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.

How to get paid to work out and exercise — cardio ($$$) and weightlifting ($)

If you’re like me, you’re busy, and can always use a little bit of extra money in your pocket and your bank account. You also realize that exercise is an essential part of your life, and you need to do it to stay healthy, keep up your energy, and strengthen your immune system. Unfortunately, it can cost you some time and money to work out.

I found some ways to make a few bucks while getting a great workout in, defraying the cost of any exercise equipment and putting a few extra greenbacks in your pocket.

Cardio: bicycle Doordash or Postmates, or on-foot Postmates.

Sign up for Doordash (referral link: https://drd.sh/Eq8BJ2/). If you have a decent bicycle and are close to an urban area with bicycle-friendly streets, all you need to do is put the bag on your handlebars and let the deliveries roll. Generally, you can pull upwards of $20/hour, often significantly more if you pick a busy time with “peak pay” bonuses, a holiday, or a day with a bit of rain or drizzle (if you can stomach it). While you may have to wait around at restaurants, you’ll quickly figure out which restaurants “have it together” and the best times to do it in your area (generally lunch or dinner hour).

Unlike using a car, you won’t have expensive maintenance, gas, wear-and-tear, and insurance eating into your profit (which puts a lot of Doordash drivers in the red!).

It may also be worth checking out Postmates, which has both a bicycle option and an on-foot option for very busy cities.

Weights/other home workouts with frequent <1 min breaks: You’ll only earn ≤ $0.37 per workout with this one, but it’s better than nothing!

  1. Sign up for Swagbucks: link (this is a platform that lets you play videos, take surveys, etc. to earn a bit of extra cash).
  2. Complete all the videos on this reddit post. There are a bunch where you click (between sets), leave it open for 30 s or so, and you get one “SwagBuck” or $0.01, then start over between sets.

Bonus: Also run videos from https://hideout.co/ in the background — no constant clicking required (just a click every 3 h or so). The points can be cashed out to SwagBucks, or for even more points, cash them in on Gain.gg (this site also lets you convert them to cryptocurrency — a nice BlockChain Beast move!).

Conclusion: Use Doordash to get some cardio in, learn all the hot restaurants in town, and leave a smile on hungry people’s faces, and hit a few Swagbucks videos between sets when you’re lifting weights or doing body-weight exercises or something else at home that has frequent, short breaks. Next thing you know, you’ll add another “0” to your bank account!

Quick recap on why to use Coinbase Pro and not Coinbase — avoid the fees and spread, and set up limit orders on your terms.

If you have a Coinbase account, you also have a Coinbase Pro account. You can sign up here: https://www.coinbase.com/join/wesalo_i.

While Coinbase Pro looks a bit more intimidating and is harder to use, it’s pretty intuitive once you get the hang of it. The advantages are that you will pay way less for the same coin. This is because Coinbase has:

  • Much higher fees.
  • Markups on price when you’re buying and markdowns when you’re selling. This is called a “spread,” because they are spreading about a percent between the actual market price and the price they are giving you.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a buy order for ANKR set up on Coinbase (left) and Coinbase Pro (right) the other day.

For your $50, Coinbase will give you 318.4 ANKR tokens, but Pro will give you 332. Over 4% less! This is because you are facing a $2 fee vs $0.25 fee, and they are charging $0.1508 per coin vs $0.14991 per coin on Coinbase and Coinbase Pro, respectively!

What if you want to sell? Well, here’s a Tezos (XTZ) sale from today. If I sell the same amount of Tezos, I can get $150.96 from Coinbase, or $153.93 from Pro — 2% more from Pro! This is because the fee is $3 on Coinbase vs $0.77 on Pro, and coin is being sold for $4.61 on Coinbase and $4.6394 on Pro for a nearly 3-cent spread.

The last advantage I’ll mention with Pro is being able to put in Limit orders. Limit orders let you set a price, unlike Market where you take what you can get. With market, you are hoping that the price doesn’t suddenly jump up when you click the button. Limit orders let you set the price a bit below where it’s currently being bought, or a bit above where it’s currently being sold. Depending on how much higher/lower you go, it’ll generally “jitter” up or down to your limit pretty quickly, and you’ll get your order filled on your terms. You can also set up these orders as a “set it and forget it” buy or sell, so the exchange will automatically buy or sell once it hits your price target.

For a few coins that earn interest, however, only Coinbase pays interest. These include XTZ, USDC, and ATOM. So after you buy these (preferably on Coinbase Pro), use Withdraw to instantly move them to Coinbase for free. Note that you can generally get higher interest yields on other platforms.

All in all, if you are one of the very many people who trades on Coinbase, you should simply move over to Coinbase Pro for your trading. You already have an account if you’re signed up for Coinbase — just go to pro.coinbase.com. And here’s a referral link to sign up for Coinbase if you’re interested: https://www.coinbase.com/join/wesalo_i

Three new coins being added to Coinbase Pro, Miami Heat update, and Uniswap

New coins coming to Coinbase Pro: ANKR, CRV, and STORJ
ANKR, CRV, and STORJ will be dropping soon. These three coins posted large 24-hour gains already: 56%, 24%, and 83%, respectively, diminishing my enthusiasm for them, though a further pump once trading opens on Coinbase Pro is likely. Coinbase Pro is the second-largest exchange by volume (about 9% of total crypto trading) and brings in lots of capital from the American market. So when trading starts, the market cap of these altcoins can grow significantly.

All three of these are fairly popular ERC-20 tokens running on the Ethereum blockchain. Curve DAO is a stalwart DeFi token with a lot of old-timey-looking liquidity pools. ANKR is a solution to make web3/blockchain development easy and accessible, and allow for staking. Storj is a decentralized cloud storage platform (similar to Filecoin, which has made huge gains recently but might be scammier). I don’t know a ton about these projects, but if Coinbase Pro thinks they’re worth a listing, they’re certainly worth checking out!

To get in early (before the crowd), you can use one of the following exchanges:

  • KuCoin: ANKR, CRV
  • Uniswap: all of the above (essentially all ERC-20 tokens — watch the gas fees!)
  • Kraken: STORJ, CRV
  • Binance: all 3; Binance US has STORJ (the selection for US users is always much lower 😦 ).
  • Gemini: STORJ, CRV

These are somewhat exciting listings, and it’s important to get into projects early if you want to achieve big returns. That said, many projects are flops, and all three of these projects have lots of competition from similar projects in the space.

Miami Heat partnering with FTX Exchange:
In other crypto-related news, this is interesting:

Uniswap v3:
Famed DeFi platform and decentralized ERC-20 exchange Uniswap remains one of the most popular platforms. It is a real gas-guzzler, often responsible for 30-40% of Ethereum transactions. This exchange won many hearts and minds when it famously airdropped $1,400 worth of its token (now worth $10k) to its early users — the original stimulus check!

Now Uniswap is announcing v3 features: https://twitter.com/Uniswap/status/1374407380520239109

They added significant customization for liquidity providers, allowing them to target a certain price range. Additional features include:

Flexible fee tiers: choose between 5bps, 30bps, or 100bps

Advanced oracles: return TWAPs in one transaction

Range Orders: LPs can sell for another along a smooth curve, similar to a fee earning limit order

It is exciting to see continued development in the space. However, users are still frustrated with the high gas fees for transactions. This is more of an Ethereum problem than a Uniswap problem. However, exchange aggregators like 1Inch and novel “2nd-layer” solutions like Loopring are aiming to help solve it. Alternative blockchains to Ethereum, like PolkaDot and the more controversial Binance Smart Chain (BSC; centralized) and Cardano (ADA; centralized and rather unproductive), are also hoping to supplant Ethereum. Ethereum, however, has a long head-start, and their top position is really theirs to lose. Either way, Uniswap’s token dropped about 7% in value today to $30, which is a key psychological barrier. Only time will tell if it pumps on the hype of their announcement, or if it tanks due to disappointment with the perceived failure to address the high gas fees.

What’s the best browser and search engine? Speed, privacy, “cash back” (as cryptocurrency), ad-blocking, and more with Epic and Brave (and Chrome, Safari, etc.)

Chrome, despite its market dominance, is slow, chews up RAM, battery, and CPU like nothing else, and sells your data to goodness-knows-who behind the scenes. Try something else! This is what we use at MedSchoolBeast to get the job done!

Best browser for ad blocking and privacy: Epic Browser. Never watch a YouTube ad again! Epic blocks all of them, and has great privacy features. It’s built on Chromium, so it has a familiar interface, modern features, and generally displays most sites well.

Best browser for earning back some cryptocurrency: Brave Browser. Former Mozilla CEO Brandon Eich has started this project, and gives you crypto back in the form of Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) to reward you for browsing. It does a great job blocking trackers and keeping sites speedy.

Best search engine: Unfortunately, it is hard to beat Google for complex searches requiring a good algorithm. However, they are a monopoly, and I like to give the little guys a chance. I like using

  • Presearch to earn a little bit of their cryptocurrency every time. This is a cool crypto project that is in development. You get paid a bit every time you search. The coin has steadily gone up in value several times over the past few months. They are developing “keyword advertising” by letting someone stake their coins to advertise when a particular keyword is searched.
  • Swagbucks to earn ~$0.06 a day on a random search (then I switch to Presearch).
  • DuckDuckGo (a.k.a. Duck.com): an upstart challenger to Google! Results are getting better by the day.