Bitcoin faced extreme headwinds in March when Alphabet's Google (ticker: GOOG, GOOGL) joined Facebook (FB) in banning ads for cryptocurrencies, which lowered liquidity in the market. In an abrupt reversal, Facebook said on June 26 that it would allow some ads for cryptocurrencies, but continues its ban against initial coin offerings and binary options.
TIP: There are a few sides to cryptocurrency. 1. you can trade and invest in it, 2. you can use it for transactions (anywhere a coin type is accepted), 3. you can break out a graphics processing unit and some software and mine coins (see how to mine coins). Those are all valid and interesting, but with that in mind, this page is focused on “trading” cryptocurrency (and therefore also investing in it). With that said, even if you want to do the other things with cryptocurrencies, you still need to be set up for trading.
Lots of traders use bots (you might want to as well if you have the chops). To the next point, lots of traders use trading bots. Some are white hat; some will try to get you to make bad trades. Keep an eye out for bots. If you are using a bot, be careful, there are bots designed to exploit poorly programmed bots. In general, if you don’t have a solid grasp of TA and crypto trading, skip the bot. They are only as useful as the strategies they run.
These are what allow us to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. There are a handful of popular crypto exchanges, some of them have advantages over others. For example, some exchanges don’t allow us to deposit and withdraw using fiat currency like the U.S. dollar and euro; others aren’t available in certain countries. In this guide we will focus on two very popular exchanges, GDAX and Poloniex. GDAX gives us the ability to use our fiat currency to buy Bitcoin. Poloniex does not, but does give us a wide array of altcoins to trade. There, we’ll be using major coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum to buy the altcoins, and vice versa. Other popular exchanges such as Kraken and Bittrex offer even more coins.
Certain candlesticks contain powerful clues about the direction of order flow and where the price is likely to go. The mighty engulfing bar is one of them and marks levels where reversals are likely to occur. Engulfing the entire price range of the preceding candle says much about where the big market players are putting their money. More about engulfing bar crypto trading coming soon!
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.
Speaking of the last two points, realize that crypto tends to be pattern based and tends to go in cycles. See “the cryptocurrency rotation” and “market cycles” for an in-depth look at what this means. You want to be in a coin before it starts its rotation, and then laddering out as its rotation ends. Likewise, in a perfect world you want to be in for the bull part of a market cycle, and out for the bear part. Near impossible to spot these trends in advance, but with experience you should be able to spot them as they occur and manage your positions accordingly.
You can’t simply go to a bank and ask for any digital currency. Instead, you’ll need a proper digital platform for making any trade in Bitcoin, Ether, Ripple or as a matter of fact any crypto. After all, that’s the whole point of creating digital currencies. Cryptocurrency exchange platforms are such online portals that allow you to exchange a digital currency (cryptocurrency) for another one or even a fiat currency depending upon the type of exchange.
CFTC RULE 4.41 - HYPOTHETICAL OR SIMULATED PERFORMANCE RESULTS HAVE CERTAIN LIMITATIONS. UNLIKE AN ACTUAL PERFORMANCE RECORD, SIMULATED RESULTS DO NOT REPRESENT ACTUAL TRADING. ALSO, SINCE THE TRADES HAVE NOT BEEN EXECUTED, THE RESULTS MAY HAVE UNDER-OR-OVER COMPENSATED FOR THE IMPACT, IF ANY, OF CERTAIN MARKET FACTORS, SUCH AS LACK OF LIQUIDITY, SIMULATED TRADING PROGRAMS IN GENERAL ARE ALSO SUBJECT TO THE FACT THAT THEY ARE DESIGNED WITH THE BENEFIT OF HINDSIGHT. NO REPRESENTATION IS BEING MADE THAT ANY ACCOUNT WILL OR IS LIKELY TO ACHIEVE PROFIT OR LOSSES SIMILAR TO THOSE SHOWN.
Good traders acknowledge their mistakes, and more importantly – analyze and learn from them, thus improving their skills for understanding the market. So which kind of trader are you? Did you find yourself somewhere in the article? We would love to hear on the comments section below, and you are welcome to share this article with whoever you see as relevant.
Wallets are a good example of this. Many cryptocurrency storage solutions — for example, hardware wallets like the Trezor and Ledger — are designed with maximum security in mind (with good reason!). But these aren’t meant to be used with day trading: the amount of time it takes to sign and confirm transactions from wallets can delay trades that you’re trying to perfectly time.
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.
Read Part 3 of BTCManager’s series, ‘A Guide to Trading Cryptocurrency,’ here. In Part 4, we look at a very easy to pick up technique that, like the Ichimoku Kinko Hyo, originates from Japan. Renko charts are another Japanese technique that is easy-to-use and reliable for making profitable trades. Similar to candlestick charts, Renko charts are even easier to analyse…
Learn to value coins in BTC. Ether aside, Bitcoin is the current primary currency of the crypto economy (i.e., its what you have to use to buy most altcoins). Those new to crypto tend to value things in dollars. Meanwhile, even seasoned cash traders value coins in dollars. However, enough crypto traders will value coins in BTC for it to matter. If you aren’t aware of the BTC charts, you won’t be able to properly understand the trends everyone else is analyzing and reacting to. You don’t have to make getting more BTC your goal, but you must have the BTC prices of altcoins on your radar. There are times when all coins move up, but altcoins steadily lose value against Bitcoin. Those who know will be the first to dump altcoins for Bitcoin; this will set off a vicious cycle that can result in the stagnation of altcoin prices.
You could try this instead: Be sure to watch an exchange’s order book to better understand the actual prices you can get for the amount of cryptocurrency you’re trading. Consider breaking your order into smaller pieces to get a better price, or use a trading algorithm that lets you execute your larger order as a stealth order at the top of the order book.
When you are choosing the crypto exchange, look at and compare cryptocurrency platform fees, among other things. Using some crypto exchanges you will pay a percentage of each deal, using other ones you will pay for income and outcome transactions. You need to pick what fits you more. For example, Bitfinex charges Maker 0.1% and Taker 0.2% in fees based on the volume. Kraken charges Maker 0.16% and Taker 0.26%. European BitBay charges both types at 0.43%. You can see and compare fees schedules here.
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.