Know when to take a loss. Nothing is less fun than taking a loss, but if you are going short in BTC and you haven’t set a stop, sometimes it makes more sense to take a loss and wait for a better price than it does to suddenly start going long. The best way to know when to hold ’em and or fold ’em is some basic TA on longer term charts (I will use things like MACD on 6hr – 12hr – 1 day candles to confirm trends) paired with unwavering discipline.
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Read Part 2 of BTCManager’s series, ‘A Guide to Trading Cryptocurrency,’ here. In Part 3, we look again at another complicated trading style that focuses on your inner self and human behavior. Markets are chaotic. Cryptocurrency markets, even more so. But just because the markets are random and sentiment can shift rapidly does not mean you cannot profit from fluctuations…
Only a few cryptocurrencies – such as Bitcoin and Ethereum – have achieved mainstream levels of popularity. However, even well-established currencies can fall victim to extreme price volatility. It can be difficult to predict how prices will fluctuate with newly minted coins because there is little historical information to analyze. Backing a new currency could prove extremely lucrative, but equally, there’s a chance you’ll make an expensive mistake if you don’t know what you’re doing.
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.
If you are going long, consider building an average position (for example via dollar cost averaging or value averaging). There is no better way to avoid making a poorly timed trade than buying incrementally instead of all at once and thereby buying an asset at its “average” price over time. If you don’t have a really solid grasp of technical indicators and the way the volatile crypto markets work, consider averaging out of positions as well. Averaging isn’t just financially conservative, it is important psychologically. Taking too big of a position at once can be emotionally difficult to deal with (and can thus lead to bad decision making) given the historic volatility of the cryptocurrency market.
If your focus is to conduct crypto-to-crypto trading, Binance is one of the best options. Ranked as one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide, they provide you with impressive offerings along with an extremely low trading fee. Although the Binance platform is a young entrant into the market, it is rapidly growing, and holds a huge selection of altcoins with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether pairings.
Here again, it is important considering a number of factors when choosing a stop loss level correctly. Most traders fail when they fall in love with a trade or the coin itself. They may say, “Here it will turn around, and I will get out of this trade with a minimum loss, I’m sure”. They’re letting their ego take control of them and unlike the traditional stock exchange where extreme daily movements are considered 2-3% in value, Crypto trades are a lot more riskier: in my life as a trader I’ve seen a coin dumping by 80% just in a few hours! And nobody wants to be the one who is left holding it.
You might buy in to your Ethereum position at $1000, you set your sell position $1300. Your sell order could take days, weeks, months, years or till the end of time to be filled. Once it has been filled, you then take that profit and you roll it over in to a new buy over at, say, $1100. Choosing good targets for your buy and sell orders is crucial if you want to be a successful swing trader but overall swing trading cryptocurrency is pretty easy – set your orders and then just wait.
No one actually knows how long this whole crypto thing will last but instead of losing sleep at night constantly checking token prices which have zero fundamentals behind them, I’d much rather invest in a real business that will make money whether Bitcoin prices go up or down. (Full disclosure: To satisfy my own curiosity, I do own a tiny amount of Bitcoin which won’t make me rich nor will it affect me if the whole space goes to zero).
There are some people who believe that Bitcoin is the only blockchain based protocol which has value and that all others will fail. These people are known as Bitcoin maximalists and their belief is based on economics, specifically Austrian economics, and that the technology which is great for Bitcoin is not useful for anything else. I am more open minded and believe that there are other applications of the technology which will create sustainable ecosystems but I could be proved wrong here. It is important to spend time doing your own research and building up your own view on where the technology may be used.
Swing Trading Strategy – Swing trading is somewhere in the middle of Day Trading and Trend Trading. This is because Day Trading is holding an asset from a couple of seconds to a few hours but never more than a day. Trend Trading, on the other hand, is when the trader looks for a longer timetable and keeps the asset between weeks to months. Swing traders hold an asset for a couple of days up to a few weeks.
Cryptocurrency is volatile! There is always the chance that the market will crash, or that you will face some other catastrophe. Cryptocurrency isn’t a centrally controlled and regulated fiat currency. If you lose a coin, or someone cheats you, or your account gets hacked, there is nothing you can do about it (which is one reason why you want to have 2-factor authentication set-up).
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.
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.
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.
The main reason I’ve now started trading almost exclusively on Binance is because of the massive range of coins available. Many exchanges don’t offer more than 20 or so coins, Binance offers hundreds. Binance focuses on hosting newer alt coins before other exchanges so often the cheapest place to buy certain cryptocurrencies anywhere online is on Binance, this can give you a massive edge if you pick up coins that are only listed in a couple of places and those coins then go on to do very well and get listed elsewhere; this will push up the price and you’ll make a killing just for entering early.
Recommendation for such a plan: After placing target sell commands, and given the coin has reached its first goal, you need to close out half your position. Meanwhile, increase the stop loss to the initial entry level (so you won’t lose at all). At the second target level you should close out an additional quarter of the position. Now, it is likely you will stay in the position with a quarter of it, although with the profits alone – once you got the fund’s money back “home”. At this point the profit game becomes unlimited. Coins that pump up 2,000% in two weeks are not a rare sight in the crypto world. When you are only playing your profits – you are on the safe side and it becomes a lot easier.
In this complex chart, you can see the current Bitcoin prices in the upper third. The green lines indicate a rising price, red lines indicate a falling price. The thin blue threads above and below the candle-shaped price indicators are the Bollinger Band. If the candle touches the top, then the value is “overbought” and will likely fall. If it touches the bottom, then the value is “oversold” and will likely fall.