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Cryptocurrencies
#1
-I decided to put this in off topic. It might be investing/financial related but it certainly has nothing to do with dividends. Feel free to move this thread to another area if you find a more suitable one-


So, cryptocurrencies.
Which ones do you have? Why? Anyone interested in mining them or do you just use them as a pure speculative investment? Or maybe just to see what it's all about?

Some history stuff from my experiences, feel free to skip.
Personally I hate myself right now for not getting more involved back in the day. I messed around a little with bitcoin in something like 2012.. then again in 2014. Silly stuff like getting some free bitcoins from some websites, playing online poker with bitcoin etc. I never had a lot of bitcoin, never invested into it, but I know that somewhere I still have them laying around... maybe 0.001 worth, who knows. I can't remember where they are or what the passwords are. Big Grin

Fast forward to 2018. I heard about this "game" called cryptokitties. Read up on it, I know it sounds silly but damn, there are millions of dollars being used there. It looks to me like something where you might just make a nice profit... who knew you could breed virtual cats for profit? So I figured... maybe I'll give it a try? Problem! Buying ethereum in small quantities and anonymously (I can't be arsed sending my passport copies to these relatively dodgy looking websites) is a pain in the ass.

So... mining? I still don't understand how it fully works but basically you give computing power to the network, and you get rewarded with a tiiiiiny amount of the currency whose network you're supporting. Profitable? Well I've had a miner running on my old laptop (yes I know it's not efficient) for a couple of days and made a whopping $1 or so. You consume more electricity so probably +/- $0 at the end of the day. Interesting concept? Definitely. Easy way to get a few coins just out of curiosity? Yup.

Back to the real stuff
So I currently own tiny bits of Ethereum (ETH), Monero (XMR) and DigitalNote (XDN). All in quantities so small it makes no difference. Why these?
-Ethereum is for the kitty game. I KNOW IT'S SILLY OK!? Big Grin
-Monero is the "main" thing I mine. For one, I like it's anonymity features. What I like even more is that my mining software tells me it has the best profit from the currencies supported.
-DigitalNote is actually a by-product of mining Monero. I don't know what I'll do with it but why not. It's also nice because the coin value is so low, so you actually  get FULL coins instead of having like 7 zeros after the decimal point.



So, any and all discussion related to cryptos is welcome. If you want help with the mining thing, just ask. Also, if there is anyone with large amounts invested... how do you decide on the exchange? How do you know which one to trust?
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#2
Umm.. tiny surprise this morning. A very positive one.

I've been discussing these cryptocurrencies with my friends in the past few days and now we are talking about it here too, so this morning I figured that I'll find my old bitcoin wallet somewhere. You know the one with "0.001" in there. Just for fun.

Well, I found the details on my external harddrive and logged in. Balance $0. But wait, it updated. Balance $130. Nice! It updated again. Balance, almost $1300. Big Grin So, I've now got a bit of money to play around with... what do you guys think? Split it all between ~10 different cryptos and wait another few years to see what happens?
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#3
I've considered to do the same, add a small amount (a.k.a a lottery ticket) in a few different currencies, but haven't pulled the trigger yet.

A bit curious on this one - crypto infrastructure with weekly dividends:
https://www.envion.org/en/
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#4
(01-05-2018, 10:29 PM)crimsonghost747 Wrote: Personally I hate myself right now for not getting more involved back in the day. 

This. I can barely look at the whole thing because several years ago I almost pulled the trigger on $1000 USD worth of BTC when it was at $90. Yeah, I know it wouldn't be retire early money, even at today's prices, but it easily would have been the easiest money of my life.

I'm doing a lot of reading up, but not pulling the trigger on putting any money in. I agree with folks about parallels to the dot-com boom and bust. I think blockchain has the potential to be as transformative as they say, but that doesn't mean any particular crypto is a good investment. How do you pick out the "amazon" of the crypto world, that will survive and thrive as the dust settles? And it may not even be a currency itself, but some infrastructure company like Hyperledger or something.
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#5
Blockchains have absolutely captured my imagination since mid-2017. I had heard of Bitcoin back in 2012-2013, but didnt really dig deep enough to understand what it was and never really dug into the technology behind it. Suffice it to say, I regret that decision now. 

Thats pretty cool crimsonghost747 that you found $1300 worth of BTC in an old hard drive Smile

I was reading anything and everything I could get my hands on back in summer to learn about blockchains, before I decided to put any money into cryptos. I wanted to understand the technology first before I put any money on it. Being in the tech field helped in gathering the info, and some of my education back in the day came flooding back and I was sold. To make a long story short, I think there is lots of noise in the system, with the current craze in cryptos....but the underlying technology is solid. I have no doubt in my mind that the next Google and Amazon are being founded right now!!

Back to the topic of cryptos -- I started off with ETH and LTC since I though I had missed the boat on BTC when it was trading at $5K (lol, I know). Anyway...I decided that I still want some exposure and bought some BTC later in fall. I mentioned in a previous post that I own 6 cryptos -- 3 currencies (BTC, ETH, LTC) -- of these, LTC is my biggest holding. I have more confidence in ETH than others since its a platform than just a mere currency, but I had to spend most of my ETH to buy other altcoins. I also own 3 altcoins/utility tokens -- BAT, AION and IOTA.

What I love about the cryptoassets is that they are a hedge and a brand new asset class. There is absolutely no correlation to any other asset classes that exists. This makes it a great way to diversify your wealth and protect your assets.

If interested, I have cryptoasset portfolio summarized in this blog post, with links to each of the individual token purchases. The diversification graph in that post looks nothing like that now..since the crypto world changes so fast...now, my biggest position is AION -- which makes almost 40% of my cryptoasset portfolio.

I do have a word of advice for others who are not sure about venturing into the field. You should still get into it. Buy $10 worth of crypto (ETH is a good choice for this, since transaction costs are low, is relatively fast etc), move it from exchange to wallet, experiment with software wallets, hardware wallets, try out some transactions and see how you can trace it publicly (via etherscan.io for ETH). You will see the value that it provides. Sure, some of the things are frustrating at the moment, but the tech is being improved at an alarming pace, and most of the nuisances will be forgotten. Wallets were a nightmare a few months ago, but its a breeze now (FYI, I use Exodus as my software wallet and recommend it). The experience of using and transacting cryptos will be good to have. If nothing, it will get you comfortable with the technology and make your life easier when we transition to fiat-cryptos.
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#6
crimsonghost, you can also go the route of mining cryptos on the cloud. That way, you dont have to set it up yourself. I use Genesis Mining, have a small contract there, but havent been too crazy about the customer service. Another one called Hashflare came highly recommended. I might buy a contract there to mine some BTC.
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#7
I've been reading a lot on these different wallets and exchanges in the past day or so. Basically it looks like storing and trading these things in a cheap, easy and secure manner is not exactly easy.

Exodus wallet looks lovely but I'm concerned by the apparently high transfer fees. I don't need the transfer to happen in 30 seconds, I'm ok waiting for an hour or two if that means I get it done for 50% cheaper but they don't offer this option. I'm dealing with small amounts of cryptos so a high transaction fee is always a big issue. MyEtherWallet seems to be a popular one and allows you to set the price yourself... but it's just an online service and not a program that I can install on my computer.

I would also be ok with keeping some of my money at the exchanges. I don't fully trust them but I trust them enough. Binance is not accepting new customers, that would have been my first choice. Does anyone have any experience with Gate.io or Kucoin?

In any case, even if we are talking about just $1300 for the moment, I'd like to split it into 2 or even 3 different places. Just to be sure.
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#8
With regards to mining. I personally use MinerGate, I'm not sure if it's the best... probably not... but it's certainly the easiest. And it allows you to mine a pretty decent variety of currencies and supports merged mining. Again... not sure if it's profitable (guess that depends on your electricity price) but it's certainly an interesting thing to try.

Cloud based mining. I'm skeptical. If it would be really profitable, would they be selling their hashpower instead of just.. you know.. selling the coins they create? I guess it's a more sure way for them to profit, they make money no matter where the currencies fluctuate. I've also heard of a lot of scams but I'm sure there are reputable companies out there.
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#9
Not sure you are saying that transactions on the Ethereum blockchain to go from exchange to wallet are expensive. I havent transferred in the last couple of months, but the last time I did it, it cost me about $0.08 in txn fee. However, the value of ETH has gone up a lot, so that might get translated to higher costs now, since you have to pay in native crypto...this is what happened with the Bitcoin blockchain in the last month or so.

Havent heard of MinerGate..will check it out. Most of the other ones are easy to set up to. Just sign up, buy the hashpower and pay with credit card. Yes, you buy the hashpower directly from the provider. With Genesis, the selling point is that their operations are based in Iceland where electricty is extremely cheap. I think Hashflare is based in Estonia -- not sure what their costs are...will need to compare and contrast.
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#10
Well the ETH blockchain can apparently get expensive when under a lot of stress, but there is nothing we can do about that. I found this out the hard way since I set a pretty big transfer in the bitcoin blockchain with a relatively low fee... and now it's stuck waiting for days. Well, it should either go through or cancel in the next week or so.. or that's what I hear. Needless to say, the idea that bitcoin could provide fast and cheap transfer went out of the window when the blockchain got busy due to investors moving the money... I can't imagine the fees if a lot of people were using bitcoin for regular financial transactions like paying at the grocery store. Gladly most blockchains are not at this level and the transfers are still fast and cheap... but can any of them actually have the computation power required to make it work in a large scale?

But apparently Exodus does not allow you to decide the fee, but rather just automatically goes with a high fee so the transfer gets executed fast. They even mention this on their website. It's definitely the easiest way and certainly won't make a big difference if you don't move ETH in and out often. It still seems like the easiest wallet to use and supports many different coins, so it's still at the top of my list.


Minergate is mainly made for people who want to mine with their own rigs. It actually has a nice software that makes everything ridiculously easy, just install the software, choose which crypto(s) to mine, adjust the settings (how many cores from CPU, GPU intensity) and you're done. Even has a "smart mine" feature where it automatically starts mining the crypto with the best estimated profit for your hashrate, though I imagine you'd want to stick to just one currency unless you have a really powerful rig.

I've heard that the software is not the most efficient one. But again, it's easy to set up and use for a first timer. Not a single command line, basically you're mining in 2 minutes and zero hassle. They have some sort of a referral system, here is mine in case someone wants to sign up: https://minergate.com/a/da2faf272a5cf8da3ee1a656 To be honest I haven't done any research, I don't know what benefits we (I?) get if you use this link.
They also offer cloud mining for bitcoin and monero, I haven't looked into those as I'm currently not looking to invest any money.

Overall, I have to say it's been an interesting couple of days. I've learned a lot, though I must say that this world of cryptos is a lot more complicated than I thought. And I'm damn pissed off about the pending for days transaction with bitcoin but it's my own fault for choosing to pay $5 for the transfer instead of the $17 that was quoted as the "express" price. Hopefully in a few days I get all the accounts activated and my money moved so I can get the right allocation of different cryptos to hold.
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