Categories
Crypto Investments

Understanding Japanese Candlesticks – The basics

This is one of the first thing I learned when I started trading in Crypto. And I would recommend anyone who is interested in doing trading to at least learn the basics of the Japanese Candlestick chart. They are used extensively in many trading platforms and can provide traders the most important tool to “analyze” price movement in a market. If you would like to read more about the history of Japanese Candlesticks (and it is pretty interesting), check out the Wiki Page.

Let’s start with the basics.

Above you can see a green candlestick. This simply means that for that particular period, the end price is HIGHER than the starting price. Hence the green bar. The top bar position is where the price ended (which is higher) and the bottom bar position is where the price started. The top wick shows the highest price for the period and the bottom wick shows the lowest price for the period. Easy?

Now we have a red candlestick. This means that for that particular period, the end price is LOWER than the starting price. Hence the red bar. The bottom bar position is where the price ended (which is lower) and the top bar position is where the price started. The top wick shows the highest price for the period and the bottom wick shows the lowest price for the period. Not that difficult right?

So until now it is pretty straightforward? The candlestick charts are actually pretty easy to understand. There is really nothing much to it than that. Now lets look at some more complex examples to understand price movement/action. We will take a few bars to explain what is going on. These will give you a better understanding of the price action that is happening for that period. Basically just spotting patterns.

So what do we see here? We know that in the first bar, there was a dip because of the red candlestick. However the swing in that period is quite wide. This could explain the reversal from red to green in the next bar. You can see the next two bars are green and the price ended higher. Next we see another green bar but the top wick and the bottom wick are pretty far apart. Again, this could explain the reversal from green bar to red bar. If you spot very wide wicks, it could suggest a reversal to either bullish or bearish. Look at historical prices and levels of resistance and support. Of course nothing is absolute but it does give some indication that the traders are indecisive and some of them might be thinking of selling instead of buying. So yes wicks themselves do tell you quite a lot on the market sentiments. Although it can be kind of difficult to spot at times.

How about the above candlestick chart? What does this tell you? We can see that the first few bars the overall trading price is pretty limited even with the very narrow bars and relatively long wicks. However on the fifth bar, we do see a even longer wick all the way to the bottom. Note that this meant even though at one point the price did dip quite significantly, it wasn’t sustainable and bounced right up. This is called a hammer. Shows that the support level is very much at this level and should not be any lower, especially if it is in a short period like 15min or 30 min time. This can be seen by big price increase in the next bar. Note that hammer or the inverse hammer is usually a good indication that there might be a price reversal is coming, especially if it is hitting the resistance level or support level. You can make use of these candlestick indicators with other tools (especially historical levels of resistance and support) to make your trades more successful and predictable. Nothing is fool-proof though so you will need to have more confirmation.

The above is quite an obvious one. What does this tell you about the market at this time? Momentum lost. The red candlestick is completely inside the green candlestick margin on its right. This means that we are expecting a downward trend as the buyers lose steam and the sellers start to come into play. The reverse is true as well. I always make try to spot the momentum candlestick when trying to buy the dip or sell the high. Again if you see that the price levels are reaching the resistance or support levels, you should consider your position.

Of course you should never use only one trading indicator as there are usually multiple factors affecting the market. Especially one as volatile as the crypto market. However learning some basics of the Japanese candlestick can help improve your trading significantly. Again there is no absolutes, even experts with all the trading tools in the world and whatever, things will not always go their way. But it sure help a lot. The above are just some basics. Candlestick patterns can be very complex too.

If you are starting your first foray into trading, you can follow my guide at trading cryptos in Binance.

Categories
Crypto Investments

Don’t let FUD or FOMO ruin you!

Yes the title is pretty much a clickbait but honestly this article can help prevent you from being conned out of your hard earned money when trading in the crypto markets. Yes there are people out there, mainly institutions or the so called “whales” who just want to make a huge profit in your expense. And how do they do that? Well by using fear and greed. Admittedly it is not completely their fault that smaller investors are being “cheated” as we (smaller scale investors or retail investors) tend to be more prone to be influenced by fake news or information. And market manipulation is the key to everything.

For those who don’t know – FUD stands for Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. To put it simply, it makes you so afraid of the market that you sell your cryptos or stocks at a (substantial) loss. FOMO stands for Fear of Missing Out. Basically it makes you so bullish that you will buy overpriced cryptos or stocks that institutions are hoping to dump off for a huge profit. If you look at the history of stock trading, you will see that this is actually pretty commonplace. Wikipedia has some interesting articles on how FUD and FOMO is being used in the past here.

The Coin Bureau youtube channel also has a very good video on what is happening to the markets these few weeks. And how these whales have been playing us all these time. Please check out their video below. The things in the video might or might not surprise you. But it gives a good insight on what is happening. I know this is not something very popular but it is something every trader should know.

Here are some of my tips when you are trading to help spot such market manipulation in the crypto market and what to do. They are by no means comprehensive but it should give you a rough idea when market manipulation is going on.

  1. News articles or videos that tell you that a certain coin will never drop below a certain value and it is now the LAST CHANCE to get the said coin at this “low” price. I have seen a lot of articles and videos claiming such wild predictions but most of them never come through. Something along the line that the price will go up to the moon or blast off and will never come down. Sure not all of them are from big institutions as some authors are actually holders of those cryptos themselves. But still these are mostly market manipulation. They want to pump up the price so as to sell at a higher price at a later date. And how about that Bitcoin Mining Council started by Elon Musk? Very very interesting to say the least.
  2. News articles or videos telling you that the doom is near and you should dump all your coins now. Crypto WINTER is coming! Same as the first point, this is trying to trick crypto holders into selling their coins at the low price. Institutions wanting to get into the market do not want to buy cryptos (or even stocks) at the market value. So what do they do? They manipulate the market, creating an environment of fear and uncertainty and buy when retail investors sell their cryptos, all at a much lower price. There are also targeted dis-information on certain coins as well. Of course there are legitimate news as well. It is indeed a very fine line between the two.
  3. Articles saying that someone made millions in crypto trading. Yet one of the ways such big interests try to persuade us to over-invest in crypto. And yes surely you have read some article stating exactly that. And yes some might even be true. There will always be a number of people making it big in the stock or crypto market. But those smaller investors making it big should be pretty small compared to those who didn’t make it at all. For every one of those windfall investors, we might get like ten of those who didn’t succeed. And even big time investors got burnt themselves. There are even bigger fishes out there. If you are still convinced that crypto market trading will make you a millionaire overnight, you should read about Archegos Capital Management. It is a recent story about how even BIGGER institutions swallow up others.
  4. Wild swings. This should be pretty obvious. If you see wild swings in either direction in the crypto market (especially now when the crypto market is somewhat relatively more mature), you should know that someone is pulling strings somewhere. Of course it could also be caused by “bad news” regarding the crypto-sphere but in most cases, it is mostly “people” disseminating false or fake information or rumours. The recent crash in the Crypto market is proof of that. Even the Crypto king Elon Musk is guilty of that. The recent “China bans Crypto” meme is also one of those old rumours being circulated on the Internet but made huge. And so what have changed? Absolutely nothing changed. Yet the markets bounced back immediately after that major crash.
  5. Institutions buying crypto. We will often hear news about this major institution adding this certain crypto worth certain billion of dollars into their portfolio. When you hear these kind of news you will probably think it is a good time to buy in. But really? Is it really a good time to buy in AFTER their announcement? And you will be surprised that some institutions do sell portion of their holdings when they have the chance. The same goes for our favourite Elon Musk and his Bitcoin holdings. It was later revealed that Telsa did sell a portion of their Bitcoin stake.
  6. Keep calm bro. This is not just a meme. This is true. When you panic, you cannot think straight and you made rash decisions and you get burnt in the market. This has happened time and again. That is what these whales are trying to do – create an atmosphere of fear or greed making us do stupid things. Of course it is easier said than done. I myself got burnt when I first started trading. Lost quite a chunk of my BTC investments. So now what I do is trade in smaller amounts over time. And if I am able to make some profit, I will just sell. Don’t worry about the “loss in profits”. Can always make it back seeing how volatile the market is anyway. Keep calm and stick to your trading strategy.
  7. Don’t leverage. This is something very difficult to do. But a lot of retail investors do leverage when the market look good thinking only profits and profits! The problem with leveraging is that it creates these wild swings and thus further damage the market. Just imagine you place a low price buy order with leverage like BTC expecting that you can get a good deal if it drops to that level and you go to sleep. The next day when you wake up you see having some “extra” BTC but seeing the market price of BTC still dropping or lower than what you had purchased the BTC. What would you do? Panic and sell to cut your loss? That is what I would do. And that creates the environment where market manipulators can more easily manipulate the prices to their advantage.

Getting burnt in the crypto market honestly sucks. Been there, done that. But when money is concern, there will always be manipulators. And the biggest manipulators are the ones with the most money. Don’t let them get hold of your money! They have enough already!

Categories
Crypto Guides Investments

Nexo Deposit & Fixed Terms – Step By Step Guide

Nexo[referral link] is a platform for users to deposit their crypto and earn interest from. With interest rate up to 12% (or more) for stablecoins and other cryptos. So you put cryptocurrencies into the platform and they pay you interest. For those who would like to get a higher rate of return, they can choose the fixed terms. However if you put your crypto into fixed terms, you cannot take them out until the term is over. You should also check out which coins are being supported by the platform.

Nexo is a lending platform. Think of it as a “bank” so to speak. But it is a better type of “bank”. So users can put their money or crypto into their platform and earn interest. You can also borrow crypto or money as well. They do have a range of credit line and the amount you can borrow is proportional to the amount of crypto you put in. The borrowing interest rate is relatively low as well. And the earning interest rate is pretty good. I mean if you really compare to our conventional banks out there, their rates really shine.

For those who would like to start earning interest, I have done up a quick guide for you to follow. It is actually pretty easy to do. First you will need to do the verification. Depending on which country you are currently in, you might want to complete the advanced verification. However if you just want to put a small amount of crypto into this lending platform, starter verification should be fine for most countries for beginners. If you are doing a lot of transfers, I would recommend you to go for the advanced verification as they offer more “free” withdrawals.

Goto your profile which is located on the top right of the page and choose My Profile. From there you should choose Verification levels.

After that you follow the steps to complete your verification. In most countries, this will be requirement. And for my case it took all but a few minutes of my time. Unlike other platforms, this went extremely smooth. Of course your experience might vary. Once you are done with verification, you are ready to start depositing your cryptos and make some interest. However it is important that understand that these cryptos you are going to deposit will be held at their platform and you will not be able to easily trade them in exchanges until you transfer them back to your exchange or wallet. And if you go for the fixed term deposits, they will be held them until the term ends. So make sure that you are indeed planning to hold on to these cryptos.

So scroll down on your main account page and choose the crypto you would like to deposit. On the right side, you will see an Top Up button. Click on this button. Note that the interest earned depends on the type of coin and also the loyalty level. The loyalty level actually depends on the amount of NEXO tokens you are holding. If you are planning to hold on to large amounts of crypto on Nexo, it might be a good idea to exchange them for NEXO tokens. But please do your own calculations & research first. I am not a financial advisor as I don’t wear a suit.

In this example, I am using Bitcoin. You can see the deposit address. This is where you will send your Bitcoins to. Please be very careful when doing transfers. One mistake and your cryptos might not be able to be recovered. Check whether they are sent in the native blockchain or other network. In most cases, you should transfer using the native blockchain. Read through the information provided first and ensure that you are transferring using the correct network. With some exchanges or wallets they do have support for different networks with the same cryptocurrency. You will most likely lose the crypto if you are transferring using an unsupported network! And the address must be correct – just one letter wrong and it will be gone! If you are transferring a huge amount, I would suggest you to transfer a small portion first. I cannot stress this enough. Please be very careful when transferring cryptocurrencies between wallets! Beware there will always be some network transfer fee (or gas fees). So make sure it is actually profitable for you to do the transfer. Some of those gas fees on some networks (like Ethereum) can be very expensive depending on the traffic.

Anyway once the cryptos have been transferred across, you will start earning interest without doing anything else. The interest you will only start earning the next day. The good thing about Nexo is that you get daily interests and it is compound. $$$$! You will also get an alert on their platform giving you the amount earned. You can of course stop here but in this guide I will go on to setting up fixed terms for my crypto to earn even more interest.

So go back to your accounts page and click on the wallet icon on the right.

Here you will be able to find breakdown of your cryptocurrencies and you can see one with Fixed Terms. Click on that.

So it is now time to create a term. A reminder that once you place your crypto into a fixed term, it cannot be “withdrawn” until the term is over. In most cases, the fixed term period is 1 month. Here you can see there is a “bonus” of 1% interest paid. Note that there is a minimum amount which you need before you can create the Fixed Term. If you are still interested, then proceed to put in the amount and create the term. And that is it. You can optionally choose whether you would like it to automatically renew or not.

That was easy right? Hope this guide helped you in setting up your first interest bearing crypto and make some real passive income! I put about half of my assets I want to keep into Nexo and the other half into Celsius [referral link included]. Take care and stay safe. I have a guide on how to start trading in Binance as well. Also check out how to maximize your interest returns on Nexo.

Categories
Crypto Games

Upland! Quick playthrough

Have you heard of the game Upland [referral link included]? I just started this the game – looks pretty okay for a “Crypto” game. Especially since it comes with a Llama. It has been online since January 2020 so its community should be pretty decent in size. What basically you need to do is to explore the virtual cities available, buy virtual properties and then either resell them or to earn income from holding those properties. And these virtual properties are tagged to real world properties. A bit like real life vagabonds with some cash and a real estate fetish!

And what you are betting on is that the Upland [referral link included] game will increase in popularity and hence the prices of the virtual properties in the game will also increase. That actually makes perfect sense! Property investment yo!

So you will need to sign up for an account and after that you will be thrown into the game. In the beginning, a “cheap” property will be given to you. This is called the FSA or Fair Start Act where newbies like us are able to purchase properties at a reasonable price. There are players with over excess of a million UPX in the game, so these players will price us out if there is no such feature in the game. And now you main mission in the game is to go exploring and hunting for these FSA properties. These can be denoted by “FSA” but you will need to be “nearby” in order to purchase these properties. So after getting your first property, go ahead and let your explorer (aka you) go and discover new areas.

Once you spot an FSA property or even if casually browsing the city map, you can move your explorer nearby by using the Send command on a property nearby. And go snap it up! The main goal of this game is to get as much properties as you can and hoping for the price to go up.

The green properties in the city map are properties up for sale. Click on them to see what are the prices being asked for them. For the light blue ones, they are properties owned by other players. You can actually do an offer as well. Those properties in deep(er) blue are those owned by you. The currency in this game is UPX. If you want, you can purchase UPX directly from the developers. There is however also a developer fee. That is how the developers make money to help further develop the game.

The next step you should consider is to complete “collections“. These give players extra earning boost (rates) and some UPX rewards as well. Some are pretty easy to complete so make sure you make use of them. Yes this game takes time and you most likely won’t having like a thousand properties in a few hours. After playing for a like 2 weeks, I only managed to get like 10 properties and this is after I spent USD 50 to purchase UPX on this game. You will need to login everyday to collect the daily rewards as well. For me, it is not an issue to login daily to collect the daily rewards as I spend a lot of my time online anyway.

The coolest thing about this game is that when you purchase an FSA property, you are actually “minting” a Non Fungible Token (NFT) on the EOS blockchain! As these virtual properties have never been owned and once minted it will provide the minted date and proof of ownership via the EOS blockchain. Isn’t that cool? You are supposed to be able to show proof of ownership (via EOS ID) in the EOS blockchain explorer. Of course if you buy properties from other players, you should be able to see the actual transaction with proof of transfer as well. NFT in an actual game! Yes technology is so very fun!

Well lets to hoping that one day Upland will make it big and we can all enjoy the profits of flipping properties, just like in real life. And is there a way for the price of virtual properties to completely tank in a virtual world? Maybe players need to cash out their properties due to some virtual disaster or something? No idea. They have an option to play in fiat money (USD) as well. But lets have some fun while we are at it. It is only a game anyway. Use my referral link if you want to.

Categories
Crypto Investments

Bitcoin is still relevant

So you might have checked out my crypto portfolio and realized that I don’t have any Bitcoin in my stash. But guys don’t be disheartened or worried, I need to tell you that no matter what my crypto portfolio is, Bitcoin is still relevant in the market. The main reason why I am not holding BTC is because I got burnt when I initially started trading. Yes all nothing but FOMO and FUD. I will move back investing into BTC again in the near future.

For those who think that BTC is no longer than important in the Crypto markets anymore, you should reconsider your stance. Why is it still very much relevant? Well here are some of my opinions of why it is still a very important asset to hold on to.

  1. The name. The brand! Bitcoin is Crypto. Yes for most layman out there, Bitcoin is the entire Crypto market. Not everyone knows about ETH or ADA or DOGE but nearly everyone who have picked up a newspaper or magazine lately will know about Bitcoin (BTC). There are tons of articles on the mainstream media about Bitcoin and how many have made millions out of trading in Bitcoin. It is just that famous. Sure altcoins are indeed gaining popularity but in my opinion, it will take a very long time before the layman would know that much about altcoins. The name alone is the selling point. And if Bitcoin falls, investors’ confidence in the entire cryptomarket falls as well. Just imagine what will happen to the markets if Bitcoin truly collapses.
  2. It is simple to understand. Yes one of the reasons why BTC is so popular among investors is because it is very easy to understand. Just imagine you going to your board of directors and trying to explain to those suits about DApps and Smart Contracts and Non-Fungible Tokens and what-not. It would probably leave them even more confused than before. The concept of Bitcoin is just much simpler – it is a store of value and a medium of exchange with demand and supply. This is very straight forward. Surely even the most ignorant investor out there would understand these terms. Just like gold. That is what makes Bitcoin so attractive for investors – they just want to know whether their investments will go up in value and not the nitty gritty “techno” stuff.
  3. It is secure. This cryptocurrency has been around since like 2009 or so. It has stood the test of time and as of yet no one has managed to successfully attack the Bitcoin network. Yes the code might be old and doesn’t get much upgrades but investors are all looking for something that has been proven to be secure. Long term investors don’t want their investment to suddenly go up in smoke one fine day. If you ask me if I would rather put my money on something that has been proven time and again and not something that might look cool on the outside but have no track record. Especially if you are planning to hold on for the long term.
  4. Institutional interest. “Whales” or “Investment Houses” or “Telsa” or whatever. A lot of the big boys are committed to holding on to Bitcoin in their own portfolios. There is no doubt about that. And seeing how much these institutions have at their disposal, I am quite certain that Bitcoin will remain very important in the Cryptomarket. They won’t want their own investments to lose value in the long run right? Even Elon Musk might get some heat if he suddenly go and sell off his company’s entire holding of Bitcoin. Yes he did threaten to do that at some point but he actually didn’t follow through with his threat. Probably get into trouble with his own investors if he did.
  5. The main gauge. If Bitcoin falls hard, almost the entire cryptomarket falls as well. That is true for almost all scenarios I have seen. So how is Bitcoin not relevant in the market anymore? If Bitcoin falls, all the panicking investors will start selling their altcoins as well. However if you see the cryptomarkets tumble, you will see Bitcoin “dominance” start to increase as investors start putting their funds back into Bitcoin (mostly because they feel it is still a safe haven) from the sale of their altcoins.

I honestly don’t see Bitcoin going away any time soon. It is here to stay for the foreseeable future. And that is actually good for us in the long run.

And yes I am no financial advisor. This post is for educational and informational purposes only.

Categories
Crypto Guides Investments

Purchase your 1st crypto in Binance – Step By Step Guide

  • Binance [referral link] as in Binance International, apparently there is a different “Binance SG” as well. So if you are living in Singapore and would like to get into Crypt trading with Binance, you can follow this simple step by step guide. This is for informational purposes only. The author is not a financial advisor!

[Update: 11-Sep-2021]At the moment it seems that Binance has suspended P2P trading for SGD. I am not sure when this will resume but we are all hoping that it will be soon.

First of all you will need to create an account with Binance [referral link]. You can of course use my referral link or go direct to Binance [no referral] if you don’t want to use my link. Once you have created an account you will need to verify your identity. This is a requirement for most of the major crypto exchanges. Might as well do it once and for all.

So go to your account and choose Identification. There are several levels of verification but I would suggest you to complete advanced verification. The process is pretty straight forward and you should be able to complete them without much issues. For the advance verification, you will need proof of address – I used my Internet access bill as proof. There are several other types of documents you can use as well.

Once you have done the verification (which might take a few days – mine took all but one day), you are ready to start purchasing your first Crypto. This is where the fun begins. But how do you proceed?

First of all you will need to get convert some Fiat currency (eg Singapore dollar SGD) into a stablecoin. And with this stablecoin, you can use to trade for other Cryptocurrencies. The reason why we want to convert our Fiat currency into a stablecoin first is because usually the exchange rates for Fiat to other Cryptocurrencies are pretty bad. So it is a good idea to get stablecoins first and then use the market to trade for the cryptocurrency we want. Here I will show you how to get stablecoin via the Peer To Peer (P2P) platform. You can transfer via bank transfer or even PayNow depending on the other party. P2P basically means that you are trading directly with other traders in the platform.

Goto Trade and choose P2P.

Choose Buy, USDT (a very popular stablecoin pegged to the USD) and under Fiat type in “SGD” and then choose SGD.

You will then be presented with a whole list of traders/sellers. So choose the “advertiser” with the best rate (and good completion rate), the limit you can handle and the type of payment transfer you are able to do (like PayNow or Bank Transfer) and then click on Buy USDT. However make sure you check the exchange rates first. If it is not good, you should wait for a few hours or days to get a better rate. At the time of writing, there is 0 fee for P2P transfers in Binance. However it is important to check on Binance on the fees again.

Key in the amount you want to buy and make sure that the USDT is what you need and then choose Buy USDT.

You will come to this BUY page. But before you begin, you can chat with the seller. What I normally do is to check that he/she is actually online and awaiting my transfer of funds. Note that this is P2P and the seller might not even be aware that an order has been initiated if he/she is not paying attention. I will ask whether I should proceed and if I get a reply, then I will go ahead.

First choose the transfer method. I prefer PayNow but you can choose which payment method you want. Check everything is correct before you make the transfer. It is very tedious if you make any mistake here and to get a “refund”. So check and double check to see the amount and the transferee information is correct. And once you have sent the payment, click on Transferred, Next. You should also type that you have paid in the message box to alert the seller as well.

And if everything goes smoothly, you should be presented with this screen saying that the order has been completed and it is now in your P2P account. So click on Transfer to Spot.

You will then be transferred to the P2P page but will then need to transfer the stablecoin to the Spot section before you can do any trading. That is how this works. So go ahead and click on Transfer for your particular stablecoin.

So now you choose Fiat and Spot in the To section and click on MAX (if you so wish) and click on Confirm. If you don’t transfer to Fiat and Spot, you cannot do trading in the Binance Exchange.

Now we will go to the “Fiat and Spot” wallet to check whether it has been transferred successfully. So goto Wallet and choose Fiat and Spot.

Here we are. The most important page for us. As you can see our stablecoin (USDT) has been transferred to Spot and is now ready for trading. You can see the total amount, total available and the amount that has been set into orders. At the moment, the total amount should be the same as the total available for use. So well done! Now lets get into the actual trading!

So go to Markets, choose Zones and choose the Coin you want to trade and then click on Trade on the right. You can search for the coin name as well. These will be trading via the crypto-USDT pair.

So you will come into the trading page. In this example, I choose BTC. As this will usually be way more complicated than what I can list down here, so I will only go through the basics of trading. You should be very careful in this page and choose the correct Price that you want to buy the Crypto. Anyway click on BUY under place order, key in the price that you want to buy the coin and then drag the amount that you want eg. 25%, 50%, 75% or 100% or anything in between. Then after confirmation of the information, click on Buy BTC (or whatever Crypto you are trading).

You can see your trades in the Open Orders section. If you are lucky, the order will be fulfilled in no time and you just got your first Crypto! Of course it all depends on the price you have placed it on. Overall it really isn’t that difficult once you get the hang of it.

I hope you all the best in your crypto trading adventures. I would suggest first timers to start small. Never play with your entire life savings in the Crypto Market. May you always be able to buy the dip and make tons of money on your investments. If one day you make it big, don’t forget your buddy here. Buy me a beer or something. Please take care! You can also take a look at my Crypto Portfolio to see what I am holding. Or check out my guide on using Nexo to earn interest on your cryptocurrencies.

Categories
Crypto Investments

My current crypto portfolio

Update: 06-Jun-2021

Some of you guys might be interested in what I am holding in my Crypto portfolio. Do check the date above as my portfolio will change often. It is an ever changing market and prices and potential outlook will of course change with it. I am always very conservative and will never put a large chunk of my investments into unknown coins hoping to make it big and I would advise everyone not to do that as well. I also tend to spread my investments around to avoid being completely burnt in this volatile market.

Oh I am not a financial advisor and the information I provide here are just for educational purposes. Do not Never buy any investment products based on my recommendations and always do your own research.

ADA: Bought some after purchasing BTC. I hold a good amount of ADA in my portfolio and they are all staked. Cardano projects are looking promising even though many are yet to be launched on the platform. I think ADA has a lot of potential to grown. The prices have gone through the roof since I bought into ADA. At its peak in May 2021, it was at around USD 2.42. Even though it has dropped due to the recent crash, it is still way higher when I first purchased the coin. However I am holding it for the long term. If you are looking to adding this token into your portfolio, I would also suggest you to take it as a long term investment instead of pumping and dumping. By the way, the Alonzo testnet is coming soon. This means smart-contracts on Cardano!

XRP: Another promising candidate for long term investment. Just by looking at its ecosystem and the number of projects they have onboard, this will be a very good investment. However their prices are way undervalued recently. This could be due to the recent bad news coming out of the SEC case vs Ripple. But we are all hoping that the case will be settled soon and Ripple can go back into getting their projects up and running. Again, this should be viewed as a long term investment. Sadly I did buy a portion of my ADA when the price was high. Even though my overall XRP investments are still in the green, it is still a bit disappointing. The highest it ever went was USD 1.71. However things are surely looking up for Ripple and XRP.

EOS: <Update 06-Jun-2021> Looks like EOS is still not doing well. Even with the current rise of their cryptocurrencies, EOS is still not able to breakout. </Update>They do have quite a lot of projects onboard and hopefully they will continue to grow. But I am in the belief that EOS will soon be overtaken by other Crypto projects. Sure they do seem to have some pretty deep pockets but money alone sometimes will not solve everything. The EOS community is also not that engaged. Their prices did rise significantly recently after Block.one announced they will launch a new cryptocurrency exchange but it fell back down after the China ban announcement. It really doesn’t look too good if they are not able to hold on to the value despite the monetary support they have. They also lost a few projects recently. One of which was a major partner and that got me a bit worried. Unless there are more positive news, I will be selling my EOS token soon.

VET: This is a very recent purchase for me. The main reason that attracted me to Vechain is the sheer number of projects they have in the pipeline. With that many projects, their token VET will definitely be in high demand. And with the recent price drop, I think VET is severely undervalued. I will be keeping this in my portfolio in the near future. If you are looking into going into altcoins, VET should be a safe bet. Short of a Crypto winter scenario, I really doubt that there will be anything to stop the rise of VET. At the moment, the price of VET is pretty low. I might be stocking up on more if the price still remain at this level.

CAKE: Also a very recent purchase for me. I am keen to get into all these SWAPS tokens as I strongly believe decentralized exchanges are the future of Crypto trading. As to whether I will keep on holding onto the CAKE tokens depends on whether Ethereum gas fees will remain that high. So long as the gas fees of Ethereum is high, PANCAKE Swap will remain very attractive to smaller traders as an decentralized exchange compared to one like UNISWAP. Who wants to pay 500 dollars worth of gas fees to swap like 500 dollars worth of tokens? However with Ethereum 2.0 and UNISWAP V3’s Optimism coming to a theater near you with its reduced gas fees, all could change. Let’s see. I am currently staking half of my CAKE tokens. <Update: 06-Jun-2021>Sold my non-staked CAKE tokens and went into LP for SHIBA/USDT pair. Wish me luck.</Update>

I am also looking at DOT (Polkdot) and XLM (Stella) to add into my portfolio at a later date. Maybe even Theta as well.

You all might be wondering what happened to my BTC coins? At the moment, I am not holding any significant amounts of BTC. When I started crypto trading, I got burnt with BTC (damn market manipulators!) and that left a pretty bad scar and experience for me. I might get back investing into Bitcoin at a later date but definitely not now. I also hold small amounts of Monero & Ravencoin from mining. Yes, my portfolio is rather boring I know. But as a small time investor, being boring is good.

And if you are looking for a step by step guide on how to start trading on Binance, please take a look here.

Categories
Crypto Mining

Mining with Nicehash

One way to earn cryptocurrency is to actually “mine” for them. Cryptos like Bitcoin and Litecoin are proof of work, which means that in order for the network to process transactions, some computation power is needed to help create new blocks (decentralized ledgers) in the blockchain. This is done by miners with computers, graphic cards or with specialized machines known as ASIC miners. ASIC meaning Application-Specific Integrated Circuit and these equipment are designed specifically for mining a particular cryptocurrency. And the reward for miners doing all the work are the coins. Note that in most cryptos, who gets to create the blockchain is random, thus the more computation (aka hashrate) the higher the chance of getting the reward. That is why miners are competing against each other trying to get the highest hashrate.

So if you have a pretty high end computer and graphics card, you yourself can join a pool to mine. Mining alone is pretty difficult nowadays and you might have to mine for a long time before you even hit a block. Of course it is random but joining a pool makes it more consistent. So individual miners now join pools to “pool” their resources (their hashrate) to do mining. The Nicehash miner actually mines Ethereum but miners are paid in Bitcoin. You can also mine Monero with your CPU at the same time. I normally run the Nicehash miner with CPU mining on when I am not using my gaming computer. Your system will be sluggish if you use it while mining.

As for the profits – well not really that much. I get around EUR14 per week with my Nvidia GTX 1660 Super 6GB and about EUR 5 per week with the Minero CPU mining. It is okay for passive income/investment. I just let it run the entire day. Electricity charges should also be an important consideration as some countries the electrical bills can be quite high. So please check the charges first before you do any mining. And please ensure that your computer has plenty of cooling as the mining process is pretty intensive. Look out if your system overheat. You won’t want your house to be on fire right?

The Nicehash installation and setup is pretty straight forward. However beware that the your computer’s anti-malware system might detect it as a malware. This is because lots of hackers and scammers trick users into installing mining software on their system. It was pretty common several years ago when mining on CPU was still profitable. Once you have installed the software, it will automatically start mining. Note that you will need to create an account with Nicehash first. Your earnings will be in your account and you can transfer the BTC to other wallets once you have accumulated enough BTC. Again, there is a withdrawal fee. If you are transferring to a Coinbase wallet, the withdrawal fees are waived though.

For those looking for a little more profit, they can tweak the settings on the Nicehash software. I would suggest beginners to go for the lite or optimized settings first. And once everything is stable and heat is not an issue, you can try for the medium settings. And no, don’t go beyond that. Remember your graphics card is very costly and getting a replacement is going to be painful. And it is now even more costly than before. Everybody wants to mine! You will never be able to get a suitable graphics card at MSRP prices anymore. Checking the online prices on even older used graphics card gave me quite a scare as well. So take good care of your graphics card!

Nicehash has a pretty nifty web interface where you can control your mining “rigs”. You can see the profits being generated, the history and can tweak the setting mentioned above via this web based interface. And of course you can check it anywhere you want. Very convenient especially for those with multiple rigs to configure and monitor.

Note that profits will vary on your computer setup and can change from time to time, depending on the difficulty, number of total miners and the prices of Ethereum and Bitcoin. So please make sure you check whether it is actually profitable for you or not. It makes no sense to do it at a loss, unless you are taking it as a hobby (which is actually a very fun hobby).

Nicehash Website: https://www.nicehash.com/

They have a nice profitability calculator as well. Please check out which hardware is supported by Nicehash.

Categories
Crypto Investments

Lessons learned from trading Crypto

Been trading crypto for a few months and yes sure the market is now in a bull run but I have learned quite a lot during this period. The Crypto market can be scary as new investors see the extreme volatility. I started when Bitcoin was trading at USD52k, saw it jump to USD63k then drop to USD 30k and now it is hovering around USD38k. Yo what’s going on bro?

That is Crypto for you. Apparently Crypto traders will immediately dump or grab when someone tweets something or some government official decides to make some statement. Worse still, some of the ups and downs make no real sense. We even have a cryptocurrency called DOGECOIN being one of the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap just because some celebrities think it is “cool”. Over 130 billion in circulating supply (with no hard cap limit) and each coin is worth USD 0.30 now. It went to USD 0.70 once. Furthermore there can be an addition of 5 billion coins into the market every year. Makes no sense at all. And it can be very dangerous for investors who don’t know better. I know quite a few who just invest in crypto because they read that they can make (lots of) money from it without understanding the risks.

Anyway enough of my rant. Here are some lessons I learned from trading crypto as a small time investor. Note that my experience is in the bull market. And take everything I write here with a pinch of salt. I am no financial advisor and you should always do your own research when doing investment.

Fear . Uncertainty . Doubt
  1. Don’t be afraid to take profits. Yes that is one of the biggest mistakes I made. We are all in this for making some income for ourselves right? So don’t be afraid to take profits from your cryptos. The market is extremely volatile and could drop the next day (or even the next hour). So take your profits. Don’t be too greedy. If I think a coin has some potential, I will normally sell half or even a quarter to recover some of my investment when the price is right. If it goes up further, good for me. If it goes down, well at least I made some profit. The rest I will just hold on till the next run.
  2. Never leverage. As a small time investor it is a very huge risk to leverage your crypto. Only play with crypto with what you can afford to lose. You can see in the crypto markets that a lot of investors are leveraging, hence the wild mood swings we see nearly every week. With so much money at risk, it also forces the investor to make bad, irrational and impulsive decisions. I know, I have done it myself. Something about crypto that makes it so that greed and fear simply overwhelms you.
  3. Invest in various cryptos. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. I know of players who only invest in Bitcoin but my opinion is that this can be dangerous. We will also never know what will happen to that particular crypto and which internet celebrity or which government might suddenly harbor some hatred for it. Read about XRP, XMR and BTC. My strategy is to invest in a few different types of cryptos. My portfolio includes smart contract coins, “swap” coins (those decentralized exchange supported coins), defi coins, privacy coins and even at times stablecoins. But of course you should not invest in too many coins at the same time. It makes it very difficult to track the market trend and react if you have too many crypto to look at. I would suggest around 5 to 6 different coins at a time.
  4. Stablecoins. We might not think much about stablecoins like USDT or BUSD but they can be a good investment strategy as well. At times I will keep a modest amount of stablecoins in my exchange wallet. First they are very popular to trade with in exchanges. And if you need to act (trade) fast, those stablecoins can be used for purchase for other crypto immediately. They are also be a good source of passive income as their interest rate is pretty high. Even in Binance you can leave them to earn interest. Nexo and Celsius are also good platforms to earn some interest on stablecoins if you are planning to hold. However do note that there are “gas” fees for transfer of crypto between platforms/wallets, not to mention the withdrawal fees. So make sure it is still profitable before you transfer to and from wallets before you commit.
  5. Don’t panic. Let me tell you my experience about panicking. When I first started trading in cryptocurrencies, I bought BTC (as most first timers would) and it was fine for a few days. The price went up and I was happy. Then it tanked. Not that significantly, but it did tank beyond my initial purchase price. Being a first time investor, I went into panic mode and sold it off at a loss. And a few days later, it went up again. And I started hearing stories that Bitcoin will jump to USD 100k by this or that month and will reach a million by the end of the year and if I did not act now, I will never get it at “this price” (aka Fear of Missing Out or FOMO). So I went ahead and purchase BTC back. Of course things didn’t all go to plan. The cycle goes on and on. So my advise would be simply stay calm and think through before making any decision. The crypto market is extremely volatile and you will see big swings in either direction.
  6. Unknown coins. I know it is everyone’s dream to find a cryptocurrency that nobody knows about and hold like a million of said coins and in a few years time, they would be worth billions of dollars and we can retire at a beach somewhere enjoying life. I too have been searching high and low for such a coin. Even to the point of checking out those “burnt” tokens. But in reality such cryptos are nearly impossible to find and by the time we all heard about it, the run is all but over. Better stick to having a sound investment strategy rather than going around and buying up unknown coins which might turn out to be worthless or just a scam.
  7. Hype. One of the most dangerous of it all. Do I need to mention about DOGECOIN again? Yes we do read about people buying houses from the profits of just trading DOGECOIN for a few weeks but have you read about people losing all their life savings because of the wrong bet? Hype and sensational news are pretty dangerous in my opinion. Just a few weeks ago, DOGECOIN went up to USD 0.70 and everyone was claiming it would easily reach USD 1 or more. But it didn’t. In fact it dropped to USD 0.30. And now we have SHIBA INU. Imagine those small time investors who had placed a huge chunk of their life savings hoping to make it big, but it just didn’t materialize. Just because a celebrity “endorse” a coin doesn’t mean that it is a good investment.
  8. Know the crypto you are investing in. Or at least read a little about it. Yes there are really a lot of investors who dont even know what a cryptocurrency does. Blockchain? No idea. Well I won’t call myself an expert by any means but I will usually find out a little more about the coins I am currently investing in. Nowadays it is not that difficult to find information about such coins, especially if they are in the top 10 or top 20 in market cap. Of course you will need to differentiate between those who are trying to “sell” the crypto to you and those who are actually providing you with the facts. Furthermore if you understand a little about the crypto you are investing in, you will know a little more as to when to sell and when to buy. For example if you read that the governments around the world are trying to restrict trading in centralized trading (like Coinbase [referral link included] or Binance [referral link included]), it might be a good time to go into decentralized exchanges and the coins that support them (eg. UNI or CAKE). And you will be less prone to FOMO or FUD (aka Fear Uncertainty Doubt).
  9. Coinbase. Get some free cryptocurrency yo! Coinbase [referral link included] has this “earn rewards” section whereby you can earn some crypto by taking courses about different types of cryptocurrency and answering some quiz. I made like over USD 60 through their tutorials. Good way to get your toes wet. This is actually where I started my trading adventures.
  10. Market Manipulation. Market manipulation is very commonplace in the crypto market. Don’t believe me? Just start your favourite exchange platform and look at the history of various popular cryptocurrencies. The market goes up and down. Sheer madness. But in most cases, there is a method to the madness. It is market manipulation. For example, if a big whale wants to buy into lets say Litecoin (LTC) but they will not want to pay the current market price for their share. So what would they do? Manipulate the market! Create some imaginary “fear” so that the market will crash and buy in at the lower price. Yes cryptocurrencies with a bigger market cap is harder to manipulate and that is the reason why I always tell everyone to only invest into the bigger coins. But it still happens to a smaller extent. Just a few months ago, Elon Musk went on Twitter to tell the world that Telsa is holding Bitcoin. This resulted in BTC rising in price. But later it was revealed that they actually sold some BTC they had in Q1 of 2021. Sweet sweet profit for Telsa. So yes, small time investors like us should always take such tweets or news with a grain of salt.

Take care! Hope that these helped you in your journey into crypto investing. You can check out my current crypto portfolio here.

Categories
Crypto Mining

China Bans Crypto Mining

What does this mean for us, the common folk?

Well for me I don’t think it will affect us that much, except for the Crypto marketing crashing every time the Chinese government makes a statement or if they just sneeze. Have you seen the market lately? Roller coaster. And not those meant for 10 year-olds either. Kind of sad to see the Crypto market so volatile even when there are so many mature projects out there like Ripple and Cardano.

Anyway back to the topic at hand – what does it mean for the rest of us? If Crypto mining is profitable (and it should be considering that there are a lot of miners out there), people will continue to mine. Big mining corporations will continue to mine. If there is money to be made, it will never go away. As China bans mining, these companies will just move out of China to other countries where electricity is cheap. And with our beloved Elon Musk coming out to proclaim the need for “green” Bitcoin, these Chinese miners could potentially look for partners in the US or even Europe as well, where such renewable energy sources are more established. Anything good for the environment is good for us as well.

It is interesting to note that most Western mining companies do rely on some forms of renewable energy. They have too right? Because if they don’t it might not be profitable for them to do mining and it is nearly impossible to beat the Chinese miners if they use conventional energy sources. If the Chinese miners come in with their huge resource, we might just see the huge boom in renewable energy usage and also research. Furthermore one of the biggest problem with renewable energy is that these are usually located in remote areas – like dams for hydroelectricity, geothermal (aka areas where there are volcanic activities) and could make use of any excess energy by building their mining centers nearby.

And it is good for Bitcoin and other proof of work cryptocurrencies if the majority of the hash rate is not located in one country. Who knows what a government might do if they could just take control of Cryptocurrencies. A successful 51% attack on a blockchain network means the end of that particular Cryptocurrency and spells disaster for the rest. Especially if the cryptocurrency in question is a very popular one like Bitcoin or even something lesser known like Litecoin. The trust in cryptocurrencies would be severely eroded and might never recover. Crypto mining moving out of China might just be a blessing in disguise for the whole industry. Sure, there will be mistakes and uncertainty in the transition period but in the end, I think it is a good thing. We just have to hang on (for dear life). Read to my article on why I still think Bitcoin is relevant.

It is also interesting to note that China did come out and say that they will ban Bitcoin mining in March of this year as well. In fact, nearly every year the Chinese government have been making statements about reducing energy consumption but it still seems to me that the miners are still around. I myself invested in Hashshiny and their mining operations are supposed to be in China. Have not received any email from them about their operations moving away from China either. So lets not be too worried about the China ban. And you can also mine cryptocurrencies yourself. I am mining with Nicehash.