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.

More crypto coins to watch and saving money on Ethereum gas

Privacy coins. I have always been into coins that protect privacy online. With bitcoin (and most other coins), since the blockchain is public, it is relatively easy to figure out who’s got what. And if you send someone coins, they can look up your address and see how much more you have. If you wrote someone a check, would you want them to be able to look up how much you have in your account? I think not!

Zcash ($ZEC) is a prominent example and the zk-SNARKs used for privacy are quite clever, but privacy isn’t required by default, and a lot of their transactions aren’t kept private (well over 90% to the best of my understanding). In my opinion, Monero ($XMR) is much better. Monero uses ring signatures to scramble lots of transactions together, making it virtually impossible to figure out who is sending how much where. I’ve heard it explained as “you’ll never be able to figure out who farted in an elevator full of 30 people.”

XMR seems somewhat undervalued, as it was well over $350 back in 2017, but has only slowly crept back up to $225 or so after trading for years under $100. It is a good mining coin. They used to constantly try to avoid ASICs and stay a GPU coin by changing their algo every 6-12 months, but haven’t had too much trouble since switching to the CPU-favoring algorithm RandomX.

There are several minor players based on XMR’s protocol, like Wownero ($WOW), a funny privacy-focused meme project similar to Dogecoin in its branding. This is a smaller cap coin and is something of a test net for Monero. There are a few others like Bitcoin Private out there and PirateChain ($ARRR), but I’m not so informed about them.

Cardano ($ADA) — the new Coinbase Pro listing. This project has been on the books for years and has a substantial market cap, but really hasn’t done a whole lot. I’m not particularly enthusiastic about it, but Coinbase Pro listings generally pump a bit in price and are often work buying elsewhere before Coinbase Pro starts trading (3/18 in this case).

Hydra — Don’t know a ton about it, but KuCoin is offering insane ~180% annual interest yields on this coin through their flexible “soft staking” “Pool-X.” 10 are required at a minimum (~$180 worth) but this is quite the interest rate!

Saving gas — Gas prices these days are no joke, often costing you $30 or even more for relatively simple transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. While long-term solutions are currently being discussed, these fees are killer right now! If you want to save on your Eth gas fees, check out GasNow.org to see what times of the day throughout the week have the lowest average prices.

New Crypto Updates

Coming soon to Coinbase Pro!
  • Coinbase Pro is adding support for Sushi, MATIC, and SKL. They will go live for trading in a few days, once enough people deposit these coins on the exchange for them to have enough on-hand for trading (liquidity). These coins could pump significantly after trading opens, so buying them elsewhere beforehand could be a good move. However, all three are near all-time highs. Sushi was kind of a scam but has started to recover its reputation (it’s a token for SushiSwap, a decentralized DeFi exchange). The other two are ERC-20 tokens. Sushi can be bought on KuCoin, and the others on Uniswap, though MATIC is on Binance.US.
  • Ethereum has committed to EIP-1559 in July. This is a protocol change (hard fork). They are going to stop paying miners high gas fees, and instead start burning them to help deflate the currency. They will allow for miner “tips” to be added to transactions when submitted. This may not reduce fees, and could leave many miners seeking greener pastures, which could reduce security and make the network more vulnerable to 51% attack. Or, it may succeed. Who knows?
  • B20 is continuing to blow up and has nearly doubled since I first wrote about it. It’s a tokenized NFT exhibit (like an art museum).
  • In addition to BlockFi and Celsius, it’s worth mentioning that Gemini has thrown their hat in the ring as a major platform for earning interest on your coins. They boast daily compounding and an impressive range of assets. The highest interest rate is offered on Filecoin and the stablecoin Dai (7.4%), and rates drop from there. In order of decreasing yield, interest is paid on Filecoin, Dai, Aave, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Chainlink, PAX Gold, 0x, Uni, Basic Attention Token, Yearn.Finance, Ethereum, Bitcoin, Ren, Uma, Synthetix, Kyber, Orchid, Compound, Zcash, Curve, Amp, Storj, Maker, Decentraland, and Balancer (a measly 1.54% — beats the bank!) Importantly, Gemini is a very secure and well-respected name — perhaps moreso than the alternatives. Further, their range includes most Coinbase coins, plus a few more, and lets you earn a bit instead of just having your coins sit there.