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.
A common beginners’ mistake is to look at the coin’s price rather than the market cap. Just as you asses a company by its market cap performance, which is calculated by multiplying the number of shares times a single share’s price, the same is done for Altcoins. The number of existing coins in circulation times the coin’s price. For a low price coin, such as Ripple, there is solely a psychological influence on the buyers. There is no difference whether one Ripple equals one dollar, and there are a billion Ripples out, or if one Ripple equals a thousand dollars and there are million units of Ripple. Therefore, from now on, when examining coins for investment on CoinMarketCap, look mainly at the more substantial figure, which is the market cap, and focus less on the price for one coin.
While these rules are by no means the only lessons you need, they’re definitely a great starting point. Sometimes, though, things are easier said than done, such as watching your portfolio value plummet and still having the iron willpower of resisting the sell button. One of the best solutions I’ve found to this was to join a community of like-minded cryptocurrency investors. Educated and smart crypto-traders, as well as the community members, will all be there to support your efforts and will be holding with you in the rough times.
Active traders looking to speculate on Bitcoin over the short or medium term may find that trading CFD/derivatives on Bitcoin using an online forex broker will provide them with 24hour trading, potentially lower margin, and the ability to go either long or short. Because of counter-party risk, choosing a broker is just as important as finding one with the best trading tools or commission rates.
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Always pay attention to Bitcoin. Most altcoins (every cryptocurrency except Bitcoin) are pegged more closely to Bitcoin than Asian currencies were to the USD during the Asian Financial Crisis. If Bitcoin price pump drastically, altcoins price can go down as people try to exit altcoins to ride the BTC profits; inversely, if Bitcoin prices dump drastically, altcoin prices can go down, too, as people exit altcoins to exchange back into fiat. The best times for altcoin growth appear when Bitcoin shows organic growth or decline, or remains stagnant in price.