Wow it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? My boring life hasn’t inspired any posts so yeah. Well, the whole COVID thing I guess is a big deal, but, being an extreme introvert, my life didn’t change all that much anyway. But one thing has changed lately and that’s DOGECOIN!
Let me take you back to the month of December, 2013, when I was putzing around on Reddit as I often did (and do) and somehow I ended up on the Bitcoin sub and someone had posted something about a new coin based on Litecoin that they were calling Dogecoin, after the DOGE meme so I went over to their new sub and checked it out and it was kinda funny. I’d heard about Bitcoin, and wanted to know how it worked, but at the time Bitcoin was worth about $1000 a pop if I recall correctly, and I was kinda poor at the time and playing with real money on something I knew nothing about and that was notoriously volatile was a no go. But alas, this new Dogecoin was, well, NEW! That meant it was worthless! It also meant that maybe if I got in early and mined some while it was easy to do, and held onto them for awhile, they might grow in value like Bitcoin did and I might be rich someday LOL. I mean, I said it was a joke coin, right? LOL.
Anyway, I read everything I could on that /sub about what it was, and crypto in general, read how to mine it, how to handle wallets, how to backup your coins to cold wallets and all sorts of fun geeky things. The learning curve was a bit high, and it took me a couple weeks to get the mining thing down. Tip: Don’t try to mine crypto, even a newly “minted” one, on your home computer solo. You’re wasting your time (and energy.) Use a mining pool instead. And prepare for that mining pool to be “hacked” because it will be, eventually. LOL. Welcome to Crypto!
Luckily for me, the mining pool I was using didn’t get hacked until after I’d gotten bored with mining and had transferred my coins out (which I did, daily.) Tip: Don’t transfer your coins out daily and hold them in the same wallet for years. Why? Because years later when you “remember” you had a wallet and try syncing the client’s backlogged BILLIONS OF TRANSACTIONS, it will take weeks. At least. And the old dying tablet your client was on will never sync and you’ll have to dig through your old backups to find the right file, copy it to an SD card and slap it in a newer device with a freshly downloaded client and it will still take weeks to sync. LOL. Welcome to Crypto!
But hey at least I had backups! Tip: Make a backup every time your wallet sends or receives coins. Preferably test the backup (on another device) to make sure it’s valid before you delete a client or app from your device. You’ll thank me later. And keep multiple copies of your backups. For instance, I keep both digital and, if possible, “hard copy” backups of my private keys and passwords for those encrypted keys.
Anyway, I had fun playing around with Dogecoin, mined a few hundred of the coins, enjoyed reading all the cool stories on Reddit about Dogecoin helping the Jamaican Bobsled Team go to the Olympics, how donations of Dogecoin helped bring water to people in Africa, how Dogecoin sponsored a race car, and lots and lots of heartwarming stories of Do Only Good Everyday. I eventually got bored and years passed. Until in 2017, which until recently, was the last time I got excited about Dogecoin because it had hit $0.01 per Doge! I remember way back in 2013 thinking it would be amazing if Dogecoin ever hit a penny a doge. Like, nearly impossible, but it would be cool!
Well … since the beginning of 2021, one Dogecoin has gone from being worth about $0.01 to an all-time high of $0.45 a few days ago. Woof! Much Wow! When you consider that originally, Dogecoin had a set number of coins (100 billion? I forget) but miners blew through that in like, six months, so they made it have an unlimited number. And that they’d revised how it works at least a couple times (requiring everyone to upgrade to new clients and make new backups or their old wallets WOULD NOT WORK) and then merging with Litecoin, it’s kind of astonishing that it’s not only still around, but growing in value. WTF is going on? Well, for one, Elon Musk. For two, Robinhood. The former occasionally promotes it on his Twitter (as a joke? As a troll? Because he’s invested in it? Who knows!?) and Robinhood, the app which has been in the news lately quite a bit (LOL) apparently controls a shit ton of Dogecoin wallets. Well, the top ones anyway. Allegedly. Woof. There are also rumors that Coinbase, a crypto exchange, might support Dogecoin soon. Right now I think you can only trade other coins to/from Dogecoin on that platform.
So, dear Shibes, while I won’t advise you to “invest” in Dogecoin, you might find it a fun thing to play with to learn how crypto works. If you do, however, decide to hop aboard the MOON Rocket, here are a few more tips I’ve found during my Dogecoin adventure over the past few years:
Tip: Read before you leap. Always know what you’re doing before you do it. Crypto is dangerous if you don’t pay attention. You can lose your coins due to lost, invalid, or corrupted backups, hackers, malware, protocol changes, scammers, sending to the wrong address, forgetting your password, writing down your private key wrong (LOL) and a bunch of other ways. Remember: Crypto transactions are IRREVERSABLE. Once coins are sent, they’re gone. Be wary of crypto websites, loads of them are infected with malware that can not only steal your coins, but install backdoors, keyloggers, etc on your device. Be very, very careful. And NEVER DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE unless you are absolutely sure it’s legit and clean.
Tip: Make sure you understand the basics of how crypto transactions work. Know the difference between a send address, a receive address, and a change address. Make sure you know what a transaction fee is and how much it is. As of right now, the default transaction fee for Dogecoin is 1 Dogecoin. But that may change. FWIW, the transaction fee for Bitcoin varies depending on blockchain congestion and other factors.
Tip: Understand the difference between a private key, a public key, and a public address. NEVER SHARE YOUR PRIVATE KEYS! When backing up, make sure you back up EVERY PRIVATE KEY FOR EVERY ADDRESS IN YOUR WALLET, including change addresses.
Tip: Make sure you know the difference between sweeping a wallet and importing a wallet. MAKE SURE YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE!
Tip: When printing paper wallets, do it on a computer that is disconnected from the internet. Preferably one that NEVER goes on the internet. Never, ever, generate a paper wallet on a live website. TEST the wallet to make sure the key is valid (scan the QR code in a wallet app, but DO NOT IMPORT/SWEEP IT. Just make sure the code generates a valid key. You don’t want to send your coins to an invalid wallet then find out it was invalid later when you try to retrieve your coins.
Tips for Wallets: Secure you wallets. Encrypt digital wallets. Encrypt the device your wallet app is on. Paper wallets should be kept in a dry, safe, secure location. Preferably with another copy of it in a second dry, safe, secure location. Digital file backups should be kept OFFLINE in a secure location. Make sure you also keep any passwords, seed words, PIN numbers, etc safe and that you know which ones go with which wallet. If you’re paranoid, keep the passwords in a separate location from you wallet backups.
Tip: NEVER STORE ALL YOUR COINS IN A WALLET APP OR ONLINE EXCHANGE. Keep them safe in offline wallet backups (digital, paper cold wallet, hardware wallet.) Transfer only the coins you need to the app or exchange, do your transaction(s) then transfer them out. Be aware that without the private key to EVERY ADDRESS IN YOUR WALLET you do not “own” the coins.
Tip: Never store your backups on the same device as your wallet. Don’t store them on your computer either, unless it’s an offline computer. Backups contain your private keys, and ANYONE WHO HAS YOUR PRIVATE KEYS CAN SPEND YOUR COINS.
Tip: Be wary of exchanges and apps that do not let you retrieve your private keys. Without the private keys you don’t control the coins. This is often how online mining pools or exchanges or wallets get “hacked.” You can use them, but be aware the coins may disappear. Also, apps like Robinhood, you don’t even have a wallet for your coins there, its sorta like they just kind of loan you the coins in a sorta agreement kind of way and their TOS actually says they can choose not to support crypto at any time with no warning so yeah.
Tips for Mining: Don’t bother. LOL. If you must, then find a trustworthy (LOL) mining pool, then transfer your coins out to a temporary wallet, then periodically transfer from that wallet to a more permanent offline wallet or wallets. For example, you could use a wallet app to receive weekly coin transfers, then periodically send the entire contents to another wallet, then generate a new wallet address on your app to receive the next batch. What you don’t want to do is have a bunch of transactions that come from mining pools in your main wallet/backups because it will be difficult if not impossible to sync the client eventually. It also bogs down the blockchain when people try to sync those types of wallets.
And lastly, NEVER BUY MORE THAN YOU CAN AFFORD TO LOSE. In my case, my initial “investment” in Dogecoin was zero, because I mined the coins myself. So any gain is profit. Well, minus taxes if I ever cash it out. LOL.
That’s about it. Have fun, don’t panic sell, buy and HODL for The Future!
Tip: If you’re feeling generous, send a snack to my Doge: DBe3KzS1dMqvcGuvt4gGn3dUEHuaR9e7JP