I started writing this piece with the purpose of doing a chronicle of the year, with a focus on NFTs, and an emphasis on Secret NFTs. Some stats, insights, ideas. However, I found myself writing more about my overall experience with the blockchain space (crypto and NFT). This lead me to writing a chronicle about my experiences and thoughts formed during my first year in crypto.
Tomorrow I'll try to finish up the chronicle of NFTs in 2021.
Not gonna lie, I am new to the cryptospace. I came into it in the middle of the ALTcoin season of 2021. I started developing an interest in crypto betting tokens during 2020, a couple of which I have written extensively about, owing to my background working with software development (product owner) in igaming. This then lead me to DeFi as it was the buzz of the ALTcoin season.
With a background in personal investing (fundamental analysis/value investing) in publicly listed companies since 2009, I found it interesting to analyze these alternative layer 1's - PolkaDot, Algorand, Polygon, and, of course, Cosmos Network. Pretty soon I got fixated on Cosmos Network which lead me to buying a bag of $ATOM. Within weeks, I stumbled across another gem, Secret Network. Cosmostation wallet became my first acquaintance with a dApp. I purchased $ATOM through MoonPay directly on Cosmostation. I created a CEX account (Binance) to buy $SCRT (if I remember correctly). I moved the $SCRT onto Cosmostation. After reading tons of articles and blog posts on PoS (Proof of Stake), staking, and governance, I was ready to start staking. This was in late January/early February 2021, ngl, I did take some profit around mid to end of March.
My balance was down to $5,000 from a high of close to $20,000.
Around March/April is when I committed my first mistakes as a newbie. I started trading with some shitcoins on BSC. I didn't engage with many, I think five in total over the course of a couple of weeks.
I remember one case where I bought around $1,000 worth of a mooncoin on its first day, looked solid from the perspective of presence on social media and engagement from the early "investors". Within days the $1,000 was $4,000. Then from one day to the next I woke up to $12,000. My first reaction was that I should sell off a large chunk. I tried selling but TX did not go through, this was before learning all about tolerances, rounding etc when dealing with some DEX (in this case it was Pancakeswap). It was morning and I had to take the dogs, I thought I'd figure it out when I got back. Once I got back around one hour later, my balance was down to $5,000 from a high of close to $20,000. I managed to sell to make a $3,000 profit. I did some further moves in shitcoins, all in all I made a low 5-digit profit in the course of 6-8 weeks. It was pure luck.
Many lessons were learned the hard way. Thankfully, despite large swings at times, I wasn't stressed or anxious. I played tons of poker in the past, and professional sports betting for many years, where a high level of discipline around money management was practised. Same principles apply to investing, especially cryptos and NFTs. Do not buy with money you cannot afford to lose. Stick to that and you will make it. No financial gains, regardless of medium, is worth sacrificing your mental health for. It is almost a guarantee that you will have a deep red balance every now and then. Not only is it easier to be unaffected mentally by swings when risking money you can afford to lose, you will also make smarter decisions with your hodlings. You are less likely to sell it off at a loss as you can afford to wait. But the main aspect is concerning health. Again, don't risk money you cannot afford to lose.
You are far more likely to win if you invest in top 500 networks, even more so in the top 100.
My best investment decision in crypto this year? Buying $ATOM and $SCRT early 2021 followed by staking. The gains, although small in comparison to many other tokens in crypto this year, were solid. Those initial holdings from early 2021 will continue to accumulate during 2022. Currently, Secret Network is on the verge of breaking into the top 100 list of largest networks. Cosmos Network is #28.
I have a firm belief that the money I have invested in $ATOM and $SCRT can be considered smart money. Anything can happen, of course, but I think the gains in both Cosmos Network and Secret Network will be considerably higher than many other blockchain utility investments over the next couple of years.
Another aspect as to why I am happy with $ATOM and $SCRT is that the decision to buy was an informed decision based on my own fundamental analysis. One thing this year taught me is to stick to my initial approach of doing fundamental analysis, investing based on informed decisions. This is a sound approach. Shitcoins may yield large gains quickly, they may change the lives of many people, but so does winning a jackpot in an online casino. Getting rich in an online casino is a fool's endeavour. The losers in shitcoins are a large majority, and that majority will remain. You are far more likely to win if you invest in top 500 networks, even more so in the top 100. This approach won't ruin your mental health either. You are far more likely to end up feeling miserable alongside losing money if you pivot towards shitcoins.
During my brush with shitcoin trading, the overall crypto markets started bleeding and Bitcoin saw a big correction. This was back in spring, end of May and beginning of June. Due to various reasons, mainly outside of crypto, I left the echo chamber for a couple of months. During which I finalized a drawn out bureaucratic procedure that had been lingering for over a year (legacy processes in a foreign language to boot). I refinanced a mortgage to be able to rent out my 19th century townhouse in Malta. I became a tax residence of Malta and arranged my position as a foreign property owner and business owner in the country (tax planning for tax efficiency - hello 5% tax in that country!) as I moved countries and set myself and the family (girlfriend and three rescued hounds) up in another new European country.
I just hate the fact that no matter how technologically advanced we are, we will never be able to beat human nature.
When I came back to crypto (actively), around the end of August, it was high-season for NFTs. I started writing again and caught up on recent development in Cosmos Network and Secret Network.
Funnily enough, my way into NFTs was through a memecoin in Solana Network called Samoyed Coin. Samoyedcoin is memecoin I remain bullish on and will hold throughout 2022 (so much for preaching about fundamental analysis and utility).
At the end of summer, it was impossible to read about Solana and $SAMO without getting exposed to Solana NFTs. Soon enough I was all over Solana NFT Twitter , trying to figure things out. I put in around $1,000 and as usual had some swings. At this point, I am slightly down after liquidating some of my hodlings. Likely to buy $SAMO for my remaining $SOL and just ride my bag of Solana NFTs out.
Been there, done that is my feeling with Solana NFTs. It is a perfect shitstorm in that ecosystem right now. Cash grab after cash grab, morally corrupt influencers pumping and dumping, smart contract scams, and an overall low level of integrity. Similar to the shitcoin situation on BSC. One word: decadence.
The cash grabs and rugpulls is a norm in both these ecosystems. It casts a shadow on the industry as a whole, unfortunately. Then there are the crypto influencers. The number of good crypto influencers are scarce. Be diligent when dealing with influencers on Twitter and YouTube. Most are morally corrupt, and considered good because they are great at shilling their bags (pump and dump). But know this, people that do things that they know are morally wrong will lose over the long run. Even if they get away with it, knowingly doing something that is morally wrong is just as bad as being called out for it. Self-esteem is reputation you have with yourself. They will always know that what they did was morally wrong, it will catch up at some point. Without morals, ethics, and integrity, you are worth nothing at the core of your being. A good character will carry a person much further than short-sightedness guided by immoral decisions (pumps and dumps).
These guys have existed for centuries, popularly described as "Night Wind Hawkers" during the 1720s when they sold shares on the corners. The only difference is the medium, instead of street corners they are sitting infront of computers telling you to buy shit right in before they dump it. There will always be a level of fraud and deception in financial markets, money is the keyword - one of your goals should be to avoid buying what these modern-day wind hawkers are peddling on Twitter and YouTube.
At the same time, there's a ton of great stuff happening in both Solana and BSC. Not all influencers are bad either. I just hate the fact that no matter how technologically advanced we are, we will never be able to beat the dark sides of human nature.
Some weeks after aping into Solana NFTs, I saw that Anons NFT was coming to the Secret Network in the form of Secret NFTs. I was too late though. I wasn't able to move any liquidity as all my $SCRT was staked. Same with $ATOM. I didn't want to move any other hodlings and the free liquidity I had in other networks was too little to cover the mint price. And, I was unwilling to put more fiat into crypto at that point. Mistake in hindsight, if I'd been lucky to mint one.
But, no point in wasting time thinking about what if's unless it has a purpose. Instead I started preparing for what was to come in the Secret Network in the form of Secret NFTs. Loads of promising NFTs in a great network that I'd been following for close to my whole life in crypto.
I looked through every inch of Secret NFTs during November and December and found a couple of promising projects, mainly Redacted Club NFT. I started writing about the project , Secret NFTs, and interacting on their Discord. Soon enough I found myself as a moderator on their Discord server. A fun experience that brought me closer to Secret Network and its community. I started writing more and more about the broader space and got to know more people. Something that felt both meaningful and rewarding.
A nice way to end the year - back where I started, reading and interacting with Secret Network. A period that saw me accumulating knowledge and constructing ideas and perspectives around decentralization, utility and future prospects of blockchain technology. Something that resulted in me wanting to contribute by writing articles on this website. Something that I plan to continue doing throughout 2022.
I will also write about Cosmos Network and overall the IBC ecosystem, but with a continued emphasis on Secret Network and primarily Secret NFTs.