January 2, 2024•693 words
About three years ago, I got interested in this cryptocurrency thing and thought I would run an experiment to see how it actually works. So I spent a bit of time hunting around to find an exchange that looked like it was reputable and settled on Binance. I also found that the smallest trade I could possibly make was NZ$85 to buy a crypto coin, which I thought was enough to toss away on something it if failed. I was also using the Brave browser, which paid me in a BAT token in the Upworthy exchange for looking at adverts, but I couldn't understand how to use the value I got from it.
I bought a crypto coin in Binance, but it didn't really do anything, so I forgot about it for several months. When I had a look again, I found that it was worth around NZ$1700. The whole market had gone absolutely crazy. I thought, wow that's better than going to the races! But, then I couldn’t figure out what to do with it, so I just left it sitting there. Prices dipped and went back up a bit. Media were talking about how it was the collapse of the crypto markets and people were losing big time. That was probably true, but it didn't affect me because I wasn't trying to make money as a trader.
However, I did think it would be good if I could take it out as fiat currency I could actually use to buy goods or services I could use.
I wanted to upgrade my stereo gear, and I thought the money sitting there in a crypto coin exchange could probably buy me a new set of speakers. But then I could not figure out how to sell it for cash money. How could I change my crypto coin to fiat currency? I thought it must be easy, but I just couldn’t figure out how to do it. For a while, I even felt it was a trick against amateurs to ensure we didn't profit from it.
So, then I went down a whole rabbit warren of confusion and lack of knowledge and fear I would lose it all somehow. Upworthy told me (or so I thought) that I needed to have a bank account in Euros or GB pounds, which I couldn't set up (or rather, I couldn't see see how to get the money out of it). The problem was that I didn't really understand how the markets actually work. I thought I could transfer/sell it to my brother, who lives in England and has a GB pound bank account, which in retrospect was a daft idea.
It’s taken me a while but I’ve managed to crack it and it was much easier than I thought. I held my breath, put a small amount into what seemed to be the right place and offered it for sale. Glory be, someone made an offer for it immediately and put money into my bank account within a couple of hours! Woohoo! So, I sold the rest of it the same way and now have something useful.
However, I'm not going to buy some new speakers. I have offered our local community garden & food forest a big donation in return for catering my wake, and this will almost cover it. I think that's a much better use of it.
Of course, I have now closed my accounts. It was an interesting experience, and I did profit from it. I think it is literally like going to the races, where I only bet as much money as I can afford to lose. And I inevitably lose at the races, so in that respect, crypto was more profitable. For amateurs wanting to dabble in the crypto market, I would either take to same approach as going to the races or stay away from it.
And don't get me started on the energy use and environmental and global warming impacts of crypto trading! When I started, I had no idea about that, and I am glad I am well out of it, even though my contribution was tiny.