Quick cryptocurrency getting started guide


1. Skim https://medschoolbeast.com/2021/03/09/cryptocurrency-bitcoin-ethereum-nfts-defi-and-more/ (high level overview)

2. Set up Coinbase account. Use “Earn” thing to get like $100 total of free coins (they have you watch short videos and take easy quizzes about the coins and you get like $3 for each answer; there are cheat sheets online)

3. If you actually want to buy anything, use Coinbase Pro NOT Coinbase. If you made a Coinbase account, you automatically have a Pro account already (pro.coinbase.com). Main reason is that Coinbase Pro gives you about 3-4% more coins for your money cuz their fees are lower. Transferring to/from Coinbase and Pro is free/instant.


4. Then there is the question of what to buy right now. No easy answer, many things are at all time highs. Personally I would say you want your portfolio to be about 50% ETH, 30% BTC, 20% everything else (good stuff like LINK, MATIC, and AAVE). BTC has been taking a nap this week so maybe nibble a little if it gets to the low $50k range. Long-term, ETH is its cooler younger bro that actually does stuff (DeFi, NFTs, etc) and I am pretty bullish on it, but it’s near all-time highs so hard to justify buying until it dips a little. Another option I would consider in your case is just having some money sitting in “crypto cash equivalents” and earning interest, and then you can quickly use this to buy a crypto when you want. Problem is Coinbase is easy to buy/sell but they pay little to no interest. You would have to start another account somewhere else to get interest. Best choices:

  •  KuCoin. Use USDT. If you use their Finance > Crypto Lending, you can lend out USDT for 30-40% annually. Pros: highest rates, tons of coins and features; Cons: more complicated to use, has to be locked up for a few days at a time. 
  • BlockFi. Use USDC. They’ll pay 10% annually for now, but usually 8.6%. Pros: easy to use, good security, can trade into a few major coins then get some interest on them; Cons: lowest interest rates and they keep cutting them. 
  • Ledn.io. Use USDC. They pay 12.5% annually. Pros: easy to use, decent rates, Cons: can’t trade any coins on there.

Yes 30-40% interest (annualized) is possible right now on stablecoins. I don’t understand why people continue to talk about their CDs and “high yield savings accounts” at a bank — you are locking in a loss of real money (against inflation). Most banks = dumb/corrupt old boomers whereas crypto is an amazing opportunity for smart young people that does not discriminate. Not to editorialize too much.

Careful w/ transferring assets. Fees on USDT/USDC transfers are high right now like $20. Lower for other blockchains like $0.04. Always copy and paste addresses carefully and double-check them. For sending large amounts, do a small test transaction first before sending the rest in 1-2 chunks.

Don’t buy: stupid meme coins near all-time highs (DOGE), dumb centralized scam projects (XRP, ADA, XLM).

Careful w/ scams (anyone saying “Send me 1 I’ll send you 2 back!” or obv anyone asking for passwords) and don’t get overhyped about most dumb new projects.

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