A Personal Cryptocurrency Trading Story Part 2.
To the best of my knowledge, The Decentralized Autonomous Organization (The DAO) was a decentralized app (dApp) built on top of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). The DAO acted as a venture capitalist of sorts, essentially allowing investors who held The DAO tokens to vote on projects. There was no CEO, CTO, or other Chief-XXXXX-Officer. Instead, projects only required 30% of approval with a vote, and it would get rounds of funding.
So, of course, I limped into the EVM world. It was another chance for me to sink my claws into this community and have a say (vote) on what projects I thought we’re interesting and had future potential. Then one day, I was browsing my everyday subreddits and kept seeing posts that The DAO was being siphoned! The DAO had raised more than $140 Million, and been drained to around $50 Million. You can read about it here.
As The DAO situation was being handled, I wanted to get my investment back. That meant I might have to lift up the computer hood and make something happen. I spoke with T–my buddy who got me into crypto and blockchain–in an attempt to get his take on the situation. But, he was a bit busy with the task at-hand (aka The DAO). So, I read up as much as I could and reached out to my buddy Jeffe. As always, he helped me split my Ethereum Classic (ETC) from Ethereum (ETH). But this time I watched what he was doing and how he was doing it.
I noticed that most, if not all, of the cryptocurrencies had fluctuated a lot in a short period of time…and my investment had grown! My background wasn’t in the stock markets or reading charts, but it wasn’t rocket science. Nightly Business Report became my daily ritual, taking what I learned from there, and applying it to crypto. What can I say? I like money, whether it’s tangible or intangible. I was engulfed in a world that made me want to get up each morning.
So, I started gaining interest in how the markets worked. The stock exchanges seemed to just appease their stockholders and the bottom line. While crypto’s price derived from the volume…and speculation. I started to read up different economic theories (Austrian, Kinseyan, and Chicago), mainly to grasp a better understanding of the people in the communities’ viewpoints. I was not only gaining a better understanding on why things were, or why they are, but also to what the future could be.
The Changing Tides
While I was taking in this new knowledge, T was traveling the world, preaching the word of Ethereum and blockchain technology. One day, I got an email from T saying he’d be in Chicago for the weekend and we should hang out and catch up. Once he arrived, we had our ritual: caught up, shot the shit, and talked about life. He’d tell me about his travels and talks, and how people were receiving the tech. It was good to see that he was doing well, but one thing was evident, he was busy! Then T asked if wanted to work for him and his new company, Blockchain Consulting Group.
Of course I was gonna take on this new adventure. It paid well, I was already knee deep in blockchain, and I got to work with a friend. He told me upfront that he and I would be doing it all, wearing numerous hats. Not only was I okay with that, but I was ready for the challenge!
There were some growing pains, but by the 3rd quarter of 2016, I was fully immersed in the blockchain space. I had no real computer skills, except knowing how to search the internets. But, I did have a knack for customer service, sales, planning, coming up with ideas, and utilizing my resources. T, however, had other plans for me. He tossed me into the middle of the digital ocean, not asking if I could swim or not! Again, I wasn’t swimming, but I sure as hell was doggy paddling.
I was dabbling in everything, from accounting to programming, to business development and being a personal assistant. I would get a bit frustrated doing these things I hadn’t done before. But, midway through the task at-hand, I’d realize the value of what I was doing. I was being taught the different functions of money and how business worked. I was a bit nervous, yet intrigued. Work was finally EXCITING.
I felt like I was living blockchain as much as possible, without being a coder. I was still drawn to the day trading aspect of it, and I felt I was learning so much, yet missing out on opportunities. T had just come back from a business trip in Switzerland and brought me back a gift. It wasn’t just any gift, but a hardware wallet. To me, this was a sign from the universe to do my own belly flop into trading crypto.
So, I asked T and his friend their thoughts on trading, and they both shot the idea down! One of them said, “Give me all your holdings, and I’ll take a ⅓ and give the rest back to you, that’s day trading!” I was a bit discouraged, but undeterred.I made a plan that’d allow my profits to make me profits. Through that, I could then store some coins on my hardware wallet and put it in cold storage.
I was wary of the advice I’d read and heard, but again, I was determined to get my piece of this digital gold. So, I did a bit of research, and weighed out the good and the bad. I figured out the safest way to trade/swap without taking the huge risk. It was simple, yet ingenious. I decided to download a few desktop and light mobile clients, use Shapeshift as an exchange, and trade/swap amongst myself. It wasn’t by any means flashy, hell probably not even original, but it was the safe play with a decent ROI.
The Game Plan
I came up with my plan of action: I’d do my research on whatever coin I was considering. I asked these questions (and still do) about any coins I’m thinking about investing in:
- What type of coin it is?
- What’s its purpose?
- Who are the developers?
- What is their roadmap?
- Where they are at on their roadmap?
- What is their timeline?
- Who is their competition?
- What is their market cap?
That may be a bit much at first, it was for me, but it was the research I felt would give me the most opportunity for gains.
I had traded amongst myself for a few months, hitting minor hiccups along the way; nothing a google or reddit search couldn’t help me with. I was slowly accumulating more and more coins, I was heading towards my goal and work was going well! T was in Shanghai speaking at DevCon2. Before he left, though, he gave me one hell of an assignment. He gave me a well-known public address and told me to follow the money, which would lead me to 4 more well known accounts. If you’ve never seen a blockchain explorer or read a transaction receipt, let me tell you, it is not pleasant on the eyes.
I worked on that project for about a week. When T returned, he checked my work. It just needed a slight nudge here and there. It was very daunting, and it felt like I was beating my head against the wall after staring at all those 1s, 0s, Xs, and Os. But once I got it, I got it. To see first-hand how the blockchain could affect auditing and accounting was truly amazing.
Again, I was hitting my stride trading-wise, learning the jargon and the ins-and-outs, and then I had a terrible, terrible week! I got scammed out of 18 Dash tokens and locked away 46 tokens in an account on my computer, for which I’d forgotten my password. If only I’d used my hardware wallet…