The Circle or Exchange Trading Pairs And Why I Hate Them: A Story

By Aaron221 | EXIT HOLD | 1 Mar 2021

The following story is a fictional account of something that may or may not have happened for the purposes of parody. There are no names to change because there is nobody to protect.

We've all been in that glorious situation where we hear about a new, exciting cryptocurrency. It's backed by industry veterans who've been involved in multiple successful products. Their model is great. Their whitepaper is solid. You have confidence in the team. Better yet, the crypto space has confidence in the team. More importantly, none of them have been involved in ponzi schemes or other crypto scams. You absolutely love it.

So you decide to do a little more digging. You whip out your phone and head on over to Coinmarketcap to check the price. It's trading in the thousandths of a penny. You do some quick math based on how much you have in your bank account and realize you've hit a gold mine. If this hits just ONE dollar, you're on easy street.

With your heart racing, you fumble with your phone to open Binance. You begin typing in your new favourite cryptocurrency and it's nowhere to be found on the site. You double check Coinmarketcap and see that it's not trading on any of the dozens of exchanges you've had to sign up for to trade your bullshit scamcoins for a useable currency. Fortunately for you, it is trading on that hive of scum and villainy, Coingecko.

Grudgingly, you sign up for yet another fucking exchange but you know it's going to be worth it. You can hear them pulling up to your new mansion with your new Lambo. No. Screw that. Twelve. Who cares? You're about to have more money than you will know what to do with in a few years. Sure, it'll be a rough transition once the pump & dumps get ahold of it but after that, it's smooth sailing. All you have to do is hodl.

Soon enough, you're in the market. You frantically type in your currency and there it is in all of its glory. You check its exchange pair and it turns out to be only Ethereum. And that is when it hits you. You ask yourself, "is even a transaction worth spending money on?" You think again about your bank account and realize after gas fees, you're looking at being able to buy a quarter of what you had planned originally. But you take a deep breath and you say to yourself that once it hits a dollar, it will all be worth it.

So, because you've heard about exchange hacks before and you do your best to limit your personal exposure to them, you head over to that old chestnut Coinbase where you actually have 2FA set up to buy some precious Ethereum. You spend every dollar in your bank account but you know it's going to be worth it. You wait a moment for the buy order to go through and after what seems like an eternity, you finally have your Ethereum in your greasy, digital hands. You laugh to yourself silently. After all, you are about to become rich.

With bated breath, you open your Ethereum wallet on Coinbase, paste in your Ethereum wallet from Coingecko and click the send button only to be met with the dreaded "you do not have enough fees to send this amount" message. You begin to whimper softly. It's going to cost another $50 in Ethereum to send and you've spent your grocery budget for the next two weeks. But hey, you don't mind eating sticks and air. You tell yourself that anyway as you glance over to your credit card. It's not maxed out. Yet.

So you buy more Ethereum to cover your costs, you enter in your Coingecko wallet and you send it over. You whimper softly, thinking of your ever dwindling profit margin. But that's ok. You can always buy more next payday. A lot more. After all, who needs to worry about rent anymore? 

Finally, your Ethereum comes through but as you prepare to buy your new token, you realize that the price has skyrocketed. Apparently a trading frenzy has broken out since the coin's announcement. Limited supply has driven up demand to unprecedented heights. And now where it was trading in the thousandths of a penny, in the time it took you to buy in, it's just hit 10 cents. You steel yourself from the panic. That's ok. It was an inevitability with a product this good. So you spend, spend, spend. Even with Ethereum eating away at your margins, you think it's still a great investment. In the long run, it's going to pay off.

Over the next month, you watch the ticker as it continues to rise. While there are gains to be made, they certainly don't appear anywhere near as drastic as they did at the opening bell. 10.5. 11. 12.5. You do some quick maths and the returns look good so far. But next time, you'll stick to XLM for moving money between exchanges. After all, the margins don't make sense on a pure Ethereum based transaction. Even bitcoin is...

You pause. It's down 1 cent from its high of 16. Of course, in crypto, this probably doesn't mean much. YOU know the markets are extremely volatile. You put it out of your mind and head to bed, dreaming of the solid gold toilet that will be gracing your new mansion soon enough.

In the morning, you wake up. You cannot wait to see where you're at with your brand new crypto. You grab your phone, open Coingecko and it's down. By a lot. You begin to panic, wondering what happened? You check the forums. People are absolutely enraged. It turns out that the company's model wasn't as good as they claimed it was. Maybe their whitepaper was stolen? And maybe more than a few members of their team were just leveraging the public faces of the company to build confidence.

Whatever the reason, the crypto space has lost faith in the organization and their token, getting out while they can. You rush to open Coingecko to sell off your stake, hoping to get out before you hit your buy-in. But it's too late. During the night, the price collapsed to sub-10 levels and is dropping by the minute. The market is flooded with sell orders. By the time you've verified your login and entered your trading password, it's closing in on 3. And fast. But hey, at least you got out with something.

As the days turn to months, you continue checking Coinmarketcap. You wonder if your panic sell was a bad move only to see it back to where it was before the trading frenzy, residing happily as a shitcoin whose only value remains as a mechanism for pump & dump groups to make marginal profits off of. You know, not accounting for gas fees.

You close the tab, feeling saddened but confident you made the right move. Even though you lost out, at least you were able to walk away with something and a newfound respect for the crypto markets. You begin to think pragmatically, looking into decentralized finance for better, more reliable returns.

That is until you hear about this great, new cryptocurrency backed by a solid team. And everybody agrees that the whitepaper is great!

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