Navigating the World of Crypto Alt-Coins

I recently dived head first into the wild underbelly of Crypto. All the experts tell you to never dive in without knowing what’s under the surface. It’s sage advice I decided to reject. This was the way I was going to learn, by putting my money on the line.

I installed Telegram, TrustWallet, followed Reddit subs and bought BNB ready to exchange on PancakeSwap. Time to get rich.

I did not get rich.

The first shitcoin I came across was Green Shibu Inu, I literally searched CoinMarketCap (a listing of coins with graphs showing you how they are appreciating or depreciating in value) for the newest coin. I liked that it had a “green” concept after all the talk about how bad Bitcoin was for the environment.

I bought in and strapped in for the ride. I read and participated in the Telegram chat and watched the charts like a hawk. The price was going up, everyone told me to keep holding onto my coins because it was going to the moon. I held on. Then it went down!

How could this happen? “Keep holding” I was told, also known as having “Diamond hands” (“paper hands” are people that sell their coins at the first hint of trouble, they are despised).

I held, and the coins started rising in value again, what a ride. I waited until I had a modest increase on my initial investment and I traded them away. I won, but not by much, and a lot of time was invested in monitoring what was happening.

I later found myself in another Telegram chat group, “Mystery Launch”. A new coin was about to launch but all the details were hush hush. “Get in on the ground floor! Get rich quick”. I was excited, everyone was.

Quickly the chat announced the details, “AIRPAD” was the coin. I didn’t care what the name was but I wanted to get in early. I bought my coins and strapped in for the ride, again.

I saw the price climb and climb further over the next day, I had quadrupled my investment! This is fantastic, I’m getting rich. I kept watching my wealth sky rocket. I went to bed feeling good knowing I had made a good investment.

Looking at the charts for AIRPAD the next morning was a sombre affair. One of the big investors in this coin (maybe one of the owners?) sold all of their coins at once, it was carnage, everyone followed suit. My ticket to the moon was gone, we were rug pulled. I managed to sell my coins for thereabouts what I bought them for, which is fortunate.

How do you pick a good coin?

These were my first two experiences. I learned a few things about each one. I have invested in stronger coins since then which had different characteristics to my original purchases, here is what I look for now:

Is there a single person running the coin or a team?

People launch coins all the time, some do so in order to make a quick buck and leave you holding an empty bag. A team doesn’t necessarily mean all is well, but it adds some confidence.

How active are they?

Is the team quickly responding to messages? Are their responses open and transparent? This is a good sign. If it comes across that they are trying to hide something, factor that in to your decision making process.

Are they rushing?

Are you being sold a coin before the basics like a website is launched? This is a bad sign, if they are rushing the bare minimum, what are they going to do with the actual coin project itself?

Does the coin have a function?

Lots of buzzwords get thrown around with crypto coins, they give the impression they are doing something, but they don’t have any real-world tangible function. I try to avoid these, as they are usually a ponzi scheme.

Do the admins have an online profile?

If the owners of the coin are hiding their identities, it’s a clear indication they may not have confidence in their own project. Check if they are talking on voice chat, and if they have revealed their personal identities. People who do this indicate they are backing themselves and displaying accountability.

Beware of “shills”

These guys will say anything to make you buy certain coins they have an interest in. They may have lost a bit of money and want you to buy in to inflate the price so they can pull out. Take any advice from a regular crypto punter with a grain of salt.

Be careful — the first rule of crypto is only put money in you are willing to lose. If you find yourself in financial stress because of your crypto exploits, that’s on you.

Good luck out there.

Crypto Professor