If you are a big player, keep in mind you can distort the price (thus, you might actually want to margin trade… or like, spot trade and help us lift the market 😀 ). Volume is decent on any given crypto exchange, but this isn’t like trading the S&P. If you are playing with 50BTC, and you try to buy or sell that much at once, you can distort the market temporarily. When you watch buy and sell orders in an exchange, you’ll notice that when sells ball up the price tends to drop and when buys ball up the price tends to go up. If you try to buy or sell too hard, you can drag the price up or down a little. If you have insanely deep pockets, you can accidentally be dipping your toes in at-best-grey-area behavior. It is much better etiquette to buy and sell in amounts that are average for the book you are buying on. When a high-level investor buys ten billion worth of a stock or sells, they do it in chunks (to avoid dropping or spiking the price of the asset). TIP: Also watch out for shady people pumping or dumping a coin by doing this. What looks like a lot of buyers could be one person or a group messing with the price. The lack of regulation is a blessing and a curse with crypto, as is the relatively low volume compared to other asset types.
Arbitrage is the process of buying then immediately selling something for a profit. This is possible when there are price differences between different marketplaces. For example, buying certain DVDs at your local store for $10 only to sell them online for $20 each, doubling your money in the process. In our case, it’s buying cryptocurrency on one exchange and then immediately selling it at another. Arbitrage is based on exploiting market inefficiencies and is popular in all kinds of markets, including the stock and FOREX markets.
Payment Methods – What payment methods are available on the exchange? Credit & debit card? wire transfer? PayPal? If an exchange has limited payment options then it may not be convenient for you to use it. Remember that purchasing cryptocurrencies with a credit card will always require identity verification and come with a premium price as there is a higher risk of fraud and higher transaction and processing fees. Purchasing cryptocurrency via wire transfer will take significantly longer as it takes time for banks to process.
I think the simplest place to buy, sell, and store coins is Coinbase (and our tutorial below will help you get set up with that), but you can only buy, sell, and store Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash on Coinbase. If you are serious about trading cryptocurrency, you’ll need another exchange like Coinbase’s GDAX, Bittrex, Binance, or Kraken (and you’ll likely want to find a wallet to store your coins in). See a top 5 list of cryptocurrency exchanges and the Best Bitcoin Exchanges ranked (those above are my picks).
Another tip is to try and determine why the value of a particular cryptocurrency is rising or falling before you make an investment. Buying a coin that’s in freefall and waiting for its value to increase again may seem astute, but there’s no guarantee that it’ll bounce back. Chasing gains by backing a currency that’s surged can also seem tempting, but there’s always the risk of “pump and dump” schemes where the price crashes afterwards. Know the “why” before you buy.
Only invest what you can lose. During the recent crash in January 2018, hobby-investors got burned. Reports of frustration and losses came at the cost of broken monitors, smashed laptops, and heavy monetary losses. While the rules are in more particular order of importance, it’s safe to assume that this is the most important rule, the rule to rule the rules. As soon as your money is converted into cryptocurrency, consider it lost forever. There is absolutely no guarantee you can get it back. Losses don’t simply come from dips in the market; extraordinary factors such as hacks, bugs, and government regulation can mean you’ll never see any of your money again. If you are investing money you can’t afford to lose, you need to take a step back and re-evaluate your current financial situation, because what you’re about to do is an act of desperation. This includes: using credit cards, taking out mortgages, applying for loans, or selling everything and traveling the world (as glamorous as that sounds).