The cryptocurrency market, which consists of bitcoin and several other major digital currencies, crumbled June 22 as the majority of the coins dipped by up to 10 percent due to six exchanges in Japan that were ordered by the Financial Services Agency, its financial watchdog, to improve their current practices, and as two exchanges were hacked within an 11-day period.
Needless to say, Bitcoin’s place as an alternative digital asset among cryptocurrencies has become entrenched, despite likely headwinds it will continue to face as it evolves further. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced in early August 2017 that certain Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) – which use cryptocurrencies for financing – would be regulated as securities.
Ideally, a rookie trader should start by choosing a reliable exchange and playing with popular coins, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. However, the learning by doing approach is too slow for those who want to succeed fast. Joining a community of like-minded traders could be one of the best decisions to make: there are plenty of groups on Telegram or regular meetups in the US and other countries.
On top of the possibility of complicated reporting procedures, new regulations can also impact your tax obligations. The U.S, the ‘property’ ruling means your earnings will now be deemed as capital gains tax (15%), instead of normal income tax (up to 25%). Each countries cryptocurrency tax requirements are different, and many will change as they adapt to the evolving market. Before you start trading, do your homework and find out what type of tax you’ll pay and how much.
Update 1st October 2018: The cryptocurrency market has been volatile as ever over the last 6 months. Unless you are a skilled trader, it is harder to make money in a bear market than in a bull market – and we have been in a bear market for some time now. Personally, I have stopped trading and I am now focussing on growing my portfolio passively using a cryptocurrency trading bot – you can find out more about this here. If you are new to crypto, read on!
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.
For instance, you might have a day trading strategy that exploits differentials in tightly correlated cryptocurrencies: BTC and ETH, for example. If you think that BTC and ETH are tightly correlated and you see that ETH is disproportionately low, you might buy ETH with the expectation that ETH will rise up again to restore its typical relationship with BTC. However, this might be a case of contagion: the whole market is going down. In this case, your technical analysis could be your downfall: you’ve just bought into a position that’s still going down.
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This analysis can be done by searching for information on the number of transactions performed per day and the investments that banks or financial institutions have made in Bitcoin companies. In addition, information on the growth of companies of Bitcoin and blockchain can indicate a possible growth of cryptocurrency, as well as new use cases such as international payments and payment processors.
Cryptocurrency exchanges are websites where you can buy, sell or exchange cryptocurrencies for other digital currency or traditional currency like US dollars or Euro. For those that want to trade professionally and have access to fancy trading tools, you will likely need to use an exchange that requires you to verify your ID and open an account. If you just want to make the occasional, straightforward trade, there are also platforms that you can use that do not require an account.
So far, everything we’ve discussed has involved taking a long position on a coin. That is, our focus has been buying a coin at a lower price than what we think we will be able to sell it at later. What if we have some indication that leads us to believe that the value of a coin is about to decrease? In this case, we could take a short position, which is the same technique that made some people boatloads of money during the 2008-2009 housing bubble.
Trading strategies are there to provide objectives for traders to earn more with lesser capital; just like how a successful business should operate. There are a lot of trading strategies that are being written all over the internet today, but what we’ve noticed is that most of these so-called “strategies” are just plain common sense; something that is hard to come by nowadays.
Stop limit orders are really only useful when selling coins. They allow us to set a condition: we specify a price, and if the price becomes less than or equal to that price, a market order is automatically placed for us. The advantage here is that if we need to step away and will not be able to watch the price, we have some protection if the market begins to plummet. The disadvantage is that we are counting on there being good buy orders available to fulfill our sells. If a massive amount of market sell orders were to be executed right before your stop is triggered, it’s technically possible to be left with the bottom of the barrel. This has happened before, but is not common.
Disclaimer: Trading carries a high level of risk, and may not be suitable for all investors. Before deciding to invest you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite. The possibility exists that you could sustain a loss of some or all of your initial investment and therefore you should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose. You should be aware of all the risks associated with foreign exchange trading, and seek advice from an independent financial advisor if you have any doubts.
Like any other loan, this borrowed Bitcoin must be paid back with interest. On losses, you will need to pay back the loss and the interest. Poloniex offers up a great guide to margin trading that explains everything you need to know. It’s worth reiterating that the estimated liquidation price is the price at which a forced exit from our position would occur, costing us all of the Bitcoin in our margin account so that it may be used to pay back the borrowed coin. Utilizing stop limits to avoid this is almost always a good idea.
The cryptocurrency market is insanely volatile in 2018. You can make a fortune in a moment and lose it in the next whether you trade Bitcoin, another coin, or the GBTC Bitcoin trust. Consider mitigating risks, hedging, and not “going long” with all your investable funds. TIP: If you trade only the top coins by market cap (that is coins like Bitcoin Ethereum), or GBTC, then the chances of losing everything overnight are slim (not impossible, but slim). Other cryptocurrencies are riskier (but can offer quick gains on a good day).
It does not matter at what point you enter the market for a coin if you believe in the long-term. Bitcoin was once expensive at $1; it was then expensive at $10; people could not believe it when it hit $100; people could not believe it when it hit $1,000 and when it hit $10,000 they called it a bubble. It could be $25,000 next year or drop back below $5,000. My only advice here is not to chase something during a parabolic upwards move because it will almost certainly come back down.
It is important investors realize not all exchanges and brokers that offer delivery of the underlying Bitcoin are created equal. Some firms have fallen victim to theft by hackers who have stolen Bitcoin belonging to clients whose money was held at the exchanges. Meanwhile, other Bitcoin exchanges have gone bankrupt (as in the case of Mt. Gox), as a result of fraud or mismanagement.
I would also encourage you to have a secure place to keep your passwords, maybe written down in a couple of locations or stored in a password manager, just create something which works for you. Also, keep a copy of your private key for each wallet. If you lose your access and lose your keys, then you lose your coins. Don't worry; this is not necessary with every wallet, for example Coinbase and a Nano S will manage your private keys for you, this will all start to make sense once you start.
Many litecoin investors followed the wrong herd last December when its founder Charlie Lee sold all of his shares in the company to avoid a conflict of interest. This should have indicated to investors that the price would not hold and would decline, Spatafora says. Instead of selling, many crypto investors bought more litecoin "like idiots when it was not sustainable," he says.
Finally, always check, double check and triple check while trading – a simple tip that even seasoned crypto holders forget. When setting up buy or sell orders, make sure your numbers add up, as even the smallest of typos can see you lose an eye-watering amount. Also, when dealing with an exchange, make sure you’re sending coins to the correct address.
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.