Keeping Crypto at Arm's Length
illustration of buying Bitcoin

Money at 30: Keeping Crypto at Arm’s Length

What was already being called the “Crypto Winter” has certainly grown colder in just the past couple of weeks. With the implosion of FTX, things are changing quickly. And, while I didn’t have an FTX account, the news has actually impacted me as BlockFi has also paused withdrawals due to their ties to the platform. Meanwhile, as you can imagine, prices for several cryptocurrency assets have been sagging even lower as of late. In all this, I find myself being thankful that I’ve mostly kept crypto at arm’s length and tempered my investments in that realm.

My cryptocurrency exposure

As I alluded to, I have been known to at least dabble in the world of cryptocurrencies. My first purchases came when Robinhood initially introduced crypto trading. Before that, I never bothered to look up how to actually go about buying (or selling) Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc. Subsequently, I’ll also ended up purchasing a few dollars worth of various coins when other platforms such as Cash App, Public, and others added support for crypto trading. I’ve also been a fan of the app Fold, which I used to earn Bitcoin back on gift card purchases.

Speaking of Fold, it was around the time that I was looking to cash out my earned Sats on that app that I decided to open an account with BlockFi. At the time, the account was known as their BlockFi Interest Account and, as the name implies, allowed me to earn yields on the relatively small amount of Bitcoin that I had. Sadly, that amount is now locked up as the company has halted all withdrawals.

So what’s my loss in all of this? Well, there’s currently about $50 in my BlockFi account — although that figure is diminished by the fact that Bitcoin’s trading price has been low lately. That lower level also means that the other $50 or so I have in crypto is also down, but at least I can still hold onto those assets whereas the fate of my BlockFi funds no longer seems to be in my hands.

The temptation

At this point, I’m very happy to have only had $50 in my BlockFi account. However, had I listened to temptation, that might not have been the case. Back when even the most generous of online banks were offering less than 1% APY, BlockFi’s accounts could earn 5% APY or more. Coupled with the fact that Bitcoin had been known for its wild rises, there was definitely at least some part of me that wondered whether a larger investment might be a good idea. Luckily, I realized that there was a lot of risk in this option, which is why I kept things modest.

I say this not to brag about how smart I am or dunk on those who did go bigger. On the contrary, I totally sympathize and could easily see myself in their position. Heck, just looking at the life of a guy I hung out with at a DC bar back in 2019 who has since become a millionaire thanks in part to crypto trading (and proselytizing) makes me feel as though perhaps my life could be different if I were a bit braver. Of course, those types of thoughts are exactly what can get you into trouble.

Looking ahead

So what’s my plan for crypto going forward? Well, in the case of my BlockFi account, I don’t really have many options other than to wait around and see. Should I eventually be able to withdraw, I’ll likely move my holdings to Cash App or Robinhood. On that note, I’ll continue to hold the small amount of crypto I have but don’t really anticipate buying much more for the time being. Would it be better for me to just cut my losses and sell? Maybe — but there’s little harm HODLing my small stash for now.

Unlike those who seem to take great glee in the current crypto troubles, I’m actually a bit bummed about the whole thing. That’s not just because I do have a few dollars at stake but more so because I do think there are interesting applications for cryptocurrencies that have yet to be fully realized — mostly since many of us see them purely as an investment (or perhaps gambling, at this point) play. I’d also note that there are plenty of innocent consumers, employees, and others negatively impacted by these issues. With all of that said, the past several weeks have been a wake-up call for many and a reminder of the risks that come with these types of emerging markets. As for me, I’m just thankful that I didn’t let my curiosity and covet get the better of me lest I find myself with far more lost in this whole debacle.


Kyle Burbank

Head Writer ~ Fioney
Kyle is the head writer for Fioney. He is a personal finance nerd, constantly looking for new apps and services to test and incorporate into his own financial game plan. In addition to his role at Fioney, he's written for other publications including Born2Invest, Lifehack, and Laughing Place, as well as his own site Money@30. He also creates personal finance and travel-related videos for Fioney's YouTube channel, which has garnered more than 2 million views. Currently, Kyle resides in Springfield, Missouri with his wife of 10 years. Together, they enjoy traveling (including visiting Disney Parks around the world), dining, and playing with their dog Rigby.

Other Articles by Kyle Burbank

stack of credit cards

Credit Card Delinquency Rates Reach Decade High in Q4 2023

According to new data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philidelphia, credit card delinquencies grew to new "series highs" in the last quarter of 2023. About the report: As Bloomberg reports, credit card delinquencies increased in the fourth quarter. In total, nearly 3.5% of consumer card balances were at least 30 days late. Furthermore, the percentage of card accounts that were 30, 60, and 90 days past due all rose during...
mother talking to her son about credit cards

Survey: 76% of Gen Zers Reports Experiencing Financial Stress

In conjunction with Financial Literacy Month, a new survey from Greenlight highlights financial stress and other money matters among those of different generations. About the survey: Greenlight recently surveyed 2,310 Americans ranging from ages 10 to 59 and asked them about their financial wellness. Specifically, the survey broke respondents into general groups, including Gen Alpha kids (10 to 13-year-olds), Gen Z teens (14 to 19), Millennial parents with Gen Alpha...
two woman standing next to two Petal cards

Empower Financial to Acquire Petal

The popular credit-building card company Petal is being acquired. About the deal: Empower Financial (not to be confused with Empower, which acquired Personal Capital and rebranded it to Empower Personal Dashboard) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Petal. Details of the deal were not disclosed. However, Empower anticipates the transition to close later this quarter. News of this acquisition also comes as Empower has completed its purchase of Cashalo....

Leave a Reply

The "Email" field is empty, you must enter some text to proceed.The text you entered in the "Email" field appears to be invalid, please edit it and try again
Get the Latest News Delivered to Your Inbox

A Guide to Building Credit and Increasing Your Credit Scores

When it comes to credit, there’s some good news. The average credit score in the United States has been steadily rising in recent years, coming in at 715 in 2023. That may be because, today, consumers not only have more ways to access their credit reports and scores than ever before but also because there are an increasing number of options that Americans have for building credit in the first...

2024 SoFi Checking and Savings Review

Ever since I started taking an interest in the FinTech sector, one company whose name I’ve seen pop up over and over again is SoFi. Lately it seems as though that theme has been sent into overdrive as the company has not only become a household name thanks to its stadium naming rights deal but also because of the company’s continued product expansions. The most interesting development in my mind...
Brim logo

Brim Financial Raises $85 Million as It Eyes Global Expansion

Toronto-based FinTech infrastructure startup Brim Financial has announced a new funding round. About the round: Brim has revealed an $85 million round. The Series C was led by EDC Investments while new investor Vistara Growth and returning investors White Owl Group, Epic Ventures, and Zions Bank also participated. To date, the company has now raised $110 million including a Series B in 2021. According to Brim, the latest funding will...
Chase Freedom Flex card

Chase Reveals Q2 2024 Freedom 5%(+) Bonus Categories

Chase has announced its bonus category picks for the second quarter of 2024 — including some interesting twists. About the categories: As April approaches, Chase has revealed what categories Freedom and Freedom Flex cardholders can earn bonuses on. From April 1st through June 30th, customers can earn 5% (or more) in three categories:, Hotels, and Restaurants. Similar to how Chase embraced a "New Year, New Me" theme last quarter,...

FedEx Announces Winners of 11th Annual 2023 Small Business Grant Contest

Nearly three months after the entry period ended, FedEx has announced the winners of its 11th annual Small Business Grant Content. This year's event saw more than $300,000 in funds going to a variety of small businesses across the nation. Last month, the company revealed 100 finalists, with that list now being narrowed down to just 10 winners. This year's grand prize winners included KindVR, The Cupcake Collection, Up In...