Baby Coin Fever

Now that the major coins are priced in the hundreds, thousands, and teen-thousands, there’s a lot of excitement about the “baby coins” – cryptocurrencies that are under $10 and often under $1. Currently there are almost 2000 baby coins, and that number is growing exponentially. I’ve been following four specific baby coins: Stellar (XLM), Tronix (TRX), Cardano (ADA), and Po.et (POE).

Since these coins are so cheap, it’s thrilling to be able to buy a lot of them, and anticipate they appreciate by factors of thousands. The challenge is that few of these baby coins are traded on the main exchanges (Coinbase or Kraken) or if they are on a main exchange, you can’t buy them for USD, only for Bitcoin. If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll know I’m not interested in using my Bitcoin because I believe it will continue to appreciate – some forecast to $40,000, $60,000, $100,000 or even $1 million. Last spring people laughed when Bitcoin was forecast to reach $5,000 by December 2017, and it surpassed $5K by October.

I (stupidly) bought a quarter Bitcoin (at its peak price – read all about my lapse in good judgement here) to make whole my beloved Bitcoin that reduced to 0.995 when I moved it from Kraken into a hardware wallet.

To purchase baby coins, you need to use an exchange that trades more obscure coins. Some of those exchanges have bad reputations – they let you deposit but won’t let you withdraw, essentially holding your funds and/or coins captive. Not to stereotype, but this complaint is common for many Russian exchanges. One exchange that seems to have a decent reputation is Binance.

Signing up for Binance was simple – provide an email address and password. They email a confirmation message to you, you confirm through the email, and you’re in. Binance has a fun CAPCHA method – you use a slider to fit a puzzle piece into its empty space. Once in Binance, the user interface isn’t as friendly as Kraken (and I found Kraken confusing at first).

Binance does not support fiat currency (i.e. won’t let you link a bank account to deposit fiat currency). You need to already have cryptocurrency from another exchange (like Kraken) to trade crypto-to-crypto. I don’t want to further fracture my beloved Bitcoin, but I am willing to sacrifice one Ethereum for a baby-coin buying spree.

Having transferred coins from Kraken to my hardware wallet, I had some comfort level of sending a coin from Kraken to Binance. I logged into Kraken, clicked the FUNDING tab, clicked the WITHDRAW tab, the clicked ETHER where it asked me to set up a destination wallet. I toggled over to Binance to find the Ethereum wallet address for my Binance account. You scroll through the LONG list of coins until you see ETH. Then you click on the DEPOSIT button on the far right of the coin’s row. This brings ETH Deposit Address field WHICH WAS BLANK.  I googled “how to send ETH to Binance” and it basically told me to do what I already did. After a few more tries, an address code appeared in the field. I still have no idea what I did to make it appear. When I figure it out, I will write an entry about how to do it because I can’t be the only person perplexed by this process.

I copied the address from Binance into Kraken and saved. Kraken sent me a confirmation email to ensure I did indeed set up an Ethereum wallet to send coins to. I confirmed it, and was able to send 1 whole Ether (which actually ends up being 0.995 ETH because Kraken takes a 0.05 commission).

The blogs and YouTubers all claim that Ether is pretty fast to transfer into Binance. I beg to differ. FOURTY MINUTES passed before my transfer was even ACKNOWLEDGED by Binance. Note I said “acknowledged” not “confirmed”. It took 57 minutes for Kraken to recognize the transfer a success, but Binance still had not confirmed the transfer. I kept checking Binance’s “Deposit History” page and eventually noticed a weird number changing. Forty minutes into waiting for the transfer to confirm, I the message noticed “32/30 Confirming”.  Fifteen minutes later the message was “83/30 Confirming”. Five minutes later it was “95/30 Confirming”. I really hoped it only goes up to 100/30. Two minutes later it showed “Deposit Completed”. An HOUR AND FIFTEEN MINUTES lapsed to successfully transfer the Ether.

At first I clicked the EXCHANGE button on Ethereum’s row next the “DEPOSIT” and “WITHRAWAL” buttons, but that only gave the option of trading ETH for BTC or USD, not trade ETH for a baby coin. So I clicked on the “Exchange” link at the top left of the screen. This gave me the option to choose BASIC or ADVANCED. When given the option, I always default to BASIC.

The BASIC screen looks not very basic to me. It’s a lively screen of graphs, charts, tables and other colorful informatics. The far left of the screen lets you choose BTC, ETH, BNB, USDT and lists a ton of what look like baby coins. I clicked on ETH and the baby coins display their trade ration to ETH. Mercifully it provides a “search” field so you don’t have to scroll through the multitudes of coin offerings.

My first search was XLM which is trading for 0.00097550 ETH. Then I found TRX trades for 0.000115 ETH. ADA trades at 0.00131 ETH. And POE trades at 0.000125 ETH.

Binance has a cool feature that lets you trade 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100% of whatever you’re funded with. In my case, it was the 0.995 ETH. I believed that saved me the ass-ache of calculating 0.995 ETH into quarters. Since I wanted to buy 4 baby coins, I chose to use 25% for each. The graphs showed the prices rising rapidly for all 4 of them, so I just clicked BUY one after the other. I didn’t know if any of my buy requests succeeded, I kept clicking the coins I wanted a pushing the BUY button. Then I clicked the ORDERS link at the top of the page to see which transactions completed successfully.

I clicked ORDERS then TRADE HISTORY and saw that my requests were “processed”, but I couldn’t tell if that meant the purchases were successful. I clicked on ORDERS then OPEN ORDERS and saw I had no open orders which I took as a good sign. Then I clicked on ORDERS > ORDER HISTORY and that showed all of my orders had a status of “Filled” which was comforting. I really like the idea of having no leftover funds to deal with.

I clicked back onto the FUNDS link at the top right of the screen to see if my balances appear for XLM, TRX, ADA, and POE. It shows I have over 2,104.893 TRX; 795.204 POE; 185.814 XLM; 107.892 ADA. But it also shows I have 0. 31547862 ETH! I thought I spent all of my ETH buying 25% of these 4 baby coins. It appears I don’t actually understand Binance’s trading platform.

It took about an hour of thinking before I realized the “25%” option didn’t spit my 0.995 ETH into quarters. Only my first trade was 25% of 0.995 ETH. My next trade was 25% of the remaining 75% of my 0.995 ETH and the trade after that was 25% of the remainder of the previous trade, etc. So each trade was for less ETH than the last. So I guess I really do have to do the math myself and decide how much Ether to spend on the remaining 3 coins. I don’t have the mathematical fortitude to calculate the differences to make an even distribution. I divided my remaining 0.31547862 ETH into thirds to allocate to POE, XLM, and ADA. That means 0.10515954 of an Ether for each.

In the trading interface there is no way to input the amount of ETH you want to spend, you can only input the amount of a coin you want to buy. So I typed in some random numbers and watched the amount of ETH it would cost until it got close to 0.10515954. When I used the rest of my ETH to buy the balance of my baby coins, I clicked back over to FUNDS >DEPOSITS WITHDRAWALS to see my balances. As I suspected, the amount of TRX didn’t change because I already bought 25% of my ETH. The balance of XLM was up, and ADA was up, but it still showed I had 0.10718 of Ether left! I clicked on ORDERS > OPEN ORDERS and saw that my POE purchase is still pending. I clicked back to FUNDS > DEPOSITS WITHDRAWALS and confirmed that my amount of POE did not increase by 813. I’m wondering if I should cancel it and try again or just leave it. What I find curious is Binance has warnings about XLM and ADA trading being heavy and possibly delayed, but those transactions cleared immediately. My poor POE is stuck in purgatory. I check the trading platform again and notice that POE is trading at 0.0014 now, and my purchase was for 0.0013. I tried to cancel the order at least a dozen times so I could raise the buy price, but every attempt to cancel the transaction failed. Then Binance went offline for “system upgrades”. Part of me believes I broke Binance with my constant refreshing. I need to step away from the screen. I hope the price dips so the purchase can clear.

It’s exciting to imagine getting in on the ground floor of what could be the next big coin. While I wait for my POE transaction to complete, I need to finally set up my Ledger Nano S hardware wallet to store these Baby Coins safely off the Internet.

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Editor

Just a regular schmo with a long held fascination for Bitcoin, alt coin, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain. I am not a coder and not in finance. This blog chronicles my frustrations, mistakes, observations and *occasional* victories as I navigate the digital cash marketplace.

One thought on “Baby Coin Fever”

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