Crypto Mining

Making passive income – staking ADA (Cardano)

For those who are uninitiated, there are different types of blockchains for different cryptos. The most famous is of course proof of work. Basically these cryptos depends on huge amounts of computation power to create blocks (ledgers) and help secure the network. Popular proof of work blockchains are Bitcoin, Litecoin and Monero. There is yet another mechanism called proof of stake. These are different from proof of work as they are dependent on the amount of cryptocurrency you “stake” in order for the user to “mine” blocks. In most cases, the more tokens you hold, the higher the chance you get to “mine” a block. In other words, to get the most reward you will need to have a lot of coins in the first place. The advantage is that it is supposedly “green” as you won’t need the energy consumption as for proof of work.

Staking is a good source of passive income as well. They will usually require the “staker” to add into a staking pool a certain amount of tokens which will be held in the pool for a fixed amount of time. For direct ADA (Cardano) staking however you will not be able to take out your coins from the pool until the staking period is over. So please beware.

As I usually hold most of my cryptocurrencies in Binance [referral link], I will show you how to get into staking in that exchange platform. Note that you can of course stake your ADA in the official Cardano wallet called Daedalus Mainnet or their lightweight web wallet Yoroi. Go to your spot in Binance and on the right click on Earn. You will be presented with the “Locked Staking” option. Click on that.

Scroll down till you find the ADA token and choose the duration. In most cases, the shorter the duration, the higher the APY (aka returns). However this means that you will need to come back often to do staking once the staking period is over. As you can see for the 15 day staking period, the estimated APY is 17.79%! Not too bad if you ask me. But do note that sometimes the staking pool will be full so you will not be able to stake the 15 days duration if you miss the opportunity as it can be very popular. And as the 15 days staking interest is so much higher than the 30 days interest, sometimes I wait for a day or so to check if there are any availability in the short period pool slot. So if you are ready to stake, click on Stake Now. But before you do that, make sure you understand that if you redeem earlier, you will lose all the interest you have accrued. Yes so please be sure before you do any staking.

Once you ensure that everything is fine, tick their service agreement and then confirm purchase. Not too sure why it is called an “purchase” but I am guessing it is a “slot” to purchase. Anyway you are done. It should start earning rewards the next day. A gentle reminder that the APY is an estimate only. Should always be prepared that there will be some fluctuations in the rewards. This is crypto anyway. The crypto market is known to drop drastically when Elon Musk sneeze or the Chinese government goes and ban Bitcoin for the 50th time.

If you are interested in maximizing passive income returns on your cryptos, you should take a look at the list of those staking in Binance as well. Some of the APYs are quite good. Sometimes when the market is down and I have some spare stablecoin available, I will scroll down this list and see which tokens are giving me the best returns from staking. If you were to look at the above example, Matic is giving a 43.29% APY for the 15 day staking period! However at the moment the slots are sold out. But how about ATOM? That is 34.47% staking APY returns! This is what I call a nice passive income. But not exactly as you will need to come back 15 days later and do another round of staking if there are available slots.

May the passive income gods bless your returns many fold! If you are looking for a guide to start buying your first crypto on Binance, it is available on my blog here. Or if you are interested in my other passive income strategies?

Crypto Investments

Nexo – Maximizing your interest returns on your cryptos

You guys know that I am a Nexo [referral link] fan. Sure they don’t have any referral codes or links which I can use but their interest rates are good and their interface easy to navigate. And no confusing financial jargon in their fine print as well.

In this article, I will be telling you how to maximize your interest rates from putting your cryptocurrencies into their platform. Note that Nexo is a lending platform. So what that means is that they are something like a bank where customers deposit money and the bank lends it out. However they are not just like any other traditional bank, their rates are much better and they are pretty transparent (at least more transparent than most traditional banks I know of).

Loyalty levels” is basically a way for Nexo to incentivize their customers to hold Nexo tokens. Nexo tokens are the native tokens for Nexo. The more Nexo tokens you are holding in Nexo wallet, the higher your loyalty level is and the more benefits you get. You can take a look at the interest rates they are offering above. And for those who are planning to borrow cryptos from the platform, you should really look into holding at least some Nexo tokens. The reduction in the borrow interest rate is quite significant. You can check out how much Nexo token is need to get those loyalty levels in your profile page. However direct purchase of Nexo token might not be available in certain countries. Probably due to certain laws in these countries.

One thing I don’t understand is why Nexo is “punishing” bigger players as they have to get more Nexo tokens to keep up with the loyalty levels. As you can see, the loyalty level is determined by the percentage of Nexo token in relation to the other cryptos held by the investor. I am guessing that would force the investor to get his or her interest payout in Nexo tokens then. But still feels to me that it is a rather round about way to increase the demand for Nexo tokens.

Other than the difference in interest rates, you can have up to 5 free withdrawals from Nexo as well. This simply means that you can withdraw your cryptos without any fees for up to 5 times per month. However there will most likely be network transaction fees. These fees are something Nexo do not have control over. Just imagine you are transaction via the Ethereum blockchain! The gas fees might even be more costly than the interests you accrue! So make sure you know these “hidden” costs when doing transfers. Isn’t it ironically that cryptocurrencies were meant to cut away costly middlemen, but only to have actual transaction fees being the biggest killer? Thank god for Polygon/Matic eh?

Advanced Verification – you can earn dividends from your Nexo tokens! Complete their KYC to achieve advanced verification status and you will earn some dividends on the Nexo tokens you hold. Note that Nexo will keep 70% of the profits while the rest (30%) will be issued out as dividends for the Nexo token holders. [8th June 2021 Update]Note that as of 8th June 2021, Nexo token will now be changed to give interest rates of up to 12% just like stablecoins. This was just changed via their voting system.[/Update]Of course those Nexo tokens must be held in your Nexo wallet and not used as collateral in any credit line. However all these information might change in the future so it is a good idea to check out their blog regularly. And Nexo is looking to improve the advantages of holding its token in their 2.0 version. Watch out for their news. Yes I do admit that currently there isn’t any real use for its token as of yet. At least to me, it is not that attractive at the moment.

Another way you can maximize your returns is just to have your interest payout in Nexo tokens instead. This might not always be attractive to most users as we usually want the payout to be in the same crypto which we have put in. But if you want the extra 2%, why not. Can always swap back to the original cryptocurrency whenever you want. Of course you might lose a little on the swap/exchange and hoping that the value of Nexo tokens rises but overall I think the 2% is still quite significant over time. And if you are putting your cryptos into Nexo, surely you are planning to hold onto your cryptos for some time right? Note that you will need to complete KYC before you can apply for the interest payout to be paid in Nexo tokens.

Note that all the percentages in Nexo are in Annual Percentage Yield or APY. So that includes the compounding interest as well. If you would like to know more about difference between APY and Annual Percentage Rate or APR, please read this.

Oh I need to mention again that I am no financial advisor. Please do your own research first before doing any investing. And if you are thinking of putting your funds into Nexo, you might be interested in my step by step guide for your first deposit into Nexo. Please take a look. Hope that it will be useful.

Crypto Investments

HODL, crypto variety & dollar cost averaging strategy

Why keeping a number of different cryptos in your wallet is a good idea if you are planning to hold on to your cryptos? Well there are “various” reasons. Please read on for why I believe keeping a variety is better. And with dollar cost averaging, we will be able to get further with our investments.

HODL – Holding On to Dear Life. Basically means you are keeping your cryptos for the long term (like for years) and not selling them even when the market moves for the short term. In my opinion, this is actually a pretty good strategy. If you are going in for the long haul, HODL will usually yield you better results rather than keep buying and selling. This is because inevitably the market will turn bull. And whatever “crypto winter” will end. I would like to add that in addition to HODL, you can also dollar cost average your investments. This means you simply divide up your investment funds into smaller chunks and deposit at regular intervals. This strategy is very good in such a volatile market like the Crypto market. A good time to enter is when there is a dip. But honestly it is nearly impossible to predict the low or the high.

However do note that if the crypto you are planning to HODL is not sustainable, the price might go to zero. So only HODL those with at least some potential to be good. Not those meme coins (like our beloved DOGECOIN) or rug pull coins which might disappear the next month or year. For those tokens, I would suggest you not to keep for the long term. They are mainly for speculative trading only.

However there is one more often forgotten trading strategy – getting into a variety of different types of cryptos. No, I am not saying buying up all the top 20 cap cryptos you see on the exchange, but choose a few different types of cryptos – like defi, smart contracts, store of value and even stablecoins. But why you might ask? Well….because they simply spread the risks. Just imagine you are holding only BTC and one fine day some very strange celebrity claims that Bitcoin is one of the world’s most inefficient currencies out there and he wants to destroy it. We don’t want to name names here but we all know what the impact will do when someone does it. Same for Ripple and their XRP tokens right? Such things do happen in the Crypto sphere and the project might take a huge hammering in the short term. So yes spreading your risks around is a good idea.

The reverse can be true as well. Again imagine if you are holding those SWAP tokens and one fine day, the biggest centralized exchanges got hacked or went down or got shut down by the government. What would that mean for Decentralized Exchanges or DEXs? It means that traders will have no choice but to use DEXs now. Of course the entire Crypto market will take a slight dip as traders and investors will be extremely concerned but they still need to do trading right? And to do trading in those exchanges, you will need the underlying tokens. So demand for these SWAP tokens will increase and thus the price will rise as well. And if you are holding these tokens, you might want to offload them to cut your losses from your other crypt holdings. You can of course use the profits to go buy cheap cryptos as well. Win- win situation.

Stablecoins is yet another category of tokens which a lot of traders do not carry in their portfolio. But is it often underrated. Who can blame them? Their main purpose is for traders to exchange other cryptos with. It just makes trading easier as we get a stable “currency” to trade with. However keeping them in your wallet and able to use them at a moment’s notice can be mean huge profits. And if those “HOLDers”, the stablecoin interest rates are pretty high if you are thinking of lending them out to others. Sure they don’t increase in value but they are always in demand. I will usually keep a small portion of my portfolio in stablecoins, especially if the markets are down. I think of stablecoins as convenient “cash” sometimes. It is always good to have some cash on hand am I not correct?

Even keeping some store of value tokens can be a viable trading strategy as well. These are easy to understand tokens and you don’t need to too much technical knowledge to use the token. And these are usually what big institutions and whales usually aim for. So when they pump it is usually big money. Of course when it dips, the reverse might be true as well.

So investors should diversify their portfolio. If you have been targeting only one or two coins, I think it might be better to start changing tactics. And of course you will learn more about the different types of cryptos out there as well. And with more knowledge, there will be less FUD and FOMO around. And with less FUD and FOMO, the crypto market can finally mature. Hopefully. And please ensure that you have sufficient funds to meet your daily needs in case of a sudden downturn or unexpected need.

By the way, I am no financial advisor. Please do your own research and all investments come with a certain level of risk. You can check out my portfolio and see which tokens I am currently holding.

Crypto Investments

Being a liquidity provider – is it a good idea?

You have to admit the yield rates for being a liquidity provider (LP) looks very attractive. Some DEXs (Decentralized Exchanges) offer like up to 40-50% APY for being a LP. Definitely something every investor in the Crypto market would be somewhat interested in. The first time I went into investing, I was too shocked to see the extremely high returns for being an LP especially if you are putting in both pairs into the pool. The common DEXs are Uniswap, Binance DEX, Pancake Swap and numerous others. Note that some of them are running on the Ethereum blockchain, so their “gas” fees might be pretty high. However I would recommend users to only provider liquidity to DEXs which are more established.

Anyway before you dip your toes into being a liquidity provider, there are some risks you should know about. I am no financial advisor and everything on this article is just for informational and educational purposes. So please do your own research. Anyway back to the risks and there will always be a risk. I would even consider this quite a high risk considering that the Crypto market is volatile. The biggest risk is something called IMPERMANENT LOSS. Basically it is when the prices of the coins or tokens you have added into the pool changes and change drastically.

To simply explain how this works – you add in tokens or coins to the pool and the percentage of your stake is now recorded, lets say 10% of the total amount of tokens in the pool. If one of the token’s value increases, there will be a corresponding decrease in the NUMBER of that tokens in the pool. This is due to arbitrage in which bots come in and start buying up the tokens and hence the number of tokens are reduced. And lets assume that you would now like to withdraw from the pool and as the total amount of tokens in the pool has reduced, your 10% stake will result you in withdrawing LESS tokens than what you have initially put in. And this becomes PERMANENT LOSS. Of course since the LP gets the cut of the trading fees, the loss might not be that great. However if the price of the token rises a lot, you might see a significant drop in the number of tokens you get back especially if compared to just holding on to the token. The opposite is true as well. If the price of the token drops, you will see an increase in the number of tokens you get back when you withdraw. Note the difference between number of tokens and value of tokens. And you are basically hoping that the trading fees (yield) will be more than the loss.

Other than this IMPERMANENT LOSS risk, there is also a risk whereby the DEXs get hacked or exploited and funds get stolen. I believe recently there were a few cases of such hacks occurring. The most famous DEXs that got hacked into recently was DODO. But luckily the amount stolen was relatively small. However this shows that such things do happen. Furthermore DODO is one of the top ten DEXs out there. Kind of disappointing that such attacks still occur for major DEXs. And depending on the DEXs behind it, LPs might find that they might not get back their tokens. And no, the users (as in the traders using the DEXs) usually will not be affected as these DEXs usually work via having their traders transfer tokens in and out of their own wallets. However as the recent Pancake Swap incident shows, even DNS can be hijacked and users (aka traders) can be compromised.

So is it worth the while to become a LP? If you are like me who is not a huge risk taker, I think it is not a good idea to get into providing liquidity to pools. Although many of the DEXs allow you to take out from the pool immediately, there are still plenty of risks involved. There are other passive options out there – lending platforms being one of the them. Or even just staking your tokens. Furthermore the Cryptomarkets are so volatile. Prices of the (non-stable) coins will inevitable rise and dip. You will almost certainly face issues with impermanent loss. But if you are looking to get some major returns without the need for trading, then sure you could look into being a LP. The returns are indeed very attractive. These usually consists primarily of the trading fees levied on the traders. However you do need to know when to withdraw from the pool. For small scale traders like us, the market going up is the time where we should be selling our tokens. However when the price of tokens varied greatly, this is when the impermanent loss is the highest. So please beware if you are looking to become a LP.

Note that in most cases, the liquidity pools would require you to provide an equal value of the pairs for the pools. So for example USDT/DOGE pool, you will need to provide the equal value of USDT and DOGE to the pool for better returns.

You might also be interested in what FOMO & FUD means. Please check out my little rant on how that works and why it could ruin your trading experience.

Crypto Mobile Crypto

Bee Network – Yet another mobile mining application

I don’t really have anything against mobile “mining” applications but I feel that the Bee Network really needs to provide its users a little more information about their application. Yes their white paper has improved quite a lot since I first started using this app but still I have no idea what are their main purpose here. They talk about being a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) and whatever the advantages of being a bee is but nothing much else remotely concrete in this white paper.

And their core team seems to be hidden behind some mysterious cloud which is kind of surprising as they keep saying that they will announce the members, sponsors and even the advisors for quite sometime. Is it really that difficult to give the names of the core members which should already have been around since the beginning of the project. Not too sure why the secrecy, especially considering that they do have some big financial muscle behind them. At least judging from their domain name – That is one pretty expensive domain name.

Anyway enough of my ranting. We should be checking out their mobile application and finding out whether they are a scam or are they the real thing. After using the application for a few months, I didn’t face any issue with the app. Runs fine and none of my friends complained that they had any issues either. Very lightweight as well. And I must say, the interface is pretty decent. Definitely much better than the Pi application. Probably something the Pi team should take note of. Having a slick interface makes the users want to keep on coming back, even if it is just to tap a button.

As to whether it is a scam? I personally don’t think it is a scam though. Someone made the effort of creating the application, the pretty long winded white paper and the app is being updated constantly. And they don’t seem to be selling me anything. I have not paid a single cent since I started using the app. And no advertisements either. Which is pretty nice, considering that even the Pi Network app do have advertisements. I am guessing the most probable explanation could be this could be another commercial venture for a mobile gaming network and they are trying to promote it by making it into a crypto mining community.

For the uninformed, these crypto “mining” applications do not actually “mine” coins. They are merely simple applications to distribute virtual coins to the user and just only require the user to open up the app once per day to get the rewards. You won’t need that much processing power or even bandwidth for this purpose. In this case, the Bee Network app gives the user Bee Tokens. And how much is the Bee Tokens worth? Nobody knows. Heck, I don’t even know whether the Bee Network will be successful or not. It could just disappear in a few months time, who knows? Admittedly, their numbers do look strong but I still have my doubts. At the moment there isn’t even any information on the type of blockchain engine they planning to use for the Bee Network. And it is kind of strange that they are following the exact “team” structure as Pi Network – team members and “verifiers”. This would suggest to me they will be also using Stellar Consensus Protocol (SCP). Direct copy of the Pi Network. So I am still on the fence on this project.

The number of users on this network seem to be increasing quite significantly if we were to believe the stats being shown on the application. Seems that they have reached 10 million users in like 6-7 months, while Pi Network has over 18 million. Pi Network is the first “mobile mining” crypto based application and looks like Bee Network is quickly catching up to them. If you would like read a little more about the Pi network, please check out my review there.

With all these being said, I honestly don’t see much harm to install the application and spend a few seconds everyday to tap on a button. For me, I just love meddling with my phone and a few seconds per day pressing the screen is nothing to me. All in the hopes that one day the Bee Network will be successful and I will be able to use my Bee Tokens for my retirement. Which is highly unlikely, so please don’t get your hopes too high up. But we can always dream right? And even if the project goes ahead, it would probably take a rather long time for it to mature and for the Bee Tokens to be worth something. Another reminder that Bee Network have yet to announce the type of blockchain it will use for their engine. But their announcement posts seem to suggest they are hiring staff and community members though. Might be a positive sign.

If you would still like to go ahead and give Bee network a try, you can make use of my invitation code: u27g8mdm when you sign up. Link to their website is here.

Crypto Mining

Monero mining – switching from 2miners to MoneroOcean

I have been mining Monero for a few months now. Not to say that the mining has been profitable – in fact it is not really that profitable. And it seems that mining at 2miners, the reward rate does seem very inconsistent. Sometimes I do get the rewards but at times even half a day can go by without any block reward (XMR). Perhaps it is because there are that less miners in the 2miners Monero pool or something but it can be rather frustrating for the miner.

Then I read about MoneroOcean and their algo switching miner program (basically a modified XMRig that does benchmarks for different algo and use the most effective one) which is supposed to set your miner to the most profitable algo for your rig. Yes Monero is supposed to be ASIC-resistant and they do use a number of algorithms to help fight against ASIC mining. If I am not wrong, the developers even change these algorithms frequently to ensure that there is no ASIC miner being made for Monero mining. Cool right? Do note that I mainly CPU mine, so the hashrate depends mainly on my processor(s). I have one sad rig using the new generation Ryzen and a few older ones. They seem to be working fine but the inconsistency at 2miners really irks me. So now I started changing all my rigs to the MoneroOcean pool.

And yes the consistency has improved quite significantly. I am getting rewards constantly. Of course the rewards per block found is much less as MoneroOcean has way more miners and rewards are shared. They are also a pool! However MoneroOcean have way more hashrate to compensate. As to whether it is more profitable – well it is pretty hard to say exactly but I think it has improved. Not by a lot but still a slight improvement. Their modified miner is supposed to fine the best algo for your computer right? And you should only use their modified miner which can be downloaded from their website. At the time of writing, their pool fee is 0% and the only way they make money is via withdrawal fees. Even their modifier miner is free without any donation to the developers. I will update this in a few months time to give you guys a fuller picture on the profitability.

As to the interface and user friendliness of MoneroOcean? The interface is okay. Nothing crazy to shout about. Gives you everything you need to know in one page. But the web interface is pretty slow and sluggish. Probably because I am in Singapore and their servers might be located far away. 2Miners however did not give me any issue though. Fast and responsive. When I refresh, the page refreshes nearly instantly. But seriously if you come back from work and you are hoping to see at least something in your rewards but discovered that no blocks have been mined – your morale and the will to keep on mining pummels. I think I will just stick with MoneroOcean if the rewards remain more consistent.

Yes my hashrate is pathetic but I usually CPU mine. Don’t really have lots of the newer computers with the latest processors at hand. I take it as an hobby. And it helps to secure the network as well. And those Ryzen processors seem to be doing a better job than Intel processors in getting those high hashrates. Not too sure why though. It could simply be the Monero algos being designed for AMD processors rather than Intel. If you are serious about Monero mining, there are plenty of guides out there to optimize mining. Seems that memory and memory timings also factors a lot when doing Monero mining. But I won’t go through the details here. And no, I will not recommend solo mining. It will probably take very long time to even hit a block and that means even less consistency! Always join a pool when mining.

Do note that if you are thinking of making profit with Monero mining, you should not only concern yourself with the hashrate, you should also be wary of electrical costs in your country. If you are living in Singapore with high electricity bills, you will most likely not make any profit at all. In fact, you could be making a loss after deducting costs. So please beware. I also mine with Nicehash using my graphics card. Mining ETH but getting payout in BTC with Nicehash. It is a GTX 1660 Super.

Update 4-Jun-2021: Yes the returns for MoneroOcean is better than 2Miners. Have gotten nearly over 30% more rewards than in 2Miners.

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.

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!

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.

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.