"hidden" or "in secret", “not perceived immediately or with certainty”
Coulda… Woulda… Shoulda…
In 2009, shortly after walking away from a twenty year career working in the casino/luxury resort construction industry, I pondered buying 100 bitcoin for around $100. Recommendations to get onboard the crypto-train were coming in from lots of folks online who I believed to be extremely informed and their messages were resonating with my newly emerging worldview. By that point, I had fully accepted the truth about our global fiat currency systems – they’re debt-based, centralized and completely rigged to benefit the few to the detriment of the greater part of the global population. I wanted out so badly that I made every attempt to remove myself from the established systems as best I could since, genuinely, I no longer wanted to support any of it.
Back then, however, and until quite recently, cryptocurrency as a concept was still too foreign for my brain to fully digest. One of my paranoia's was, how could I even trust that the internet would not be taken down by TPTB? Since then, I’ve realized the unlikeliness of such an event happening. The path that I’ve pursued up to this point has been as an intense investigator into the pioneers, places and principles associated with socially responsible, sustainable means and methods. The initial part of my journey exposed me to more earth-friendly lifestyles where I spent years living in intentional communities and eco-villages around the world learning about permaculture, biodynamic agriculture, alternative currency systems, off-grid sustainable construction, aquaponics/hydroponics, and as many other alternate approaches I could find to carry on a purposeful life without wearing what felt like the shackles of the corporate/government/financial conglomerates.
And now, here I am, delivering commentary on my research and engagement as a newbie who has just entered the cryptocurrency economy late last year (Dec. 2017). 2017 was officially the year that cryptocurrency became a new asset class. It’s proving to be the most exciting and unique landscape that I’ve discovered in a long time! Having been referred to as the “resource queen” in my former life, I have agreed to bring my cultivated hound dog research skills at aggregating complex fields of relevant information to this platform to share with you all. The powerful motivation to get up to speed on the vast complexity of this disruptively innovative market has driven me to uncover many useful resources that I’ll be sharing. Since I genuinely have no geek gene, you can be sure I will be using an understandable vernacular to deliver the latest cutting-edge cryptocurrency information that I can find, as well as, some of the accounts of my experiences at this early stage of getting into the cryptogame.
There are many clear leaders in this field that I will be referencing. Today, I’d like to share a quote from Jeff Berwick, aka the Dollar Vigilante, that expresses the enthusiasm I feel for where we are heading as we traverse 2018:
”The world is (now) innovating on top of the first decentralized consensus building technology, the blockchain. Everything that has occurred since the inception of bitcoin has shocked central planners because for the first time in history they are lost; they no longer hold power. We now vote with our money. That’s true democracy.
We choose what we find best as different technologies compete for our money.
What we are witnessing when we see the volatility in crypto is nothing more than natural human motion through price. The innovation and volatility of the crypto market may seem unorthodox to some because it is.
For the first time in history we are in a true free market. The true free market connects you to everybody and for this reason alone the market shouldn’t surprise us for feeling "crazy." Volatility is a sign of your connection to a market that is alive. Radical innovation is a sign of a market that is in its infancy still discovering itself. We are entering a brand new world as we enter into 2018.”
At the corner of CONFORM and OR BE CAST OUT Drives
Having been born in the summer of love in 1967, my default is towards peace and love. My natal astro chart clearly indicates the themes of this inherent nature as to why I've always leaned towards us all getting along merrily on this lovely planet. You know, sharing and caring… having ever greater opportunities for living out our unique ambitions. Well, the general populaces voracious adoption of cryptocurrencies is indeed carrying that reality to a whole new level right before our very eyes. If you do nothing else regarding cryptocurrencies - keep your eye on reliable cryptocurrency news daily. It's a fascinating global phenomenon to be watching right now! I really am enjoying the Crypto News app.
As the proud owner of numerous new wallets, I find this part takes some getting used to, for sure. It's just part of the deal when engaging in cryptocurrency transactions, by necessity, which require yielding many types of wallets (online, desktop, mobile, portable+). I took very small positions in all four coins that Coinbase offers and they gave me a wallet for each one. The lag time for those transactions to get from my usd bank to show up in Coinbase was 8-9 days. These wallets are in the possession of their exchange and I need to get my cryptos out of there asap since exchanges are known to still be vulnerable places to keep an asset. Currently, many exchanges are so completely overwhelmed by the demand that they have suspended new account registrations. I haven't heard back from Gemini in 3 weeks since I signed up for an account. It also seems to be important to be clear and comfortable where an exchange is based in order to consider international ramifications. Bittrex, Coinbase and Poloniex indicate they're US based.
You can open a btc/usd wallet at the crypto shop at purse.io with just an email and receive a personal btc & usd wallet address to buy or sell stuff on Purse, a unique eBay-like Amazon-connected environment with already over 10 million transactions, they claim. Purse also gives the option of opening a desktop wallet direct from their page to hold your asset under your personal care plus, they provide the ability to make direct deposits from Coinbase and Shapeshift.
The Cosmic Crypto Game & Changes to Our Ch-ching
Experience has proven to me that at times, awareness can be a double edged sword. When we learn (then know) something isn't right, awareness will often guide us towards alternatives that might be genuinely uncomfortable, leading us to entertain new approaches and perspectives that we have no familiarity with. Often it leaves us feeling forced to make decisions that will lead in new directions where we can't possibly know the outcomes.
Arriving at the new game table that is comprised of virtual, digital, electronic, blockchain, mined/un-mined crypto assets that are growing at exponential rates is my latest example. Very few folks are up to speed. No one that I know personally. The magnitude of this financial paradigm shift is quite daunting when one wants to understand it all ASAP and get involved so as to hit the ground running.
Circumstances required that I enter this game with fiat USDs and then wait over a week for it's conversion to BTC (which can then be used to convert to other coins), all the while, at the same time, trying to understand the lingo, find the right platform (incl. wallets, exchanges, +) in order to get more of those coins! It's been an incredibly bumpy yet, expanding situation just in the few months since I've gotten into it. In that time though, I managed to accomplish my initial goals of entry and now own many different coins. I had to use more than one exchange (+ countless wallets) to make this happen and it took a lot of patience.
It's also very exciting in that everyday there are new discoveries. Have you checked out some of the kewl APPS like BLOCKFOLIO? Please beware though, it turns out that Google Play store is not doing it's due diligence to vet the APP makers. By visiting the Stellar lumens (xlm) site and reading the fine print, blog, FAQ's, +, I realized that I had downloaded a fake Stellar wallet app on there (StarPay). Thankfully, I hadn't put anything into it since XLM is way up and I'd sure hate to have to share a story of lost coins here!
more at: http://www.astroecon.com/cryptoresources.html
What's the best way to eat an elephant??? (one byte at a time)
The above advice is well heeded for cryptocurrency newbies, like me. I've been getting lost in the nitty-gritty of all things related to wallets and exchanges. It's helped to consciously switch back and forth from this micro-perspective to a more macro-perspective of how many people around the globe are and have been embracing this fully. Ain't no stopping it!
Last night, my friend sent a small quantity of Litecoin (LTC) to my latest new Exodus desktop wallet. It seemed strange that this wallet download had never asked for my email or a password, nothing. The LTC took about an hour to arrive <*theory being floated: smaller quantities (amount was = $2.42) have less priority on the blockchain OR, maybe it's not that at all>. It wasn't until I went to access the LTC in the wallet that the wallet app asked for my email address and to create a password. Then, I had to go through (and retain for records) a set of twelve words that will be used for any necessary recovery issues.
One of the highest rated wallets long time running is the Mycelium HD wallet. With over a dozen coin options there, I opened one of those today, too, very easily. They required I do a "master seed backup" where I got a 12 word recovery set and opted to set a pin. This wallet has no cryptocurrency in it yet, I was made to go through the security route first. Go figure. From this wallet you can print paper wallets that hold the private keys to your assets - it's ESSENTIAL to save these long number/letter private keys or it's lost. And don't ever try to send a one type of coin to another directly, it will also be lost.
My attempts to sell some LTC from one Coinbase wallet into another Coinbase wallet for Bitcoin (BTC) has met with no luck so far. Having set up my Coinbase account via their mobile app which has a super simple UI <user interface> that shows all of your wallets values, I tried out their website access for the first time to see if the sell/transfer might work from there. They did the usual and texted a code for me to enter in order to VERIFY ID me. The dashboard opened with a lot of nice features. I was surprised to learn they allow the use of Paypal to SELL your cryptos <they'll take a 2.5% fee. When I attempted to sell the LTC for BTC (a transfer between two wallets within my Coinbase account), it again asked me to VERIFY ID. Two tries later - still no luck, I didn't get to do that transfer. All day, their site actually had a bright yellow (apologetic) notification that they're still working on completing things from December so, crypto-patience IS a virtue.
Bittrex also wasn't taking new accounts due to overload. Three weeks later, Gemini did respond to my new account registration with an email to log into their site to verify me. Went there and learned that they just need me to wire some money to the account in order to be verified (tff). Not expecting that I will since it appears they only offer BTC & Ethereum (ETH) wallets and, as you now know, I really DON'T need anymore wallets!
A Supershot of Big Picture Cryptocurrency
Clif High interviews - Jan. 2018 (Pt. 1 https://youtu.be/fTp2J8dOHP4 AND Pt. 2 https://youtu.be/tBT0Vu8sVro )
Keeping up with the Cryptos
So, have you seen the latest cover of Forbes magazine?
It's very telling. It appears the long reluctance-phase of the old money tools to cover the new asset class is finally coming to an end. Yet, all the major banks have been joining an expanding list of creditors that are banning the purchase of cryptos via credit cards. Even the SEC has publicly addressed this cryptocurrency market force to be reckoned with... albeit admitting it's a bit slippery for them to just jump in and easily generate their big bro control regs. And, not surprisingly, the "goldman" is still trying to spread doubt.
Anyone can see that there are a ton of employment opportunities in the sector. Exchanges continue to try to staff their operations to keep up with the new entrants to the market. Promising start-ups with paradigm changing initiatives need people around the globe to get on board to help them manifest their visions. It's continues to be a time for coders, tech heads and digital/virtual innovators to rejoice.
The bloodbath in the crypto's market cap that we've witnessed this past month has offered a truly tempting entry point to those eager investors who have been on the sidelines. Others have decided that they just can't stomach the volatility. After the concurrent BIG drop in most of the global markets this week, it seems the millenial's are going to continue going all in and loooong with cryptos. The Telegram space has been a truly entertaining place to hang out observing their hysterical reactions.
The Latest Exchange of an Old School Candlestick Lover
You know, the kind you put a wax taper in and ignite with a lighter...
For anyone newly arriving on a financial market exchange platform, like myself, a cryptocurrency exchange platform can feel awfully intimidating. Just to get up and running is a process, let alone understanding what it all means and how to navigate safely.
First, there's the typical requirement of conversion from fiat to cryptocurrency in order to even buy into other "alt" coins that must be completed. Second, after getting registered with an exchange, your choice of cryptocurrency upon entry only allows for buying coins paired to your coin. The term “trading pairs” describes a trade between one type of cryptocurrency and another (e,g. the trading pair ETH/BTC). With this pair you can buy Ethereum with Bitcoin, or sell ETH for BTC. What was almost exclusively offered previously, a pairing only to BTC, is now opening up to additional options, mostly with ETH & USDT pairs being added recently. Certainly, expectations are that the pairing options will expand and multiply as we move forward.
Third, the trading values are not listed in our familiar fiat USD so, the often eight numbers behind the decimal point for a crypto amount can be totally confusing as to how much the transaction actually is worth. Using a conversion calculator would seem to help but, with the volatile movement going on each minute, the values of each currency in the pair can actually change quite quickly in the short time that it takes to initiate your transaction.
Fourth, depending on the exchange, what is referred to as the spread <the difference between the the prices quoted which are the current buy and sell prices, either by a single market order (for an immediate buy/sell) or, in a limit order for a particular bid/ask price that you want for the currency pair> is proving to vary very widely depending on your exchange. Again, this is worth taking the time to get one's head around - a process I am still trying to get a handle on. I will be spending some time looking into Shapeshift which claims to allow trading one crypto for another within their application.
Fifth, these exchanges are wildly different in their fees and withdrawal criteria. Make yourself familiar with all this BEFORE you transfer funds to any of them. I've discovered that since I've only taken small positions in quite a few coins that there are minimums and limits on what can be withdrawn that is proving to be very frustrating. I tried to move 10 crypto-coins to a private wallet (off of the exchange) and the exchange said it requires a fee of 23 of that particular coin in order to complete the transaction. That there sounds like an unfortunate gouge that I potentially could have avoided had I spent more time researching BUT, to be honest, not everything is spelled out in advance for much of this new asset class. Transparency is limited. So, until I can finagle a solution, I'm feeling kind of screwed with my coins being stuck on that exchange for now which is not ideal.
I've admittedly jumped into this all with a fat-headed willingness to procure some coins knowing that there's all kinds of unknowns and risks. It's all new, ever evolving. Changes are occurring so exponentially in so many aspects that it's hard to keep up and the ongoing market volatility has really been roller-coastery.