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Hackernoon logoWhat I Learned from Advising Cryptocurrency Investors by@Chris Douthit

What I Learned from Advising Cryptocurrency Investors

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@Chris DouthitChris Douthit

MBA, CSPO, former professional trader for Goldman Sachs and founder of

During the cryptocurrency bull run of 2017, I was consistently getting asked how to get involved with cryptocurrencies. My investments were exploding at rates I had not seen before, and most people just wanted to get in as fast as they could so they could experience something similar, I was always happy to help.

I was lucky enough to get into bitcoin early, at least earlier than most, back in 2013, when I wanted to integrate bitcoin with my shopping cart company, I reach out to a new startup called Coinbase to forge a deal and simultaneously tried to learn everything I could about this new form of currency. As luck would have it, bitcoin only grew from there along with my interest.

I had been working in finance for nearly 15 years with a heavy concentration on stocks and options while being fortunate enough to alongside some of the best floor traders in the business. But cryptocurrencies were new, exciting, and they were slowly gaining a little more momentum at every turn. That’s until 2017 when the training wheels came off, and for the first time, people started to realize what blockchain technology could actually do.

At first, it was just my friends asking for help, but about halfway through the year, my option research company started getting flooded with requests for cryptocurrency training, and the big question: which cryptocurrencies to buy?

Well after researching nearly half of all cryptocurrencies, interviewing some fantastic engineers, talking with other financial experts, and coming from a background of understanding disruption, I’ve been able to achieve massive success in the space and if I am doing the research for myself, I might as well share with others, so earlier this year I started the site to help others understand cryptocurrency investing, what I am personally investing in and why, and what to look for or avoid when considering a specific blockchain for an investment.

Investing in blockchain is not for everyone, but here are my top three tips to maximize success in the space.

1. Most People Don’t Like to do Their Own Research or Investing

When it comes to other types of investments, there are avenues one can take to avoid having to put much thought into what they’re investing in. Buying a managed mutual fund, an ETF, or even just giving money to a broker or money manager and have them do all the work for you. Most people are okay with that, even with high fees, so that they don’t have to do it themselves.

The problem? No one cares more about your money than you do. People are busy and don’t want to bother with things that may be confusing or difficult to learn, but it’s a painful lesson, that most don’t realize will cost them dearly over the years.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, there is no other option when it comes to cryptocurrency investing other than doing it yourself, which leads to either guessing at investments or finding someone who actually puts the time in to find those winning opportunities. Some of the blockchains are downright amazing projects that I expect to make 10X my money on in just a few short years, and that is probably a conservative estimate. Point being — guessing is not an investment strategy that one should ever partake in.

2. Don’t Get Scammed

As more government crackdowns continue, less and less scam projects are hitting the market, but as soon as we feel safe and stop looking or worrying about a possible scam, is likely when we will get taken for a ride. Last year, one of my trusted associates came to me with a new recommended ICO called AriseBank, but I was not taken by the flashy lights and the big promises AriseBank offered. I recommend to my friend that he should NOT invest. For starters, it seemed like too big of a project that did not add up, if something seems too good to be true it probably is, but those were not the only warning signs.

The first thing to look for is who is behind the project. Are they experienced and do they have a resume that warrants such a project? Are they familiar with blockchain? Do they have reputable advisors on the team? It can be shocking to find out that most cryptocurrency investors don’t even evaluate the core team. One simple Google search of AriseBank main member Jared Rice would have shown he was not someone to be trusted.

Lack of real talent on the team is typically combated with celebrity promoters. While there is technically nothing wrong with a celebrity enforcement, it doesn’t mean anything. Does a celebrity actually have any idea if a project has merit or not? No! It’s just a red flag. Evander Holyfield supported the AriseBank ICO, enough said!

Research the community and see who is involved with the project. Are their partnerships established? Are their regulatory filings on record? If the project is a real project, it can be validated with a little research. In the case of AriseBank, they had nothing going on, no partnerships, no filings, no nothing! Unfortunately, the lack of due diligence cost all investors their money.

3. Coaching is for Anyone Who Wants to be Good at Anything

Some people will accept coaching, while others refuse to admit they need help. Coaching is not just for athletes, but for anyone who’s tired of taking the hard road and wants to get good faster than they could on their own. I actually know a guy who signed up for coaching for how to pick up girls, he was just tired of striking out. We may have had a chuckle or two about it when he was not around, but nonetheless, he got himself a pretty girlfriend shortly their after.

I have been coaching investors for years, first in options trading and now in cryptocurrency investing and one thing that I’ve noticed, everyone has more success when they have a coach. It’s those that want to compete at a higher level that need coaching the most. Whoever wins the gold at the Olympics is undoubtedly the best in the world at what they do, guess what? They have a coach. I consider myself to be highly skilled at tracking down winning investments, but even I run ideas around other people I respect in the industry, and it’s not uncommon for a new perspective to be brought to my attention.

Bad habits can be difficult to change. It’s better to learn how to do something the right way and be put on the patch of success from the start vs. having to learn through the school of hard knocks, especially when it comes to money.

Selecting quality cryptocurrency projects is not that hard if you know what to look for. Most people just need a little guidance, once they see what factors are essential for selecting that winning project for an investment, it starts to all make sense. The fact is, we are a community that should all support each other, when one of us wins we all win.


Have questions? Get in touch or email me at Chris at


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