DaveTradesCrypto – The Diary of an Unmade Man – Ep2

Episode Two – ‘So what really is this crypto lark?’



Want to learn what Crypto, Blockchain and Bitcoin is? Well, so did I!

I was looking forward to getting rich quick, and making multiple millions of whatever currency I wanted and it was all going to be as easy as a quick stroll in the park. I did realise I would actually need to start finding out about this alien new world and learning what certain things actually were, and what certain terms actually meant, otherwise it really was going to be a car crash! So I set about it. I book marked a day in the diary to really sit down and learn. To scroll through the wonderful world of internet searches and wikipedia explanations, and to start to unravel a terrifyingly puzzling world. I decided to start with the basics (at least I made a decent start!);

  • What is blockchain?
  • What is cryptocurrency?
  • What is Bitcoin?
  • How did Bitcoin start?
  • How does Bitcoin work?
  • What is mining?

After a bit of keyboard poking, much head scratching and confused monitor stare-downs, I decided I needed to reduce the jargon and bring it down to layman terms – I am a tradesman after all. I acquired an old fashioned pen and pad of paper from a near defunct drawer in the office and started to come up with my own answers. Basically I whittled down most of the technical jargon and make it palatable for myself to understand. I am an average consumer, let’s not forget that. I do not understand computer science, coding or anything of a real technical computing nature. But I do have an understanding of how I like to understand things, simple! And a quick note for developers; from my point of view, if you are unable to explain something to a child then how are the mainstream going to adopt something? After all, humans DO NOT like change! Not everyone can, and will be able to read and/or write code, whereas we can tap a button on a phone screen, and we do like pretty icons!

With scratchy eyeballs and squared vision I realised I’d learnt a hell of a lot, I was ready to conquer the world. Coinbase here I come…


…’After all, humans DO NOT like change!…’


Armed with my new found, kindergarten level of knowledge, I felt ready to tackle the next task; buy me some Bitcoin! Thankfully after listening to the CRYPTO 101 all week I had gained some knowledge of a place called ‘Coinbase’. This was supposedly the place to go for Bitcoin virgins; so that’s where I headed. To my surprise I was greeted by a decent looking website, and some more mysterious coins?! Ethereum? Litecoin? What are these bad boys all about?! Obviously there’s Bitcoin but there’s more choice, oh dear this could get messy! I spent a few minutes poking around and I’ll be honest it’s a not a bad website. It looks exactly like a slick, well oiled, multi million dollar website should look like. It’s appealing to the eye, it looks like someone has thought;

‘Ok, so what do new people to this crypto market want? Yeah, that’s right, some more of exactly what they are used to already in a mainstream market. A good looking website that looks like it’s easy to navigate. Let’s not change anything to scare anyone off, especially by overcomplicating things, no, let’s keep it nice and simple. After all the Joe public LOVE simple!!’ 

Boom! That right there is A-grade, numero uno. First up, foremost, make it look good and keep it simple! Honestly, I know now that guys are looking to create Web 2.0 or whatever they call it, but trust me, it is really not blockchain/computer/nuclear/quantum/physic science! Please guys, just keep it simple! 

Google; you tap the search button and away you go. Amazon; you look for what you want, and hey presto, you click it and buy it. Twitter; you type in what you’re looking for and, damn, scrolling is hard right?! Ebay, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Uber. They are all adopted by the masses, for one reason, they are easy to use! What happens when they change something? There’s uproar, because developers start meddling with things. Humans DO NOT like change! (remember?!) Making things overcomplicated and difficult to use is an idea/company killer. Before Google there was Yahoo, Ask Jeeves and various others but Google made it easiest and most convenient to search for something, that’s why it stuck!

Signing up to Coinbase was relatively easy, although I did have a bit of scepticism giving my details still not wholly believing in the security issues associated with crypto. I’m new and my trust levels are currently quite low until proven otherwise. I then tried adding my credit card to transfer a payment and basically choked on my brew at how much they wanted to charge me for automatically converting my Great British Pounds into Euros! I nearly gave up at that point, genuine! But I’d come too far, I was determined to see this through. I took a little trip to the good ole Youtube and found what I was after. A little workaround via an app called Revolut, I converted my GBP into Euros and transferred it across to Coinbase. The first of many, many codes found it’s way into my shiny new notebook and there I sat patiently waiting for my monies to find it’s way across cyber-space. Jeez, it took it’s time! I know patience is a virtue, but it was definitely sketchy having to wait 2 whole days for it to appear! With the money then safely in my newly established Coinbase account I headed back to Youtube and CRYPTO 101 to find out where to go next.

I did the usual GDAX set up and switch across from Coinbase, with again, a little help from Youtube (thank god for youtube, I’d barely be able to tie my own shoelaces in the morning!). GDAX however, is a different beast to Coinbase. It is 100% overwhelming to start with, and I had a near on epileptic fit the first time I sat there watching the numbers and lines moving about the screen like an army of bustling ants! I am not a trader of any kind, and I am extremely new to all this exchange lark so it really didn’t make any sense. I’d listened to CRYPTO 101 about ‘Maker and Taker’ fees – didn’t fully understand it but hey why not just give it a go. I didn’t have a clue whether anything was trading up or down that day but I did know basic rule #1; buy red, sell green! I’d worked out about the green and red lines and decided to get involved. Limit and Stop didn’t make a whole deal of sense either but I’d guessed Market was a my kind of level to start with. I’d transferred about £100 to play with, so I put that in and hey presto I’d bought me some Bitcoin. I must admit it was a good feeling, it had taken long enough to get to this point. And having some sort of ‘internet money’ made me feel like part of an exclusive community. I’d made my first move, I was officially a crypto investor. I now just had to work out how to transfer it back to relative safety and then it was all systems go, strapping on my seat belt and getting ready to ride this ship to the moon!

I’d had my first taste, I didn’t fully understand how much I had bought or what it was worth, but I was ready for some more. I transferred another few quid across and got to work filling other people’s bank accounts with my hard earned money. Slow down you fool, just slow down god dammit! I’d promised the missus only a couple of hundred quid. I’d doubled it, and it was only day 1. I was in the doghouse and I needed to get myself out. Sharpish!




If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please go back and check out my others. If you’ve already done that, never fear, I am looking to write a post every week, and get something posted at the weekends.

Next up;  Episode Three – ‘Walk before you can run!

As ever, thanks for reading and happy trading folks!


Dave x


E – davetradescrypto@gmail.com

T – @DaveDustpan


What We All Need To Hear — A Fireside Chat


Former President of the USA, Franklin D. Roosevelt, famously inaugurated a since forsaken ritual known as the “Fireside Chats” in which he would speak openly to the American people over the radio. Rather fittingly, some of the topics he discussed in the earlier chats included banking crises and a looming recession.

ICO 101 host, Aaron Paul, recently sat down for his own fireside chat of sorts, not because he had planned to, but because a prospective interview had completely abandoned the podcast recording with no warning, no apology. If you haven’t already listened to the podcast, I recommend you do now — it is only 10 minutes.

Aaron hits on some incredibly important points concerning the professionalism — or lack thereof — in the ICO space currently. Speaking from his business background, he rightly highlights that small habits and behavioural traits can go a long way in establishing your product, your brand, and ultimately your project, as a leader in the ICO space. No-showing an arranged interview, not being able to clearly explain your project’s tech, and failing to justify enormous hard caps are not good habits to develop. Unfortunately, they are patterns of behaviour we are seeing more and more frequently of late.

While the point of this fireside chat was to do what Crypto 101 and ICO 101 have made a habit of doing — demanding excellence from the space — there was one more thing I felt needed to be stressed. That is our role as investors, as students, as early adopters in the cryptocurrency + blockchain universe. The crypto + blockchain space includes tens of thousands of people like us — the university students, parents, retail workers, truck drivers, nurses. The lack of professionalism often displayed by these ICOs is a slap in the face to us all who are investing time and money into this promising new technology and trusting them to deliver their end of the deal in bringing about a less centralised future.

It often feels like the focus is all-too-often squarely placed on the next promising ICO, or the latest success, even the latest exposed scam. The ICOs currently on the market or asking for our support are both heroes and villains of the story.

But where does that leave us?

We have become standers-by. We are left to either fortuitously ride the success of the heroes, or go down hard with the villains. On both occasions, we are nothing more than hangers-on — extras on set. For some of these ICOs we are little more than piñatas full of cash, waiting to be cracked open to reach that absurd, astronomical hard cap. Then, if the ICO turns out to be a scam, or fails for any number of reasons, we are often treated as idiots for having invested in the first place.

This is not acceptable. As early adopters, as investors in these projects, these teams, we are the essential ingredient that makes the ideas come to life. Without us the ICOs are nothing, they have no capital, no tangible way of putting their ideas into practice. As such, we need to start seeing ourselves not as standers-by or hangers-on, passively waiting to go to the moon on the back of some pump and dump, but as protagonists too.

We are part of the main cast in this blockchain blockbuster.

We need to start seeing ourselves as major players in the space. When we do, we start to demand excellence from ICOs, not because we are waiting to go to the moon, but because we value the tech, we see the potential in revolutionary ideas, and we believed in a promise, in a team, who said sold us on the idea that they alone could bring about a small part of the decentralised future.

If Aaron Paul’s fireside chat serves as a reminder to the many complacent, unprofessional ICOs currently in the space. I hope this write-up can serve as a reminder to us, the investors, to not be complacent and to see ourselves as the protagonists driving the story forward.

Aaron Paul’s Fireside Chat — https://apple.co/2GGANEU

When Facts become FUD


It is quickly becoming normal to not question some of the established crypto projects. This is incredibly unhealthy.

While it may not be comfortable to have our favourite investments challenged, if we lose the practice of being critical, demanding excellence from the projects dominating the space, expecting clarity and precision from whitepapers and mission statements; if we fail to call out the inconsistencies or potential oversights of these projects because learning about these things is hard work and can make us feel uncomfortable, then we are doing ourselves and the cryptosphere a giant disservice.

This habit of denying all uncomfortable news or opinion isn’t just reserved for the crypto projects themselves, but even the media outlets, blogs and content aggregators.

An extreme example:

A few weeks ago I found myself scrolling through my Reddit feed, which is now mostly just crypto-related news, memes and opinions. One post caught my attention. Something about cryptocurrency regulations in the US. I clicked on the link.

Immediately my ISP sent a warning indicating that the site I was about to visit was likely malicious and that I should not continue to load the page. The warning specifically alerted me to the presence of malware on the site. I quickly closed the tab and returned to Reddit. Curious, I checked out the user who posted the link. Their entire Reddit post history was one long stream of realistic-sounding headlines and coin speculation posts which ALL linked back to this apparently malicious website. Almost one every hour on most of the major crypto subreddits. There wasn’t a single post that did not include the link.

Alarm bells?

I then did some further research and discovered that the site was blacklisted by Norton Security services as a malware gateway.

I’m not a cybersecurity expert, but with the abundance of scams, rorts and shady business that have been picking up steam in the last few months I considered myself lucky that my ISP recognised the site as dangerous and allowed me the opportunity to avoid a potential hack. I thought I should warn the community that this user was likely using Reddit to spam opportunities for spreading malware.

I reported the user to Reddit support and to a number of the admins on the major channels. Finally, I decided to make a post on r/CryptoCurrency. I called the user out by name and mentioned that they were spamming links to a malicious site and that people should be careful.

The response was shocking. There were those who upvoted for visibility and said a quick thanks. But there were a surprising number of people who immediately accused me of spreading FUD.

Like, really surprising.

Here I was simply trying to bring people’s attention to a threat to their online security, people who are likely trading in cryptocurrencies themselves, and apparently, I am a FUD spreader!?

I even got private messages from people accusing me of spreading FUD for Reddit Karma or financial incentive. How that is even possible, I have no idea. One person even threatened me saying “You should really watch your back from now on.”


A less absurd, though equally worrying example:

I recently published an opinion piece about Power Ledger. I was clear from the start that I did not consider myself an expert in crypto or energy markets and I was looking to learn, but I had some pretty prescient questions concerning their vision and model (questions I must admit, that remain largely unanswered). You can read the article here.

Again, because I wasn’t singing praise but instead demanding excellence and explanation, I immediately was accused of spreading FUD. I was accused of being affiliated with competing brands, of being ‘jealous’ I did not buy in at the right time. But mostly I was just too stupid to understand the product so I resorted to spreading FUD.

This was all insane to me.

We need to be clear about what FUD is. Decryptionary defines it as “Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. FUD is any information that is supposed to create feelings of fear, uncertainty, doubt and other negative emotions.”

With this definition, a warning about malware, or a critical opinion piece about your favourite coin might induce some feelings of FUD. You might become fearful of Reddit, or uncertain and doubtful about a product you have already invested in.

However, before crypto, before online forums, as far back as the 1920’s FUD referred to an intentionaldisinformation strategy.

The difference is in the intentionality.

Somewhere along the way, in this haste to drive Lambos on the Moon, we dropped the significance of the intention behind the information we consume. We just believe that if something makes us feel good, it’s true. If it makes us feel bad, it has to be false. If someone doesn’t buy into the hype of our favourite coin, they are an idiot.

In the study of logic, something is necessarily true if and only if it cannot be otherwise.

So, we need to make something clear. If your reaction to some news or an opinion is either fear, uncertainty, or doubt, that does not mean that the news or opinion is necessarily false. Similarly, it does not mean that that information is intended disinformation strategy designed to make you fearful. Of course, sometimes this may be the case and we do need to apply some critical thought, but it is incredibly unhealthy to assume that every time you feel fear, uncertainty, or doubt creeping in, the stimulus you are engaging with MUST be false by definition and intended to deceive. FUD is in the eye of the beholder.

The tendency to treat uncomfortable information has a name in psychology, it’s called confirmation bias. It is the tendency to interpret all information that comes to us in a way that simply reaffirms our pre-existing beliefs. If something can be understood as confirming what we already believe to be the case, it is welcome news. If something is a little more ambiguous, we can bend and stretch it to make it positive and thus confirm our biases. If something is just too strongly contrasting what we already believe to be true then it simply discarded as false.

Ask yourself, ‘could what I am reading be true, even some-what true? What reasons do I think it is/isn’t? Is this worth further investigation?

This is a space in which being informed and educated is unquestionably the best way we can prepare ourselves to make better decisions. Some people out there are simply asking genuine questions — questions that need to be asked — and they are immediately shut down and cast aside as ‘FUDsters.’ We are all at different levels in terms of our knowledge and experience of the cryptosphere. Some people need the basics answered without being slammed. Some people will think that the answers they are being given to the basic questions are still not convincing enough. Some people will find faults, concerns or possible future problems with our favourite coins.

The stupidest thing we can do is not listen to these people or shun them as ‘FUDsters.’ If on the odd chance they are ill-intentioned and just trying to panic the market, if we have taken the time to become educated and apply a little critical thought, what they are spouting is nothing to panic about. But if they are legitimately pointing out a potential problem or concern, burying our heads in the sand benefits nobody, especially not us!

Learning to deal with information that causes a FUD reaction within us is important.You can read our 14 Stages of Emotions When Trading for some tips.

We Need to Talk about POWR

Sorry, what?

Before we begin I need to make clear that what you will read below are the developing opinions of a perpetual student. I am still very much an infant in cryptoland. I am not an energy expert. I am not a market expert. If you believe my opinions to be ill-founded — by all means, educate me.

That being said, we need to talk about Power Ledger (POWR). In the latest episode of Crypto 101, Matthew interviewed Dr Jemma Green, POWR’s co-founder and Chair. Boasting the slogan “The Democratisation of Power” Power Ledger claims to be a disruptive technology project in the energy sector with the intention of building a peer-to-peer market platform for trading electricity.

POWR wants to allow those of us with solar panels  (what they call prosumers) to sell their excess power to those who do not (consumers). When I hear this it sounds awesome. Finally, we can take control of our energy production and consumption and enter into a new sharing economy within our local communities. We can trade locally, efficiently,  ethically, and without need of giant energy corporations halting innovation. This is it. This is the beginning of the democratisation of energy, right?

Well, maybe.

One of the revelations of the podcast was in Dr Green’s elaboration on how the marketplace will actually work. Here is where my head cocked and my brow furrowed a little. POWR is designed in a way that requires BOTH the prosumers and consumers to sign up with their energy provider to be ALLOWED to use the grid to conduct their trades. POWR refers to these energy providers under their unique branding of “Application Hosts.” An Application Host is any centralised power company who already controls the distribution infrastructure and power supply for the houses entering into what was promised to be — but is now looking a lot less like — a peer-to-peer relationship.

POWR is designed so that these Application Hosts sell their regular customers Sparkz — a POWR trading token. People can use these Sparkz to buy power from their neighbours who are looking to sell their surplus. Sparkz are tied to fiat currency. Green mentions in the podcast that 1 Spark = 1 of whatever the lowest denomination of a local currency, (so here in Australia that would be 1 cent). Though their website uses the example 1 Spark = 1 dollar — something worth clarifying before buying (scroll to the 11th Question under ‘technical’). Whatever the value, it will be tied to the local fiat.

So, the way that the system works is by first identifying everyday people who are concerned about energy usage and cost, who want to “democratise power” and participate in the sharing economy using blockchain technology. Then setting up a system where they can only do so with the blessing of the giant energy corporations who already own the infrastructure and dominate supply.

When this occurred to me I assumed I had to be mistaken, I must have missed some key protocol or governance layer that would keep the centralised power-houses out of this initiative. Maybe these giant companies won’t be allowed to become Application Hosts? Only smaller start-ups or local solar farms would be?


One of POWR’s website FAQs reads “Do you envisage that a very large scale generator or retailer would become an Application Host?” POWR’s official answer:

“A large-scale retailer, yes for sure, a large-scale generator could also become an Application Host.”

Great. So we are back to negotiating with the energy companies. These are the same energy companies, who for decades, have largely resisted the science of climate change and the overwhelming consumer outcry for clean energy because trading in planet-destroying fossil fuels is far more profitable. Now we, on the cusp of a truly disruptive, innovative revolution in blockchain technology, are stood, hands wringing, heads down, stuttering and stammering, asking for THEIR permission to play with energy on the blockchain!


In the featured introduction video on their website, Green makes reference to a successful trial conducted at the National Lifestyle Villages in Busselton. In my search for any public report or information regarding this trial, I found nothing published by POWR themselves. Unless we count 3 short sentences in their whitepaper boasting it as a “huge success” — great, share this success with us! Show me why it was a success!

I can think of one reason why the trial might have been a success — by all accounts, it did not involve a centralised power company acting as the middle-man. There was no giant supplier selling Sparkz to people wanting to purchase excess solar from their neighbours. It seems (and remember I am only working from inferences here because there is just so little information about this trial) that the POWR team organised an in-house arrangement with the National Lifestyle Villages where they created a closed solar system to test the feasibility of trading excess power via blockchain technology.

If I am understanding this correctly, the success of the trial simply shows the success of trading on the blockchain — which we already know. They tested how sharing excess energy between neighbours is a good idea — which we already know. They tested how increasing the sense of ownership of everyday consumers over their power usage and generation is a good idea — again, we know.

The trial was a “success” because it was a test of a true peer-to-peer energy economy. But that doesn’t seem to be what POWR will implement in the real world.

If there was any doubt about the model POWR is proposing for the real world in their attempt to “democratise power” it was cleared up with this quote from Green:

“I have solar panels on my roof. I sign up with my electricity company to sell my surplus electricity to my neighbour. My neighbour buys Sparkz from the energy company. I sell them my electricity and I receive Sparkz. So I have $20 of Sparkz in my wallet. Then I want to get the $20, so I give the power company my Sparkz and they give me $20.”

No joke, I listened to this about 15 times, trying to un-cock my head and un-furrow my brow. Neither happened.

What Green is describing, is a more convoluted version of what is already happening between houses with solar panels and those without. Those with solar generation as part of their energy set-up, already sell their excess power back to the energy companies, who pay them what is called a “feed-in tariff.” Then the companies simply sell from their stocks of energy (of which the solar surplus is part) on to households demanding it.

So if POWR is just a more convoluted way of doing what is already being done — just with a little blockchain sprinkled on top — then the benefits must surely come down to price, right? It must be cheaper to purchase power with Sparkz than it is to just purchase power directly from an energy provider.


Why would this be the case? The energy providers (Application Hosts) are the ones SELLING the Sparkz in the first place. POWR users are still trading in the energy company’s commodity, on their infrastructure, with their permission. Why would they add this blockchain model to their already exorbitantly-successful arrangement if it was only going to be profitable to their dependant consumers? A profit to customers is a loss to providers. It is a closed system between us and them.

The cost of Sparkz are fixed to fiat, the cost of energy won’t be different just because you’re buying it from your neighbour with Sparkz.  You bought the Sparkz from the energy company. That same energy company is allowing your neighbour to “sell” their energy.

It’s a game.

I keep thinking I must be missing something here. Is this really it? Is this the proposal?

The cost of energy consumption in my state of Queensland is anywhere up to 12c per kWh and the average feed-in tariff is around 7c per kWh. Meaning the energy company is netting approximately 5c per kWh on excess electricity generated by households with solar. Do you not think they will factor this in when we come knocking on their door asking for permission to trade our electricity locally for digital tokens among ourselves?

Another factor to consider are taxes. This will obviously differ from country to country, and Green says as much. But ultimately those selling energy on the Power Ledger will be generating an income. Green admits:

“Like any income you make in the year, you need to declare that on your tax return.”

However, in Australia, feed-in tariffs — selling energy back to the grid — is NOT taxable. So if I am selling power back to the grid without POWR, that 7c per kWh is deducted from my energy costs, tax-free, straight into my back pocket. If I were to use Sparkz instead, I would be paying tax on that sale. What is the point?

No, honestly. Am I missing the point?

Another hidden detail is the fact that surely POWR intends to make a profit from this whole setup too. Though I have not been able to find any public information on how much of a cut they will receive for each transaction. If you find this, please share!

If this all seems a bit confusing, don’t worry, POWR’s introduction video concludes with the question: ‘how do we make sure it works?’ Their answer was more or less “trust us, we are experts” — I don’t know about you but I think answers like this are pure bullshit.

If I had any doubt about where my train of thought was leading me in researching POWR and listening to the podcast, it was completely obliterated when Green was asked about how decentralised POWR truly was. Who can participate, everyone? If so, how might we judge the ethics of the use of profits made by people selling their energy? The classic cryptocurrency moral question. Green had this to say:

“You can’t get on the network unless you have an account with an electricity company… a citizen that is worthy of having an electricity account with a regulated electricity company… You can’t trade peer to peer unless your energy retailer verifies your meter and allows you to do that”

That about sums it up for me. This is not the democratisation of the power industry. This is a child asking their parents for play money so they can pretend to buy what’s in the fridge.

Do not get me wrong, I want a project whose goal is to democratise and decentralise the way we consume and pay for power to succeed. We need a project like that to succeed. But is POWR it? I understand it is a complicated space, but this doesn’t feel like our best effort at decentralising the energy market.

On the cover page of their whitepaper POWR states:

“We believe empowering individuals and communities to co-create their energy future will underpin the development of a power system that is resilient, low-cost, zero-carbon and owned by the people of the world.”

Yeah, I do too. So why aren’t we doing that?

As I mentioned, I want to be educated about this. I would love it if these impressions were misguided. If I haven’t understood the project, please tell me why below.

It’s Time to Take it Back


Full disclosure, I only entered the cryptosphere about 4 weeks ago. I wasn’t even one of those guys who had heard lots about it and done extensive research before finally deciding to buy my first stake in Bitcoin. My story was different.

I had just moved house, with my wife and dog into the rural plains of Queensland. We are both full-time students and have lived pay-check to pay-check for as long as we can remember. In the weeks leading up to the move we had ricocheted like helpless pinballs between one bullshit encounter with centralised authorities to the next. Whether service providers, financial institutions, even local governments — one after the other they held us in contempt and extorted us for our time, attention and hard-earned money.

I’m sure you’ve been there. You’ve been given some bullshit parking ticket or fine. Immediately you are no longer innocent until proven guilty. You are guilty and must prove your innocence in the most cumbersome way possible — writing and posting a physical letter and waiting for months for a response.

I had flights cancelled. flights I paid for in real money, in real time. Their compensation was to offer me a cheque for some of the cost which would be posted “in the next 6-8 weeks.”

When we vacated our rental property the real estate agent held our bond deposit over our heard like tyrannical oligarchs, demanding repaints, repairs, returfs. I had a cleaner take my money and run, without doing the job I had paid for.

It was honestly so infuriating to be at the mercy of these entities. Groups who had dominance over our lives in so many ways. We were just trying to do the right thing, help out where we could, and get on with our studies and our lives. It was at this time — in this frame of mind — that a friend introduced me to crypto. I immediately fell in love with the ethos. An economy, a movement, predicated on decentralisation. The shifting of power from the few to the many. The opportunity to own, like truly own our wealth, our value, our influence.

I was in.

I was in 5 days before “the crash” but I was in nonetheless and I have no regrets.

Though, one thing that has pissed me off since becoming part of the cryptosphere, however, is an attitude I keep bumping into. It’s held by people largely unfamiliar with blockchain technology and the potential revolution it will bring. It is an attitude that can be summed up by the phrase: “Oh, so you’re a gambling man?”

These are people who think that trading in crypto is essentially glorified gambling. They may mean well, they may simply not have taken the time to look into blockchain tech, but they confidently assume that because the market is volatile, that its unfamiliar, then it must be a bubble, a scam.


You know what is a bubble? The housing industry that currently enslaves 35% of my country to crippling mortgage debt while the remaining 75% pay extortionist rents to help mitigate the cost. You know what is a scam?  The fact that the banking sector in my country is among the most profitable in the world, with their CEOs pocketing upwards of $12,000,000 while the average household salary has stagnated, cost of living and student debt has increased and the value of our dollar weakened.

Am I any more of a gambler than the guy who bets on the banks, his superannuation account, his national dollar to not screw him over? Is crypto any more volatile than my handing over $400 for a cleaner to do the simple job they advertised only to have them rob me and run?

I did not enter into crypto as a gamble. I entered as a gambit. An educated, calculated play at reclaiming some ground. Reclaiming some autonomy, some control over my fucking time, my money.

I invested in the future, I invested in the power of decentralisation. I took back control of my wealth (tiny though it may be). I am excited to grow alongside these projects.

The cryptosphere is more than a market. It is a new technological universe being birthed out of our current, stale and broken one. At times it will be uncomfortable, painful, scary — any good birth is. Just don’t call me a gambler because I’ve chosen to be there when the baby arrives.

The Trade-off of ‘Trustless’



Do you trust me?


Of the dozens of ways the Global Financial Crisis of 2007/08 has been described, one phrase remains common between them. People simply “lost confidence” in the banks, and for good reason. The centralised economic powers were lending money that didn’t exist to people who could not afford it, to spend on depreciating assets. A loss of confidence is a direct result of breached trust. The people could no longer trust in the centralised economy.

In 2009, the entity known as Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin, largely as a response to the obvious fragility of an economy predicated on a trust in centralisation. Bitcoin was to be a real-world application of a ‘trustless economy.’

Dani Amsalem’s Decryptionary defines ‘trustless’ as “a positive quality where you are not required to trust the person you’re doing the transaction with. A trustless system or technology is so secure and smooth in handling your transactions, that both people in a transaction can safely hand over money and other valuables without the risk of being cheated.”

This is one of the hallmarks of the decentralised economy and part of what makes the cryptocurrency revolution so appealing. Another added benefit of Bitcoin was that transactions could only involve the transfer of actual currency, already existing.

One of the main ingredients of the GFC was the fact that people had little-to-no choice but to trust the centralised powers that controlled their economy. With the cryptocurrency revolution that is no longer the case. We can now exchange real value on a peer-to-peer level without the need of a centralised power to govern and legitimise it. We needn’t even know the person we are transacting with. With crypto, the fear of being cheated and the worry that the ‘powers that be’ might be taking us for a ride is significantly reduced. As Amsalem states, trustless is a “positive quality.”

While this is an exciting and revolutionary step forward for our economies, it is worth us taking a moment to reflect not only on the positives but also on what might be lost when we shift from a trust-based economy to a trustless one. We need to remember that we haven’t forsaken trust altogether. It is true that when we participate in the crypto economy we no longer need to trust the person we are transacting with. However, we mustn’t forget that we have simply shifted that trust to the blockchain. We trust in the blockchain to maintain fair transactions because that is what the blockchain does.

But is there a trade-off?

What effect do trustless economies have on us as inherently trusting, cooperative communities? Trust is essential for the building of healthy relationships. If trust is no longer a needed ingredient between people transacting value do we not run the risk of losing some essential ingredient of a healthy society?

For the most part, the cryptosphere has proven this worry warranted, though not defeating. Online communities of crypto enthusiasts, traders, investors and the generally curious have come together to help each other better understand and participate in the economic revolution. This is the ethos of Crypto 101. We may have negated the need for trust in matters of transacting value but as a result, we have increased our need for, and willingness to provide, a healthy dose of trust in our communities. This is a wonderful thing.

As participants in the trustless economy, we need to consciously remind ourselves of the importance of trust for the communities we are entering into. Intentionally putting that into practice by being trustworthy participants is one of the best ways we can further legitimise and empower the cryptosphere.


Ep. 66 — Crypto 101’s Two Rules of Trading


Before we get started, the usual disclaimer: despite the title this post is not designed to be taken as professional financial advice. It absolutely can not take the place of your own, independent and comprehensive research.

When I was first introduced to cryptocurrency it wasn’t long before two acronyms: FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) and FOMO (fear of missing out) became part of my vocabulary. These acronyms pertain specifically to the practice of trading in cryptocurrencies. I entered the market early January and without explicitly being aware of these two forces, they definitely affected my decision making in those early days.

Both FUD and FOMO have one thing in common: fear. The lesson to be learned here is that if we can do something to control fear, we might just have done the bulk of the work necessary to make smarter decisions in the marketplace. It is an exciting time to be engaged, but external pressures and confusion can hinder our thought processes. When these are coupled with fear, we are much more likely to make poor decisions.

Below are two simple rules that we at Crypto 101 believe help guard the average consumer against falling victim to FUD and FOMO.

1. Don’t invest more money than you are willing to lose.

The money you are willing to lose is the money you are willing to forget about. If you find yourself constantly obsessing about your investment, you may have already made this mistake. Or perhaps, you invested a sensible amount of money but you also may have invested your ego.

Try not to attach your personal identity to the money you put into the market. We all make mistakes, we are all susceptible to rushing in or feeling too personally attached to our choices. A good lesson here is to try not to take market fluctuations personally. How much credit can you really take for a coin skyrocketing or plummeting? If your investment fails, it’s not necessarily your fault. But if you invest only what you are willing to lose, losing doesn’t affect you.

2. Only sell your coins when you are happy with the profit or you have accepted the loss.

Part of this includes having a pre-established goal. This can be flexible, for sure. But make sure you have a starting point. If you invest in a coin at $1, have a clear exit strategy in mind. Maybe it’s $1.50, maybe it’s $2. The end goal can be flexible based upon context: headlines, the performance of the rest of your portfolio etc. But make sure you always have a goal in mind.

Another thing to remember is that over-trading reduces your chances of reaching your goal. Be patient and make educated moves, sparingly. It is time to sell when you are either happy with your profits or you have accepted your loss. If you can’t honestly admit either of these things, it is not the right time to sell. Sometimes you may sell at a point you are comfortable with. You take some profits and are happy with your decision. The next day the coin you sold may continue to grow. It is important to remember that this is fine, you entered with a plan, you made the right decision at the time, and you were happy with your profits. The market will continue to do its thing, we can’t let it fool us into thinking a good decision we were content with, was actually a bad one.

One final point

There will always be another opportunity. If you feel like you sold too soon, or you missed an opportunity — don’t panic. There are new decisions to be made and along the way you have gained more experience in making them better. Again, remove fear as best you can and start afresh.

Crypto 101 Episode 66 — https://apple.co/2GgQFxd