Bitcoin trading occurs on exchanges. These exchanges accept your fiat currencies (like USD and EUR) in exchange for a cryptocurrency (like BTC). These exchanges maintain a liquid pool of bitcoin, allowing users to withdraw their bitcoin at any time. Investors who wish to trade on that exchange can deposit bitcoin into their personal wallet on the exchange, or make a wire transfer to the exchange’s bank account. The exchange notices this transfer, then credits your account.
Accept that coins can go to zero, and even good coins can lose up to 80% of their value (especially against BTC). There are many coins that didn’t make it to 2018 that were once highly valued and popular. Meanwhile, even some giants of today like ETH and XRP have seen their value in BTC prices drop to depressing levels. You should prepare for this mentally and have a strategy that factors this in. If you buy the dip in ETH from .15 down, .08 may look like an excellent price, but you have to be ready for .02. ETH holders who didn’t prepare for this had a depressing June 2017 – December 2017. Heed my warning, that new coin doesn’t have to moon twice, it can go to literal zero, and even those that will moon again… they can have long seasons of stagnation in between (where they lose value against BTC for months on end). See the Crypto Graveyard and please look at the historic charts of major alts like XRP (the gap between moons is real and some coins really don’t make it).
For instance, suppose you’re day trading Bitcoin and have a rule that you’ll close your position if its price hits 10% over the price for which you bought it. Bitcoin hits that marker so, like a good day trader, you follow your rule strictly and sell. But then, unexpectedly the price just keeps going up as the market continues to recognize Bitcoin’s value. By focusing on day trading, you missed out on greater potential profits.
There are lots of studies about emotion in trading. Fear of missing out, greed, etc. are very common causes for people to make mistakes while trading. No matter how experienced you are, you will eventually be led by emotions and this might make you lose money, so you have to prepare yourself to do it as little as possible and to control yourself better or you will lose more than win.
Bitcoin isn’t just an unknown commodity: it will always be an unknown commodity. Bitcoin doesn’t have the fundamentals that investors typically use to analyze an asset. Most stocks or bonds can be analyzed based on some trait of the instrument. Stocks have P/E ratios and dividends, for example, while bonds have return percentages. Bitcoin has no fundamentals that can be easily measured.
Don’t invest blindy. There are people in this world who would sell a blind person a pair of glasses if they could make money. Those same people play in the cryptocurrency markets and use every opportunity to exploit less-informed investors. They’ll tell you what to buy or claim certain coins will moon, just to increase the prices so they can exit. Due to the highly speculative nature of the cryptocurrency markets today, a good investor will always do his or her own research in order to take full responsibility for the potential investment outcome. Information coming from even the best investor is, at best, great information, but never a promise, so you can still get burned.