You might be familiar with traditional investment funds. These are pools of investor capital managed by a team of professional investors. These specialists use a range of strategies, including the ones we’ve talked about, to earn returns on all of the capital within the fund. Investors in the pool benefit from having access to the skills of the professional traders, while the traders benefit from having much more capital to trade with. It’s a win-win.
To be able to take short positions, we need to understand margin trading. Trading on margin means we are trading with borrowed money. On exchanges like Poloniex, we can trade Bitcoin with a handful of coins (there are fewer coins offered for margin trading) with 2.5x leverage. That is, if we own 1 BTC, we can borrow up to 2.5 BTC to trade with. To be clear, this is not 2.5 BTC that we own. Now, on a trade that nets us 10% profit, we are bringing home .25 BTC instead of .1 BTC.
The technology behind Crypto Assets is called the Blockchain, which validates transactions and balances. It is leading a new wave of Internet application development, which I believe will ultimately form the backbone of a large proportion of the Internet over the coming years. I suggest you spend some time reading up on and understanding the blockchain. These applications tend to be decentralised, which means there is no single point of attack or ownership.
I wrote the following simple guide to investing in Bitcoin and Crypto Assets back in Jan '17. After publishing version 3 of my strategy I felt a need to review and update it to reflect any changes in my approach, but upon review, I found very little needed changing. If you are new to Crypto, take your time to read this and the strategy, if you have any questions then feel free to get in touch, and I will do my best to get back to you.
A “manageable amount” is obviously subjective and will vary for each person based on things such as time available to dedicate to trading. Feel free to do your own research to find the right exchange for you. I tend to value user experience of an exchange over the amount of coins on it. Ultimately, what exchanges you use is going to depend on your own personal preferences. GDAX and Poloniex will provide sufficient resources needed to be a successful trader, so they are definitely a good place to start.
Dollar-wise, as you can see – Litecoin’s price has increased along with Bitcoin (but less). A reminder about the majority of those quoting “Bitcoin has increased greatly, I’ll buy Litecoin”, buy Litecoin with FIAT (or by converting to Bitcoin, then to Litecoin right after – which is the same). Therefore, learning from the graph yet maintaining the same behavior, when Bitcoin’s value drops, Altcoins’ USD value will drop as well (although as a percentage it will probably be less, but it will still go down).
Risk Warning: Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, indices, and commodities are potentially high risk and may not be suitable for all investors. The high level of leverage can work both for and against traders. Before any investment in forex, cryptocurrencies, indices, and commodities you need to carefully consider your targets, previous experience, and risk level. Trading may result in the loss of your money, therefore, you should not invest capital that you cannot afford to lose.
Embrace volatility – Cryptocurrencies are famously volatile. The price of Bitcoin, for example, went from $3,000 down to $2,000 and then leapt up to nearly $5,000, all within three months in 2017. Whilst this means risk is high, it also means the potential for profit is great too. It’s always sensible to check the volatility of the exchange you decide to go with.
Learn to value coins in BTC. Ether aside, Bitcoin is the current primary currency of the crypto economy (i.e., its what you have to use to buy most altcoins). Those new to crypto tend to value things in dollars. Meanwhile, even seasoned cash traders value coins in dollars. However, enough crypto traders will value coins in BTC for it to matter. If you aren’t aware of the BTC charts, you won’t be able to properly understand the trends everyone else is analyzing and reacting to. You don’t have to make getting more BTC your goal, but you must have the BTC prices of altcoins on your radar. There are times when all coins move up, but altcoins steadily lose value against Bitcoin. Those who know will be the first to dump altcoins for Bitcoin; this will set off a vicious cycle that can result in the stagnation of altcoin prices.
This analysis can be done by searching for information on the number of transactions performed per day and the investments that banks or financial institutions have made in Bitcoin companies. In addition, information on the growth of companies of Bitcoin and blockchain can indicate a possible growth of cryptocurrency, as well as new use cases such as international payments and payment processors.
So let’s take our hypothetical 1 BTC from before and take a short position on Ethereum. We are able to borrow 2.5 BTC worth of ETH and sell it. 30 minutes later, the price of ETH has plummeted 10%. Now we can close our short position, buying back 2.5 BTC worth of ETH; except now, since the price has dropped, we are buying more ETH than what we sold. Our borrowed coin can be payed back and we take the rest as profit!
CoinMama is a veteran broker platform that anyone can visit to buy bitcoin or Ether using your credit card or cash via MoneyGram. CoinMama is great for those who want to make instant straightforward purchases of digital currency using their local currency. Although the CoinMama service is available worldwide, users should be aware that some countries may not be able to use all the functions of the site. CoinMama is available in English, German, French, Italian and Russian. Check out the CoinMama FAQ
When you buy/sell via an exchange, try to use limit orders (try not to use market orders). On some exchanges, like GDAX, limit orders have lower fees than market orders. On GDAX, limit orders are free as long as they don’t fill immediately. Meanwhile, market orders result in a .3% fee, which is better than the 1.4% that Coinbase charges but not as good as 0%, especially if you are day trading. If your exchange rewards you for using certain order types, aim to use them.
While all features and services of the CryptoExchange platform are free of charge, cryptocurrency transfers from or to an external cryptocurrency wallet will cost the users 0.2% of the transaction and a minimum of ฿ 0.0007 (BTC), 0.007 (ETH), Ʀ 0.03 (XRP), Ł 0.0015 (LTC), Đ 0.01 (DASH) for the main Cryptocurrencies, when transferring cryptocurrency to an external wallet. Other than this, exchanging crypto to crypto and fiat to crypto will cost the users 1% and 5% of the transaction respectively.
Binance coin exchange is a Chinese based company, and because of this the website supports multiple languages. Binance exchange has recieved a ton of growth and investment. According to Craft.co, Binance has recieved over 10 million dollars in investment funding from various Chinese venture capital groups. Binance is, at the time of writing, one of the largest and most legit exchanges based out of China and this is a huge advantage. It seems likely that more and more cryptocurrency investment will continue to be driven from China so trading on a Chinese based exchange has some advantages.
I have been using Coindex for a long time now and am constantly impressed by the time and care Josh and Cellaflora put into the project. There is an emphasis on perfection and testing the app's features before release and this has amounted to a polished and irreplaceable part of my iPhone. Coindex will always have a space on my dock and can't wait to see what they add next :)
If you’re a cryptocurrency investor that maintains a complex and extremely diversified portfolio, the Blockfolio app is able to deliver a significant return on investment by automating a number of complex processes that are associated with diversified asset trading. The Blockfolio app can even help cryptocurrency investors in calculating and reporting capital gains tax on cryptocurrency investments.
Fundamental analysis is a methodology that was first conceived by the late American Investor, Benjamin Graham. It was then later popularized by Warren Buffet, currently one of the world’s more famous value investors. Fundamental analysis is a concept that is most often applied to companies, but it can just as easily apply to digital assets such as Bitcoin. Instead of metrics such as the P/E ratio, factors such as the following can be used as part of any cryptocurrency related fundamentals analysis:
Hey Jhon, I haven’t found a crypto yet that is really related to my hobbies – Crossfit and backpacking – but I would actually advise steering clear of investing in things linked too closely to what you’re passionate about; whilst insider knowledge of an industry is really valuable, it’s important to trade without emotion and if your trading a coin that is linked to a great love of yours, that becomes harder.
This is the perfect opportunity for investors with the available funds to buy the undervalued cryptocurrencies. As a trader, you use your expertise to assess the market conditions and fundamentals to predict when the market is most undervalued and likely to make a recovery soon. Then, just make your trades and hold out during the period of fear and uncertainty, all while making a nice profit when the market returns to sanity.
Mean reversion is where the investor assumes that the price of a coin will remain at an average price level over time. Upward trends, and downwards trends, are expected to revert back to the average over the long haul. This means you need to know the charts well and be able to figure out what the average price for the cryptocurrency you intend to trade in. When the coins are less than the estimated average that is when one wants to make a few purchases. When the price is higher than the average it is expected to drop back down to the mean price and that would be the time to sell. Of course, figuring out just when to sell is the trick, and that is where the gamble comes in.
Learn Technical Analysis. Technical Analysis (TA) is the analyzing of price and volume data and trying to predict future trends based on that. If you know how to read a chart, you’ll be better able to understand how things like candles, moving averages, RSI, and the order book can clue you into good spots to buy and sell. Crypto defies logic all the time, but basic indicators are still helpful to understand. TIP: You don’t have to be good at TA, you can just follow others who are. Fibonacci support and resistance levels, moving averages (try 12, 26, 9 MACD on 4hr candles), RSI, and a few other popular indicators are vital to wrap your head around. All the pros use these, and all the big players have bots who run strategies based on these (complex versions of these at least). You can’t afford to ignore TA if you are going to trade crypto and not just invest in it. I suggest you get familiar with tradingview.com ASAP. See a basic TA strategy.
Now that you have identified the coins to invest in, you need to find an entry point for your investment. Technical analysis has always been the best strategy for finding an entry point when investing in financial assets. The best way to use technical analysis in finding an entry point is to understand candle stick patterns. For instance, if you are looking to buy Bitcoin, then a bullish engulfing candle stick pattern on the weekly chart would be a good indicator that it is time to enter the market.
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As you know, the focus of this guide is all about trading cryptocurrencies, but there are other ways to get a hand in the pot. Some people choose to buy a cryptocurrency and forget about it, much like you would do with some stock in say, Amazon. Other’s are actually investing through the stock market via the Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC). If you are a firm believer in the future of Bitcoin, both are perfectly fine ways to go about it.
The other major risk to be aware of is that hackers are always looking for vulnerabilities to exploit. One example is the more than $30 million worth of Tether coins that were stolen. The most surefire way to ensure the safety of your coins is by using a hardware wallet such as these by Ledger. Keep in mind that this will slow down your ability to trade those coins, as you will be transferring them between the device and your exchange accounts (more on wallets and exchanges soon).
Let’s say on your cryptocurrency chart at 250-minute candles, you see 25 candles where the price stays within a 100 point range. If the price contracted to a daily move of just 20 points, you’d be seriously interested and alert. You should see lots of overlap. This tells you there is a substantial chance the price is going to continue into the trend.