If somehow, you’ve only heard of one cryptocurrency, it’s probably Bitcoin. It is the biggest cryptocurrency — it currently has a 40%i share in the total cryptocurrency market cap! It is the oldest cryptocurrency and it still dominates in the market. So, if Bitcoin continues to increase like it did in 2017, then investing in Bitcoin might be a good idea for 2018.
Consider Bitcoin as the base layer coin for the market as many of the exchanges price their altcoins against Bitcoin. Also, Bitcoin is often used as your base currency to get started with an exchange. What I mean by this is you will not be able to buy with your regular credit card, you will need to transfer in your Bitcoin and use that as the currency to purchase.
Why is it strongly recommended to invest only the amount you can afford? There is a psychological reason for that. When you use your own money that you can lose, you will not be vulnerable to different types of emotions that can ruin your deposit. Fears of losing all money that you have borrowed from the bank or friends will affect negatively your trading results.
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.
Forks are nice, but they aren’t worth losing money over. 1 Bitcoin Cash is worth about $330 as of today in Oct 2017. 1 Bitcoin costs about $4.8k. If it cost you hundreds in losses to get a single Bitcoin Cash, it probably wasn’t worth it. In other words, don’t let excitement or fear of a fork mess with your general strategy too much. The best example of the worst that can happen with a fork is Zclassic. This event was really sad. Let is serve as a reminder of how brutal crypto can be and why chasing a fork sometimes just ins’t worth it.
Consider Diversifying. With the above advice in mind, there is nothing worse than getting frustrated with BTC, moving to ETH / alts and missing a BTC price spike, then moving back into BTC and missing the ETH spike. This is very easy to do given the rotation, and the natural urge to “FOMO buy.” If you have some of your funds in all the coins you trade, you’ll avoid missing out on a unicorn (a term one can use to describe an odd event, like a giant price spike in a short amount of time). If you diversify, especially when prices are low across the board, you’ll avoid some of the urge to jump into one coin mid or late into a run and out of a coin just before it goes on its run. In other words, although it isn’t the most profitable tactic, diversifying is good for one’s sanity in a number of important ways.
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).
Disclaimer: Trading carries a high level of risk, and may not be suitable for all investors. Before deciding to invest you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite. The possibility exists that you could sustain a loss of some or all of your initial investment and therefore you should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose. You should be aware of all the risks associated with foreign exchange trading, and seek advice from an independent financial advisor if you have any doubts.
Never put all your eggs in one basket. Diversify. While the potential to earn more is increased with the amount of money you invest into a coin, the potential to lose more is also magnified. Another way to think about it is to look at the cryptocurrency market as a whole; if you believe that this is just the beginning, then more than likely the entire market cap of cryptocurrencies will increase. What are the chances that this market cap increase will be entirely driven by one coin vs. being driven by many coins? The best way to safely capture the overall growth of cryptocurrency is to diversify and reap the benefits of growth from multiple coins. Also, fun fact — Between January 2016 and January 2018, Corgicoin has increased by 60,000x, and Verge has increased by 13,000x. During the same period, Bitcoin has increased by 34x. While you would have gotten impressive gains from Bitcoin, expanding into other coins could have landed you potentially larger ones.