A Beginner's Intro to Crypto - Buying, Trading, Blogging, Saving & Farming


I started buying a bit of crypto in 2016, and then basically left it alone for the most part since then.  I've checked back into the cryptosphere recently and discovered some interesting things, either recent developments or things I missed out on earlier, that I'd like go over.  I'm not an expert but I've been trying some new things out the last few weeks and this is what seems to work out well enough.  This is not financial advice, and there's risk involved in all investments.  The links provided here are referrals if anyone wants to sign up, I'll get a little bonus when you use your account (no pressure).  This post is meant as much for some family and friends of mine as the crypto blog reader.  

What is Crypto?

Cryptocurrency is online money.  You can buy it and trade it on exchanges like foreign currency.   They are decentralized, in that no country or major established institution controls them.  They are created by non-profit organizations, for-profit corporations, teams of anonymous developers, or any other number of entities, and monetary policies are voted on by the community of coin holders.  The big difference between cryptocurrency and other fiat currencies is, at least based on recent history, cryptocurrencies appreciate in value, while fiat currencies depreciate due to inflation.  

Where can you buy crypto in Canada?

Coinbase

Bitbuy

Binance

The first two are my recommendations for Canadians, as TD Bank refused to process any transaction with Binance, though Binance is useful as an exchange and a savings account, which we'll get to later.  You can use credit, debit, or bank transfers to buy crypto and hold it on these sites.  Coinbase and Bitbuy have a small selection of coins for you to buy, including most of the popular ones.  

To diversify your trading portfolio you can use an exchange to trade coins back and forth.  All coins use a symbol of a few capital letters to identify themselves.  The big coin on on the block right now is BTC, or Bitcoin, with other popular ones including ETH Ethereum, NEO Neo, BCH Bitcoin Cash, and BNB, Binance Coin.  ETH and BNB are interesting because they operated on new proprietary networks on which other coins can be built.  BTC is the highest value coin on the market, and probably the safest investment, but it's technology is struggling to cope with the size of its network, resulting in transactions that are slow and costly in terms of transaction fees, operating costs, and carbon emissions.

I've been holding a bit of BTC, BCH, NEO, and ETH since 2016, and most of my upcoming investments will focus on BNB and coins on the Binance Smart Chain.  

Binance is again another good option to trade cryptos, because you can easily transfer new coins into its savings account and earn interest.  Bittrex and Bitfinex are other options to trade crypto on, but their savings options aren't as good as Binance.  

To move money from the site you bought crypto on to an exchange is simple, just find the 'withdraw' button on your wallet/holdings/portfolio screen, there should be an option to withdraw for each currency you hold.  To complete your withdrawal, the site will ask you for a deposit address, which you can find on the site you're depositing into, usually by following a 'deposit' button there.  The deposit site will give you a code for your personal wallet, and you need to copy it and then paste in into the withdrawal site.  Once you have the right codes in place, confirm your transfer.  Sometimes the withdrawal site will want to send you an email to confirm the transfer.  Most cryptocurrency transfers take around 10-20 minutes to complete, but depending on the coin, it can be a few seconds or a few hours.  

Once you've got your coins on an exchange, you can simply go to the trading menu and find the market you want to trade in.  Enter how much you want to get or give, and confirm your trade.  Most sites charge a small fee for each trade and withdrawal, so be make sure you're you want to make each move.  

Now you're holding a bunch of different cryptos, great!  Since you are holding a bunch of crypto, you can now use it to earn interest in different ways.  Binance has a Flexible Savings Account that compounds every day, giving you a small amount of interest for any cryptos you hold in there, while offering no risk to your deposits and instant withdrawal anytime.  In my opinion, this is a really good way to hold crypto, as your holdings will grow in size just by being there, without any work on your part, while they also hopefully continue to grow in value.  Bitfinex has a similar program called Lending Pro, where you hold money in your Funding Account on the site, and their algorithm automatically arranges short-term loans for your crypto.  This is not as effective as Binance's system, as on Bitfinex your crypto might not all be loaned out at once, and therefore not earning interest, and interest rates for some smaller coins are better on Binance (notably for me IOTA and BCH have large differences).  Bittrex does not offer any savings options that I've found. 

It's by virtue of Binance's savings account that I've moved most of my eligible holdings there recently.  I've still got some BTC and ETH on Bitfinex, as that's where I had them before and those coins have similar interest rates and enough demand to be loaned out consistently.  All I've got left on Bittrex are coins not popular enough to qualify for savings accounts.  

Harvest.Finance

A more aggressive but riskier option for making your crypto for you is farming, or staking.  This works by using a site like Harvest.Finance, in which you stake a certain amount of your coins, and the site uses a computer algorithm to 'farm' relevant markets, making many small favourable trades with your money, and investing it back to you.  Your money is at risk here, as I understand it, but with the growth of Binance Smart Chain coming on strong, farming markets for those coins seems quite lucrative.  Harvest.Finance only works with coins on the Ethereum and Binance Smart Chains, not Bitcoin.  I have not tried Harvest.Finance farming yet - I made my first withdrawal from Coinbase in 3 years to move some ETH to Binance to buy some BNB to start farming, but Coinbase has delayed the transfer for 72 hours as a matter of security.  I'll probably post another update once I've got a little experience on Harvest.Finance, but it seems like an exciting option. 

Coin markets seem to be dipping over the last few days after a massive run in the last few months against fiat currencies, so for the moment I'm not buying any crypto with my dollars, but I'm not sure what happen with coin-to-coin markets as I trade my ETH for BNB and start farming.  

The last thing to mention is ways to actively and passively earn crypto.   There are a number of apps and sites out there that function as normal programs or social media sites but pay you in small amounts of crypto currency for using them.  Their philosophy is basically that everything posted on the internet by every user has some value, and shares that value with the creators.  My username on all these sites is @johnvonbob for whoever wants to toss me a follow should they sign up or already be signed up.  

Hive  

Hive is a social network that spans a bunch of different sites.  Hive.blog is the main one, but there are others that include video-hosting sites similar to youtube like 3speak.  Anything you post on one hive blog site is posted everywhere else, and you only have one account across all the sites.  Posting on Hive pays you in Hive Dollars, which are exchangeable on Bittrex and Binance, and in Hive Power, which the site accords a USD value but I can't find it on the usual exchanges.  Hive Power allows you to post more often though, and earnings are handed out once a week or so.  At first, your Hive Power is limited so I've only been able to make one post, and it will like be over a week between that and my second post.  However, my one post has earned me $23, half in Hive Dollars and half in Hive Power, and a lot of the posts seem to have $20 to $100+ in earnings per post.  I haven't gotten any of my earnings off the site yet, but this may turn out to be the most profitable of the crypto blog sites if I'm able to post more than once a week and withdraw my earnings easily.

read.cash and noise.cash

read.cash is a blog site that pays out in BCH Bitcoin Cash in decent amounts.  After a week of using the site I've made about $10 from it and moved the BCH to my other wallets, so it's legit.  You can post about pretty much anything you want, it takes a few hours for posts to communities to be approved by their respective moderators but I haven't had any issues posting.    

Publish0x

Obviously the site we're on.  Posts are instant and you start out being able to make 2 per day.  The earnings though are by far the smallest, and across three different currencies.  iFarm and Ampleforth are on the popular exchanges and seem interesting, but are relatively new and not the easiest to around and trade, and it's unclear if they'll survive long-term.  You do get a tiny bit of ETH from Publish0x, but I mean tiny, and the others aren't much better.  After a week of use, I have $0.5 AMPL, $0.4 iFarm, and $0.08 ETH.  Withdrawal limits are also set rather high, so it'll be a while before I see any earnings transferred to my wallet. 

Brave

Brave is an internet browser similar to chrome that pays you in BAT coins for using it to browse as you regularly would.  It also pools resources to internet creators on youtube and the like.  BAT coins are tradeable on Binance and other exchanges.

Presearch

Presearch is a search engine that gives you PRE as you search.  PRE does not appear on any of the big exchanges currently, and you require 1000 coins to withdraw, while I've earned 10 or so in a week of using it plus the 25 free coins I got for registering, so again it'll be a while before I see any value here. 

Odysee

Odysee is a video site like youtube that pays you in LBRY for watching and uploading videos.  Odysee allows you to make multiple channels to post different videos easily.  

Freebitco.in

Freebitco.in will literally give you a tiny amount of bitcoin for free every hour for clicking two buttons, with a tiny chance of winning more.  It will shamelessly try to get you to gamble your free bitcoin away, but you can just claim it and hold it until you meet the minimum to withdraw, which could be a while. 

Rollercoin

Classic arcade games that give you a small amount of bitcoin over time.  Not the greatest time investment to just play the games for coins, but if you open an account, it seems to just constantly give you a little bit of coin even when you're not playing, so it could add up after a while even if you barely play anything.  

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JohnvonBob
JohnvonBob

Hey what's up? https://read.cash/@johnvonbob https://hive.blog/@johnvonbob

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