From a recent convo with a successful young fellowi :
Joe : Hey Peter, you still trade Bitcoin ?
Pete : Yup, you need some ?ii
Joe : Yes, but I would like to invest in some other cryptocurrencies too. Maybe we can grab a beer and I can pick your brain ?
Pete : For sure. How’s tomorrow at 5:30 at $bar ?iii
Joe : Oh that would be lovely but I fly out tomorrow. You around tonight ?
Pete : I could do tonight at 9:30. Meet at $bar ?
Joe : Yup, can I let you know closer to the time ?iv
Pete : No worries. [An hour later.] On second thought tonight might not work. Have a bit of work to catch up on. I guess lemme know when you’re back in town ?v
Joe : Okay, back the Canada Day long weekend if you’re around ? In the meantime, how much is BTC ? And should I store on the Ledger or you recommend something else ?vi
Pete : The price fluctuates and we can discuss various storage options when we meet up. I’m away [date range] so anytime after that is good. What time do you fly out tomorrow ? My schedule’s flexible during the day if you don’t want to wait 3 weeks.vii
Joe : Gotta head to the airport at noon. I’ve got some cash and was thinking of putting it in Bitcoin if you can get me a good rate. Then I can break it up on the exchange across some up and coming cryptos. But obviously just want to double check all the stuff I’ve read and heard.viii
Pete : For sure. How much cash are we looking at so I know what rate to quote ? We could meet at $cafe at 10am tomorrow.
Joe : $10k to start, if it goes well, probably $50k ? Nothing crazy, but obviously not looking to lose it.
Pete : Good starting amount. Want to bring the cash tmrw ? I can lock in a price now or we can do spot-plus when we meet up.
Joe : What do you think it’ll work out to ? I’d like to use you, obviously you have to make something, but I just don’t want to supersede using an exchange.ix
Pete : If you lock it in right now you’re looking at 2.67BTC for your first 10k. Exchange price is lower but account set-up is 2-3 weeks (and price could jump a lot between now and then, see charts) and I’ll take cash, they won’t. My commission works out to 6% all-in. Check around, most brokers are doing 8-10% all day.x
Joe : Hmmm, Kracken or Coinbase is around $3,400
Pete : Go see Reddit to find out how coinbase orders “get lost”
Joe : Lol true.
Pete : We can lock it in right now. Tomorrow might be 5% higher or lower, it’s a risk.xi
Joe : No I know, it’s moving. I’ve missed the boat on a couple of the cryptos this week alone. 6% is high… do me a solid and come down to spot + $250. I’ll give you the cash and you can hold the BTC until I’m back.
Pete : My spot is 3525 on qcx and the order is getting eaten so we should really pull the trigger. I’m at 3736.50 with commission so spot plus 211.50. We have a deal ? [30 seconds later.] Shit too slow. Spot is now 3550. Order got munched.xii
Joe : I need 3 BTC, but I can’t be giving cash for PayPal rates. What’s fair ? I don’t want to waste your time, so tell me if I am…
Pete : If I come down to 5.5% can we make it work ? 3 btc will run you $11235 if we go right now. Let’s not miss any more boats!
Joe : Can you not get the Kraken spot ?
Pete : No volume there. QuadrigaCX is the Canadian spot.
Joe : Ugggh. Can you buy any other cryptos ? Maybe I should give you my list.xiii
Pete : Sure. Let’s finish this order and we can do some trading of other shit.
Joe : I was just going to convert the BTC on Poloniex.xiv
Pete : I can do that. But first we need btc!
Joe : I can’t do 5.5%…that’s $550 to place the trade.xv
Pete : Lol sound like a “how much now, it’s ripped” kinda thing. Dude I’m giving you access to spot-plus. Who else is doing that ?
Joe : I know Peter. It wasn’t what I was expecting. What do you mean ?
Pete : Russell Peters skit ? Lol
Joe : Kk let’s get together and we can better discuss. I’m back midway through your trip.
Pete : If coins are over $4k then, or even over $5k for that matter, you’re buying drinks!xviii
Joe : It’ll mean I’ve missed out !!xix
Overall, the psychology of J here is simple : “successful” people are used to being in control, to bargaining down prices, and to earning favourable deals. As such, they avoid what they perceive to be excessive transactional friction wherever and whenever possible because they’re making so many deals that it’s cheaper for them to lump together high-fees-but-bad-deal and high-fees-but-good-deals than it is to tease them apart, even if it means missing the odd opportunity.xx It’s fine, they’re always scanning for the next thing, and in a world where a 10% yoy return is out-of-this-fucking-world-what-are-you-smoking-gimme-a-hit-of-that-jeffrey-yo, this is a sensible strategy!! But when a once-in-a-millennium opportunity knocks, it falls flat on its face. So Joe Successful sticks with his go-to heuristic through thick and thin and sticks with his E-Trade account where he knows exactly the degree of anal fisting he’s getting every time because the advertisement on the Golf Channel told him so. And this works 323 generations out of 333!!!1xxi Which is where the aforementioned “how much now, it’s ripped” bit comes in. A penny saved!
Whether in the land of scrimpers and saversxxii or elsewhere, this is a frighteningly common thread throughout soi-disant “successful” people wherein they sadly lack the even basic education needed to see that Bitcoin isn’t just “the next Google” or whatever “X of Y” sillycon valley fad, it’s the real deal. Worse than that, the train is 90%+ of the way through the station right now and the only question remaining is whether they’re going to catch one of the last cars or if the caboose is going to roll over their toes on its way to Hogwarts.
___ ___ ___
- J is something of a star in the local IT business, having grown his shop from zero to however many millions worth over the last decade. You’ll see his abundant self-confidence throughout our conversation (our first text convo, in fact) as well as the side-effects of being a kid who’s been surrounded with journalists and media types telling him how wonderful he is all the time, at least for the last few years. Typos are left uncorrected while a few dates, places, and names are glazed over because they honestly don’t matter. ↩
- Last time he needed some it was for ransomware, I figured it was the same again this time but… nope. Personal use finally rose to the top(ish) of the priority list. ↩
- Since J already has my contact info, you might’ve figured out by now that he’s in my L2 and that a beer isn’t out of the question. But some schmoe wants to sit down to “pick my brain” ? What am I made out of spare time or something ?? ↩
- This “yes definitely but maybe not” kind of answer is why J isn’t in my L1. Ain’t no one got time for this kinda flakiness. But article fodder, always! ↩
- Work shmirk. I’m not letting him jerk me around AND ask me a favour. What is this Christmas in June ? Plus, Bitcoin is poised to take off again and I get far more satisfaction from reminding “successful” kids that they best be really fucking appreciative of my time if they want to make it to the next level. ↩
- Uhh.. “the Ledger” ? I dunno whether that’s another scammy wallet inspector webthingy or a euphemism for Bitcoin’s blockchain but I can’t be bothered to find out at this point. I’m either going to make a sale here or have a sweet blog post. Gotta stay on track! ↩
- Aren’t I a kind and giving soul ? And look at the credit I get! “Sociopath.” Pfff. ↩
- All the “reading” on Forbes, Vice, etc., which, for the record, does more harm than good. You’re either reading logs or you’re getting dumber. Tertium non datur. ↩
- Because failing to anchor and adjust is very real. So a made-up number on an illiquid or fake exchange means something. The internet never lies you know!!1 Especially when it tells you what you want to hear. ↩
- I’ve even heard of brokers in central Canada (QC/ON) charging upwards of 20% fees. Hey, why not if that’s what the market will bear ? Prices in both BEST and WORST KOREA can’t be much less. ↩
- Go figure that it was 5%… higher!! Who could’ve predicted ? ↩
- It really did too! Ah, I remember the days when a movement of $25 in 30 seconds would’ve had me popping Cristal. Now it barely warrants a second glance. Oh fiat, how low you’ve stooped. ↩
- The deal has already been lost here and we both know it. He’s now making up excuses for why he isn’t ready to pull the trigger, nor will he be ready in three weeks when we’re both back in town. He’s never getting on the train, y’see ? Schindler only has so much room in his heart and capacity in his cars. And not everyone can be saved. ↩
- I’ve never touched Poloniex and never will but let’s pretend like I could for a moment. Sure. Why not. ↩
- Compared to E-trade, that’s a lot! Compared to eating dirt in old age, it’s a fucking steal of a deal. But can you see that far down the road ? ↩
- Because intentions, you see. The core pillar of the entire Western echafaudage : intentions. Did you mean to drive too fast ? Did you mean to get a D- on that final ? These questions and more would all deeply matter were it not for the falsely assumed prior of general public agency. All that and a bag of potato chips, indeed. No wonder talking animals took such a central role in 20th century English literature. Once the bar gets dropped below a very peaky threshold, it’s 0, 1, infinity all the way down to the mud. ↩
- J is afaik born in Canada but his parents almost certainly hail straight from Preetlandia. ↩
- You’d think I would buy to celebrate, but that would mean that we’re friends. He owes me drinks in exchange for my time. And at this point, a lot of them. ↩
- Wait, like, again ??!↩
- You see this even in #trilema where there’s the occasional gripe, if sometimes tongue-in-cheek, about the impossibility of being able to procure coins… at all. Granted, this comes almost entirely from the sorry sods still trapped in mesonordeamericano. ↩
- Well, “works” in the sense of you not falling below the station you started at. Upward social mobility ? That’s requires a few more rabbit’s feet. ↩
- Mostly Ukrs, Scots, Indians, Pakis, and the odd Jew. This landscape draws ‘em all together! And you wonder why the general quality of our building construction is such an unmitigated embarrassment. It’s like the cheap-o-lympics. ↩