in my Atomic Desktop Wallet. I have not used Kucoin yet, but plan to use the account to trade a couple more obscure cryptocurrencies.
Not every crypto asset I have is purchased. I was able to get some of the Coinbase Earn "classes" to work, and I use Brave Browsers for BAT. I also get Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash from phone games.
I do have a Ledger Nano S. I found it lacking in size to have enough different wallets, considering I am not bought in to only a few currencies. I plan to use it in the future and fully understand the pros of using a hardware wallet.
As always, a bunch of these sites have referral codes with benefits for both sides. If you are interested in that kind of thing:
Coinbase offers $10 in BTC to you and me if you purchase or sell $100 on Coinbase with this link: https://www.coinbase.com/join/lintel_k
BlockFi also offers $10 in BTC to you and me for referrals that deposit $100 into BlockFi with this code: https://blockfi.com/?ref=2c7797e6
Coinbase Earn also has referrals, but everyone I have forwarded the Earn referrals to says they are on the waitlist for referrals.
I always feel dirty after using these referral codes, but if my article made you use one of the two above items, please don't do as I did and pass up some additional money, you don't have to use my codes, but use someones. Additionally, Atomic Wallet has a code that is available through PublishOx that gives you an extra 5 AWC. The code is available on the payments portion of your account dashboard in a neat little ad. Be advised that the Atomic Wallet has requirements you must meet to get the full 15 AWC.
Apologize for the length, but I had a lot of notes and tried to break it down into meaningful chunks, but there is still a lot. I learned a lot in all of this. You learn a lot when you are an idiot, or stubborn, or both. I'm probably both. Thanks for reading.
More to follow...