I’ve been hanging with the crypto kiddies for a few months now and sold the bulk of my holdings on the spike late last week. After the dust settled, I keyed the figures into my spreadsheet and started planning how I would spend the massive CAD 100 profit.
Why did I sell? For one, the rent was due and my landlord doesn’t accept Ripple. Being late with the rent makes me nervous, especially when a motorbike pulls up next to me with a pillion passenger on the back.
If you missed my previous crypto piece here’s a quick refresher: Late last year I made my first crypto purchase and settled on XRP. I couldn’t have made a worse choice. Had I purchased Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) or even Bitcoin (BTC) my returns would have been multiples of what they were.
Even though my initial entry was exquisitely timed, with the trade roaring ahead shortly after purchase, I had such a small position size that there was nothing to take off the table, so to speak.
After gravity kicked in (it always does!) I started buying the dips. There were lots of them.
For a trade which lasted just over 3 months, most of my time was spent in drawdown which at one point neared 20%. It was painful, which is why when the position roared back into the black, albeit ever so slightly, I didn’t hesitate to exit.
I got out around USD 0.37 and with the price now trading a few cents lower it doesn’t feel like a bad decision, especially as everyone is still scratching their heads as to why all cryptos shot higher.
For another, I’d been playing with fire for months by allowing my coins to be stored in the exchanges coffers. During this time, Canadian cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX imploded in a movie-worthy plot.
The founder, Gerald Cotten, dies mysteriously while in India opening an orphanage for the poor. The private keys to the exchanges wallets cannot be retrieved from his encrypted laptop. The conspiracy theories begin almost immediately the news is released – an ‘exit scam’ whereby he supposedly faked his death and ran off with the crypto seemed somewhat plausible.
A will which was signed only a few weeks prior to his death, leaving his assets to wife Jennifer Robertson and 100K for taking care of his two dogs adds to the intrigue.
When the 30-year-old founder of a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange died suddenly, he took the whereabouts of some C$180m ($135m; £105m) in cryptocurrency to his grave. Now, tens of thousands of Quadriga CX users are wondering if they will ever see their funds again.
Even though Cotten’s death certificate has been produced, skepticism remains strong.
Over to independent journalist Amy Castor who is deeply enmeshed with the cryptocurrency scene.
What really happened? Will we ever know?
Not your keys, not your crypto.
One Redditor recounts his story of losing his life savings of more than half a million Canadian when Quadriga sank below the surface.
Having blown up more than one trading account in my lifetime, I was initially a little empathetic.
Until I watched the video. Hards yards, right there.
Bro, you put borrowed money into crypto. You went for altcoins. You broke some of the fundamental rules of the game. The only advice I have for you is one I got off 4-Hour guru Tim Ferriss: Don’t try and make it back in the same space you lost it.
That which hurts, teaches.
The term wallet is something of a misnomer when it comes to crypto storage. It doesn’t store your coins at all, but rather your all-important private keys.
If you’re not in control of those keys – you’re not in control of your crypto. Someone else is and it’s really only a matter of time until it all goes tits up.
I’m pleased with my crypto exchange – all withdrawals have been promptly processed, with fiat available in my bank account in a matter of hours. As it should be.
Despite that, there’s really no way of knowing exactly what’s going on behind the scenes unless you’re on the inside. Do your ‘coins’ even exist? Are they segregated from everyone else’s? Are ‘secure off-line servers’ really just someone’s laptop?
Never forget the business mantra “Fake it until you make it.”
Netflix and Nickelback
While long XRP I begin to research the sector and discover I’m holding the Nickelback of crypto coins.
Ripple appears to be hated like no other crypto asset.
Is Ripple a scam?
Many believe so.
It’s easy to argue that all crypto is bullshit.
In his recent article, Forbes columnist Jason Bloomberg makes a compelling case that XRP is a steaming turd.
At its core, the Ripple business model is a pump and dump scheme, as it undergoes numerous activities to increase the value of the XRP cryptocurrency (crypto). Unlike most crypto pump and dumps, however, Ripple takes numerous steps to obscure this basic fact.
That’s where I decided to invest my profits, which is enough to cover a six-month subscription.
Last weekend I binge watched Billions, Manhunt: Unabomber, Selling Sunset, Afterlife, Safe and the Fyre festival documentary.
Money well spent, and I’m looking forward to Netflix producing a documentary on the Quadriga debacle.
Surely it will come?
–// Craig Amos
FULL DISCLOSURE: The author still retains a small XRP holding at this time. Held on the exchange, but not for much longer having pre-ordered his Ledger Nano X