In 2015 and the beginning of 2016, when Bitcoin held solid – as solid as Bitcoin can be – shuffling around $300 per one BTC, the game was trading Altcoins in order to gain more Bitcoin. It was expected that Bitcoin would grow higher in the future (the Pygmalion effect). Having a rather volatile base asset, such as Bitcoin, raises our need to compare our portfolio performance both in terms of its Bitcoin’s value and its dollar’s value. Many traders decreased the number of Bitcoin they are holding during the past year (hey, and it wasn’t hard when Ethereum got cut 70% from its Bitcoin all-time high…) although it had a nice dollar yield. Bitcoin’s growth made a lot of money for the crypto market, causing its total market cap to increase 30 times during the last year! As traders, it is important to keep Bitcoin as your base asset, but also not to forget the dollar value, and to take profit sometimes. You should always see the bigger picture – crypto is only one tier of your investment options. There are also the stock markets, real estate, bonds and many more investment opportunities. It is important to spread the risks among the crypto portfolio, as well as in the whole household investment portfolio.
Crypto is really unpredictable. While reaping profits of hundreds of percent, the section withstands now and will continue getting dozens of billions of dollars erased flat out in the future. When Bitcoin loses its value against the US dollar Altcoins usually go through the same process. Simple math shows that even holding a part of the portfolio in Altcoins, such as Ethereum and Litecoin, is usually not enough to avoid getting a big chunk of the portfolio’s USD worth wiped out following a Bitcoin dump.
Understand blockchain – You don’t need to understand the technical complexities, but a basic understanding will help you respond to news and announcements that may help you predict future price movements. It is essentially a continuously growing list of secure records (blocks). Cryptography secures the interactions and then stores them publicly. They serve as a public ledger, cutting out intermediaries such as banks.
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 don’t have to buy a whole coin. You can buy fractions of coins. Bitcoins are expensive currently in 2018, so consider buying fractions of a coin to start if you don’t have a big bankroll. It has historically been a mistake to buy only ETH and LTC because BTC costs more. You should consider which one is most likely to increase in and retain value. Buying all three in equal dollar amounts, and ignoring how many of each coin that amounts to, is one way to avoid making the wrong choice based on price tag per coin.
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Market orders allow us to exchange any amount of coin right away at the current market price. Orders are filled using the best available price in the exchange’s order book. For example, if you placed a market buy order for $100, it would buy from the lowest priced sell order(s) until you had used that $100. The advantage is that this transaction is always completed immediately; the disadvantage is that we don’t know exactly what price we are going to get.
Never put all your eggs in one basket. Diversify. While the potential to earn more is increased with the amount of money you invest into a coin, the potential to lose more is also magnified. Another way to think about it is to look at the cryptocurrency market as a whole; if you believe that this is just the beginning, then more than likely the entire market cap of cryptocurrencies will increase. What are the chances that this market cap increase will be entirely driven by one coin vs. being driven by many coins? The best way to safely capture the overall growth of cryptocurrency is to diversify and reap the benefits of growth from multiple coins. Also, fun fact — Between January 2016 and January 2018, Corgicoin has increased by 60,000x, and Verge has increased by 13,000x. During the same period, Bitcoin has increased by 34x. While you would have gotten impressive gains from Bitcoin, expanding into other coins could have landed you potentially larger ones.