Arbitrage trading can be described as the simultaneous purchase and sale of an asset in order to profit from discrepancies in its price. In other words, arbitrage traders will purchase an asset in one market, and then sell that same asset at a higher price in another market. In the context of the cryptocurrency market, arbitrage trading might resemble something like this:
Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.
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.
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Disclaimer: I am not a professional (or even a veteran) trader. I am an intermediate trader with a passion for cryptocurrency. I am disclosing my own ventures in crypto because cryptocurrency trading does make up a chunk of my online income and I want to be 100% transparent with you when it comes to making money online. Investing in cryptocurrencies carries a risk – you may lose some or all of your investment. Always do your own research and draw your own conclusions. Again – this article is aimed purely at advising; draw your own conclusions on whether cryptocurrency trading is right for you.
Notice the small bull run. Now imagine we had decided to buy Ethereum somewhere around that dotted line and just before 8pm. We saw it tick up after a string of bearish candles, and for whatever reason, thought it might continue it’s way upward. To minimize our losses (remember our goal is minimize losses and maximize gains), we set a stop order right away. We’ll set it near the bottom of those last couple bearish candles (about $474). Now as we watched the price work it’s way up, we would continue to raise our stop price. To do this, we would go to our open orders (every exchange will show this), and click cancel on the stop limit that we had just set. Shortly after 8pm, we might’ve had a stop at $480 that would’ve been triggered. If you’re stop limit is triggered and the signs point to the trend continuing you’re able to buy back in with a profit already in your pocket.
You could try this instead: Buy and sell on multiple exchanges; then, when you see those moments of indecision in the market, buy more of the cryptocurrency on the exchange with the lowest price, while simultaneously selling some on the exchange with the highest price. That way, your risk is mitigated: if the price rises, you’ve made money, and if it drops, you can buy back in at the lower price.
These are what allow us to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. There are a handful of popular crypto exchanges, some of them have advantages over others. For example, some exchanges don’t allow us to deposit and withdraw using fiat currency like the U.S. dollar and euro; others aren’t available in certain countries. In this guide we will focus on two very popular exchanges, GDAX and Poloniex. GDAX gives us the ability to use our fiat currency to buy Bitcoin. Poloniex does not, but does give us a wide array of altcoins to trade. There, we’ll be using major coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum to buy the altcoins, and vice versa. Other popular exchanges such as Kraken and Bittrex offer even more coins.
Fiat Currency is still a thing; BTC isn’t legal tender; we don’t live in a Libertarian utopia; Governments and Banks aren’t as into Bitcoin as you. If you get caught up in the Bitcoin craze, it can easy to forget that the world’s governments aren’t super stoked on Bitcoin. Libertarians, Tech Geeks, Gangsters, these people are bullish on Bitcoin; world governments and banks, not so much. Last I checked, world governments had a little more power. Betting against them is a risky bet. As we move into the future states have started embracing Bitcoin and crypto, but there is no plan for a state-less state built upon digital currency. Digital currency is at best a supplemental asset class. Be realistic about the potential future here, it is bright, but it is likely not to look like your specific flavor of utopia.
Hold some coins, range trade some coins, keep money on hand for a dip, and set some high-ball and low-ball orders. If you want to ensure you are happy no matter which direction the winds blow, then be set-up to benefit from whatever comes next. If you have some coins you hold, some coins you trade daily or weekly, some money set aside for a dip, and some high-ball and low-ball orders set, then you stand to benefit regardless of what happens. It can be tempting to cash out of crypto or go all in, but both of those can be disappointing if the market goes in the opposite direction you were hoping for. It isn’t always the most profitable move to run a strategy like this, but it can help you to gain experience and have something to be excited about in almost any market. TIP: Note that diversifying your strategy and holdings eats into profits, but offers flexibility. It is a trade-off.
Fundamentals cover things like crowd behavior and news flow. Crowd behavior means that when the “crowd” is piling in while the price is of a coin is pushing upward, maybe you will want to ride the momentum (with caution as these people may end up getting trapped within it), or it could be a situation where everyone is in the thing and now the coin is seeing a downturn, and they are all trying to piling out.
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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).
EDIT: #10 Bonus (Suggested by @kerstenwirth ) — always check the ticker symbol. Ticker symbols are not universal, and may vary from exchange to exchange in rare cases. Those cases, though, can come back to bite you. For example, Bitcoin Cash trades on some exchanges as BCH, while it trades on others as BCC. BCC is also the ticker symbol for BitConnect, which was recently outted as a Ponzi Scheme. If you bought BCC under the impression was Bitcoin Cash, you would’ve lost a lot of money.