You should have a general understanding of what a cryptocurrency is because knowing the functional use of a coin can give you an edge when deciding your investments. There are hundreds of coins ranging from major players like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), to smaller coins that we refer to as “altcoins.” Each coin is unique and offers their own flunctional use cases. If you’re feeling unclear about what a cryptocurrency is, check out some of the resources below. They give great explanations of Bitcoin and Ethereum, and blockchain, the underlying technology of which cryptocurrencies are built upon.
Coinbase is arguably one of the most popular Bitcoin exchanges online, as well as one of the most widely-used wallet solutions. Based in San Francisco, Coinbase boasts more than seven million users from around the world. One of the biggest features of the Coinbase platform is the simple functionality and ease of use it offers- many leading Bitcoin experts have crowned it as the most newbie-friendly Bitcoin wallet solutions online today.
Needless to say, Bitcoin’s place as an alternative digital asset among cryptocurrencies has become entrenched, despite likely headwinds it will continue to face as it evolves further. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced in early August 2017 that certain Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) – which use cryptocurrencies for financing – would be regulated as securities.
If you are doing any active trading, set stop losses. For any coins not in your medium or long-term holds, always set stop losses. This is important for several reasons — the most obvious is mitigating your losses. But more importantly, you force yourself to decide on a point of acceptable loss, and because you now have a reference point, you are able to measure your effectiveness to keep or adjust for future trades. Sometimes, during a market dip, altcoins can plummet, and stop losses can lead to profitability by automatically selling for fiat that you can use to re-enter at lower prices.
On top of that, the cryptocurrency market travels at lightspeed compared to other markets. New coins enter the market on a daily basis (in 2016, there were about 550 different coins, today there are about 1,500), and each one has news every day. I’m not doubting your ability to consume and analyze news, but that level of information bombardment will always be more effectively consumed as a group. In these communities, you’ll see members link news and relevant articles about coins you’ve invested in and coins you’ve never heard of. The community will definitely expand your knowledge much faster than doing it all yourself.
Watch out for odd Altcoins and ICOs. The market is tricky enough with the major coins, it is even trickier with odd alt coins and ICOs. Yes, sometimes you can buy these low and see insane gains. In fact, getting it right is the best bet in crypto. The problem is, almost all the odd coins down the list and ICOs will spend the majority of their life being near worthless. Then, you may see a short time span in which these coins preform well. You would think that you would be able to take profits then, but so many people do not. After that one event these can end up in the graveyard. Yeah, you could make it big on low cost alts and ICOs… but I’ve seen more than a few people lose money. Be careful bottom fishing, Bitcoin might not make you rich, but it is a way less risky bet than coins further down the list.
A “manageable amount” is obviously subjective and will vary for each person based on things such as time available to dedicate to trading. Feel free to do your own research to find the right exchange for you. I tend to value user experience of an exchange over the amount of coins on it. Ultimately, what exchanges you use is going to depend on your own personal preferences. GDAX and Poloniex will provide sufficient resources needed to be a successful trader, so they are definitely a good place to start.
Bitcoin tends to find resistance at whole number points. For example, at $4.8k and $4.85k. It also absolutely loves to react at whole numbers like $10k and either drop or run. If you know you want to take profits soon or buy soon, keep an eye on those whole numbers. If you feel like the run must almost be over, pull your profits before the whole number is reached!
We did it! We made it through all the fundamentals needed to start trading cryptocurrency. I think you might agree that each individual concept on it’s own is not terribly complicated. You might even be thinking: “This sounds really easy! I’m going to be a millionaire by Christmas!” It’s great to be ambitious about getting started, but slow your roll. It’s going to take some work to put all of these concepts together, and the only way to do it is to start trading.
Don’t FOMO. This is a spot that people most frequently lose money on. A dash of manipulation, two tablespoons of media hype, a cup of CME and CBOE announcements, and a generous handful of FOMO drove Bitcoin prices from $10,000 to $20,000 in December. Since that time, Bitcoin fell to a low of $9,000 and is currently sitting at around $11,000. It’s easy to look back and say, “if only I waited one month, then I could’ve bought at $9,000 instead of waiting for Bitcoin to hit $20,000 again for me to break even.” But the reality is, the combination of 1) being greedy, 2) investing blindly, and 3) FOMO were likely large contributors to the purchase at an all-time-high. Even in the crazy world of cryptocurrency, if a coin pumps that quickly, it will correct — it’s a matter of time. Speculative pumps are almost always followed by dips. While trying to jump onto a train going full speed sounds like something straight out of a James Bond movie, I’m sure most of us can agree we would probably save some limbs if we just waited for it at the next stop.