Altcoins and Bitcoins tend to react to each other. Sometimes they do the opposite of each other and sometimes they do exactly the same thing. It is not rare to see Bitcoin go down while alts go up (and vice versa). This is because almost everyone who has alts has Bitcoin, so they tend to move out of Bitcoin when it goes down and move into alts (and vice versa). Almost just as often as this is the case it isn’t the case. Many times, all coins will go up or down together (generally following Bitcoin’s lead). This dance often results in Bitcoin outperforming altcoins, however every x months we will see an alt boom where alts outpace Bitcoin quickly. If you can time that, great. Try to spot it coming and there is big money to be made. Meanwhile, alts can be tricky to just HODL, as they tend to lose value against fiat and BTC in the off season. Learn more about the relationship between Bitcoin and Alts. In a word, alts are generally more volatile than Bitcoin.
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.
ShapeShift is the leading exchange that supports a variety of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, Zcash, Dash, Dogecoin and many others. Shapeshift is great for those who want to make instant straightforward trades without signing up to an account or relying on a platform to hold their funds. ShapeShift does not allow users to purchase crypto’s with debit cards, credit cards or any other payment system. The platform has a no fiat policy and only allows for the exchange between bitcoin and the other supported cryptocurrencies. Visit the Shapeshift FAQ
It’s human nature to be cautious at first and then progressively relaxed, even reckless. My observations suggest that it is best to behave in the opposite, counter-intuitive way: commit yourself to the market with reckless abandon in the early days, and then start the scaling out process, applying the brakes and get the hell out when it appears to be the later stages.
The fight over whether bitcoin’s currency code should be BTC or XBT is ongoing (as of November 2017). When bitcoin was first introduced, BTC became both the abbreviation for bitcoin and its currency code. As bitcoin gained momentum and recognition, a large portion of the community asked for a better currency code that adheres to the International Standards Organization’s rules on cryptocurrency codes, mainly that currencies not associated with a specific country should start with the letter X, hence XBT.
Use small buy-ins, and don’t margin trade or short unless you know your stuff. The smaller your bet is compared to your total investable funds, the less risk you are taking on every bet (one of many insanely important things we are covering here). Putting it all on black is tempting, but then if it comes up red, you have nothing left to invest. Live to fight another day by learning to manage your buy-in size. As a rule of thumb invest 1% or less per buy-in (yes, that small, really; losing 100% of 1% leaves you with 99%, losing 1% of 100% leaves you with 99%. Small bids offer the same bet, but with way less risk). Put reward aside and practice risk management and capital preservation until you are very experienced (and thus, by logical extension: don’t margin trade or short unless you know what you are doing, as those leveraged bets magnify your risk by their very nature). See Kelly criterion.
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TIP: A cryptocurrency wallet is a place where you store encrypted passwords that represent coins (the equivalent to storing money in a bank account). A cryptocurrency exchange is like a stock exchange or like a currency exchange in a foreign airport (a place people can trade cryptocurrency for other cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies like the US dollar). Just like if you want to trade stocks you need a bank account and access to the stock exchange, it is the same deal with cryptocurrency.
Volumes indicate the liquidity of an asset. The greater the liquidity the easier it is to buy and sell, even when there is turmoil, and the lower the Bid-Offer spread and therefore the cost of trading. You want to avoid assets with tiny liquidity as when the shit hits the fan it will be costly to exit. Bitcoin has world-class liquidity. I run a crypoasset analysis site named Blocklink.info. Here is a screen-grab of the most liquid assets in the world.
It’s important to realise that you need to do your own research and come up with your own strategy for cryptocurrency trading. If you are short on time and want to play it safe; the easiest cause of action is to simply diversify into several different coins and then wait a year or more. However, if you want to maximise profits you should learn how to swing trade cryptocurrency.
The next thing we’ll need to do is deposit fiat currency into our account. The easiest way to do this is by adding a bank account. Once you’ve initiated the deposit, it will take 4 business days to appear in your account. Kind of a bummer, I know; but the idea is to only need to do this once, as we’ll be growing this initial investment day by day with our trades.
At that point, you can begin trading. You can submit market or limit orders. The orders will be filled as soon as your buy/sell order can be matched to a corresponding one. Most exchanges only offer this limited structure for placing orders. However, a growing number of exchanges now allow more complex orders, including the option to go long/short on a stock and to employ leverage.
As I mentioned before, the Binance exchange fees are really very reasonable and Binance charges just 0.1% on the value of a trade which is less than many of the other popular cryptocurrency trading exchange platforms. It’s free to deposit coins into Binance and you can even cut the trading fees in half if you pay with Binance’s very own coin – The Binance coin. This is probably only worth doing if you are trading tens of thousands of dollars worth of crypto at a time.
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The crypto world is a uniquely perfect environment for arbitrage. As William Belk argues here, the combination of it’s distributed nature, regulation, security, availability, and anonymity factors means that the marketplace has many inefficiencies, and that “arbitrage opportunities will continue indefinitely.” For example, some markets pay a premium for security, geographical location, or simply because they don’t know they can get it cheaper somewhere else. In some cases, the price discrepancies across different exchanges can be as much as 43%.
Back in the dotcom era many people made millions piling risk on risk as the market boomed then bubbled. When the bubble burst they lost everything. You must always look to spread your risk even when or especially when things are going great. Keeping all your money on the table and piling it up on each play will in the end break your bank. A lot of investors in crypto are feeling that pain right now and the “HODL” (a bitcoin community term referring to holding a cryptocurrency rather than selling it) incantation will not make them whole anytime soon.
Bitstamp is a European Union based bitcoin marketplace founded in 2011. The platform is one of the first generation bitcoin exchanges that has built up a loyal customer base. Bitstamp is well known and trusted throughout the bitcoin community as a safe platform. It offers advanced security features such as two-step authentication, multisig technology for its wallet and fully insured cold storage. Bitstamp has 24/7 support and a multilingual user interface and getting started is relatively easy. After opening a free account and making a deposit, users can start trading immediately. Check out the Bitstamp FAQ and the Fee Schedule
If you think a trend will continue for a while, or if it’s too hard to predict when the price will change direction, following the trend is a more risk averse strategy. With this strategy, you trade with the trend rather than with the swings. If the market is trending up, only open long trades. If the market is falling, you only open short trades. Trend followers start trading after a trend has been established, and they exit when the trend changes. This is also called “Position Trading.”
An unbreakable rule in trading says that you should never involve your emotions in trading. This is a basic rule for anyone who trades over any term, but especially for the ones who trade for the short term. Imagine buying Bitcoin according to the DCA strategy: Let’s say the Bitcoin price had crashed by 40% in three days. Now what? Obviously it is the time to buy a second portion of the coin (according to DCA) and average the initial trading entry price. But instead, almost everyone I know got “cold feet” exactly at the “terrifying” moment of decrease and had not completed the purchase of the second share. Why does it happen to us? One word – emotion. Emotions, in this case – fear of loss, affects us and completely disturbs our plan of action. If you are one of those (yes, the majority) who won’t buy the second share in the example above – you should consider your future as a trader, a crypto trader in particular. Getting over your emotions is also important after an unsuccessful trade or after you have sold a coin which is sky rocketing just after you sold it (FOMO). To sum up, don’t regret profit you’ve missed and don’t feel guilty about lost trades. Set yourselves a plan of action together with a set of goals, and act accordingly – as if you were a pre-programmed computer. Human beings are not rational creatures.
You could try this instead: Be sure to watch an exchange’s order book to better understand the actual prices you can get for the amount of cryptocurrency you’re trading. Consider breaking your order into smaller pieces to get a better price, or use a trading algorithm that lets you execute your larger order as a stealth order at the top of the order book.
Developing a facility with TA takes time, but there are good, free resources available to help beginners get acquainted with the basics. As a place to start, consider checking out the free educational material on BabyPips.com. While the site is focused on forex rather than cryptocurrency, its lessons on TA are relatively applicable to day trading BTC, too.
The basic idea of this strategy is, “get out until the carnage is over.” When the crypto-market is under fire, non-crypto assets will appreciate in value compared to cryptocurrencies. Moving some of your portfolio over to fiat currencies (or something else) will protect it from a declining cryptocurrency market. This is similar to how investors buy gold as a safe haven in times of stock market turbulence. When the storm is over, you can buy back your assets at a lower price. It’s always a good idea to keep a diversified portfolio.
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.
Don’t be greedy. No one ever lost money taking a profit. As a coin begins to grow, the greed inside us grows along with it. If a coin increases by 30%, why not consider taking profit? Even if goals are set to 40% or 50%, you should at least pull out some of the profit on the way up in case a coin doesn’t reach the goal. If you wait too long or try to get out at a higher point, you risk losing profit you already earned or even turning that profit into a loss. Get into the habit of taking profits and scouting for re-entry if you want to continue reaping potential profits.