Bitcoin is a volatile asset (relative to FIAT) and this fact should be taken into consideration, especially in the days when the Bitcoin value is moving sharply. Bitcoin and Altcoins have an inverse relationship in their value, i.e. when the value of Bitcoin rises then Altcoins are losing their Bitcoin value, and vice versa. When Bitcoin is volatile, our conditions for trading are kind of foggy. During fog we can’t see much ahead, so it is better to have close targets for our trades or not to trade at all.
Dad Advice: Don’t invest more than you can afford to lose. No really, there will be many great investments in your lifetime, there has been in Bitcoins lifetime. Bitcoin doesn’t cost $225 anymore. The chances that you’ll never have to work again if you invest your life savings in Bitcoin aren’t non-existent, but they aren’t as good as they used to be. If Bitcoin ends up down, you’ll be hodling the bag while others are on to better and brighter pastures.
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If your focus lies in crypto-to-crypto trading, Binance is the option you can go ahead with. Binance is ranked as one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide. Being natively evolved from China, it offers its features and functionality to traders worldwide. On the top of this, it’ll also provide you with impressive offerings along with an extremely low trading fee. Though the Binance platform hasn’t been too old in the field of exchanges, it has taken over and gained a rapid growth by getting listed in the top 10 cryptocurrency exchange platforms of current times. Binance holds a huge selection of altcoins with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether pairing.
The main reason I’ve now started trading almost exclusively on Binance is because of the massive range of coins available. Many exchanges don’t offer more than 20 or so coins, Binance offers hundreds. Binance focuses on hosting newer alt coins before other exchanges so often the cheapest place to buy certain cryptocurrencies anywhere online is on Binance, this can give you a massive edge if you pick up coins that are only listed in a couple of places and those coins then go on to do very well and get listed elsewhere; this will push up the price and you’ll make a killing just for entering early.
Don’t zoom in too much on the price trends of the moment; don’t sweat the small things. It’s easy to zoom in and get stressed when Litecoin goes from $220 to $213 (or something like that). However, these little movements only matter if you are day trading large amounts of coin relative to your total investable funds. Zoom out a bit and look at trends over larger periods of time. Don’t think of that $213 relative only to $220, think of it relative to the $100 Litecoin was at a few months back, the $400 it was at after that, and the $100 it was at just a little while ago. From that perspective, a fluctuation between $220 and $213 is nearly insignificant. I will rarely make trades on timeframes shorter than 2hr candles, and I generally am looking at 6 hr and 1 day candles, because I value my sanity and am focused on the long term trajectory of crypto. That only changes in very specific instances and with purpose. If you zoom in too much, you lose sight of overarching trends (many of which are actually stronger indicators of what is actually happening).
Similar to investing, diversification is king. To lower possible trading risks, it’s better to distribute your money into different cryptocurrencies. While some grow, some will fall and by not putting all your money on single bet you can balance the losses. That said, trading requires research and tracking changes and there are a lot of cryptocurrencies — which means a lot of research. Start with a few and expand slowly.
Update 1st October 2018: The cryptocurrency market has been volatile as ever over the last 6 months. Unless you are a skilled trader, it is harder to make money in a bear market than in a bull market – and we have been in a bear market for some time now. Personally, I have stopped trading and I am now focussing on growing my portfolio passively using a cryptocurrency trading bot – you can find out more about this here. If you are new to crypto, read on!
You might buy in to your Ethereum position at $1000, you set your sell position $1300. Your sell order could take days, weeks, months, years or till the end of time to be filled. Once it has been filled, you then take that profit and you roll it over in to a new buy over at, say, $1100. Choosing good targets for your buy and sell orders is crucial if you want to be a successful swing trader but overall swing trading cryptocurrency is pretty easy – set your orders and then just wait.
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.
Sub or Substratum is another open-source network with a huge focus on decentralizing the web and on “making the internet a free and fair place for the entire world.” This platform allows content creators to freely host their websites or applications on Substratum host, without any censorship blocks. Network users can then “run” Sub nodes and help the content get forwarded to end web users, who can access all Sub content in regular web browsers without any blocks or limits in shape of censorship.
So far, everything we’ve discussed has involved taking a long position on a coin. That is, our focus has been buying a coin at a lower price than what we think we will be able to sell it at later. What if we have some indication that leads us to believe that the value of a coin is about to decrease? In this case, we could take a short position, which is the same technique that made some people boatloads of money during the 2008-2009 housing bubble.
Bitcoin tends to find resistance at whole number points. For example, at $4.8k and $4.85k. It also absolutely loves to react at whole numbers like $10k and either drop or run. If you know you want to take profits soon or buy soon, keep an eye on those whole numbers. If you feel like the run must almost be over, pull your profits before the whole number is reached!
When you are choosing the crypto exchange, look at and compare cryptocurrency platform fees, among other things. Using some crypto exchanges you will pay a percentage of each deal, using other ones you will pay for income and outcome transactions. You need to pick what fits you more. For example, Bitfinex charges Maker 0.1% and Taker 0.2% in fees based on the volume. Kraken charges Maker 0.16% and Taker 0.26%. European BitBay charges both types at 0.43%. You can see and compare fees schedules here.
If you are doing any active trading, set stop losses. For any coins not in your medium or long-term holds, always set stop losses. This is important for several reasons — the most obvious is mitigating your losses. But more importantly, you force yourself to decide on a point of acceptable loss, and because you now have a reference point, you are able to measure your effectiveness to keep or adjust for future trades. Sometimes, during a market dip, altcoins can plummet, and stop losses can lead to profitability by automatically selling for fiat that you can use to re-enter at lower prices.