Crypto-trading 1

I’ve been testing some cryptocurrency trading strategies since the new year. Mainly because I want to spend my downtime learning and testing some personal projects in addition to catching up with jobs around the house, but also because I had the chance to buy into the mania when Bitcoin was a few dollars, and again when it was a couple of hundred dollars. I never did, and I regret my sheepishness.

So, with the ability to burn a fixed amount per month as the worst-case, my new year resolution was to put £100 into my trading account each month for the year and try out some strategies. Total potential loss: £1200. Absolute gain: education. Potential gain: unknown. Opportunity cost: 1.5% AER in an ISA, so about £9 over the year.

Now, it’s easy enough to say buy-low-sell-high, but the reality of the crypto market is that it’s very fickle, very volatile, and very corrupt. This will make it somewhat harder, though on the upside I have no interest in massive gains, nor long-term health of the underlying token. So I have some ideas to play with:

  • I want 1% return per day as a modest target. I wholly accept that I won’t make this some days (more on this later).
  • The highest fee I’ll pay per trade is 0.3% on GDAX. Double that for both ends of a sell/buy movement, and add my target, and I need to leverage at least 1.6% per trade, per day ideally.
  • Since I don’t care about the long-term value – only about returning 1% per day – I can happily trade at any price, as long as it’s volatile (again, more on this later).
  • I can hold long or churn quickly. I’ll need to try out both.
  • I can manually trade (as I’ve been doing during month 1), or
  • I can automatically trade (write a basic engine to capture my trade results and place corresponding buy/sells in the opposing direction), or
  • I can build out an AI engine to predict the market (the long-term goal based on the year of trading, learning and training).

So, back to my modest target and the volatility…

I was doing pretty well in the first week – 16% gains based on that modest 1% trading margin. But then I hit a snag: South Korean ban rumours, Facebook advertising policies, thefts in Japan and most recently bans in India have all been moves that have tanked the market, and in a way that has not only sunk the underlying prices by 60%, but flatlined volatility.

Holding both ETH and LTC, I had no cash reserves left within the month’s allowance to leverage what little volatility remained on the downward slope, so I’ve just had to sit back and watch them plummet. One month in and my book value then is -24% instead. And that was yesterday – today it’s -66% as the markets utterly collapsed overnight.

On the upside, I now have this month’s allowance injected to see what I can recover at these new price levels.

Again, the goal isn’t actually to make money – that’s a fringe benefit. The goal is spending somewhere between £9 and £1200 on a hands-on trading course… and in that regard it’s been a great month!


Due to a corporate restructuring (don’t you just love that phrase?!) I’m looking for a new job, so LinkedIn is naturally one of my daily landing spots at this time. But it’s crap to the point of useless, and I’m going to tell you why:

#1 The feed

Facebook’s news feed is well recognised for being a never-ending torrent of narcissistic crap, adverts posing as posts, and general material designed to identify candidates for the Golgafrinchans’ B Ark. It’s why I left many years ago and will never again be on Facebook.

LinkedIn has gone down this exact route, where posts are either clickbait-titled “I’m so proud of working for this top employer!”, adverts, buzzword-laden rhetorical posts about The Artificially-Intelligent Agile Cloud-powered Blockchain 2.0, or the vomit-inducing “inspirational” diatribe that would be on one of those 1990’s Corporate America posters if it weren’t for the verbosity.

#2 The jobs

LinkedIn is about business networking, which essentially has one purpose – to find a job (or hire somebody looking for a job). You could argue it’s about selling stuff too, but connection requests from sales people telling me about how their (not related to my business or role) product is the best thing since the Agile methodology took over cookery go exactly the way of similar direct emails… into the trash.

So, there are jobs posted, and you know what? some of them look and sound pretty good.

So naturally a candidate applies. Using the “Easy Apply” button of course.

Cue the problem: Literally 1,000’s of candidates for every posted job, and a recruitment team with no hope of separating good from bad. I’ve had not one response to one role I’ve applied for through LinkedIn in the past three months, and I would think that’s on me…

But neither has a close colleague (also Director-level). Both of us are top-performing, 20+ year experienced, demonstrably very successful and capable candidates who have been promoted in every role we’ve held and received multiple accolades and awards.

So the process is broken, or the jobs are fake, or both. Regardless the platform is useless if you’re looking for a job.

# The recommendations

I’ve been a hiring manager for some years now, and the one thing I can count on is crapplicants – those people who turn up in an interview room and demonstrate within 60 seconds that their CV is a more masterful piece of fiction than Tolkien, Lewis or Rowling ever achieved. It’s such a reliable phenomenon that I now rarely read a CV.

I do however Google candidates: their Facebook, Instragram, Flickr, Github, Blogspot, and yes… LinkedIn.

And much like their CVs, it’s astounding how little their recommendations (when they have them) reflect reality.

I wasn’t the only departing member of staff through this recent restructuring: I had the dubious pleasure of learning the experience of laying off almost 40 other people – people who worked for me, and people whose abilities, skills and experience I know quite well. And make no mistake, to read their recursive recommendations of one another is to read fiction like the very best of those aforementioned CVs.

So, with such sycophantic and unreliable (and ultimately self-serving since they’re always recursive) recommendations, they simply serve to devalue my opinion of my own network contacts. Again, the system appears broken.


So, sorry LinkedIn. You appear to have gone the way of Facebook, and that is quite a sad thing. You asked my for comments when I cancelled my Premium trial subscription, but your textbox didn’t stretch to telling you why your free product is so bad that any notion of a paid version is laughable.

This page, however, does.

Please head to to send me insightful posts, genuine job opportunities and heartfelt accurate recommendations (if they don’t include the word “sarcastic” everyone will know you were lying!).


What the … ??

I assume you’re salting and hashing my password… so why the f$@k are you restricting me to 16 characters?!

As public figures have a duty to lead by example and be better than the minimum baseline ethical standard humans should adhere to, so Microsoft have a duty to lead security best practise above the minimum baseline, and that includes not imposing artificial limits that reduce security. Bravo! Now fix it.