In crypto, sometimes the best thing you can do is nothing
Sit on those paper hands until they turn into diamonds.
There exists a meme in the crypto world that goes something like this: “Whenever I buy, the market dumps, and whenever I sell, the market pumps.” Like a cliche, the widespread status of a meme is a sign that it contains an element of truth, as anyone who has spent five minutes on a trading site will have learned with great pain.
Those who hold onto a dying coin for too long are considered delusional, while those who sell too soon are derided as having “paper hands.” In between are the estimated 1%–3% of day traders who actually make a profit.
A confessional by one trader on social media site Reddit painted a vivid picture of paper hands at play on Thursday. A user by the name of u/wheelzoffortune told the story of their failure to reap life-changing profits from cryptocurrency investments because they continually sold too early.
The Redditor revealed how they once owned tens of thousands of Dogecoin (DOGE) but sold them when they were still priced at under one cent. U/wheelzoffortune said they didn’t think the coin was going anywhere — something that might have held true were it not for the free publicity afforded it by Elon Musk in the past year or so.
“I had tens of thousands of Doge from doing surveys but converted them when Doge was still under a penny because I didn’t think it had any future,” read the post.
Dogecoin was priced at under one cent for the vast majority of its eight-year existence, breaking above the $0.01 barrier just once prior to its miraculous surge in 2021. Since January alone, the coin price increased by over 14,000% on its way to a recent peak of $0.69 despite a dead development pool and an apparent lack of users beyond a few wealthy individuals.
The Redditor also sold Ethereum Classic (ETC) when it was priced between $4 and $5, meaning they missed out on what could have been a 2,575% return on their investment. Ethereum Classic hit a new all-time high just minutes prior to the time of publication, notching up over 200% gains in a week on its way to a $107 valuation.
“I had a decent amount of ETC, but after learning that it was useless/dead coin I got rid of it. I think it was like $4 or $5 at the time,” they said of the Ethereum hard fork.
ETC was priced between the $4–$5 range for much of 2019 right up until December 2020. In January 2021, the coin suddenly began to move, swayed by the rising tide of the broader cryptocurrency market, and is now up 1,800% since the turn of the year.
The post also detailed the unlucky trader’s fruitless experiences with some of the biggest tech stocks in the world, including some that have become furniture pieces of the online world. Among these were Amazon, Netflix, Apple, AMD and Chinese internet giant Baidu.
The top comment underneath the post, with over 1,100 upvotes in twelve hours, read: “Damn dude it sounds like you just gotta start holding things a bit longer and you’ll be set. There will be many more opportunities coming in the future, every year bringing more than the last.”
The next most upvoted comment floated the concept of non-interventionism when it comes to investments, noting: “Funny how often the best thing to do is do nothing.”