Category Archives: Uncategorized

Flippa scam of the week #2

Todays scam of the week features The Levitation: Spiral Maze

An amazing 500+ installs on the Android Play store with a monthly net profit of $448,-. Again lets dive into these numbers.

Assuming he now has 999 installs ( just below the 1000 installation mark ), minus the 199 uninstalls from the screengrab above, that leaves a total install of 800. For these users he has received a total of around $1748,- in 3 months with ads spent of $400,- which brings the ‘proven‘ income to $1348,-

The following video was uploaded April 24’th where he shows the $874 income through AdMob. Somehow the rest of April the income must have been less than 99 cents otherwise he would have set the income for end of April accordingly.

Looking at the listing in the google play store itself it has 3 screenshots, and only the following text

It is an interesting game. The style gives people a feeling of being small and fresh. The gameplay is also very tone. Control the ball as much as possible. The spiral maze makes you unable to stop, the ball When there is no power or when it touch the lines, it will be judged as a game failure. Try it now!

A lonely single rating from “Sharad Lamba” which is also the name on the listing on Flippa. I.e. there are no ratings for this game at all.

Dissect the lie

Okay where to start. Lets look at the marketing. Spending $400,- and getting 800 installs with “Organic downloads and Forum Posting and small marketing investment on Google Adwords.” assumes a acquisition cost of $0.5,- per installation with a LTV per user of $174.80-.

So how does the app generate revenue ? As always AdMob. So lets try to figure out what those number would look like. Of course these are rough estimates but if I compare this to my numbers that would mean around 3Million page views for the month of May and approx 15000 clicks. So assuming each user is playing this game every single day that would come out to around 125 page views a day or about 1 page view every minute for 2 hours straight. Also each users has to click on an advertising about every other day.

Of course these numbers again assume each user opens the app every day, which is unlikely.

Where are we more likely with this app

I think if the game would be addictive and people would play it with around 800 users the app could possibly earn around $10,- per month ( best case IMHO ). Now if “Sharad Lamba” told the truth about the advertising cost for the game to get the user base then this game is currently losing between $90,- and $140,- per month. In other words you will need to invest between $4000,- and $6000,- in marketing to get the game to a break-even point.

By that time you will get your invested money back in about 40 months, assuming that people actually like it enough to stick around and the 80% retention rate is real ( trust me, it is not ).

At the best this is a high risk/low return investment, at worst it’s a scam where you will lose almost all of your money.

Flippa scam of the week #1

I have been using flippa for a while now and the platform had some great things going for a while.

However lately there are a lot of scammers on the platform and the reason for this is that flippa removed the ability to comment on listings.

Take for example this listing for an Android app. It is marked as a “Premium public Auction” and is promoted as “Editors Choice”

WTF Flippa, really ?

FRAUD ALLERT: Galaxy

Flippa scam of the week: Galaxy

Galaxy

https://flippa.com/10205517-galaxy

According to the listing it generated around $650 profit per month with AdMob alone. Now why is this an obvious scam ? It’s because the app has a total installation count of 1000-5000.

To earn that much money with a single app you will need aground 3 million impressions and around 15000 clicks.

Let’s look at the math here. Let’s say they have an installation count of 3000, and an uninstall count of about 2000, that leaves them with around 1000 active users ( although this number is likely too high )

With this amount of users you would have to serve around 3000 ads to each users device per month. This pans out to about 100 ads a day per user if the user would open the app every day.

The current price is around $715,- and the buy-it-now price is $1500,-. So why would you sell an app for the amount of money you can create within a short 3 months if you hold on to it ?

Even at is current price of $715,- the app is well overpriced for a 2 month old app with 1000+ downloads and no proof of income aside from the manually entered text. I would not pay more than $50,- and would likely need two full years to get a return on my investment.

Yes, I think this app may be earning around $2,- per month with AdMob. But then it may be less.

Now if I could, I would ask in the comments for some proof, and ask how many ads per month and user he serves, however flippa had gone fully to the dark side in order to increases sales.

Please be careful when you go and deal on flippa. While there are a few good opportunities per month to be found, the overwhelming majority of Android apps on flippa are either low grade or outright scams.

Fake apps, fake reviews on google play

Is google losing the war with the dark side of the app-community ? More and more malicious apps, fake apps, and fake app reviews are encountered.

Wherever there is honest money to be earned, there will be people gaming the system. The amount of malicious and fake apps on the google play store seems to continue to grow and while google is trying to stop these, especially the fake clicks which hit googles’ pockets, the war against fake reviews is another story altogether.

A malicious app is an app which either steals user data, deletes files, impersonates clicks etc.
A fake app is and app which pretends to do one thing when in reality it does not do anything or does something completely different. The term ‘fake apps’ is more broad and not as easy to pin-down.
A fake review is either a paid-for review with a 4 or 5 star rating or the opposite, a malicious review with 1 star to bring a competitor down.

As you would assume, a person creating a malicious or a fake app will not shy away from starting a negative fake-review campaign to gain traction and increase their user base. Over the years, we’ve seen everything from automated download bots to ad-spam-apps to outright scams to fake ratings and more. Those are all attempts by shady developers to earn a better chart rank than their app naturally deserved.

I have been developing Android apps for a few years and have some apps which are semi successful. One of my apps is “MP4 Video Converter” and as of late I have seen a clockwork like on-slaught of 1 star reviews.

Now this could be because my app is bad and some of those may be people who truly dislike my app. However I believe that there are more sinister reasons behind this.

Most negative reviews are very short, do not contain specifics and mention strange things. Like complaining about missing support to transcode DVDs or stating falsely that the app does not do anything. I take pride in my app and I guarantee that the functionality is working on all of my test setup ( multiple real Android devices plus emulators )

So this brings me to one specific case where a user gave me a bad review saying that it is too slow. I asked him which app is faster, to which he pointed me to Total Video Converter ,Any Video Converter by SunStar. I investigated why he was so much faster and found that his app simply renames the input video and does nothing to transcode it.

The app displays a waiting cursor and after a few seconds of doing nothing but copy-and-rename it happily lets the user know it is done.

This is a real fake app.

I contacted Google and left the proper response on this particular app. However Google has not yet removed the app.Hey google, you have no issues complaining when my app is falling outside your rules, Why do you leave this garbage in ?

Also I checked some of this guys oher apps and they all have issues. Like extracting the audio and simply adding a file extension like mp3 when in reality the format is aac. Maybe this guy believes that’s all there is transcoding, however I think he is simply too lazy doing the work.

He has tens of thousands downloads and much better reviews than my app which is really frustrating that my work is less appreciated than this fake app simply because it is ‘faster’.

I saw other similar apps which do the same. Most are easily spotted because they claim to transcode a video but their apk size is less than 10MB. I know that you would need ffmpeg with at least a few supported formats which would require your apk file to be at least 10MB. a 2MB apk does not fit ffmpeg.

Fake Reviews

I know it is hard to shield against fake reviews and I really would like Google to think about ways to help in this regard. A single one word review like “no” or “bad” does not help anyone. Especially since my experience has been that there is no response if you ask for more information on what is wrong.
I can’t fix “Ed does not go ahead, I can see Ed only if I see Ed” or “very fake app, dont waste your bundle” or “verry bad application. useless” or, according to Raiyan Kh : “worst app ever, why people do fake reviews? dont download this app its useless and Waste of time”.

Raiyan, I agree with you, fake reviews are really a drag on everyone. So why don’t you stop or better if you have some real issue let me know what is not working so that I can fix it for you, and for everyone else.

Google does not act or does not care

So with me reporting something which is easy to validate I find it disheartening that google is not taking action, especially since we hear more and more security breaches on the Play Store.

A Beta star is born

Where can you find Google play beta apps nowadays ? In the past you could simply go to the app store and click on “Early Access” and you were given a list of apps which are currently in open Beta testing.

Come 2019, things on the play store have changed and it is hard to impossible to find those beta apps anymore. Without much of any announcement google has removed the link and it is now up to the developers to stir up some marketing SEO, and social campaigns to point to the link in the Google play store.

I have created a new version of CPU Information in the past weeks called CPU Information Pro

After working and sweating for some time to pull this app together I pushed it into Open Beta testing and was expecting that it will be visible to those who are seeking out new apps and early versions of games. However, the google play beta apps page is no more and so there is little a user can do in order to actively seek out the latest new apps by himself through the pay store.

On the social front, a developer can now find users willing to test their app on Facebook ( Of Course ).

Pinterest is another social opportunity to promote your beta app, and so are Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and others.

Since I still have my Google+ account until April 2 this year ( 2019 ), I also went ahead and added a tink on my page there as well as on the collective Beta Testing Apps – page.

Of course I also created a special web page for CPU INformation Pro where the app can feel right at home and where I display all the goody-goodies of it. And while I have the space, I also added a lot of nice screen captures and images to display the app to the best of my abilities.

All of this is however no substitute for the might of the Play Store’s recommendation and browsing abilities. So it leaves a void for developers of new apps and games to display and promote them during the crucial startup-phase.

I have posted the question on Reddit Here and Here and there does not seem to be another way to get Open Beta to test users.

And so google has left you on your own

Over the past few month google has been changing things around for app developers, and for Android users.

As things stand it may get worse for the developer community as google set out to replace Android with Fuchsia OS in the near future. Wile I don’t want to get into the insanity of why this does not make any sense for them to do so IMHO, it just goes to show the changing relationship from a formerly supportive, open and engaging company towards a closed system company.

It seems google is on track to repeat Microsofts’ mistakes from the 90’s. A mistake Microsoft is now trying hard to fix and honestly if things continue this way they will take a bigger bite out of googles cake.

Googles biggest mistake in the past has been to remove Don’t be Evil from their Code of Conduct. The replacement with Do the right thing is a complete takeover of corporate greed. The right thing for google ( Aka Alphabet ) is to make money and is not bound to any other human values, thus the right thing may as well be to pass on all your information to the Kremlin or to the Chinese government.

Okay I am not saying that this is what is going on, I just want to point out that the lack of social value in this sterile term “Do the right thing” is a shift in how google approaches the rest of the world.

Google Play Beta Apps gone “bye bye”

At this point in early 2019 developers and Android users alike have lost the ability to connect through the Play store for Early Accessing apps and games. And as of now there is no official way to replace this lost ability.

There is only hope for either google fixing this missing piece or fro a third party to jump in and offer a means to provide this information in a structured and searchable manner to Android users and developers.

Throwing money at google

Here, take these $26.​60 google to find me some nice people to install my app.
... but why would you do that ? Google already rakes in billions of dollars in revenue … Well let me tell you why.

I have been running a few AdWord campaigns in the past and I wanted to run a new ad campaign for my latest app :
CPU Information

CPU Information

As I just started out with this campaign and as I am not a huge corporation but a small indy-developer, I started with $20,- and thought to myself I want to get up a bit on the high side and then reduce my bid target to stretch the money throughout a 24 hour time period. So I started to target at $0.15 per conversion.

Chill time

Off I went onto doing different things. Then about an hour later I checked back and I had spend $26.60 already on this campaign. so 30% over budget and way earlier than expected. However this is not the reason I told you that I threw money at Google, the real head scratcher came when I wanted to correlate the approximately 200 conversions to my play store account.

Interestingly The play store hourly installs did not budge at all. So it is almost as if another app profited from my investment :(. I have no idea how this may have happened as I would have expected to see at least the bump of an additional 200 installs during that time period. Also My AdMob account showed the same unmoved result, as if nothing had happened and the 200 conversions did not reach my app at all.

I have shifted my approach now and reduced my bids down to $0.05 to stretch the installs out. Next thing to do is to go and dig a little bit deeper into stats from Firebase, the Play store, AdMob, and AdWord.

I want to find out what happened to my supposed conversions and the approx 42k views of my app. If you have an idea of what could be going on, please share and let me know.

AdWord where …

After some more digging I found one issue with the campaign which was location. Originally I wanted to only target the US and Canada. I set this up but I must have forgotten to click on the [Save] button before starting the campaign.
Thus my ads were distributed worldwide and a good chunk of the installs went to the southern hemi-sphere, to countries like Libya, Algeria, Iraq, India to name a few.

While this explains why the money was exhausted as fast as it was at the target bid prices, as well as why my AdMob revenue did not jump up. After all the cost-per-click in these regions is usually way below
what you will get in the northern hemi-sphere, I.e.  Europe or northern America. 
So from a regional targeting you get more per click however at the same time it is also way more expensive to get traffic to your app.

App Store stats …

I am still investigating as to why my app-store does not reflect the additional 200 installs.

And finally this mystery has been solved as well. It took The play store around 6hours to get the hourly stats to reflect the actual installs which came from this one-time boo-boo of mine.

What have we ( I ) learned

  • Be careful when starting a new ad campaign. Going forward I will set the max allowance to a small enough amount so that in case something does ot work out as expected, I can re-adjust before go all in.
  • Look at the stats of all available sites, like AdMob, AdWord, Google Play, and Firebase
  • Be patient. I have had some interesting correlation dissonance happened to me in the past. Especially the google play store stats are somewhat funky.

Android Oreo’s CPU stats

I have been using Android phones for a long time now and have never really considered switching to an iOS device. I think that ever since Android version 4.x ( 3.0 was terrible ) the hardware and software selection was better than those offered by Apple. From there on, Android waas getting better by the release it seemed … or was it ?

Google has however started to remove features from the OS over the past few years which is starting to limit the apps which can be written for these devices.

The storage API is one example which started to slowly diminish over time and is getting to the point where you can no longer access external storage in a concise and manageable way.

With Oreo, google has again removed some functionality which was very useful. This time Google made it impossible to monitor, and report on the CPUs utilization of its cores or the overall CPU utilization.

New motto ???

All of /proc/stat has been disabled for non-System apps, as a side-channel. More information, with an official response from Google here: https://issuetracker.google.com/issues/37140047

While there is an API available to retrieve similar information, it is only available for kiosk-like devices and not enabled in a stock mobile device. Starting from API level 24:

HardwarePropertiesManager propertiesManager = (HardwarePropertiesManager)context.getSystemService(Context.HARDWARE_PROPERTIES_SERVICE);
CpuUsageInfo[] cpuUsages = propertiesManager.getCpuUsages();

But only system apps have access to this API, because only system apps can have android.permission.DEVICE_POWER permission, which is needed here.

So the developer, and the users are left out in the dark on what’s zapping the Phones battery, and you will never know when the cores got to 100% proactively but only when your phone slows down.

Please let me know if you have Oreo ( and above ) and you know of an app which does display the CPU stats for you.

D-Tube, video cryptonite

D-Tube is a distributed video platform based on Steem . Say what ???
Okay I can see the proverbial question marks popping off of your head. No worries, I am hear to help.

Lets  go through this one fancy term at a time.

Steem, Steemit, Steem-Dollars, Steem-Power


We all know Bitcoin or we have heard of it. That magical unicorn currency which created billionaires over night. And while a lot of what has happened in the past few months was mostly negative, such as the collapse of bitconnect, the underlying technology is sound and offers many new opportunities in the tech sector.

As bitcoin has eased off last years heights of over $19000,-US per bitcoin, it currently stands at around $3200,-US per bitcoin, the whole blockchain technology front is in search of providing value beyond the selling of dreams of digital currency backed by … well I leave that up to you to figure out …

Steem is a crypto currency which is in contrast to bitcoin is based off the. Here is a good rundown of what steem is. This article goes into steem vs steem-dollar vs steem-power.
Overall, steem solves a major problem in digital content creation. You can consider Steemit as similar to Reddit, where users can create and publish their content online and get rewarded for it. However, there is one major difference. it also rewards its users using cryptocurrency!

Oh and it is uncensored, decentralized and safe .. in theory.

D-Tube, the YouTube alternative

D-Tube was started by Adrian M  as an alternative to other digital content platforms such as YouTube. The whole concept is build around the steem cryptocurrency and as a creator you will be rewarded with Steem instead of US Dollars.

There is a lot to learn about Steem and D-Tube in the beginning but once you created your account with steemit you can go ahead and create contents and publish it on D-Tube without the fear that your video may be removed by a corporate working slave with a set agenda.

What’s more is that Steem will reward you for any kind of contents you create and publish on the Steemit platform. For example I am publishing this WordPress blog post on the Internet and also on Steemit to increase visibility, and potentially earn a few cents of Steem ( Dollars and Power ).

D-Tube app

​​ 
The D-Tube app can be used to view videos in a very similar fashion as you would watch YouTube videos. However the functionality at this point in time is not much further advanced as creating a shortcut to the d.tube mobile friendly web page on your home screen. Both solutions allow you to get very similar functionality as YouTube’s video client.

From a technological point of view I think that both YouTube, and D-Tube are neck-to-neck and you will have no issues finding your way around the app.


Video Quality

Now I am not talking about the resolution, bitrate etc here. What I mean with quality is the contents of the video provided on the platform.

While it is true that you can earn money on D-TUbe, the ability to do so heavily depends on the Whale’s on Steem. In reality what you will realize is that while there is no censorship on steemit, there is an indirect censorship driven by the people with the most money ( Steem-Power ).

If you make a video which one of those whale-people likes, you stand to earn a lot of money. On the other hand, if you like to create contents about knitting or Java, there will be very little you can earn.

But on the positive side, just like YouTube, you can create your audience over time and if you are truly good at what you do and you do provide real value to — the community –, then you can grow your income as well over time and eventually become one of those whales yourself.

App vs web-page-shortcut

Android App
Android App
If you are thinking about installing the app or simply creating a web-page-shortcut, then either one will do the trick at this time. I am confident that over time there will be more advantages in choosing the app.

For not my recommendation though has to be to go to your mobile browser, navigate to https://d.tube, then find your settings and “Add to Homescreen”.
Web Page Shortcut
Web Page Shortcut


Creator vs Consumer

The answer is Yes ( or 42, depending on your leaning ). You have to check this out and decide for yourself if you like it. I found myself fascinated with the whole concept and given the proper circumstances, I can see this platform grow by leaps and bounds over the coming years.

YouTube killer … not quite yet. But if YouTube continues to disregard the smaller contributors and build more negative sentiment I have no doubt that a platform like D-Tube will give the multi billion $ behemoth a run for its money ( and future ).

Overall app rating : 3 stars out of 5.
Overall technology rating : 5 stars out of 5.
Overall honesty rating : 5 stars out of 5

Get it on Google Play

JAMFOX earbits

A few weeks ago, my trusted BT headphones broke. I had them for about a 1.5 years and I was very happy with them.

They were comfortable and quality was great and they were omni-present to the point where I forgot I was wearing them around my neck.

 
I charged them up once in the morning and when I returned from work they could still give me company until bedtime. Obviously not un-interrupted.

Then one day the left side speaker gave out. It was the cable. In my younger days I would have fixed it with my soldering iron but as you grow older you tend to value your time more and so I decided to get a pair of new bluetooth headsets. 

JAMFOX Earbits

Wireless headphones have shrunk down to the point where they have been renamed to earbuds. Well JAMFOX thought earbits may be more along the lines of their marketing strategy and indeed those speakers are tiny bits of Bluetooth technology.

You get two bluetooth devices which connect to your phone. You can also use them individually. For example, you could loan one to your friend and keep the other one connected to your phone.

A fun experiment is to connect them to different phones and listen to both at the same time. Absolutely the best solution for people with multiple personality disorder.

In my case I was more the normal user and wanted to listen to music most of the time, talk on my phone, and also have the ability to use only one side to have the second ear available for my colleagues at work while I am in the kitchen eating lunch. 

Setup and usage.

In order to pair the set to your phone you have to only pair the JAMFOX-L and ignore JAMFOX-R. That is you do not need to pair the right side with your phone. The Left earbit will connect to the right earbit and thus allow you to listen to stereo.

The bits both come with built in microphones and allow you to do a normal phone call. They behave as you would expect, which means they will stop playing your music or video when a call is coming in.

Another great thing about those little gems are the touch sensors sitting on top of each earbit. They are used to pause / play, as well as increase and decrease the volume through double-tapping the left of the right bit.

Troubleshooting

I used them the first 4 weeks without any issues and eventually I gotten myself into the situation where I could only listen to the left earbit OR the right one but not to BOTH at the same time.

Searching online did only reveal a set of instructions which did not work for me but eventually I figured out how I could get stereo back:

I could fix it by

  1. unpairing from my Android device ( Nexus 6 )
  2. pairing it with another phone ( Remember to only pair JAMFOX-L, and ignore the right channel ). Stereo came right on.
  3. I then unpaired it with the second phone and could
  4. finally get stereo back on my Nexus after re-pairing JAMFOX-L

I hope this helps people with similar problems.

Conclusion

Those are great earbuds / earbits / headphones to have and they are well worth the investment. The battery pack will allow you to basically survive the whole day without the need to plug in.

The sound quality is the only thing which could be better however this is mostly due to the size of the speaker and I would not expect them to of the same quality as a full sized headset.

Please share your experience with them if you have the same set of earbits.

Android Storage Wars

If you have ever tried your hand on coding for Android you certainly have found google’s JAVA based API to be somewhat of a incoherent mess in certain areas, which over time has evolved into an even larger incoherent mess in even more areas.

One of those messy areas is that of the android secondary storage API. All phones have a primary storage area, where you can store images, videos, apps, and application data, and some phones come with a secondary storage option. The API to gain access to the primary storage has evolved over time but allows you to seamlessly integrate proper functionality into your app.


Now you may assume that the Android secondary storage would follow the same paradigm, and grant the same access as the primary storage to your app. However you would be wrong making this assumption. The reason you have apps like the “ES File Manager” handling this for you seamlessly is purely through tricky code in the background which circumvent googles protective scheme for secondary storage, Aka a hack.

Dont do evil … yeah right!


Yes, google in its drive to push people into using their cloud storage is actively pressuring phone makers to get rid of that large secondary storage, or worse the micro-SD slot. That overarching goal of google is driving the API and the access rights to the Androids secondary storage media in a negative way.

Let’s start with a small bit of terminology. Since the dawn of Android, nearly every type of storage has been considered “external storage” even the non-removable flash memory that comes in every device. To distinguish, the non-removable flash memory is called “primary storage”<, while a removable micro SD card is called “secondary storage”. In the early Android versions, an app merely needed permission to WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE to be able to fully access both primary and secondary storage.

In March, 2011, a drastic change to Android was made which changed how secondary storage mediums (external SD cards) were mounted by the Android OS. Specifically, the commit read like this: “Mount secondary external storage writable by AID_MEDIA_RW rather than AID_SDCARD_RW.” This meant that the media would now have to belong to the “media_rw” group to modify the contents of the SD card. As a result, a new permission, called WRITE_MEDIA_STORAGE, was added to the source code. Basically, WRITE_MEDIA_STORAGE replaced the original WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE.

This change has a devastating effect on apps trying to utilize secondary storage because from now on forward only system apps could request the permission to read/write to the external storage ( I.e. sdcard ).

Android secondary storage

Since the WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission could be used by any normal app and thus any app can write to the primary storage but not to the secondary storage (external micro SD cards). The WRITE_MEDIA_STORAGE permission could write to the external micro SD card, but regular user apps could not request the permission. This change took place on Android 3.2 Honeycomb, but due to the logistics of hardware and storage mediums at that time, it was barely noticed.

Quote: “Starting around the time of Android 4.4 4 KitKat, and even a little earlier, the implementation of the userspace FUSE filesystem, in conjunction with changes to the open source code, resolved this problem. Yet, still to today, even with Android 8.x.x Oreo, third party apps must explicitly get the user’s permission for both primary and secondary storage before the app can alter either storage medium in any way. And of course, the newer concepts of adoptable storage have alleviated problems in this regard.” — end quote.

Bottom line

Thanks to google the way that most apps now handle android secondary storage heavily depends on the Android version being used. Unfortunately at this time most phones will have a hard time working with the secondary storage, but some phones do. I have updated the file browser integration into my apps and have fixed the issue of secondary storage on some Android versions and not on others.

This whole debacle has not only cost me weeks of effort and research, it has negatively affected all apps with file system access and is the main reason that almost all apps only storing their data on the primary storage, which in most cases is much smaller than the external storage. At this tmie you can get a cheap microSD card with up to 512 GB. However what good is this in your phone if most apps can only use the built-in 16GB ?

Crypto Portfolio app

Keeping track of your overall Crypto Portfolio is not as straight forward as it should be. Investing into crypto currencies can leave you with multiple wallets and online resources. Each one may contain different coins and tokens for different purposes.

It is highly recommended to store all ( or as much as possible ) offline, detached from the internet. This way hackers won’t be able to get their fingers on your hard earned Bitcoins, Ethereum, etc.

I have started to look into Crypto currencies in early 2018 and I see great potential in the basic ideas behind the technologies. While my timing was especially bad I wanted to know what the fuzz was all about. The best way to understand things though is to start playing with them. So I did spend some time and money learning a new technology.

Shut up and take my money

Shut-up-and-take-my-money
Shut-up-and-take-my-money

You need to sign up with and exchange when you want to buy some coins or tokens in order to convert your dollars into a crypto-currency. With Coinbase being one of one most popular which people would recommend for n00bs.

Coinbase allows you to convert to deposit funds using your credit card or your bank account information. Paypal is no longer supported. You can then exchange your fiat currency ( I.e. Dollars, Euros etc. ) into Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Etherium, or Litecoin. Any other crypto currency requires you to sign up with another exchange of which there are many to choose from.

Coinmarketcap.com, and coincap.io provide you the information as to which exchange supports the crypto token you are interested in.

Binance is one of those larger exchanges which has received good online reviews and has supposedly the lowest transaction fees.

Getting your hands on some crypto coins or tokens also requires you to safely store them somewhere. Here we have probably one of the weakest points in this area. Every crypto-currency has their own way of storing the tokens. You can keep them on your computer, in an online wallet, in offline wallets or as a paper wallet. You will quickly arrive at a point where you can lose track of your virtual wealth ( or as we have seen recently, the decline thereof ).

Crypto Portfolio

So I wrote a Crypto Portfolio app which will allow you to enter your token amount and then look at the market data for it. I will not store this information on the server but instead store it in your browsers’ cache so you don’t have to fear releasing any data to my servers.

One thing I quickly realized is that almost everything you do in crypto will cost you either a fee or a transaction cost.

Binance fees

So yeah Binance has a 0.1% trading fee however one thing which you will not see right away is that you will not be able to convert all of one crypto token into another crypto token.

Binance will always leave you with some leftover on their platform. These may vary but my worst case leftover position is worth about US$1.00.

On top of that Binance also requires a minimum transaction for certain coins. E.g. you require at least US$97.181- ( as of Feb 2 2018 ) in Etherium before you can transfer it out of Binance.

Then you have to pay for the actual transaction fees which for Etherium ar 0.01ETH, which is … well about $9.71 as of this date.

Since Binance does not display this information in a useful way I went ahead and added this into a table in my little app which you can sort to gather some more information on trading conditions of a certain coin. [ Menu -> Utils -> Binance Fees ]

So you add this all up and you end up spending a lot of money in the whole exchange process.

If you exchange E.g. $100,- by the time it leaves Coinbase you are down to about $97,- Then you exchange it for ETH on Binance and send it back to your private wallet, you end up with only about $85,- worth of ETH.

This of course does not take into account the huge market swings, which could increase or decrease your position a few percentage points in the time it takes to go through the whole operation.

To sum it all up

First though I have to remind you that; yes it is possible to lose money, which is why you should never put in more than you can afford to lose.

This app is in its early stages and I will certainly add more features as time permits. Please feel free to check it out here …

Please leave me some feedback for enhancements if you find it useful. Or follow the link below to the source code, make changes yourself, and then send them to me for integration 🙂

Resources

Graphing library used : NVD3 Re-usable charts for d3.js

If you click on the image below you can start using the app online from within my WebOS.
You can find it under [Start -> Utils -> Crypto ]. Note: This app does not send any data back to any server.

Feel you want to play with the code: follow the link to the Battlefield.