Bitcoin (BTC) is King/Queen; Don’t Get Overly Optimistic About Altcoins. Those who invest in BTC tend to get itchy fingers when BTC stagnates and alts go up. Sure, going into IOTA or ZCash can be a brilliant move at times… at other times you’ll be holding the bag while everyone moves back into BTC. Stick with coins you know and like, but consider always being partly in BTC (not 24/7, but in general). This advise applies somewhat to Ethereum as well, but first and foremost BTC is the center of the crypto economy.
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.
Know thy taxes. Speaking of legal tender like the USD, it is what you use to pay taxes. If you don’t understand Bitcoin’s tax implications, brush up on them before you start power trading. One could get them into a situation where they make money on paper, but end the year down in Bitcoin without taking their loss, and thus end up owing a bunch of money they don’t have in taxes. Those who don’t have investment experience can get in trouble if they don’t understand the somewhat complex implications of trading crypto.
Expect Price Spikes, Expect Corrections, Be Patient, and Stick to a Strategy: Cryptocurrency tends to make big moves in its price and volume. It is easy to get FOMO (fear of missing out) and buy high, and it is easy to get overwhelmed by FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) and sell. If you miss a price jump, it isn’t necessarily time to go all-in in an emotionally charged panic. Instead wait patiently for the price to settle (which could take weeks or months) or average in or out slowly. Taking gains after the price goes way up, or making a buy after the price goes way down makes sense. Panic buying after the price just went way up, or panic selling after it went way down is rarely the right move.
When Bitcoin forks into a new cryptocurrency… everyone gets free coins. When Bitcoin Cash was created, everyone holding BTC got 1 Cash for every BTC they had. Next time Bitcoin forks this will be true again. NOTE: Forks can be confusing; if you aren’t in the fork for the capture date (which isn’t always clear) you don’t get the free coins. DO NOT CHASE FREE COINS (see next point).
Only invest what you can lose. During the recent crash in January 2018, hobby-investors got burned. Reports of frustration and losses came at the cost of broken monitors, smashed laptops, and heavy monetary losses. While the rules are in more particular order of importance, it’s safe to assume that this is the most important rule, the rule to rule the rules. As soon as your money is converted into cryptocurrency, consider it lost forever. There is absolutely no guarantee you can get it back. Losses don’t simply come from dips in the market; extraordinary factors such as hacks, bugs, and government regulation can mean you’ll never see any of your money again. If you are investing money you can’t afford to lose, you need to take a step back and re-evaluate your current financial situation, because what you’re about to do is an act of desperation. This includes: using credit cards, taking out mortgages, applying for loans, or selling everything and traveling the world (as glamorous as that sounds).