This series has one goal: To make money.  In the pursuit of making money, however, there are two approaches.  First, you can spend time (labor) to earn money by performing tasks for others.  Second, you can utilize cash (capital) to allow it to earn for you.  This second approach is the goal.  Use money to make money.

I wanted to use the mempoole as a place to experiment with earning crypto, and so I thought it might be interesting to others.  There are crazy risks, terrible user interfaces, and scammers all over the place.  Hopefully I can be a guinea pig to help others understand what is out there.

I do think I need to put real money at work.  It can't be so small that I don't care if I lose it, and it can't be so large that I run out of money before I try all the things I want to try.  With this in mind, I am going to target putting $5k into the things that I experiment with.  If I run out of cash then this series will end.  Fingers crossed I don't get fired from my job.

To start things off, I wanted to have a baseline to measure all other experiments against.  For this I am choosing a baseline with Bitcoin.  After all, why play with risky toys if you can just buy Bitcoin and skip the rest of the hoopla?

So I wanted to buy Bitcoin...  Surprisingly complicated.  

Where do I start?  First, I chose 3 exchanges that I feel somewhat comfortable about putting KYC info into, sending and receiving crypto, and domiciled in the US in case I need to sue.

  1. Coinbase
  2. Kraken
  3. Gemini

Next, I was curious what the fees on the exchanges were these days.  After some google-fu, I came up with this:

I really couldn't understand where to find Gemini trading fees.  I have to admit I only searched for around 5 minutes before I gave up, but their product names made no sense.  Which one do you think is "Exchange Fees"?  Here is the fee page:

Anyways... I was really surprised that Kraken was half the cost of Coinbase.  I remember when Coinbase had 0% fees for the Maker side of the trades, and that is when I started using it.  Since I'm a cheapskate, I went with Kraken.

And then I remembered why I never really used it before.  The UX reminds me of crossword puzzles my grandma would try to get me to help her with.  I would rather shoot myself in the head than try to figure it out.  If I have trouble using a trading interface, mere mortals have no chance.

So I tortured myself for 15 minutes to save $10, so I could buy $5k worth of BTC (or XBT on Kraken for "historical reasons").  I couldn't figure out how to do a $5k USD market buy.  I just wanted to spend $5k, but it turns out the fee came out of my USD balance, so...

Total Buy: 0.53038 BTC for $5,012.80

Next week I'll get into some more interesting crypto stuff to see if I can start making some $.