TIP: A good first foray into cryptocurrency investing is the obvious, buying a major cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. After that, you’ll probably want to trade USD for crypto on an exchange like GDAX. Once you have done that, you could try trading BTC and ETH for other cryptocurrencies. Trading “crypto pairs” can be rewarding, but it is more complex and often more risky than just buying a single cryptocurrency as an investment.
Watch out for scams. There are a few different scams in the crypto world. Anything that isn’t buying a coin with a good reputation is a big risk. Learn more about scams. In short, be super careful about anything that promises free coins, sick returns, or wants you to lend your coins. Buy the top coins using a careful strategy and ignore all the sites promising you they can outperform the market if only you give them X, Y, and Z.
So let’s take our hypothetical 1 BTC from before and take a short position on Ethereum. We are able to borrow 2.5 BTC worth of ETH and sell it. 30 minutes later, the price of ETH has plummeted 10%. Now we can close our short position, buying back 2.5 BTC worth of ETH; except now, since the price has dropped, we are buying more ETH than what we sold. Our borrowed coin can be payed back and we take the rest as profit!
Stop limit orders are really only useful when selling coins. They allow us to set a condition: we specify a price, and if the price becomes less than or equal to that price, a market order is automatically placed for us. The advantage here is that if we need to step away and will not be able to watch the price, we have some protection if the market begins to plummet. The disadvantage is that we are counting on there being good buy orders available to fulfill our sells. If a massive amount of market sell orders were to be executed right before your stop is triggered, it’s technically possible to be left with the bottom of the barrel. This has happened before, but is not common.
Dollar cost averaging one’s purchases of Bitcoin reduces risk in sudden changes. This reduces the sting of or sudden pricing changes, reducing reliance on a single point of entry. By increasing your Bitcoin investment over time, you reduce the desire to buy or sell often. If there’s anything we’ve learned from the long run is that Bitcoin is here to stay (knock on wood). Stick to your gut, but don’t ignore others.
Don’t invest blindy. There are people in this world who would sell a blind person a pair of glasses if they could make money. Those same people play in the cryptocurrency markets and use every opportunity to exploit less-informed investors. They’ll tell you what to buy or claim certain coins will moon, just to increase the prices so they can exit. Due to the highly speculative nature of the cryptocurrency markets today, a good investor will always do his or her own research in order to take full responsibility for the potential investment outcome. Information coming from even the best investor is, at best, great information, but never a promise, so you can still get burned.