I think it was maybe 2019 when I first decided my curiosity had to take over and i took the scary (not so scary) dive into the world of cryptocurrency.
I'd read mixed responses from people who'd started investing and trading in crypto so I really didn't know what to expect. It all seemed a bit daunting getting my head around wallets, seed phrases, gas fees and network settings but after reading and re-reading a few tutorials i took the plunge.
Now my first dive into crypto wasn't as simple as buying some BTC through an on-boarding fiat app and leaving it sitting in Binance on my phone feeling all buzzed that I'm now a crypto owner. The first coin I bought and still hodl today was Pirate Chain (ARRR).
If you're completely brand new to crypto in 2019 and that's the first coin you buy then all the others after that are a piece of cake. (Not so much a piece of PancakeSwap though). Pirate Chain is much much more developed now and even has it's own mobile wallets.
First I had to deposit my fiat through an onboarding platform. I needed identification verification, accounts, passwords, seed phrases. All this before I could even deposit anything. For this process I used Edge wallet and a local exchange that charged a fortune in fees. My funds were initially going to be deposited as BTC. I'm getting there I thought.
Once I'd gone through this step it took what seemed like an eternity for my BTC to appear in my wallet. As a newbie i was starting to panic, thinking I'd screwed up and my money was gone or stuck or God knows what else.
I didn't have any family or friends who'd bought crypto so this was all very new to me. After what felt like 2 days I logged in to my wallet to find the balance was nowhere near what I'd deposited. I felt pissed off. Gas fees and greedy middlemen in hindsight.
I brushed this off for now and went on my journey to the famous TradeOgre. The next steps felt like it took forever as well. Checking the receiving addresses were correct, copying and pasting, trying to calculate numbers in my head. It felt like my brain was going to explode.
Then I saw my funds appear in Trade Ogre and felt a little easier. I didn't know at this stage that I needed to wait for confirmations and I started trying to buy ARRR but it wouldn't work. I was getting anxious again that I'd screwed up somehow and thought... F#*K this is annoying.
Then I thought I should start downloading the ARRR wallet so I don't leave my coins on the exchange. This took an eternity on my slow computer and poor internet connection. A day and a half I think. It didn't load properly the first time and I had to delete all the files and start again. Grrrrr.
I was losing my patience with this whole crypto thing.
I finally got my ARRR in Trade Ogre and sent it through to my wallet after checking and re-checking everything looked correct. It took about 2 hours to get through and those same emotions kept rolling. (It's much much faster now)
Once my coins had appeared in my Pirate Chain wallet on my computer I felt this great sense of pride and achievement. I'm now in a relatively small club of people who own a privacy coin and the banks and governments can F#$K Off now.
Even since 2018 or so the speed and ease of use of networks, exchanges and wallets has greatly improved. It doesn't take anywhere near as long now and a lot of coins now have very easy to use mobile wallets and lightening fast chains.
Looking back it's all kind of funny how I was feeling but I'm sure I'm not the only one who had those kind of feelings when they first bought crypto. Now I could do the whole process 10 times faster and a hell of a lot cheaper.
Since that first fateful day of my crypto journey I haven't looked back. I've dived deeper and deeper into the crypto and blockchain arena and I love continually learning more about it all. I'm still an absolute novice in some regards but the whole thing is a journey and a cool journey at that.
My tips to anyone looking to buy crypto for the first time is the old Nike adage... Just do it. (and don't lose your seed phrase)
You'll make some mistakes and pay too high a gas fee as you go but just keep learning and be patient.
The more people that embrace blockchain the better it becomes.