I first hear about Bitcoin when a nerdy and in-touch-w-techy roommate starts mining. He had set up a few thumb drive rigs and it just seemed like this novel internet money nerd hobby. Neat, crazy, sounds complex. "How is that worth it if it's fractions of a penny and there's no way to cash it or buy anything?"
Over the years I had heard very little about Bitcoin or crypto other than its peaking price cycles. Wow, Bitcoin worth $100 now instead of fractions of a penny? That's interesting. Neat, nerdy, complex. I have a small curiosity begin to itch about mining with thumb drives run on small solar power rigs, but I fail to scratch hard enough to break the no-coiner skin of ignorance. The seeds for regrets later are plated firmly.
I forget what the price was or the approximate timing, maybe bitcoin was 3-4k or 10k, doesn't really matter. I heard about Ethereum, which I think was $75 at a peak at the time (that or it was 75 cents lol whatever). I break the skin a little bit more, it had my limted attention. Maybe I could mine Ethereum, which was was pretty much a new Bitcoin and I wouldn't have to miss out. I researched asics and power costs, solar panels, efficiency, payout etc. Realize the ROI was about 6-12 months depending on the market, but was heavily deterred by the then-used market for asics (which was over priced at the time in the middle of the bull run) going for like $5k a piece. Amazing, nerdy, complex, expensive.
I also went so far as to attempt to set up an account with Kraken, but the photo quality on my kyc wasn't good enough with my phone or laptop and the whole process seemed shady af. Normally for security you DON'T want to send off your credentials and ID somewhere, especially overseas. Had I known or been able to find out that was basically a required form of regulation and not a shady practice (lets be real, it is shady that it's regulated that way and is required, but I digress), I came very close to starting my crypto career but gave up. Why is this so hard? Why can't I just buy crypto? Oh well, whatever, there's not that much money in it anyway...
From there it would bounce off my mind from time to time and I'd see news about prices occasionally. Interesting, neat, complex, I don't know much about it at all, but I'm "glad it exists," with no foresight into where things could go one day (I think the entire pre-2021 and especilly pre-2017 crypto market suffered this to some degree, shock and surprise to how far it's gone and where it still stands to go. Not even Vitalik and Ethereum devs were able to design and program for how successful its been). My old roommate sells his holdings around 3k at some point, cashes in enough for a hefty down payment on his house, he doesn't see it going any higher (he must've stopped doing dyor, ha!)
I keep hearing about crypto, it's buzzing, trending etc. Paypal launches the worst ever crypto exchange service and me, a no-coiner, already having a paypal account, I'm like hey, a product and company I can feel confident at least for using. I buy bitcoin and derp about it and sort of forget, trying to swing trade here or there. I sort of sit on it and forget about it. Neat, I have crypto now. Now what? I can move on with my life because it will go up and I don't have to do anything (a viable strategy in a way, but sheesh, it wasn't 2010).
Crypto is trending like super dang. Crypto.com, Coinbase, and Gemini ads are popping up on my youtube, and the itch finally bites harder, when I notice and reflect on the fact that my corner store had installed a crypto atm machine at some point within the past year. Okay, for real, wtf is going on with all this? It must be gaining market share and something is happening, let me start looking into it more. Point and shoot, flip a coin, whatever, I forgot how I decided it, I went with Coinbase. Start an account, kyc, learn and earn etc. Touching base with a friend he's also jumped onto Coinbase, I help him with all the info I'm learning. What's a wallet? It's some sort of scam! Then come to find out "real" crypto considers the custodial and centralized exchanges insecure and scams! Neat, complex, interesting. Meanwhile I'm using Paypal still. Little do I know that I've got the two worst apps for crypto fees lol, now I know, and now you know too hopefully! I put everything into crypto and start trying to spot trade and notice crypto going down, and down, and down. Is this a scam!? It must be. No, I don't now that for sure, I need to find out more. Certainly I can trade out of it, Wallstreets a bunch of aholes and idiots, how hard could it be? Get rekt newb! Hahaha
I'm licking my wounds from the media and hashtag trending fomo effect and start to research coins on Coinbase. Compound. Get interest rates. Wow, 5-10%? How, where do I sign up? Oh, I need a wallet? Why doesn't Coinbase do this? Oh, wow, Coinbase's fees suck compared to crypto.com. Coinbase is screwing everyone! What is wallet? Wow, look at all these coins and tokens, this is amazing, look at everything they do and plan on doing. Begin the perpetual mind blowing machine where I'm learning more and more everyday and begin becoming very conscious of where crypto is going. Could it possibly sink banks or overtake them, could it rewrite fiscal policy or priorities for politics, perhaps even change political borders? Could it absorb and become and increase 1/5th of the global economy? 1/3rd, 1/2? Will bitcoin be $1m by 2030 and possibly as high as $12m by 2036? Strap up, we're headed for the moon no-coin heads.
In diving down the rabbit hole and learning several nuanced things, Harvest Finance is added to Coinbase. Wow, hyper interest rates, interesting. How do I do it? It's so abstract, let me just do it. So I take my trusty coinbase wallet, go to harvest finance, follow the instructions. I go to uniswap, prepared to spend $100 to learn. I get about $30 of each token and pair them up on Uni liquidity, at a gas fee of $40 yikes, then strap the LP to harvest finance. It's never been cheaper to transact on Ethereum since lol. Whatever, price of learning.
Gas fees gas fees gas fees. So I can't do anything in "real" crypto. This is some sort of scam! No, I just don't know enough, let me keep looking. I find out about Polygon, it takes me weeks of revisiting instructions and to make sense of adding a metamask to polygon, and more importantly, to bridge assets without an ethereum fee. Coinbase is "soon" adding polygon interoperability (haven't checked in a while, have they yet?) Eureka! Hotbit exchange has a built in bride or cross train function, you can select ERC20 Polygon-Matic, or Polygon-Matic. Let's roll.
I branch out on the youtubes and find out how massive crypto is becoming and where it's going. I enter a process of learning that honestly hasn't stopped, though it's slowed. I begin to call crypto "a perpetual mind blowing machine," and entice my dad, and 4 friends, 3 of whom I helped realize several thousands of dollars in profit last year (one ended up with loses though!)
I find a youtuber in Singapore with a trading group. One of his members jokes about using "degens" for quick money (probably all they're good for) and mentions the risks that didn't clearly register to me. I'm busy thinking everything is a possible rugpull or hacker trying to access my wallet, but there are other more benign but just as serious dangers. This starts me down a rabbit hole to find the highest interest rates. Whoops. Don't do it, at least not as a main strategy lol. There are legitimate protocols, but with down ward selling pressure on shit-coins, or rising prices of the better coin in the pair, the highest interest rate pairs are the worst things to go for. I gradually learn the horrors of impermanent loss to the tune of $1200 or so. Now fluffing what. Seriously if you don't know what it is go google it right now, it's THE most important thing I've learned so far.
If you are going for paired LP yields, make sure the coins are things you want to hold, high quality or stable pairs such as on Curve finance or Balancer are no brainer holdings, 30% is already way way beyond what a savings account can do for you and should help you float over or at least mitigate inflation. And if you can manage, cheat and hold bitcoin vs wrapped bitcoin or something haha, that way you don't really have anything to lose. There probably are arguable degen strategies and stuff, but it's high risk and if you go long term at all you will lose money, especially in a market that's moving. The protocol I had found easiest to use on polygon with an interesting set up finally went belly up at the end of December. As late as I held out hope for them for like 2 months, I'm glad I didn't wait until the end. These are not "scams" but without a way to communicate it or to program around it, impermanent loss can even eat profits on decent pairs. I remember seeing that something like 60% of liquidity pairs provide losses for the liquidity providers. Yikes. So be careful and avoid that if you can. On the other hand, there are plenty of single coin/token yields to earn good rates on, and protocols like Bancor are doing what they can to revolutionize liquidity - I hope this catches on and the industry can do away with impermanent loss, I'm not sure why it's taken this long, and it honestly seems unethical to even set up protocols like this, but I digress (hmm, I wonder what's all is gonna happen with regulations...)
I went on a working road trip remodeling a house and so didn't have as much time or ability to focus on what had become full time research to the tune of 8-12 hours per day. It would've been nice not to have this disruption, but it was nice to otherwise have a small vacation and get paid for it. I ended up down several or lots of other rabbit holes, but maybe I'll talk about them some other time, like the worthlessness of Google Play App Store's crypto games, yuck. Or the modestly useful things such as Publish0x, XYO's Coin app, and BraveBrowser to stick it to the man a bit and get 2 Satoshis for it. The timing of the trip away from home and my inability to focus more on crypto was probably ill timed, but no way to be sure. Solana proceeds to explode, I learn that I can use Binance and other chains on Metamask as well and participated in my first token launch (as much as I've also learned that I don't like Metamask and it has some pretty dumb open-source security flaws to it). I'm still learning and growing, and aren't we all, hopefully.
I get home and per one of my friends investigate mining. Let the games begin! And the rabbit hole in my pocket gets a little deeper haha, but also more rewarding and profitable. My friend dabbled in crypto and bought a few hundred dollars worth of Ethereum and others at the end of 2019, he's hodling for dear life and has all but 10x'd from there. In learning more about mining with him and dragging him and several friends with me on the overall cryptOdyssey, he's now mining on 3 computers and approximately 6 cards in total, presently mining about $15 per day. Something I often find myself saying with crypto in general, "it's not nothing."
In reflecting at this point, I don't necessarily want to make recommendations about what coins and tokens buy, what protocols to use, or what mining set ups or pools or platforms to use etc. That would make this post too long, and admittedly too incomplete at the same time, as exhaustive as I could try. Plus, for the reward, a lot of the knowledge is precious and hard won at relatively high cost to myself. Some of it I'm glad to share for free, but I also don't want to hand away my sweat and tears packaged as "not financial advice but..." So, sorry not sorry. Maybe I'll write more about resources and able to make other recommendations later.
After realizing my trading mistakes and not sure what to do with mining I'm hesitating. The buzz is still bull market, 4 year cycles, and Plan B's 100k and up blowoff top or whatever. I think there's some good reasons that didn't happen. I don't think anyone REALLY saw the tax-liability or China ban sell offs coming, and I also really don't think much of the market oriented crypto people care about covid and thus didn't have an ideological ability to give a damn about Omicron as it loomed for a good two weeks before the crushing defeat and hopes of Black Friday.
Have learned a lot, more than I had any clue I'd learn since back in late 2020 or even midsummer 2021, even forgotten a lot of stuff that was probably worthless. There's a lot of psychology and unknowns to the markets, and you might do well betting against sentiment, or take into consideration that long leverages get called more often than shorts by almost a 3:1 ratio. Nothing wrong with being bullish and trusting that it will all go up gradually, if not also suddenly, but imho, after riding the death rails with the rest of crypto class 2021, I think we're probably a lot more sober about where the markets at. Which is good. Hard earned lessons, and I'm finally on my cryptOdyssey with the rest of you. And in a few years when the all-too-common sentiment of "wow, I wish I got into crypto a few years ago," we will have earned our stars like the 2017'ers and 2013'ers, or the 2009'ers that had a full-cycle lesson of selling too early or being Bitcoin maximalists to this day. Nothing wrong with being a maximalist, but you end up being a profit minimalist if you can't learn to also take and handle risks on "shitcoins" like Ethereum haha.
I want to share more but I can't share it all at once, and I also don't want to take too much more of your time. It's nice to be on board though cryptofam. If you're anything like me, most people joined crypto in 2021. Crypto population doubled in 2021, what took the first crypto generation 12 years. We're the baby boom of crypto, it's all new to us, and we're learning everything we can from each other and from the 2013 and 2017 vets. We all have some opportunity to be where they are today by 2030, leaders in the space, or at least long time holders. We are anywhere in the 1st 1-5% of global users, depending on how far it goes. Are you amped yet? Let's go! Superbowl weekend is going to be a moment in crypto history, the first wave of 2022'ers is coming. We must welcome and nourish them!
Anyway, what's next for crypto? What's next for Cryptopia? What's next for me? Well, if you're this far along, you probably know as well or better than I do at this point, but that we're all basically passengers on moonshots and beyond as we enter the 4th industrial revolution, and I hope ALL the changes happen. Suit up and let's roll!