As a young man I got a picture of a bull tattooed on my right shoulder.
It was a tribute to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the WWE wrestler and Hollywood star who also went by The Brahma Bull. I had also spent my entire twenties in trading careers in different financial institutions, looking to profit from bull markets. Well, the bears are gone, and it’s time to get back in the ring for another swing!
2021 is the year of the ox in the Chinese zodiac. The fabled golden bull. It is a tremendous coincidence, but I believe we are about to make a lot of money in crypto if we play our cards right.
None of this is financial advice, only my personal experience from riding the markets up, then down, then up again. But it should be good enough for beginners and moderately experienced investors. There are a lot of newcomers to the space, and all of us who have been here for years are happy you have joined us.
Welcome to the club, champ! Make the most of this bull market and stay safe. Here are 21 tips to survive 2021.
1. Buy the Fucking Dip
This is the mantra of an upward trending crypto market. Unfortunately most people didn’t realise you stick by this in a bull market, not a bear market, which proved to be suicide. Thankfully it’s bull season now. BTFD! You will see this abbreviation a lot.
2. Average Up, Not Down
If your average price is climbing, it means your original batch of investments is winning. This is how you trade momentum. Buy into strength. You don’t want to be underexposed to winners. Averaging down your losers is one of the best habits to send you to the poorhouse. Avoid.
3. Beware of Charlatans and Fake Experts
If the guru you’re listening to hasn’t been in crypto for the last few years, unfollow. These guys are just cashing in on a trend. They know nothing more than you, apart from how to set up a YouTube channel. Also I am cautious about teaching people what to buy or sell. If they win, they won’t tip you. If they lose, they’ll come after you. There is no upside.
4. Don’t Fall for Scams, Don’t Get Phished
Send me 1 BTC, I’ll send you 2 back! Click here for a chance to win 10 BTC! If it sounds too good to be true, be smart, because it is. Beware of phishing emails, and bookmark official website domains. Don’t enter your passwords into random sites, and never give out your private key.
5. Use Legitimate CEXes, or Better Yet, DEXes
There are only a handful of legitimate centralised exchanges, such as Binance, Gemini, Coinbase, Coinhako. They are battle tested and have been around for years. Better yet, use DEXes like Uniswap and SushiSwap.
6. Use 2FA, and Whitelist Withdrawal Addresses
For security, always use 2FA. Don’t even use a mobile text 2FA. At least use Google Authenticator. If your CEX allows you to whitelist withdrawal addresses, do that too, so hackers can’t drain your account.
7. Always Have Stablecoin Dry Powder
Keep stablecoins readily available. I always have a stablecoin farm somewhere so that if the market gives you a 30% flash crash (which crypto is prone to do), you get to deploy your resources immediately. I personally use Curve, Cream, and mStable.
8. Keep an Eye on BTC Dominance
This is technical but it shows the market share of BTC relative to the entire crypto market value. This can trend hard, meaning BTC strength will last for quite a while. Decreasing BTC dominance means alt season.
9. Watch Out for Leveraged Long Positions
In the bear market I watched out for leveraged short positions. Because that puts the market at risk of a short squeeze, where shorts get savagely liquidated and price can shoot up in a flash. Now it’s vice versa. Use TradingView to check it out.
10. Rebalance Periodically
If you have an optimal portfolio allocation in mind, rebalance periodically to benefit from a rising market. There are lots of automated portfolio rebalancing tools to help you maintain responsible exposure.
11. Take Chips Off the Table
You don’t go broke taking profits. Once in a while take some chips off the table and park it in stablecoin farms. You need to manage your ammo to re-enter on dips. Always feels nice to lock in some gains. Don’t spend money if it’s not profit that has been realised!
12. Sign Up for a Twitter Account
Twitter is the Bloomberg terminal of this asset class. Time sensitive announcements, great memes, and lots of alpha being leaked by the brightest minds in the universe. Cashtags are a great tool for research.
13. Do Your Own Research
Don’t take a random internet guy’s word for anything. Listen to podcasts (Bankless), read newsletters (Daily Gwei), observe metrics (Token Terminal). Your perspective is not the only one in the world. An opinion different from yours may be valid too.
14. Get a Web Wallet
Participate in DeFi and high interest rate stablecoin accounts (point 7 above) with a web wallet like MetaMask. It’s extremely convenient and you will understand why Ethereum is truly the internet of value.
15. Get a Vanity Plate Wallet Address
A random alphanumeric string for a wallet address is a terrible UX. So get a vanity plate. This makes your address human readable, reducing the chances of someone sending you money but to a mis-typed address. Get one from ENS or Unstoppable Domains. Eg, I have ladykiller.eth as my address.
16. Buy a Hardware Wallet for Cold Storage
For crypto that you wish to hold long term, take it offline and store it in a hardware wallet like Trezor or Ledger. The latter has recently lost its shine a little because of a data leak. Buy directly from them online, not from a reseller!
17. Don’t Borrow to Invest
Don’t take out a loan to buy crypto. Don’t buy with your credit card. Don’t trade with leverage if you don’t know what you’re doing. Fastest way to Rekt City. Invest only money you can risk.
18. Be Disciplined and Avoid Shiny Object Syndrome
Be disciplined with your investment plan. Allocate a percentage of your monthly income to capture the growth of this asset class. Eyes on the prize. Consistency will get you where you wanna get. Don’t be distracted by shiny fancy new themes.
19. Arguing is a Waste of Time
There will always be a retard to argue with on Facebook or Reddit. Making money is your goal, not proving how correct you are or will be. He won’t even remember you if you’re right anyway. Spend your life productively.
20. Don’t Stop Acquiring Knowledge
1 month in crypto is 1 year on regular planet Earth. Don’t rest on your laurels. Take DeFi for instance. Many crypto OGs didn’t get educated in DeFi, and quickly became irrelevant. An old dog that can’t learn new tricks, or a pony that only knows one – they stay poor.
21. Stay humble and don’t brag
Be a nice human being. 2020, and 2021 too, won’t be an easy time for many of your friends and family. Help to educate and don’t be a douche. Enjoy your wealth quietly – knowing you’ve won your game is good enough.
Original photo by Shawn Byron Danker.