Part 1: My Unfair Introduction to the World of Crypto Trading

The seasoned advice and tips I received that everyone should get before trading cryptocurrencies. In this article, I’ll cover setting up a wallet and getting your hard-earned Canadian Dollars converted to cryptocurrency. Next week, I’ll get into the fun stuff like staking and farming!

Before May 2021, I hadn’t personally dived into crypto investments. I say “personally” because I have to know a fair amount about crypto, blockchain, and DeFi for my job at EastCode. I could talk the talk and could go punch for punch with the folks we were developing for, but I had never traded crypto. In May 2021, I took the plunge and had a very unfair introduction to the world of trading cryptocurrency.

It was unfair because my colleagues at EastCode walked me through the entire process step-by-step. I ended up with my own multi-chain wallet that wasn’t part of some centralized exchange, paid very little in transaction fees, and was able to start staking and yield farming within a day.

After talking to some of my friends who were trying to start into crypto and ended up on centralized, non-custodial mobiles (e.g. WealthSimple), I wanted to pass on the tools and knowledge imparted to me by people who have been involved in the space for years to give folks more options.

Standard fun legal disclaimer: This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute investment or financial advice. Invest at your own risk. Both EastCode and I are not responsible for the consequences of following any advice in this article.

MetaMask Logo
MetaMask — the king of online crypto wallets.

First question! Where the hell do I store my crypto?

The answer is short but sweet. For most chains, use a wallet called MetaMask for small amounts of crypto. It has a great extension for Chrome and the iOS app is pretty good too. Since we do a lot of work on Solana, I decided to grab a bit of $SOL through Solong Wallet also. For larger amounts, hardware wallets make sense. Our resident hardware wallet expert, Vaughn, is going to write an article about that in the future.

What to do:

  • Secure your recovery phrase. The recovery phrase is the key to your wallet so don’t lose it and don’t let someone else have access to it.
  • If you start holding significant amounts of crypto or stake/yield farm, consider setting up a mechanism for your recovery phrase to be included in what your family will inherit so that your assets are not lost in the event of your death or disability. One solution is to store the recovery phrase in a safety deposit box and including a copy of the key in your will.
  • Ethereum is the default for MetaMask but I stay away from it because the gas fees (transaction fees) are high — that’s just my personal preference. You can pick other blockchains that you want to trade on and add them to MetaMask. I like Fantom Opera and to some degree, Binance Smart Chain. They have lower fees and there are a lot of emerging projects that are easy to get involved with as somebody new to crypto.
  • For the tokens you’re interested in, make sure you add them to your wallet. Find the correct contract addresses from the actual project website instead of just googling around for it. Make sure you’re on the right project site and you can verify contract addresses through FTMScan or BSCScan (or CoinGecko).

What not to do:

  • Don’t exchange currencies directly through MetaMask. It’s expensive. Use a swap site like UniSwap (Ethereum), PancakeSwap (Binance), or SpiritSwap / PaintSwap (Fantom).
  • Don’t share your god damn recovery phrase with anyone. But make a copy and keep it in a secure location!
Fantom Opera Blockchain Logo
Fantom Opera is a super cool blockchain. There are a lot of fun projects — it’s a great network to support.

Second question! I have a wallet now, how the hell do I buy Crypto?

Fair question. I met yet another unfair advantage on this one. My colleagues sold me stablecoins (cryptocurrency pegged to the value of the US Dollar) in exchange for some cash and e-transfers of my hard-earned Canadian Dollars.

The other options that I’d recommend in the great white north are Shakepay and PayTrie. Disclaimer: We haven’t personally tested PayTrie but the next time I need to load more than $100 CAD into my MetaMask wallet, I’ll be going through them because of their low fees and because I can go directly to Binance Smart Chain and avoid the high transaction fees on Ethereum.

Step by Step:

  1. Create an account on Shakepay or PayTrie. Verify your identity if need be.
  2. Send CAD to your account and convert it to the currency of your choice. For Shakepay, I recommend Ethereum. For PayTrie, I recommend BUSD for Binance Smart Chain.
  3. If you’re set on Ethereum, just send it straight to your MetaMask wallet and get started. I love Fantom Opera and dabble in Binance Smart Chain, so I use the centralized exchange, Binance, to exchange one token for another. You can also use a bridge that swaps between networks — whatever is better for your situation and we’ll write more on that in a future article. In my case, once my funds are in the Binance Exchange, I convert them to my currency of choice such as $FTM.
  4. With my currency of choice in hand ($FTM in this example), I send the funds to my MetaMask address and start having fun!

Okay big deal, now I have cryptocurrencies. Yeah, I get it… it’s not super interesting. Free airdrops (free currency), new projects, yield farming, and staking — that’s what gets me excited. I’ll be writing about all that good stuff in a future article! Stay tuned for Part 2!

GitHub logo white
LinkedIn logo white
facebook logo
twittter icon
©EastCode 2021