How I almost lost crypto funds for a double copy-past

I am not referencing to the current bear trend — I am hoping you didn’t buy anything at December prices.
I am not even talking about the fact that for an average Joe it is hard to understand that Crypto money is not the same as paper bills but a special essence that helps to store and transfer value. When you successfully get over this curve of mental exercise, then you still have to invest quite a lot of time for self education. Hopefully you will get comfortable with the operational stuff as you play with crypto. It is very useful to internalize that you are here on your own, no third party like a bank assistant will help you, if you send your money to a wrong crypto address.

I’d like to share a few examples of my own humble experience to illustrate how confusing crypto money is.

  1. Let’s start from the initial purchasing point: where to buy the crypto currencies? After buying Bitcoin on Coinable the next thing you realize is that you can’t buy any other small coins on Coinbase and you need to transfer your BTC to a crypto exchange. 
    If you never traded before this stuff will look fascinating. 
    Aside from that, it took me some time to realize that I do not have a private key in Coinbase — so when I got comfortable with having access to them, I transferred all my stuff from Coinable away.
  2. After buying into smaller alt coins you feel uncomfortable to keep them on a shady exchange, so your next quest will be to find out where and how to store your crypto?
    Hot wallet, Cold wallet, Paper wallet and so on. 
    What blew my mind was Paper wallet, when you can buy a $1k worth of BTC and print a QR code with a public key and save the private key. Basically it is like printing your own money. 
    The private key question started bothering me when I realized I won’t be granted Bitcoin gold because I keep BTC in the Coinbase without access to a private key.
  3. Withdrawing money from exchanges to a different address is a whole other story.
    – I’d recommend at the beginning to play with as little funds as possible to ensure you are not going to give yourself a heart attack when you send crypto somewhere for the first time. 
    After a few months into it I managed to double copy past my own address for withdrawal twice and didn’t notice. 
    Luckily since this crypto address didn’t exist I was able to cancel the transaction because the network didn’t find the address. The lesson had been learned. When you send the crypto, make sure you are checking on the first two and last two digits/characters when you copy/pasted.
  4. Ledger Nano S. If you got that far and know what the ledger is for and plan to buy one — go ahead, you need the Ledger, period. Here is a link, if you use it, then the humble author of this article will be rewarded from the company.

This device will help to protect your funds from endless use cases. Let me name a few:

– if you have a malware and try to send funds from your wallet to an exchange then virus won’t replace the address with the script. Before confirming transaction you will see the address again on the Ledger screen and can ensure the address is correct.
– Think of Ledger Nano as you personal bank or your personal brokerage account where you store all your stocks. So now you are the only one who has access to it. If you use it correctly, if you hide the 12 word pass-phrase securely and didn’t tell anyone the device PIN — you are good! I like to see it as my hidden treasure, as if I would be a pirate that hides the gold on a remote island.

The future is in playing with money freely, right now, it is geeky stuff that hardly 1% of people can understand.

I hope this article helps my readers and makes it easier for them to get started in the new Crypto world .

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