Lost in Transaction: Crypto Accounting For Tokens Transfers | Hacker Noon


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@edward-moonEdward Moon

Senior product designer / cryptocurrency investor

The range of troubles I had because of messy transaction history is extensive. I’m a web designer working as a freelancer for several clients. For a long time, the only way to find a particular client’s payment was to search by expected amounts.

It was easy to confuse the addresses, and I did. I threatened the wrong guy that I’d stop working on a project if he wasn’t more accurate with payments. As well as that, I’ve been losing track of my tokens for a long time, not remembering where I have sent it to and why.

Losing track of tokens I bought on different exchanges using different wallets made being a successful investor pretty challenging.

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Me looking at my token transactions
:

I was desperate to control my crypto flows. I started by categorizing all the data about the transactions I had. I’ve put a simplified version of what I was dealing with in the picture below. It shows the type and cadence of my ETH transactions.

Then I made a list of data types and metrics that I needed to keep track of. Here’s the list:

Earnings Management

Data type

  • The client/company name
  • The sector
  • The country
  • The type of task
  • The project phase
  • Payment details
  • Any other text

Metrics
:

  • To calculate my monthly profit
  • To calculate my taxes
  • To see the most profitable clients
  • To see the most wanted service

Investments Management

Data type:

  • Token name
  • Name
  • Name of exchange
  • Gas price
  • Project description
  • The project phase
  • Any other text

Metrics:

  • To calculate my monthly profit
  • To calculate my taxes
  • Return on Investment (ROI)

I was very quickly creating a frenzy of spreadsheets and continuously forgetting to add all the data in there. Needless to say, the “spreadsheet” effort was a fail, and I realized I needed a better solution and an effective and easy one at that.

Surprisingly, I found a solution in a place when I was least expecting it. I was browsing through Ethplorer, doing some DYOR, and I came across the tag/note feature. After playing around with it for a while, I realized it was just the thing I needed for data aggregation.

I found the fact that the data could be easily exported into .csv especially useful. Very quickly, I gained speed and began to collect much more data. I’ve developed a data system that helps me navigate all transactions of interest, not only mine.

Below are some use cases

Earnings Management

Freelancing: as a web designer freelancing involves interactions with many different counterparties around the world who send me stablecoins as payment. Mostly I receive USDC and DAI from clients in the USA.

To track it, I find the transaction on Ethplorer and tag it according to the system I developed for myself. This information is anonymously stored in my browser and can be imported or exported as a JSON file, without signing up.

Ethplorer tags/notes input form
:

This is what a history of transactions looks like after I add the necessary info. Now we’re talking.

Ethplorer tags/notes input form
:

Great! After that, I export the .csv file to make the calculations I want to create dashboards from that spreadsheet analyzing the most profitable clients and tasks. I calculate my taxes, and, after some further reformatting, I can upload this data directly into my QuickBooks account. As a result, I have all the data classified with quick access and easy search.

Investments Management

For this, I use the same organizing principle I use for my work, but the metrics are different because I have different goals here. The main things I need to know at the end are my ROI and which investment strategy I should follow. To HODL or not to HODL?

About ROI

Every month I send a part of my earnings in DAI and USDC to a compound protocol, I then receive interest as a COMP. To calculate ROI, I label transactions on Ethplorer, adding notes with info about the USDC sum I charged and withdrawn interest. I add the Gas into the note as well to account for fluctuating prices; this helps me understand whether or not it’s worth it.

About my Strategy

Before the DeFi hype, I was interested in the Chainlink network, and became an early LINK buyer. Ever since the Winklevoss twins convinced Dave Portnoy to join Chainlink, I was witnessing ALH.

The hardest moment is to decide when I should sell LINKs. I keep track of the market, putting notes in Ethplorer on significant transactions. I tag the most potent whales. Tracking these LINK movements like this enables me to follow market trends, to avoid being affected by speculative hype, and to build my strategy.

These features may seem simple, but their usefulness for crypto accounting cannot be overstated. Crypto services are notorious for their unfriendly UI/UX.

While trying to execute complicated things, they miss something very important to the user: the simplicity, accessibility, and ability to integrate data into other platforms.

Thanks to Ethplorer’s set of features, I resolved a whole bunch of trouble that came with losing control of my transactions.

I managed to merge all the data and categorize all the addressees and transfers without missing a single transaction. I’m now able to find specific deals by event and recollect the historical data, including the Gas price.

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This article was originally published on hackernoon.com
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