Links in this post may contain affiliate links, read my disclosure for more info.
HAHA... I thought to myself. This shit is easy as ...
Wait. What the f**k just happened?
I watched in horror as my entire portfolio dropped 90% and all because I clicked the wrong button. Literally.
Hold on, let me back up here a minute and I’ll tell you a little story (don’t worry, it doesn’t end with complete liquidation, but yeah, it ain’t pretty either).
In June of 2017 I decided to become a “Crypto Day Trader” because everyone on the ol’ Twitter Dot Com was making 10X returns per 1 day candle.
Plus the .GOV was like nowhere to be seen, man.
“It’s the wild west out here dude, people are making millions overnight and Uncle Sam hasn’t caught on yet :)” - CryptoTwitter
This was crypto in the first half of 2017, ICOs were suddenly everywhere and the flash flood of money had begun in earnest, drowning some, buoying others to ridiculous heights.
A menagerie of strange beasts emerged before my eyes - characters more at home in a twisted Redditor version of Alice in Wonderland - Whales, Bears, CryptoWolves (Long Live @AngeloBTC), Orcas and DRGNs, etc. were exploding around me.
So now I’m a REPTILE. I’m lazy. It fits.
It was truly a wonderful thing to behold. This is how it should be right? Why should Joe-Shit-The-Wall-St-Guy always win the game?
Wall St. trader on Twitter: Holy Sheeeeit! 2.4% return on oil futures this year!
Crypto trader on Twitter: LOL, hold my beer.
So I held my breath and dove in with my characteristic lack of understanding and just general lack of giving a shit and thought I’d see how many coins I could stack along the way.
AHAHAHAH CRYPTO COINS!! THEY’RE NOT EVEN REAL LMFAO!!!
What could possibly go wrong? Well turns out a LOT, only a little, and maybe nothing at all. Confused? Me too. Perspective is everything in Crypto as the #HODLgang will teach you as they roam the Crypto-verse completely unfazed by all setbacks and whisper “just hodl,” into all the n00bs ears...
But why did I even get into Crypto?
I’m really into exploring ways of building scalable streams of revenue from scratch and thumbing my nose at paychecks and all that stuff everyone told me I was supposed to be doing in order to be considered “successful”.
Meh. Typical “Internet” entrepreneur type, I guess. I don’t have any free courses on Facebook, though... at least not right now ;]
I’m a marketer by trade, I’ve done it all. Affiliate marketing, lead gen (I have a towing lead gen client right now), owned a marketing agency for a while, freelance website builder, etc. etc.
Sometimes I get it right, other times I fall on my face. It doesn’t matter.
The quest is what motivates me. Sometimes I don’t even care about the results. I just like the journey.
I love fantasy and sci-fi books. Sometimes I don’t bother with the ending. It’s the quest that matters. Crypto is like that. It’s more interesting interacting with the wild cast of characters and watching the journey unfold than the mundane shit of numbers of winning and losing trades.
My hosting account is the graveyard of 100 websites, everyone of these sites contain all my hopes and dreams. Who cares?
Sometimes I get excited about a trade and just completely forget to close it or set alerts or anything.
When they interview me at the pearly gates they will ask, “why didn’t you stick with one thing and focus on it until hella riches, dude?”
And I’ll respond, “I don’t know and how’s the weather in Hell these days?” or maybe “It’s my life, fuck off.” I’m a master at saying that. Sometimes it serves me well, other times... REKT.
I started over recently and here we are: www.chillreptile.com has a couple posts on it and they’re all affiliate posts! Value-add achievement unlocked. It’s where I’m extremely badly trying to post about some of my experiments in passive income, financial freedom, and How To Say Fuck You To The Universe and Get Away With It.
Back to CRYPTO and day trading magic money and all the lies the internet will tell you.
The Pretty Lies They Tell You
For every “Crypto OG” makin’ Le millions on masternode-thingys and day trading, there are 1,000 sad broke bastards that totally failed and post bitter tweets about $XVG destroying their lives.
You don’t see the sad stories of woe as much because smart algo’s push them to the bottom of the feed. You skip over all the destruction because you don’t want to see it.
Humans want glory and riches and they want to be admired, so they are naturally attracted to tales of the same, no matter how bullshitty.
I’m the same. But I'm a cynic, too. I’m a marketer so I see everything through this jaded veil of understanding... the copywriters own you because they know how to get you to react emotionally to words on a page.
It’s all marketing.
The Internet is a big lie factory that shows you all the glittery things you want, makes it look easy with a 10 Steps To XYZ post, and whispers sweet words to you at night:
“You’re going to be the one to get this right, to make millions, doesn’t matter that 99% fail at this, you’ll prove ‘em all wrong. It’s your time to shine.”
I’m just as susceptible as anyone, despite my mental armor I’ve developed along the way.
Anyways, here comes 2017... crypto
People were making baller money. Like... funny haha fuck you kinda money. Much of it lies and spin, no doubt, but some of it very legit. The blockchain don’t lie. I think that’s how it works.
So since my modus operandi is apparently to start a million things and finish none, I started my grande new life as a Crypto daytrader despite full knowledge that it would likely all come crashing down, and it did.
Or did it? Life isn’t linear after all and you can’t get REKT if you never sell, right? RIGHT???
So I plunged into this kaleidoscope world of fantasy money and colorful rich kittens determined to see if I could turn it into another revenue stream and write a blog post about it.
[ YOU ARE HERE ]
How It All Began
It’s raining in my town again. It always is. It’s the PNW, somewhere south of Seattle. It’s grey and drippy and sleepy and people like heavy metal and shitty beers. In Seattle they like Bitcoin, in my town they like spending fiatcoin on Schlitz.
Once during the January REKTONING I was at my friends house playing really loud music and his kids had their friends over and a 13 year old told me Bitcoin had crashed and he’s glad he didn’t buy any Bitcoins.
“Hahah, well, dude right now it’s this thing called THE DIP, you should ...” he stared blankly back at me so I grabbed another beer and just sighed inwardly. What am I doing.
I was sighing a lot that week because I’d just watched my portfolio do a 190X in 3 days and then plummet back to shit. For real.
I work from home and just like... stare out the window a lot.
I blog, start weird websites, do marketer-type stuff. I work full time as a Marketer doing lead generation. I Get people to click on things and also get them to go through something called a “sales funnel”.
It’s fun sometimes.
Then I saw this video by a dude on Steemit called @QuickFingersLuc, he was just drawing shitty lines on charts and laughing in disbelief at all the money he was making. I laughed with him.
It was amazing.
“Hahahah! How can you lose? You just draw your base here... underneath all this resistance and then do some alert things when it goes up and sell! Boom easy 30% every time! It’s crypto and it’s so volatile you just can’t lose. Everytime it goes down, it goes up!”
BTFD and trade price, basically.
For the inevitable haters: The above is a parody and I have a lot of respek for this dude actually, so don’t get hurt at my snark. It’s all for affect and storytelling purposes. Honestly, this guy RULEZ and creates content for everyone for free and doesn’t shill affiliate links like me, go watch his videos.
So I Dove Into (LMAO) Cryptos
It’s late July of 2017 and I can’t lose.
I felt like a super villain in a 90s cartoon. Rubbing my hands together I gleefully watched every trade turn into magic money.
I loved waking up to Coinigy alert texts mechanically describing trades successfully executing while I slept.
Sleep money is everyone's dream.
I felt like a ninja setting deadly traps in the night.
I’m buying shit that I’ve never heard of and getting easy 10%, 30% and 100% returns. SNT, XVG, blah fucking blah.
Why bother doing FA when the chart always goes up and down?
It goes down then it goes up and I win again. LOLZ. Works like a charm.
I’m pretty careful. They would say I’m “RISK AVERSE”. It’s a trader term that means you’re chicken shit.
So I started with a small amount of money, nothing I cared about losing. Beer money, really.
My strategy was to do lots of micro trades so I could get my feet wet.
I don’t believe in demo accounts. I set one up once at a place called Investopedia or some shit and never did anything with it.
You won’t learn unless you have some skin in the game, otherwise it’s just boring charts and a lot of working for nothing.
We’re not wired that way. At least I’m not... maybe some people can make demo accounts work.
Screw that though, get in there and make a few bucks and lose a few bucks, then you’ll be a “Crypto Trader” and the excitement will carry you forward, or wreck you on the beach.
The Actual Painful Reality of My New Trader Lifestyle
For the longest time it seemed that every trade I made turned into digital gold.
This shit is fun. It’s basically drugs. I made some gleeful post to this effect on my Instagram. My pleb friends didn’t get it.
I didn’t understand then that everything was awesome because I was trading with the prevailing winds.
You tend to win in an up trend if you’re not completely challenged.
I was getting frustrated, however. Typical me. The moment something becomes “work”, I pretty much start hating it. It’s the journey, remember? Once I arrive I start dreaming about my next journey.
I work full time and I’m a parent, so the reality of trade alarms going off at all hours was starting to wear me down a bit. It was still fun, just... intense.
It’s like a drugged out version of whack-a-mole.
Trades go off and you better be ready, son, because you’re either loading up your bags or you’re getting rekt.
It all crashed on me, as it always does, but that’s just part of the journey.
How One Button Click and a Series of Unfortunate Events Ruined My Crypto Party
I did what most new traders do. I got cocky and overextended myself.
I don’t know about the ForEx markets, but in crypto this is pretty standard as one of the exciting things about this game is “loading up your bags."
Did you buy $DRGN on the dip? Most people just buy it and don’t even know what it is but it has a cool name and cool logo, so BTFD.
People are like crows, they’re attracted to shiny stuff and want to collect it. Nowhere online is this more apparent than in the Crypto community.
Everyone’s an expert and it’s intoxicating.
You start buying shit because @CryptoSoAndSo with the snarky avatar said it was about to M00N.
I started entering multiple markets and almost every trade was in the green. A few went sideways on me, to be sure, but for the most part I couldn’t lose.
Then an amazing fucking thing happened. I still laugh and then cry.
I pulled the trigger on a FOMO buy for Status Network Token (SNT) sometime in August.
I was pretty happy with it. I liked SNT, cool idea and a product actually being built. This appealed to my startup kid background. I don’t like buying stuff with no genuine product on the way.
SNT was bottoming out (so I thought) and I figured I could make an easy 20% in a day or two and then walk away.
An alert went off on another trade I was considering.
I went to pull the trigger.
Bitcoin balance is ZERO in Coinigy. I double checked the balances page. ZERO. Check BitTrex. ZERO. I’m sweating what’s going on? Am I hacked?
Turns out I used my entire BTC position to buy SNT, as easy as that I'm done. One wrong button click. I had a huge bag of SNT and no BTC.
I usually enter any trade with no more than 5% of my position. I heard that was smart somewhere. I clicked the wrong button.
Then I went to sleep.
I woke up and SNT was crashing along with everything else, the shit was hitting the fan.
Market cycles, they say.
It’s OK I thought, just HODL right? Well right, but also, WRONG.
When you’re new to trading a crash like this can make you or break you. No one could have known that SNT would pop again like crazy along with everything else in Jan of 2018.
To me it was disastrous. Not personally, remember I don’t trade mortgage money, just beer money. Disastrous to my grand experiment of becoming a Crypto Trader.
This one trade killed my interest in trading for a while, I gritted my teeth and just held on to the bags.
I eventually sold SNT at a pullback for a tiny profit and of course missed the continued trend that happened one day later. LOL.
Crypto rewards the patient, and I wasn’t patient then.
I am now.
Where I’m at Now and What Does the Future Hold
My 190X turned into a 20X during January, 2018. It popped back up for a while and now it's back down in March. Screw it.
This is where PERSPECTIVE comes into play. I'm still up like crazy. Did I lose? Did I win?
The answer is BOTH. I don't know, man. I know the war ain't over until the last bullet flies.
I’m still trading Crypto, but I’m an extremely careful boi now. I’m not a great trader, probably never will be, it’s because I’m apathetic. I don’t make much doing it either.
But I’ll keep going.
The journey REMEMBER!?
I only enter traders with insane advance research. No Twitter profile will influence my trades. No sir!
I respect the experience and wisdom of master traders. They know more than me. I try and learn. Soak it in.
I have a Trello board now that dictates every single move I make in the markets.
If I have an idea, it goes on my Trello board. Doesn’t matter if it’s a trade, a long-term HODL, or an ICO. If the idea can make it through my basic FA (Fundamental Analysis) filter, it makes it onto my “Top Priority” list. After that it has to go through a more rigorous due diligence process. Only after going through all this will it make it onto my “In Progress” list where I start to actually take action.
Having a process like this appeals to my risk averse (ahem! Chicken shit) mentality.
Very few ideas ever make it out of my FILTER. Most things end up abandoned because they're shit. Lots of ICOs are shit. They end up getting abandoned. I’m totally good with that.
With no risk comes no reward, but I’m a lazy fucking REPTILE so I like the path of least resistance.
Do you want to talk about my TRELLO workflow? Just ask on Twitter.
What's The Lesson Here?
If you’re thinking about trading Crypto and reading this story and wondering why it matters... It doesn’t.
There’s no magic bullet. I don’t have a 3 Step Guide To Crypto Riches. Maybe I will someday.
This journey is yours alone. Get some good shoes.
But remember, it's the journey that really matters. You can't get to where you're going without putting one foot in front of the other.
Take a deep breath and jump onto the path.
You will almost certainly go through all this same terrifying shit, or some variation of it.
You’ll get excited. You’ll win. Then you’ll REK on the shores of overconfidence and inexperience.
Do it anyways. I read via @Dan.Jeffries on Hackernoon that every great trader started out knowing nothing and failing at everything. They kept going. Read it here.
They respected the journey.
It’s OK to be a dabbler. To start small. It’s OK to stack tiny wins like pennies until you have a towering pile of them. Then it’s OK to start over when it all comes crashing down.
Success and life and the journey we’re on isn’t linear. Try many things.
Fail a lot. Eventually clarity will shine through the online noise and the clouds will break.
But only if you persevere and keep your feet on the path.
Post Script: Resources For Your Crypto Journey
OK so you made it through my journey and you’re still thinking about getting started trading Crypto's...
Hopefully some of these resources can give you a shortcut on the massive learning curve you are about to embark upon. But, probably not.
Just FYI, any links below might be AFFILIATE links. DYOR before purchasing any product and understand in advance that I’ll probably receive some form of shitty compensation by linking to their product. Read my affiliate disclosure if you don’t understand.
Here’s my resource page for a constantly updating list of tools and products I use and trust.
I like BINANCE for trading shitcoins. Here’s a mega Binance review.
I like Coinigy for doing actual trades and you get a free month trial. It appeals to my laziness. It lets you connect to most exchanges via API and gives you a beautiful front-end for all your charting.
I effing hate Coinbase, but it’s a decent place to buy your first BTC or RIPPLE (J/K LOL) before sending to an exchange so here's my affiliate link for $10 worth of BTC. Ditch ‘em quick tho.
Definitely do go check out @QuickHandLuc’s Steemit page and YouTube page. Just absolutely love this dude’s outlook and desire to help others succeed.
@CarpeNoctom has a great series of charting videos on YouTube, check his channel here.
FREE FOREX TRADING ACADEMY
@CryptOrca turned me onto BabyPips and it’s great. It’s really for ForEx, but the principles are mostly the same and it’s totally free. BabyPips is a digital trading academy for total beginners. Do THIS.
TWITTER CRYPTO TRADERS AND BEASTS
@CryptOrca - Bitcoin trader and all around nice trader who turned me on to BabyPips. Thanks man.
@GalaxyBTC - I like his psychedelic kitty Avi and also his calls.
@CarpeNoctom - TA lord and Ichimoku Cloud King I think.
@CRInvestor - solid and effective approach to trading.
@AngeloBTC - we’re not worthy. The other side of your leveraged death. Please tweet more!
ALL AROUND CRYPTO BADASSERY ON TWITTER
@Needacoin - general shitposting but in a very friendly way. Drops knowledge daily.
@Crypto_Bitlord - wild dude, just follow. He’s everywhere.
@HotKatchina - entrepreneur and woman trader. Founded Spir.ai. Very chill human and shitpoaster.
@SecretsOfCrypto - process, precision, awesome entries, great advice. Shhh.
I'll pass it on to you now, folks. Show me some love in the comments and shill your top altcoins for mid to late 2018.