An Exciting and Cautionary Tale from a New Cryptocurrency Trader…

Hello everyone,

As the title suggests, this is a story about my 5 month journey trading Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. When I first heard about Bitcoin I was completely taken aback by what seemed to be such an incredible technology with such promise and potential to reform our centralized and corrupt financial system. Quite honestly, for the first few months I was like a starry eyed idealist preaching the potentials of Bitcoin to every listener I could find. I was convinced that we were on the verge of mass adoption and that it was my job to let everyone know what they had to do so as not to be left in the dust. I must admit that I have always been an extreme person, quite literally going completely “tunnel vision” when something really captivates me. Once I embarked down the rabbit hole of bitcoin, I was absolutely adamant that every single penny that my wife and I had to our names had to be invested in this incredible life changing technology. So in that spirit, over the course of the next 6 weeks or so, literally every dollar was transformed from the stinky inflationary archaic government controlled fiat currency into our beloved inflation proof precious Bitcoin. I won’t go into details on the exact amount, but I will say that it was 10’s of thousands of dollars. Man, It was such a high watching those pathetic dollars changing into the cryptographic king of digital money, aka Bitcoin. If I had a bitcoin for every time I refreshed my Blockfolio portfolio app I would be the richest man in the world right now. Every day was a new exciting journey watching our savings grow. Soon after, I discovered that there were all of these other new and exciting digital currencies that were building and improving upon the foundation of bitcoin. Suddenly I was immersed for weeks reading whitepapers and learning about everything from Ethereum, Dash, and Zcash to lesser known projects like Stratis and Waves platforms. Also during this time I realized that the amount of money that could be made on Bitcoin paled in comparison to what the returns were on so called “Altcoins”. So I took action and transformed my precious Bitcoin into a portfolio consisting of about 95% altcoins. And man, was it worth it! By the end of May, We were sitting on almost triple the amount of our initial investment! Despite being a new trader and investor, my confidence was soaring and I was often laying in bed at night crunching the numbers on how quickly I would reach the million dollar mark at this rate. It was so exhilarating! I literally couldn’t get enough of my daily blockchain research and self education which I was almost proudly convinced had contributed to my profitable decisions. Life was getting better everyday, and quite honestly I was convinced I had found a new life path as a cryptocurrency investor and researcher. Not only was I making money for myself and my wife, but my mother had also invested (a lesser amount), and finally, at the beginning of June, even my sister threw in a couple grand for me to manage for her. Her and her husband were excited about the news they were hearing on Bitcoin and it’s promising returns. The price of bitcoin was at $2900 when they finally got on board. I have to admit, I felt really smart for jumping into this unknown territory and having the courage to go “all in” and even help my family along the way. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I was on some kind of ego trip per se, but I was feeling great about it all and riding those crypto waves toward my future million…

One morning about a week or so into June I woke up and, as always, I grabbed the ipad to check my Blockfolio app. It was such an exciting way to begin the day. However, to my horror, that morning every coin in my portfolio was down 20% or more! I couldn’t believe it! Was this correct? I quickly refreshed thinking the app must be malfunctioning, but alas, it was quite literally a “sea of red”. I think i must have been in shock, I mean, I had definitely witnessed volatility before and felt like I had become pretty used to it. But this! This was a sea of red on the entire portfolio! Simultaneously! Okay, so I gathered myself, put down the ipad, and proceeded about my day of yoga and music practice. I mean, nothing a little meditation can’t fix right? The next day everything was in the green again, all coins were recovering and I was feeling good about my ability to weather the crypto storms and stay centered…

Fast forward one month… As each week of June passed, I went through the same process. I watched like a deer in headlights as my portfolio shrank, and gained a little bit less on each rebound. Every time the rebound came, I convinced myself that I was doing the right thing just holding and taking no action. “Strong Hands” as they like to say on the bitcoin reddit threads. “HODL”, a play on the word hold. I would not give in and have weak hands like all of those other newbies that couldn’t control their emotions. I was a yogi after all, and nothing could phase me. And besides, I really believed in the “tech” behind the coins I was holding. I had done my research and was convinced that I had not gone down the dark path of acquiring “Shitcoins” as many like to call projects of lesser depth and quality. Nope, no scam coins for me. I only invest when I see fundamental potential. I continued that narrative for a few weeks as I watched my precious holdings of Stratis, Waves, Ethereum, Basic Attention Token, Golem, and of course Bitcoin gradually declining. It was okay that our portfolio which had tripled in value was now only double the original investment. I mean, this is crypto and you have to have strong hands and not react to the ups and downs. Honestly I was happy that we had still doubled our money and I knew that we would quickly be back on the way to tripling and quadrupling anyhow…

A couple more weeks went by and one morning I wake up again to that dreaded sea of red in the blockfolio. I quickly calculated our holdings. We were now only up 50% on our original investment. I was beginning to feel a sense of constant underlying depression as a result of the cumulative weeks of disappointment watching what I had finally begun to identify as a downward trend unfold. I realized that the time had come to take action. I had to do something about this. My faith in the “strong hands” and “HODL” mantras was quickly fading. After all, our entire financial livelihood was invested in crypto, and I wasn’t about to stand by and watch my earnings disappear any longer. I was still in a good bit of profit, 50% in the green or more…

THE INITIATION OF THE TRADER

Okay, so now I began to think about the concept of trading vs. just being an investor and holding. This was a little taboo and against the grain of what I had been reading from seasoned crypto “HODLERS” on reddit. The constant mantra seemed to be “don’t trade, just hold”, combined with stories of those who had lost so much precious bitcoin trying to “trade the volatility” of bitcoin and altcoins. I knew I was entering dangerous waters or jungles, but I felt ready and prepared. After all, I was resolved to take action. I had definitely experienced losses on some trades already, but I was ready to chalk it up and learn how to be a trader. After perusing google and youtube I came across a video by Chris Dunn. He described the story of trading Bitcoin since 2013 and I watched him draw all of these interesting lines and triangles on the charts. Wow I thought, was there really a method to the madness? Was there an underlying intelligence at play? Were there actually patterns that could be observed and that could be used to inform future trades? I was hooked immediately. In the video, Chris described how they had “made money shorting bitcoin” during the bear trend that followed the huge peak of 2013. Making money while it’s going down? I couldn’t understand how that was possible. I pulled up the trusty oracle of knowledge, aka Google, and quickly educated myself on margin trading and how to “short” bitcoin with leverage. In other words, borrowing an amount from an exchange many times the value of what you already have, selling it, and then buying it back at a lower price. That is if the price goes down the way you expect it to. The thought of what could be possible with this technique immediately intrigued me. I quickly logged into my trading account and drew my first descending triangle on the month view of Ethereum. Holy god! I could actually see a trend on all those peaks and valleys i had experienced over the past month. There was a science to this after all. When I completed my first session of technical analysis, I noticed that Ethereum was right at the bottom what seemed to be a major support zone. I even called my wife over and pointed it out; “Check this out, i just learned how to draw these trendlines, and I think that the bottom is about to drop out of Ethereum. Low and behold, the next morning I woke up and it had done just that. I couldn’t believe it. Had I just discovered the magic key of how to predict these markets? Combined with this newfound power, and my recently acquired knowledge on how to short bitcoin with margin and leverage, I was ready to jump into the trenches and make all those profits back. It was time to take action and get to work being a trader, no more of that passive hodler mentality. At about the same time, I had discovered some professional traders through my cryptocurrency twitter account. I shun social media for many reasons but I truly love my crypto twitter account. I began to follow the posts of a few traders, especially one particular trader named “Rocky” who has a comedic way of following the markets that is both entertaining and educational, with a healthy dose of cynicism. So now I was armed with a little more knowledge and ready to roll, and I sent a large sum of Bitcoin to my trading account.

My first session was incredible. I immediately went for a margin short trade on Ethereum when I felt like the time was right. Being the extreme person I am, I of course used my entire balance as collateral at the maximum amount of leverage at 5X. This means I was able to borrow 5 times more for the trade and would get 5 times the profits (or losses). I’ll never forget that first margin trade. I put in my order and low and behold there was my position displayed right before my eyes. It showed my percentage of gain vs. loss in real time. I watched as I was suddenly 700 or 800 dollars in the green. Wow, could it really be this easy? I closed the position and noticed that my profits were actually only like $450 on the market buy. Hmm… I later learned that this was called slippage and was a result of the level of market liquidity. Oh well, I was still happy to make almost $500 in a matter of minutes. I also realized that I had closed my position way too early. I literally could have made about 3k on that trade if I had waited longer. Man, I was feeling good though and that adrenaline rush was pretty epic watching money being made in real time like that. I was ready for another round. I waited for the right setup, and went for another margin short at 5X leverage on Ether, (of course with my entire account as collateral). It was like the horses busting out of the gates. Within minutes I was up almost $5000 dollars! Okay I thought, control yourself. Be calm. Your going to pull in 10k on this one. Just don’t close early. Suddenly, to my shock, I looked back at the screen after a brief bathroom visit and it was already back to break even. Okay, no problem, I thought. Just some volatility here. I’ll let it get back in the green and close it for only a few thousand profit or so. We shouldn’t get greedy. Suddenly to my horror, I watched as it literally bounced off the bottom of the charts into my face. How could this be? It had broken the support line! It was supposed to drop! As I was trying to figure out how this was even possible, I watched in horror as I was suddenly 5k in the red. Oh my god, what to do? If this continues I will be liquidated for the entire account. Shit, I better close the position. I quickly made the order and to my disgust, once the market buy actually processed, I had lost 6.5 k. Literally in a matter of minutes. My heart was pumping, my adrenaline was flowing, every cell in my body was on full alert. Hmm…

The next morning I woke up really down in the dumps. I was still in shock that I had lost so much money. Despite that, I was set on cutting my losses knowing that I could easily make it back as quick as I had lost it. I did a few more margin trades that week and actually made a couple thousand back. Things weren’t looking too bad. Also that week, I had discovered that my youtube teacher Chris Dunn had a link to a crypto trading course and mentoring program. I signed up and was devouring the tutorial videos in the archive and to my excitement I learned that the same trader Rocky that I was following on twitter had partnered with Chris on the mentoring course, and that he was the one giving the daily market updates. Suddenly I was connected to a community of support and I felt a new level of confidence flowing in as a result. Over the course of the first week I began to learn about the risks inherent in trading with margin. One day Rocky described it as playing with fire and that it must be treated with respect. After all, fire is great to cook with and a tremendous source of energy, but it can also burn your house down. Despite those words of caution, I have to say that I was already hooked. Man, that adrenaline rush was incredible and I knew that with my newfound skills I would be quickly be making all those lost profits back.

The next week I went to the beach in St. Augustine for a nice relaxing vacation with my family. I continued to watch the daily market reports and I wanted to be ready for the next big opportunity. One night, it seemed that my moment had come. Both Bitcoin and Ethereum were dropping below support. At this point I had a very large amount of Bitcoin on the exchange and I was ready for the big play. I quickly opened two leverage short positions at 5X leverage. Again, the absolute maximum that I could borrow. I was ready to hit the grand slam. I could hear Rocky’s warning about respecting fire, but I was absolutely convinced that I would nail it this time. Once I hit the big play, I would then take a step back and take a more moderate approach with my regained profits. Bam! I was out of the gate. Both positions were in profit. I was up for a total of about 4k. Should I close? Should I be patient? I mean, this was about to be 10k in no time. My heart was pumping. The adrenaline cocktail was flowing. Okay I thought, just wait it out a little longer. Again, to my horror I watched as they snapped back in the other direction. Oh man, i better close it at break even. No, just wait a little longer. Bam! the next thing I know I’m over 7k in the red. “Oh my god, If i get liquidated on this I’m totally done. This whole thing is over.” I closed the orders, and within moments with slippage I had lost 8.5 thousand dollars. I was again in total shock. I was actually momentarily relieved that the order went through and it was all over. A few minutes later reality kicked in and I realized the severity of the loss. I felt a complete sense of disgust and self loathing overcome me as I realized that a dark energy had slowly crept it’s way into my consciousness. It was the energy of greed and impatience, combined with the adrenaline rush of gambling. Was this me? The “spiritual” person who never really cared much about money? Had I been overtaken unknowingly by a shadow side of my subconscious that I wasn’t even aware of? Yes, I had…

That night was only what I can call a dark night of the soul. I went out onto the beach and in the darkness I watched the waves of the ocean pound into the surf. I tried to meditate. I did deep breathing. I tried to release the emotions, but all I could perceive was the deepest sense of anger and self loathing that I can ever remember feeling. Truly, this was a turning point. I was facing my shadow. Nothing had prepared me for this moment. I was sitting face to face with every flaw in myself that I could imagine. What to do?

The next morning I did my yoga practice on the beach, moving through the poses as I have for almost the last 20 years. Every breath was painful. Every thought was heavy with toxic emotions; Anger, self loathing, sadness, depression, disbelief… Despite all of this, I forced myself to finish the practice, had some lunch, and went back to sit on the beach with my family. As usual, the topic of Bitcoin eventually came up, and I found myself expressing that I was struggling with the huge losses I had taken by recklessly gambling. Over the course of our conversation I became aware that the gambling propensity is something that I had unknowingly inherited from one of my grandfathers. I knew that in order to shed light on the shadow, that I had to get it out into the open and discuss it with my family. So I did exactly that and it worked. I humbled myself and communicated my flaws in hopes of transforming them. As always my family lent a compassionate listening ear, and my willingness to express vulnerability even inspired the same from someone else on a totally different topic. The resolve to communicate turned out to be contagious…

To make a long story short, in the several weeks since this all transpired I have taken a lot of time to reflect, really trying to learn these lessons so as not to repeat the same mistakes. It’s like the alchemical process of turning shit into gold and compost into fertile soil. I’ve also learned so much more from the cryptocurrency mentoring program with Chris and Rocky. I can truly say that embarking on learning to be a trader has forced me to face aspects of myself that I never even knew lurked in the depths of my mind. I have still had some bad trades even since I joined the group, but I’ve also had some really good ones. I’m trying to learn the whole concept of risk management, and how to truly be ruthless and cut out on a small loss, as well as the concept of position sizing. The margin thing is over. Out of the question at this point, given the huge losses that resulted from playing with fire. Unfortunately, I am pretty much at the break even point from when I first started. I lost all my profits from the downward turn of the market in June combined with the reckless margin trading trying to quickly make it all back. I truly feel like I’ve been tossed against the rocks by the waves, and really taken a beating. Burned by the fires of purification. The question is what to do now? We’re less than a week away from the Aug.1 scaling issue of Bitcoin, and the potential birth of “BITCOIN CASH”. The thought of losing any more money is absolutely grueling, but I’m not going give up just before the potential turn of the tides. I truly believe in Bitcoin and all of the things it represents. I even believe in several of the altcoin projects. What I have realized is that one must be decisive, patient, and cautious. It’s a jungle out there in Cryptoland. Now that I understand the fundamental differences between a bull and bear market and how to strategize as a trader during those phases, I’m confident that with the support of my trading community, and with these freshly learned lessons, I can begin again, and ride the next waves back into profit…

Thanks to everyone for reading this story and I hope that some newcomers out there can learn from my mistakes. I am the kind of person who has to be burned by the fire to actually learn. Hopefully others are less stubborn than me and can do the opposite. Sending well wishes of abundance to you all and we’ll see where this all goes…

One more thing, If anyone is feeling really generous and wants to donate and help to replenish my trading fund, I am pasting my Bitcoin address below. I will be sending 10% of the donations to a wallet for an Amazon Rainforest preserve that I have been raising money for over the past several years. Generosity is always the best antidote to greed, and sometimes we don’t even realize the extent to which we are holding on and needlessly hoarding. It can be so subtle! For those that may be interested in joining our trading group I will also post a link below. I can’t speak highly enough about the level of knowledge and experience that is flowing from our mentors Rocky Darius and Chris Dunn, along with many of the members…

with Gratitude,

-Jungle Heart

bitcoin donation address: 1Lxz1YQ3hEZQbJ1kfF25GLe8CaxSKsdagU

cryptocurrency mentoring program and trading group: https://skillincubator.com/course-pages/cryptocurrency-mentoring-program/