Crypto is a volatile place. Money can be as easily lost as made through the ups and downs of Bitcoin and the wider market, and there are massive decisions to make. Should you just hodl — invest and do nothing — or actively trade the market? How many coins should your portfolio hold? Self-custody or keep your funds on an exchange with pre-determined stop losses?
Basically, how do you protect your stack from the million and one things that can go wrong? We asked Bitcoin OGs and experts in the space for their advice and opinions.
Walk before you can run
When faced with the question of how best to protect your crypto, OG Brock Pierce is circumspect. The former presidential candidate and co-founder of Tether and Block.one points out that not everyone is in the same place.
“Early noobs looking to begin their journey might go to Coinbase and purchase their first $20 or $50 worth of crypto, and it’s not an investment in crypto, but an investment in yourself. However, the moment you have a material investment – and that is a different amount for everybody – then it’s important to understand the basics of hodling and investing in crypto,” he says.
“It’s always better to walk before you can run, to walk in baby steps and don’t let FOMO (fear of missing out) cloud your judgment. This is a marathon, a long game, so take you time and be informed.”
Self-custody for safety
Pierce repeats the mantra, “Not your keys, not your coins.” This is one of the most widespread pieces of wisdom in the world of crypto, where people are encouraged to take responsibility for holding their own crypto rather than outsourcing it to an exchange that can get hacked.
But there are dangers with this approach, too, and if something goes wrong, there is no centralized bank authority to reset the passwords or refund money lost to scams. It’s like holding cash under the mattress — the entire responsibility rests with you — and is referred to as self-custody in crypto.