For example, there are cryptocurrencies, such as Litecoin, with the same goal as Bitcoin. In this case, it would be a good idea to compare its market capitalization with Bitcoin. This site ranks coins by market cap. Always be sure to check there when evaluating a new coin. If you notice a large shift in market cap on a certain date, it may be worth it to check for any news that day to see what may have caused it.
For instance, suppose you’re day trading Bitcoin and have a rule that you’ll close your position if its price hits 10% over the price for which you bought it. Bitcoin hits that marker so, like a good day trader, you follow your rule strictly and sell. But then, unexpectedly the price just keeps going up as the market continues to recognize Bitcoin’s value. By focusing on day trading, you missed out on greater potential profits.
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.
So how do you know if you should invest in an ICO? It’s not about science, it is important to pay attention to the level of seriousness of the project and its team. Look for the project’s website (does it look like a child has built it during computer school?), Who is the team behind the project – Are they hiding behind nicknames or proudly present themselves on their website? Pay attention to the Bitcointalk thread (does it exist at all?) and how the team members respond to technical questions. Is there a large community behind the project? Expect to see a Slack gathering its community. Watch out the amount raised: A project which had raised too little will probably will not be able to develop over time, a project which had raised huge amount – there won’t be enough investors left out there to buy coins on exchanges. And most importantly is risk management. Never put all eggs in one basket and invest too much of your portfolio in one ICO.
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.