I had been listening to my co-workers talk about bitcoin and other cryptocurrency for a while. Being that it’s the preferred payment method of the underground (i.e.darkweb, ransom ware and so on) — and it’s my job as incident response manager to understand that sort of thing — I decided to give it a try.
In early December of 2017 I invested a modest amount of money in LiteCoin and Etherium. This was about the time Bitcoin was on its meteoric rise from $17k to $20k per coin. I knew I could buy a tiny fraction and still join the BitCoin bandwagon, but something in me told me it was bound to crash at any time.
I joined CoinBase and bought some Etherium (at $1,519) and LiteCoin (at $101). I used this experience to watch and learn. As I continued to watch and learn a few weeks pass and I learned of Ripple. It was trading at $2.69 and had the third largest market cap of the cryptocurrencies, only being surpassed by BitCoin and Etherium.
Having just watched all of my other invests surge to insane levels I decided that I NEEDED Ripple. If I didn’t get in on it that weekend, it would surge to thousands per coin, like Etherium, and I would be kicking myself.
Apparently, everyone else was thinking the exact same thing because all of the currency exchanges that traded in Ripple were either down (due to load), backlogged weeks for account verification (due to load), or required you to hook up to your bank account.
Finally, I found qryptos. I couldn’t use my credit card to purchase Ripple, but I could trade BitCoin for Ripple.
The answer was so clear. I buy BitCoin from coinbase, transfer it to my qryptos wallet, and then exchange the BitCoin for Ripple. Brilliant! Or not.
Buying my first chunks of BitCoin on CoinBase was my first wake up call. $18.00 service fee for the purchase of $200 worth of BitCoin. Ouch.
I transfer it from my CoinBase wallet to my qryptos wallet… $18.00 transaction fee. Ouch.
Then I purchase Ripple using BitCoin, and; guess what? $18.00 transaction/service fee. Ouch, again.
In one evening, I managed to secure myself a modest amount of Ripple (which is now worth $1.17 each, btw) and learn a harsh lesson on BitCoin transfer fees.
If anything, you can learn from my mistakes. My take aways are…
- Register for trustworthy exchanges ahead of time. That way when a new coin launches, you aren’t one of those locked out waiting to create an account.
- BitCoin transaction fees suck compared to other altcoins.
- Shapeshift.io may be a better alternative than the route I took for currency conversion (I will let you know once I have used it).
And last but not least; Know when to hold and when to fold. Or is it, hold onto it long term for highest gains? I don’t think anyone knows in this new crypto currency frontier. Just as long as it’s fun.