Ethereum: Well, the father of platform-oriented cryptocurrencies. Being a cryptocurrency, Ethereum does more to the ecosystem than almost all the others in the market. It’s Solidity program allows for excellent smart contract programming, it is also a platform where Decentralized Apps are built and deployed, and many leaders in the blockchain space, including IBM have used Ethereum’s smart contracts and platform to build and deploy applications.
Daniel Defoe, the author of Robinson Crusoe, wrote a pamphlet in 1719, “The Anatomy of Exchange Alley or, a system of stock jobbing. Proving that scandalous trade, as it is now carry'd on, to be knavish in its private practice, and treason in its publick.” Does the sentiment sound familiar? I have republished some books from the turn of the 19th century with a preface saying basically, “Do you notice the stock market is basically unchanged even after more than a 100 years of historical turmoil?” The scams and attitudes of the market and its participants are still so recognizable after over 100 years you are left to wonder if the billions spent on compliance on the worlds bourses are not a complete waste of money.
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.
A week in the crypto market is equivalent to three months in the traditional capital stock exchange, in terms of events and occurrences. One who wants to jump right into the deep water of crypto trading has to follow it not just on a daily basis, but on an hourly basis. It’s not everyone that can play this game. Nevertheless you need to consider the amount of time invested in the process. Sometimes it pays off to be a long-term investor, rather than a daily trader. By the way, as a daily trader it does not necessarily mean you are bound to buy and sell and trade every single day. Trades can reach their destination within minutes, as well as within months. Think about the time you are willing to invest in studying and tracking the market. Remember your time has marginal cost, or in other words – your time has a price tag. If you have decided to put your time and effort into trading on a daily basis, it is better to start with small doses and examine the performance prior to increasing invested amounts. This is yet an additional benefit of crypto – the possibility of trading on micro-transactions. Unlike the capital market, where if you put an eye on Apple stock, you would need to buy a minimum share equivalent to a couple thousand bucks, in crypto you can perform transactions of a few cents.
When you buy/sell via an exchange, try to use limit orders (try not to use market orders). On some exchanges, like GDAX, limit orders have lower fees than market orders. On GDAX, limit orders are free as long as they don’t fill immediately. Meanwhile, market orders result in a .3% fee, which is better than the 1.4% that Coinbase charges but not as good as 0%, especially if you are day trading. If your exchange rewards you for using certain order types, aim to use them.
A quick look at the Bitcoin price over the last few years reveals a strong upward trend, but also times where the price was over and undervalued. Since most buyers and sellers are regular people and not professional traders, the cryptocurrency market is extremely sensitive to media hype and news stories. When the news is good, people rush to buy overvalued cryptocurrencies. When something bad happens, they panic and sell their coins at below their true value.
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.
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.
Arbitrage is the process of buying then immediately selling something for a profit. This is possible when there are price differences between different marketplaces. For example, buying certain DVDs at your local store for $10 only to sell them online for $20 each, doubling your money in the process. In our case, it’s buying cryptocurrency on one exchange and then immediately selling it at another. Arbitrage is based on exploiting market inefficiencies and is popular in all kinds of markets, including the stock and FOREX markets.
The second reason to buy the most liquid coins is that there are risks of scams. When you purchase Bitcoin you are sure that you will be able to sell it to somebody later. However, when you buy X coin, which is not as liquid and as popular as Bitcoin is, your risks are higher as everything depends in this case on the project, its team, goals, roadmap, background etc.
Simply, the OBV is a remarkable technical indicator that can show us if the real money is really buying Bitcoin or quite the contrary they are selling. What we want to see when Bitcoin is failing to break above a resistance level or a swing high and the Ethereum already broke is for the OBV to not only increase in the direction of the trend, but to also move beyond the level it was when Bitcoin was trading previously at this resistance level (see figure below). Here is how to identify the right swing to boost your profit.
EDIT: #10 Bonus (Suggested by @kerstenwirth ) — always check the ticker symbol. Ticker symbols are not universal, and may vary from exchange to exchange in rare cases. Those cases, though, can come back to bite you. For example, Bitcoin Cash trades on some exchanges as BCH, while it trades on others as BCC. BCC is also the ticker symbol for BitConnect, which was recently outted as a Ponzi Scheme. If you bought BCC under the impression was Bitcoin Cash, you would’ve lost a lot of money.