I've been obsessed with cryptocurrencies since I first got into Bitcoin in 2013 or so.
I've been able to do some pretty cool stuff with crypto projects, from mining different coins to doing day trading stuff on the side using Binance and other exchanges. I have mostly stuck with mining a select few coins, while I have traded all sorts of altcoins over the years. I've made decent amounts of money on trading, and I have lost money on trades before, too.
Never trade with more than you can afford to lose! If you want to get into trading, put aside some extra money when you have it, find a coin you'd be into trading, and buy some to play with. If you're just now getting started, it would probably be smart to start off with the top coins, like Bitcoin or Ethereum, to get yourself started, and used to the workflow of trading and moving coins back and forth.
This is a bad practice that nobody should do. You can find plenty of news reports on the internet about online wallet services and crypto exchanges being hacked for sometimes millions of dollars worth of user funds. This happened because the users were leaving their coins stored online in a wallet that is not under their control, instead of using a wallet that is 100% owned by them.
Your first priority when you are holding any cryptocurrencies should be making sure they are kept safe. After all, you wouldn't leave your physical cash just lying out in the open for anyone to grab, would you? To better help you, you should understand the two types of crypto storage...
How do you understand this? Well, think of it this way. You don't truly own the keys to coins that are stored in hot storage solutions. These are generally placed on web platforms where you can access your coins from anywhere using a combination of a username and a password. This is very convenient, but highly insecure if you care about keeping your coins safe.
The best way for you to secure your coins is to use cold storage solutions. For this, I use the Electrum Bitcoin Wallet for Linux, a wallet that is fully under my control, and can be taken offline, encrypted, and restored with a unique seed password that can generate the wallet wherever I happen to be.
I also use a KeepKey Hardware Wallet for storing larger amounts of coins. This adds yet another layer of security to my coins, as it has yet another seed key, and can be set with a password that I choose. It can also only turn on when it is connected to a computer via USB, and if it is ever stolen from me, any coins stored on it will be safe, as the thief would have to break two layers of security to nab my coins.
I highly recommend these cold storage solutions to people serious about protecting their investments. Remember, your cryptocurrencies are a digital asset that you own, not much different than stocks. These assets can be worth good money, so be serious about protecting them. I would only recommend using hot wallet solutions for holding small amounts of crypto at a time that you intend to trade with.
I have traded a lot of altcoins, some of them providing some lucrative trades, while others ended up being shitcoins. I don't tend to hold onto less valuable alts for longer amounts of time, though, usually using those for shorter-term trades. The coins I usually keep around in my portfolio are:
You don't have to do your trading based on my recommendations. Find coin projects you like and that you believe in, and pick some of them up.
I have also done several mining projects. In the past, I have mined Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash using a few Bitmain Antminers, but my attention has since turned to CPU and GPU friendly coins that I can mine over solar power. At the moment, I am testing this concept with a Monero mining setup, which I will share some pictures of whenever I get around to it.
There are several coins out there that can be mined using nothing but your CPU, but don't expect it to be very profitable unless you have a ton of machines. You should also keep in mind your electricity costs, which is one of the reasons I am fascinated with the idea of mining over solar and saving energy. Monero is a CPU friendly coin, and there are several more out there. Do some research on Cpu friendly altcoins that you can mine with your desktop computers.
These days, Bitcoin mining (and other coins that use Bitcoin's algorithm) is only profitable using ASIC miners, which are highly specialized and expensive machines that are typically deployed by the thousands by huge corporations like Bitmain. Unless you have a metric ton of money to invest, you are not going to be able to compete with them.
Crypto can be a lot of fun to get into and learn more about. It can be profitable if you know what you are doing, particularly in the trading space, but don't expect to make a lot of money right off the bat. Take time to actually learn what you are doing instead of watching a few traders on Youtube and calling yourself an expert. While trading is a lot of fun and has earned me some income, I am more fascinated by the technology and the philosophy that drive crypto, and I can't wait to see where it all goes in the future.