Click here for the Vite Multi-Chain Wallet Overview or scroll down to the bottom of the article.
As a believer in hard money principles with over 25 years in finance, physical gold led me into crypto five years ago. Today, DEX exchanges are coming online, reducing attack vectors and risks inherent within centralized exchanges. Welcome to the future.
DEX exchanges are simply not intuitive to learn due to the software code structure living on digital networks secured by nodes — literally on chain. New DEXs will certainly enhance user experience over time. Yet, I’m not certain they need to “go back in time” to cater to old experiences. Working within a DEX becomes extremely logical with experience.
Since DEXs are hard-coded within digital networks, they do not provide fiat to crypto rails to fund your journey. It’s BYOC — bring your own crypto. Typically, a user will need to fund their DEX account with BTC or ETH. Here is your first hurdle if you are new to crypto assets…
Patience and perseverance are required in crypto. Coinbase is the largest fiat to crypto rails provider here in the US. New accounts must go through a waiting period (2–8 days) which I refer to as “Coinbase jail” before moving crypto assets from Coinbase. Online direct purchase of bitcoin can now be made at places like CashApp (on App Store) and PayPal (note that services such as PayPal and Robinhood do NOT let you withdraw crypto, so carefully consider the best options for BYOC to fund your DEX). Most still have hurdles to jump in order to purchase and move crypto quickly. If you are buying BTC or ETH online for “instant” delivery, you will need your DEX/ Local wallet address to complete the transaction.
Once you have your BTC or ETH, you can now transfer it to a DEX to fund purchases in the deep dark world of alternative crypto assets (alts). For clarity, this snippet is not meant to be exhaustive or conclusive regarding using DEX exchanges or buying alts. This should NOT be considered investment advice or a solicitation of any kind.
Over the last five years I have read approximately 500+ white papers. These are thesis papers on various cryptographic (or other space math tech) protocols on how they maintain an electronic ledger, which in turn eliminates the need for a central authority to trade and transact financially with other users. The building block for all crypto newcomers should be the bitcoin white paper. To date, broad crypto use cases outside of store of value and speculation have been slow to materialize. But they are on the horizon. One wonders, does the use case kill the speculative case or does the speculative case kill the use case? We may not know for several years. I would suggest the speculative case is diminished over time simply because crypto has entered the mainstream.
Epic Cash — My foray into the DEX world
I stumbled across the original Epic Cash (EC) white paper a year ago and was deeply intrigued. Yet, at that time, it was merely words on paper and no code had been shipped. I randomly (or perhaps nothing is random in life) came across Epic Cash two months ago and quickly got up to speed. Since EC is relatively young, it’s only traded on a few exchanges, one of them being a DEX. I began buying small a few weeks ago and have since built up a solid position as I became increasingly intrigued with Epic Cash. This article is not an attempt to “talk my book” and I won’t go into what I see as a unique asymmetrical opportunity with Epic Cash. I am “talking my book” to share my DEX experience. Life is full of dichotomies. Here is where I say “only invest what you can comfortably lose.” I will add “buyer beware” and “do your own research.” And please, do not hide crypto speculation from your life partner. If there’s one thing we all want less of in life — it’s drama.
So with all of that, I went and downloaded a DEX wallet from the app store (Overview details below). Step 1 is WRITING DOWN/ SECURING the mnemonic seed phrase to recover your account in the event your password or device is lost. (Some power crypto folks have this seed phrase engraved on metal, safe from fire and EMPs and hard to lose.) Remember, crypto assets in DEXs live on chain on a digital network secured by computer hash power. It does not sit in a database and there is nobody to call for help. A DEX is not a thing, it’s a software action with hardcode living inside digital networks. Users who lose password or device can reclaim their accounts and assets by entering the mnemonic seed phrase in correct order. BOOM — Mortimer, we’re back!
Like many (d)apps the DEX has tabs that take the user to various screens. There is a great deal of information on each screen and it’s important to go slow and tab around to familiarize yourself prior to funding. Most information on screens is “live” allowing users to touch any item to open more data. As a rule of thumb, if you do not know what deeper sub-tabs are about and if they sound overly technical to your knowledge level, stay away. Dark places are scary for a reason. When in doubt get back to home screen and start over. Always start with a small/ nominal test transfer into a DEX (or any exchange) before sending larger funds.
My incoming DEX transfers from Coinbase averaged between 20–50 minutes. The coinbase pop up saying “this transaction usually takes 10 minutes or less” is an estimate only. Be patient. One transaction took almost 2 hours, and is related to bitcoin network traffic at that time. Some large Chinese miners recently went offline due to their rainy season reducing network capacity. With about $8 billion in daily flows on the bitcoin network, you simply wait your turn or pay higher fees for expediency to move assets on chain.
What I noted after several cycles on the DEX was the simple and solid logic. Intuitive? No. Logical? Yes. There was a brief scary moment when I accidentally sent all of my assets to the exchange instead of the intended wallet. (Account balances do not reflect assets on the exchange tradebook for this DEX.) I thought I had mistakenly sent my funds into the never world of deep dark digital data networks never to return. DEX users getting tripped up in the logic is akin to operating a boat at night with navigation challenges. The rule that applies to both of these circumstances is “do not panic.” Go slow and figure out the next logical step to advance your position. Back to the home screen is usually the path forward. Two steps backward for one step forward. More dichotomies.
After many cycles of transferring assets onto the DEX and buying Epic Cash and moving those assets to my DEX wallet, I can say that DEXs are the future for many. Nothing is bulletproof but I sleep well knowing my assets are on chain with my mnemonic seed phrase secured. The assets are not subject to centralized database attack vectors or administrators’ or service reps’ prying eyes and temptations. I note the order book is not the trade book. The order book is an overview and only by clicking “buy” or “sell” tabs can you enter the trade book exchange screen. If you are unable to find your assets in your wallet or exchange account, chances are it is held in an open (unexecuted) order sitting in the exchange trade screen.
Alt Pairs & Bitcoin
Fiat price discovery can be a challenge as alts are paired with BTC or ETH (not dollars). Fiat price requires double calculation of both the alt price and the paired crypto asset back into fiat. The DEX shows the fiat price, but it’s very small given the amount of information on the screen. While the fiat price display is small on screen, the software provides granular alt to btc to fiat data for tax purposes as gains or losses are crystallized in time. (Epic Cash is not run by a company and has no and did not launch an ICO or premine and does not fall under the security category in today’s legal frameworks.) Users will be responsible for their taxes owed to their government authorities. Assume everything is known by our hardworking regulators and enforcement folks. Simply pay your appropriate taxes to avoid headaches. This should not be considered legal or tax advice in any way.
Trade data can also be delayed or inaccurate if using larger technical charting services. Rely on DEX data when in doubt. It’s hard-coded. Wash trading (fake volume) is possible on DEXs, but seems unlikely given DEX fees with real assets loaded on the platform to trade. DEXs by design do not engage with any 3rd party market makers or custody providers. It’s truly decentralized user to user exchange of assets. Some don’t want to risk losing BTC for alts and that’s understandable. BTC (and ETH) is the financial battery you hold and monetize. It’s simply not efficient for large numbers of transactions, particularly as the price and related fees go higher. However, since alts are paired against BTC, as the alt price increases, so does your bitcoin bag! That’s the wonderful “aha” moment when successfully investing in alts.
After garnering DEX experience you may ask yourself “why do we use anything else?”
The word that comes to my mind to describe this DEX is… “SLICK!”
Vite Multi-Chain Wallet | Overview
1. Download the wallet
c. Desktop: https://github.com/vitelabs/vite-wallet/releases
2. Install and create an account.
To get 10% off trading fees, trading fee dividends, and other bonuses outlined here, please use this invitation code: 1050804368
3. *WRITE DOWN/ SECURE* the mnemonic recovery seed phrase words in the correct order from left to right, then top to bottom.
To confirm you have recorded your seed phrase correctly and activate the account, reorganize the recovery seed words in the SAME order (by clicking the provided seed words. Reclick a word to delete and reorganize it again.)
4. Add EPIC and BTC to your wallet
a. Enter the “Wallet” tab (tabs may be located at bottom and/or top, depending on platform)
b. Click the + icon at the upper right
c. On the “BTC-000” row, click the toggle until it is on/blue
d. Search for “EPIC-001”, and click the toggle until it is on/blue. Avoid adding EPIC-000.
5. Return to the “Wallet” tab. Select BTC-000 and click “Cross chain deposit ” (white box) to view your BTC wallet deposit address.
Note: *Internal Vitex transfers use root addresses starting with “vite_” such as addresses for Epic Fund Me crowdfunding campaigns. These addresses are not usable for external cross chain transfers.
6. The “Asset“ tab is your friend!
a. To move assets, click: “Asset”
b. “BTC” or “EPIC-001”
c. “Transfer” lower tab
d. “All” to populate
e. Check “toggle” for destination (wallet or exchange)
a. Click “Markets” tab
b. Use magnifying glass icon at upper right to search for: “epic”
c. Select EPIC/BTC (and optionally click the star icon at upper right to add to favorites)
d. Click “Buy” or “Sell” to enter the trade book
Note: clicking “Buy” or “Sell” from the “Markets” tab is the only way to enter the trade book
8. Go to the “Asset” tab to move assets from the exchange back to the wallet. See step 5 above.
This article and guide is NOT investment advice, legal advice, tax advice, or a solicitation of any kind.
Patrick Moynihan is the Founder of Rubicon Capital Funds, LLC. Rubicon is a Wyoming “series” fund of funds offering ala carte manager selection for accredited investors seeking allocation to leading alternative and digital asset strategies. Rubicon offers liquid/HFT, structured income, and venture fund strategies. The views and material in this article are Patrick’s alone and do not reflect his financial management funds in any capacity.