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.
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.
Back in the dotcom era many people made millions piling risk on risk as the market boomed then bubbled. When the bubble burst they lost everything. You must always look to spread your risk even when or especially when things are going great. Keeping all your money on the table and piling it up on each play will in the end break your bank. A lot of investors in crypto are feeling that pain right now and the “HODL” (a bitcoin community term referring to holding a cryptocurrency rather than selling it) incantation will not make them whole anytime soon.
In contrast to Forex or stock markets, crypto industry have much more risks for traders and investors including scam exchanges, hacker attacks, delisting of tokens and the others. Cryptocurrency market is volatile and coins have no underlying value meaning they may cost either $100,000 or $0 depending on demand and supply. Nobody can predict today the price of Bitcoin for several years.
CoinMama is a veteran broker platform that anyone can visit to buy bitcoin or Ether using your credit card or cash via MoneyGram. CoinMama is great for those who want to make instant straightforward purchases of digital currency using their local currency. Although the CoinMama service is available worldwide, users should be aware that some countries may not be able to use all the functions of the site. CoinMama is available in English, German, French, Italian and Russian. Check out the CoinMama FAQ
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…
Taking the first option listed above, which is to buy the underlying, you become the direct holder of the digital asset. Upon purchase, the cryptocurrency is sent to your bitcoin address or account (wallet) with the exchange. From there, you can transfer the crypotocurrency to any bitcoin address or wallet address using your private key that verifies you control ownership of the asset.
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…
Ethereum hit the scene with the promise of using the blockchain for more than just currencies. You could build decentralized apps on top of Ethereum and even new currencies. In the summer of 2016 I decided to buy ETH at around $9. The day after I purchased Ethereum something called the DAO hack happened and the price dropped 50%. Unlike in 2011, I didn’t need the money I invested to cover any bills. I watched my Ethereum swing between $4 and $20 for about 8 months. I wondered if I could take advantage of those swings by buying when the price was low, selling when it was high, and buying back in when the price dipped again. Though I didn’t take any action on the thought, the idea lingered in my head.
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.
Learn Technical Analysis. Technical Analysis (TA) is the analyzing of price and volume data and trying to predict future trends based on that. If you know how to read a chart, you’ll be better able to understand how things like candles, moving averages, RSI, and the order book can clue you into good spots to buy and sell. Crypto defies logic all the time, but basic indicators are still helpful to understand. TIP: You don’t have to be good at TA, you can just follow others who are. Fibonacci support and resistance levels, moving averages (try 12, 26, 9 MACD on 4hr candles), RSI, and a few other popular indicators are vital to wrap your head around. All the pros use these, and all the big players have bots who run strategies based on these (complex versions of these at least). You can’t afford to ignore TA if you are going to trade crypto and not just invest in it. I suggest you get familiar with tradingview.com ASAP. See a basic TA strategy.
Another very common mistake beginners make is spending all their trading money in one go. If you find a good entry, you should buy in with a percentage of your funds (50% - 60%) and hold the rest to see whether your entry works. This way, even if a coin drops following your purchase, you can average it down by buying more at the dip. Similarly, if the uptrend continues, you can always buy more, and even though this approach reduces your profit margins, it secures your position and prevents you from being all-in on a trade that goes south.
Watch out for odd Altcoins and ICOs. The market is tricky enough with the major coins, it is even trickier with odd alt coins and ICOs. Yes, sometimes you can buy these low and see insane gains. In fact, getting it right is the best bet in crypto. The problem is, almost all the odd coins down the list and ICOs will spend the majority of their life being near worthless. Then, you may see a short time span in which these coins preform well. You would think that you would be able to take profits then, but so many people do not. After that one event these can end up in the graveyard. Yeah, you could make it big on low cost alts and ICOs… but I’ve seen more than a few people lose money. Be careful bottom fishing, Bitcoin might not make you rich, but it is a way less risky bet than coins further down the list.
There are many groups on Facebook where you can find likeminded folks who will happily talk crypto all day but the problem is that 99% of these groups are filled with people who have only a very basic understanding of cryptocurrency and the knowledge available here is not particularly strong. I have recently left almost every single group on Facebook as, in my opinion, they are largely filled with FUD.
After a few months I got better at trading. I was earning more Bitcoin than I needed to cover my monthly expenses. At the end of the month I sold only what I needed, and kept the rest of my net worth in Bitcoin. Around this time in my trading career it was getting to the point where I could have bought a Tesla or put a down payment on a house by selling my Bitcoin.
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.
Let’s say on January 2, 2017, you owned $1,000 and exchanged it into euros (EUR) with another market trader at a rate of EUR€0.9565, leaving you with EUR€956.50. Then, on November 24, 2017, the value of the US dollar had fallen from EUR€0.9565 to EUR€0.8380, so you decide to exchange your euros back into US dollars. After finding someone willing to sell their US dollars for your euros, you carry out the exchange at the new price. Your EUR€956.50 is now worth $1,141.40, leaving you with a profit of a little more than 14%.
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.
Not all traders make gains from trading, since this is a zero-sum game (for everyone who benefits someone else loses on the other side).The Altcoins market is driven by large whales (yes, the same ones responsible for placing huge blocks of hundreds of Bitcoins on the order book). The whales are just waiting patiently for innocent little fish like us to make mistakes. Even if you aspire to trade on a daily basis, sometimes it is better not to earn and do nothing, instead of jumping into the rushing water and exposing your coins to losses. From my experience, there are days where you only keep your profits by not trading at all.
The cryptocurrency trading platform you sign up for will be where you spend a considerable amount of time each day, so look for one that suits your trading style and needs. Exchanges like Coinbase offer in-depth platforms, such as their Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX). It’s always worth setting up a demo account first to make sure the exchange has the technical tools and resources you need.