How I Bank on the Blockchain
A bit of information about how everyone will be doing this before you know it
Originally published by The Startup: https://medium.com/swlh/how-i-bank-on-the-blockchain-e407f53f8c3
This time, blockchain is here to stay — technology has finally managed to make it practical. Indeed, practical enough to bank on. You may remember blockchain from the big spike back in 2017. Well, it looks to me like that was a glimpse of things to come.
Hi. My name is Dylan. I’ve been getting deep into crypto since about January, and I’m writing to explain how I’ve managed to route all of my expenses except a few basics into appreciating and interest-bearing assets on various blockchains. The main benefit for me is that my checking account (which isn’t all that full of money) now earns interest (varying amounts between 5% and 20% or so) and is held in assets which periodically and sometimes dramatically increase in value.
In the past two weeks, my portfolio is up substantially, so I have a substantially larger amount of money to spend.
This article will explain my reasoning behind the conclusion that certain tokens are an outstanding investment, as well as the way in which I can transfer a token, then spend the money at the store using Apple Pay less than an hour later. You could also keep your money in Ternio’s Blockcard account and not need to make transfers, but there are many excellent investments in crypto right now and I like to keep my money working for me as long as possible.
If you’re unfamiliar with blockchain technology, please have a look at the primer I wrote about it a few months ago here.
Part 1: The BSN
The BSN (Blockchain-based Service Network) is a China-backed service network which aims to make blockchain technology more user-friendly for developers and end users around the world. In August, a major event is coming up for the BSN: it will integrate six public blockchains. These six are Ethereum, Chainlink, Cosmos, Tezos, NEO, and EOS.
If you’re following blockchain development much, you’ll realize right away that Chainlink is not like the others. Described as an oracle network, Chainlink (LINK) is an Ethereum-based blockchain which aims to provide trust in off-network interactions. Applicable to smart contracts, LINK is growing rapidly in terms of market capitalization as use cases skyrocket.
The other five blockchains all offer their own benefits. I see it as a system in which Ethereum (ETH) becomes a sort of new internet, a universal language with a network and its own computing power. The remaining four chains, Tezos (XTZ), Cosmos (ATOM), Neo (NEO), and Eos (EOS), are all like popular programming languages. They offer their own benefits and LINK will be able to attach these services to Ethereum (ETH), the main network.
The BSN will presumably start the party by onboarding these six chains as quickly as possible, and then roll out tools to enable developers around the globe to build practical decentralized applications (dapps) on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain or one of the adjunct blockchains.
Tezos (XTZ) offers free and secure transactions, while Cosmos (ATOM) offers low fees and lightning-quick turnaround. These contrast with Ethereum’s (ETH) model by speeding up transactions, beefing up security, and dropping fees — but Ethereum’s (ETH) user adoption is unparalleled and frankly the development team is about the best in the business. Politically, this is an interesting move from China — these are all publicly held blockchains that the CCP will have little or no special control over.
So the BSN will make blockchain applications commonplace by providing essentially a new set of play-nice integrations enabling developers to build decentralized applications about the way they currently build cloud-based apps for our phones.
Part 2: Investing in cryptocurrencies
Investing in crypto is easy. The market is trending a specific direction that is relatively easy to read once you have watched it long enough to begin to understand its patterns, and price prediction is essentially the same thing as volume prediction this early on — so just try to guess where volume is going to increase most and you will be able to purchase tokens that will outperform the others fairly reliably for now.
My top 3 long picks at the moment are Ethereum (ETH), Cosmos (ATOM), and Chainlink (LINK). I think LINK will do well — indeed, already is doing well — because it offers something nobody else really seems to be able to offer. Ethereum will outperform for a similar reason, and I like ATOM of the remaining four contenders because it pays the most interest and is resistant to whimsical price dips because staked tokens remain locked for 21 days after unstaking. Read more about staking with Atomic Wallet here.
By the way, I am long LINK, ETH, AWC, and ATOM. That means I hold those tokens, and anyone who reads this article should know that I may be biased to some extent in their favor.
You can invest how you will, or not, but if you choose to do so, you’ll want to watch your tokens’ price and maybe the relevant news. You’ll probably do fine if you decide to go for it — it’s a bull market right now. Coinbase Pro allows free ACH transfers from banks, so what I do is pull the money over that way. It’s free and easy, but it takes 6–7 business days so I always bite my nails a bit in the interim.
Once I have funds in my Coinbase Pro account, my current game plan is to put them into Tezos (XTZ) and send the whole sum (free) to my Atomic Wallet. This keeps fees under a few bucks most of the time, as I’m only paying one transaction fee to Coinbase for the Tezos purchase. Once my money is in Atomic Wallet, I transfer from Tezos to whichever token I intended to buy initially.
This does incur a second transaction fee, but I stake Atomic Wallet Coin (AWC) through Atomic Wallet, and they provide me with cash back in AWC (a low market cap token which is doing well recently). AWC offers staking rewards of up to 23% annual interest, so this seems like an excellent investment at the moment — though there is a hangup, which is that, since I live in Texas, I cannot access any of the exchanges where AWC is traded. So I can’t sell them yet. Some parts of cryptocurrency investing are still rather rough around the edges, but it’s rapidly becoming practical so we can expect big changes to the rougher areas in the near future.
Part 3: Cashing out cryptocurrency to buy groceries with BlockCard and Apple Pay
I’ll move money from one token to the next if there’s a fluctuation in price, and there are several places I put it where I can’t get it back right away, so I have to be very careful not to get excited at a price bounce and buy a bunch of AWC, or to stake all of my money with ATOM (which keeps it locked away for 3 weeks or longer!).
Always be careful when investing!
You could lose your money if you’re not!
Aside from that, however, my money more or less sits in the Atomic Wallet until I’m ready to go to the store.
When I want to spend my crypto, I have to make sure I’m shopping at a store where they accept Apple Pay or Visa, if I want to use the physical card. Most grocery stores do by now, but best be sure because you don’t want to end up in the checkout line unable to pay.
Then, about thirty minutes before, I make a transfer. I sometimes have to trade for a coin accepted by Ternio, but this is easy enough because they accept a lot of them. I’ll decide how much money I need, then I copy the relevant wallet address from the BlockCard site and paste it into the Send form in Atomic Wallet.
After I send the money, it is converted into Ternio (TERN) and becomes available to spend in my wallet. From this point, I just go to the store and check out. I have 145,000 TERN staked, so my purchases earn me 6% cash back in TERN. The TERN price fluctuates a little bit, but I’ve learned to try to time my purchases to coincide with the highest TERN price, which results in more savings. Also, TERN isn’t USD — the cool technology that Ternio offers cashes it out instantly, into whatever local currency the merchant asks for, and as a result… this method of payment works basically anywhere in the world you happen to be, so long as they take Visa (or in my case, Apple Pay).
Ternio is also offering bank accounts now, so one day soon perhaps I’ll be able to post a new article and explain how I use cryptocurrency to pay my car payment.
I think it’s safe to say that cryptocurrency is going to be mainstream within the next year or two. Volume is skyrocketing and DeFi is taking off, but more importantly, the factors driving these metrics are extremely sound. Companies like Coca Cola have come up with use-cases for the Ethereum blockchain that will continue to drive volume, and developers are about to be able to open the floodgates to dapps with a new set of tools designed to make it easy to use Ethereum as a server to run them. If there is a relationship between volume and price, price should be on an upward trend well into the future.
If the decentralization trend continues, every shopper in the world might soon be capable of using a decentralized exchange to trade tokens in a way that generates value and buying things such as groceries with cash-back paid in cryptocurrency, in addition to the magazine and mail coupons there already are. There are many other trends, ready to arise:
- Social media may be replaced by a dapp protocol enabling users to build unique and immersive profiles, then navigate between them using experimental and customizable user interfaces.
- Libraries may be entirely uploaded to the blockchain, available to users worldwide for little or no cost.
- Voting could be entirely secure, with real-time results and extremely low costs.
In this atmosphere of unlimited possibility, it certainly looks as if cryptocurrency and blockchain may be part of the way forward from the current global economic meltdown.
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