Friday, December 15, 2017

GMGH's Crypto Starter Pack v2.0

Dear all,

This is based on my previous post done in August, and I have updated and revised some stuff while keeping it more brief and succinct.

Yes, there are some referral links here.
Yes, I am using all my own recommendations.

Now, let's get started!

Password Manager

You need dope ass, top of the line security when you handle cryptos because now you become your own bank. You need proper security measures like long, complex, non-reused passwords and you need a way to remember them all. You need a password manager.

I recommend Dashlane. For your 2FA companion, I recommend Authy.

Alternatives are Lastpass or 1Password.
Not recommended options are non-password protected Excel, Word, Notepad or Post-its.

Fiat-Crypto Exchange

You need a way to turn your SGDs into crypto. What do you need? A bank and a fiat exchange.

I recommend using DBS Remit with Gemini.
0.65% currency conversion and remittance fee.
0.25% exchange fee.

A lot of people have problems with Gemini because of a recent change to their clearing code. I have sent money to Gemini dozens of times. With the new clearing code update, money has also been successfully received by them and credited into my account.

Of course, you can and should have alternatives.

I also use Coinbase and I would recommend it.

The main pain point with Coinbase is the need to setup an Xfers account and Xfers have been having a lot of issues lately.

I would recommend Coinbase to users who are starting out because the interface is simple and easy.
I would recommend Gemini over Coinbase once users are more advanced and want a better and cheaper way to exchange fiat to crypto.

Please also consider other fiat-crypto gateways to have smooth and easy access in and out of both crypto and fiat. Kraken, Quoine, CoinHako and actually even TenX in the future are all good back up options in case something happens to Gemini or Coinbase.

Crypto-Crypto Exchange

Fiat-crypto exchanges only support the major coins (so far). This means that anything outside of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin would have to be purchased using crypto from a crypto-crypto exchange.

My #1 recommendation is Binance.

Binance is definitely one of the best crypto-crypto exchanges currently.
0.1% transaction fees
0.05% transaction fees if you use the BNB token to offset fees
2 BTC daily withdrawal limit without KYC (that's more then $40,000 SGD, more than enough!)

Binance is my top choice these days. They are taking over a lot of market share from the big players because they are extremely nimble in getting listings out. They also do a lot of marketing and at least from my perspective, they are very aware about their users' wants and needs. Binance does not require you to do any KYC as long as you stick under their limits.

In the past, I would recommend Bittrex instant as the top choice, but Bittrex has been weak lately. The main problem with Bittrex is their inability to list coins that users want to trade with. What good is an exchange that doesn't allow you to exchanges the things you want? Bittrex is an unfortunate #2. With an extremely troublesome KYC process and tiny withdrawal limits (0.4 BTC a day), I think many crypto users are migrating away from Bittrex.

My #3 recommendation would be HitBTC.

0.1% transaction fees.
NO withdrawal limit.

While I have read that some people have had bad experience with them, I have personally not had any problems with HitBTC. HitBTC is very proactive in listing coins and some of the lower cap coins which cannot be found on the large exchanges can only be found on HitBTC. They also handled the Bitcoin forks very well in the past, so my experience with them has been extremely pleasant (and profitable, hehe).

Update 3 Jan 2018: HitBTC has been under DDOS attack and I doubt their ability to stay strong, although they have never failed me in the past, I think it's best to avoid them for now and instead just stick to Binance and verify if you need a daily limit over 2 BTCs (lol)

My #4 recommendation for a simple, fuss-free experience is Changelly.

Unlike the previous recommendations above, Changelly is a very simple "vending machine". You select the currency you want to sell and you choose the currency you want to receive. They will give you an estimate if you send your crypto to them now, and boom, that's it. No KYC registration. No order books. No deposits and withdrawals.

The downside is that you get a slightly more expensive fee, which is basically the price of convenience and speed.

I am hesitant to recommend ShapeShift because I don't like their CEO Erik Voorhees, but it's not too bad. I have used it before, but I still enjoy the Changelly experience more.

Crypto Wallets

You need a safe place to store your crypto.

I strongly recommendation to get a Ledger Nano S hardware wallet.

I personally use the Ledger Nano S with the My Ether Wallet interface.

While any hardware wallet should do the trick, I have only used the Ledger Nano S. The Ledger team is also much, much more proactive in supporting more coins compared to all the other hardware wallet manufacturers.

Trezor is supposedly good, but I have never used one before. I've heard good things about it, but it is not as universally accepted and praised as the Ledger Nano S.

I have no iOS recommendations because I don't have an iPhone.
For Android I have used both Jaxx and Coinomi and I find them great.
For Desktop, I have heard good things about Exodus.

I still strongly strongly recommend a hardware wallet, specifcally the Ledger Nano S. Unless you are just putting in some play money to learn and understand crypto, you should not take the risks involved with other wallets and just pay $100 for a proper hardware wallet.

Portfolio Tracking

I have 3 suggestions, I use all 3 myself.

1: Blockfolio
2: Delta
3: Google Sheets + CryptoFinance Add on

I use Blockfolio as my watchlist and to see USD prices
I use Delta as my portfolio tracker and to see my SGD value
I use Google Sheets to journal detailed breakdowns of my trades and capital injected

Crypto Prices and Charts

Here are some good websites to track crypto prices. Pick your poison.

*My current favourite* Coinlib
Trading View

Crypto News

I strongly recommend against reading crypto news from any mainstream media outlet. Straits Times, Forbes, WSJ, CNBC... all pretty much trash. The worst ones are the hippie indie news outlets. Even the crypto news sites themselves push their own agendas and have bias.

I can only recommend 2 places to stay up to date on crypto news:
1) Reddit and the subreddits of the crypto that you are interested in
2) Twitter and the crypto tweeters

I strongly recommend against attending any sort of course, class, seminar or other scam event by any self proclaimed "guru" or "teacher" that will teach you how to earn money in crypto.

Stay away from newsletters and "signal groups".

All full of shit.


Crypto is dangerous. Crypto is volatile. Crypto is the wild wild west. There are virtually no laws, no recourse, no police, no help and no support. A lot of cryptos are actually scams and ponzis. A lot of crypto will become worthless. The risks are large. But so are the rewards.

I would not encourage people to put in any amount of serious money into cryptos unless they know what they are getting themselves into.

If you want to "play" cryptos just because its all over the news and because that's what all the cool kids (like myself) are doing these days, then be prepared to get eaten for breakfast in 3 different timezones on a daily basis, 365 days a year.

Stay safe, be vigilant. If you are ready for a wild ride to the moon, take the red pill and follow me down the rabbit hole.

If you can't handle the risks, the volatility, the "unbacked-ness", the illegitmacy of crypto, then perhaps it's best that you just step aside and just watch people like me show you how its done.


  1. Hi!GMGH,Is using USB Drive safe enough?

    1. If its encrypted it is not too bad.

      It is safer than anything on your local drive.
      It is safer than anything not encrypted.

      However you will still have the risk of exposing your keys on the device you use to open your encrypted thumb drive. If that device is infected, there are several ways that it can steal your private keys. Clipboard records and screen recorders are 2 simple ways.

      A hardware wallet is infinitely better still since the above risk is eliminated with hardware wallets. The private key never leaves the device, only the signature to approve the transaction.

      TLDR; not bad, but hardware wallet is MUCH MUCH better still.

  2. Welcome back! Could you share/ do a post on what are the new requirements for Gemini? Was affected by it severely (oppt cost and time) and I must say I am not a fan of it now. This is especially in recent times when they have frequent maintenance periods.

    1. Hi jiahui, I was affected by this as well. My deposit bounced back a week later though.

      The only difference is that the previous clearing code has change from "1xxxx" to "3xxxxx", and that's it! So delete the old template of Gemini then re-create it with the exact same info, but now with the new clearing code. Then the rest is as per normal.

      If you need more help, you can join the telegram group @CryptoSGonboarding and they are experts now with the current gemini situation.

  3. Hi GMGH,

    Thanks for all the wonderful blog entries on the crypto world. Learnt a lot from you. Just share with you something which i found today:

    1. Hi Anon,

      I am aware that a lot of people are having problems with HitBTC recently. They have been under a massive DDOS attack lately.

      However I have logged in and my balances are fine. All my deposits and withdrawals have been smooth as well. Of course, I still would recommend Binance, unless you are looking for a more elusive pair that only HitBTC supports.

      Stay safe and don't keep money on exchanges for long, even ones that you trust!

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