Crypto Portfolio

I started buying into cryptocurrencies earlier this year — just a fairly nominal amount each month to toy around with. And while I’m not under any delusions that crypto is going to take over the world, I do think it’s an interesting technology with a future.

I’m still just scratching the surface of the whole topic, though. I know crypto can be used for developing applications, storing files, and more, but it seems like that isn’t really happening as often as it should be. But it’s still relatively early days, of course.

It reminds me a bit of podcasting, which was dominated by technology shows for the first handful of years. Much like podcasting moved away from being predominantly tech-focused to a medium with a broader audience, at some point I expect crypto will move away from being predominantly finance-related to something else.

Filecoin is a good example of this, it’s a decentralized file storage project. And it can be used to store files today with an application and service called Slate.

And of course there’s Ethereum, which is one of the most exciting projects in the space. It’s a decentralized, open source platform that allows for the development of applications, the creation of NFTs, and it’s cryptocurrency — Ether — is the second largest by market cap (behind Bitcoin). Although I’m very skeptical about NFTs, I like just about everything else that Ethereum has going on.

But what do I actually own? I won’t go into detail about the exact dollar amounts, but I will share roughly what percentage of my holdings are in each currency as of this writing:

Bitcoin 49%
Ethereum 26%
Stellar Lumens 6%
Filecoin 4%
Cardano 3%
Litecoin 2%
Bitcoin Cash 2%
Kyber Network 2%
Origin Protocol 1%
Aave 1%
Polygon 1%
Synthetix Network 1%

I currently keep all of my crypto in Coinbase. From the research I did leading up to my first purchase, it appeared to have the largest user base with a pretty solid user experience. And it’s supported by Mint and Simplifi, if you’re into the financial dashboard thing.

But I will likely explore other exchanges over time. Coinbase doesn’t support every token or coin on the market and I’ve found myself in situations where I’ve wanted to buy something that I just can’t get unless I go elsewhere.

I’m also curious about moving some of my coins off of an exchange onto a hardware or software wallet. From the little bit I’ve explored in this space, Ledger seems like a popular and reliable option.

Cryptocurrency sure appears to have exploded in popularity over the past several months. A quick search of some related terms in Google Trends indicates a pretty big jump starting around December of last year.

I have no idea if the current uptick in popularity will continue or for how long. But I’m certainly excited to see where it goes.

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M1 iMac

The iMac earns the distinction of being the first Mac in the lineup to be completely redesigned in the M1 era. This new iteration comes in seven colors, which is the first time the iMac has been available with colored housing since the G3 models in the late 90s and early 2000s.

I think the silver is actually the most attractive of the bunch. It’s possible I might change my tune after seeing them in person, though. I get the feeling the press shots and videos don’t really give a great impression of what they look like in real life — the colors all seems so pastel on the front. But it is worth noting, aside from the pink model in the audio testing room, the only models shown in the workspace behind the presenter were silver.

Before we get too much further, though, let’s address the elephant in the room. What is the deal with the chin? It’s been a part of the iMac design since 2004, but it’s not necessary anymore. Apple can build a sufficiently thin iMac with the computer components fully behind the display. Why won’t they do so? I can’t think of a single good reason not to.

Though, they have managed to give the iMac a much larger display — a 24-inch, 4.5K display — without increasing the overall size of the device too much. It has an anti-reflective coating on the glass and True Tone support. I’ve never been a fan of True Tone and disable it on all my devices, but I expect I’m in the minority with this.

They’ve improved the camera with a larger, 1080p sensor. I’m glad they’re finally making improvements on this front. They should have started years ago. And I hope this is just the beginning of a trend which will bring better front-facing cameras to the entire Mac lineup.

They’ve introduced a new, proprietary power cable with this model. It’s magnetic and allows them to add an Ethernet port on the power brick. It’s a little disappointing that the power supply isn’t integrated into the iMac anymore. And the proprietary cable is a little lame — it was kind of nice on previous models that you could plug in just about any standard three-pronged power cable and it would just work.

Moving Ethernet to the power brick is kind-of neat. Although, I always thought they would do something like this for laptops. The existence of USB-C and Thunderbolt seems like that would have been a bit easier to develop — since the cable is already capable of so much. Just imagine a power brick with an SD card reader, a couple of USB-A ports, a couple of USB-C ports, and HDMI. A lot of people would be really excited about a product like that.

Alongside the iMac, Apple introduce color matching accessories — Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, and Magic Keyboard. The standard keyboard features more rounded corners and some new keys — most notably a lock button and an emoji key. But there is a second keyboard model that features Touch ID on the lock button.

My work laptop — a 13-inch MacBook Pro features Touch ID and I love it. Most of the time my Watch is used to unlock, but the times when I’m not wearing my watch, the Touch ID sensor is clutch. Although we all know that the inevitable introduction of Face ID is going to be where it’s at, Touch ID is a welcomed addition.

The M1 iMac is available to order April 30 and starts shipping in the latter half of May. The base model starts at $1299 and is available in four colors — blue, green, pink, and silver. It features an 8-core CPU, 7-core GPU, 8GB of memory, 256GB of storage, two Thunderbolt ports, and the standard Magic Keyboard.

The higher end model starts at $1499, also comes in yellow, orange, and purple, adds two USB-C ports, an additional GPU core, the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, and Ethernet on the power adapter.

Despite my qualms about the chin and color options, these seem like excellent devices. And I do appreciate the return of color, even if I personally prefer the silver model. And it does have me excited about the future of the Mac. What will come to the Mac Pro, 16-inch MacBook Pro, and 27-inch iMacs? What is Apple capable of when they really put the peddle to the floor with their own chips?

AirTag


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