Realize that Bitcoin isn’t the same as Blockchain. Blockchain technology is something many are bullish on, but that sentiment shouldn’t be confused with being sentiment about Bitcoin specifically. Blockchain is not Bitcoin, a company that calls itself blockchain is not the same as the technology blockchain. The new “blockchain killer” might not be.
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A small number of cryptocurrency pairs. It is true. You will not find any altcoins from above the top 20. However, Bitstamp offers in its turn the possibility to work with hybrid pairs including USD and other fiats. The exchange can be used as your pass into the world of altcoins as you may buy BTC or ETH here and then transfer those cryptos to other exchanges with a wider range of pairs, which do not support fiat money.
OmiseGO (OMG) is a public financial technology that’s based on Ethereum. The concept of OMG is to enable peer-to-peer value exchange and payment service in real time across not only decentralized currencies but fiat money as well. OmiseGO allows anyone on its network to process financial transactions (payrolls, B2B, remittances, payments, etc.) in a much more inexpensive and decentralized manner.
If you are going long, consider building an average position (for example via dollar cost averaging or value averaging). There is no better way to avoid making a poorly timed trade than buying incrementally instead of all at once and thereby buying an asset at its “average” price over time. If you don’t have a really solid grasp of technical indicators and the way the volatile crypto markets work, consider averaging out of positions as well. Averaging isn’t just financially conservative, it is important psychologically. Taking too big of a position at once can be emotionally difficult to deal with (and can thus lead to bad decision making) given the historic volatility of the cryptocurrency market.
Swing trading concerns individuals that hold a cryptocurrency over a set period of time, usually a few days or weeks. Swing traders will then attempt to determine the overall trend of their cryptocurrency holding and execute trades based on its overall upward or downward trend. The success of swing trading is largely dependent on an individual’s ability to time the market, which is an extremely difficult feat to achieve given just how quickly the cryptocurrency market can turn. Thus, swing trading is no doubt one of the more riskier trading strategies to pursue.
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.
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).
No one actually knows how long this whole crypto thing will last but instead of losing sleep at night constantly checking token prices which have zero fundamentals behind them, I’d much rather invest in a real business that will make money whether Bitcoin prices go up or down. (Full disclosure: To satisfy my own curiosity, I do own a tiny amount of Bitcoin which won’t make me rich nor will it affect me if the whole space goes to zero).
Only invest what you can lose. During the recent crash in January 2018, hobby-investors got burned. Reports of frustration and losses came at the cost of broken monitors, smashed laptops, and heavy monetary losses. While the rules are in more particular order of importance, it’s safe to assume that this is the most important rule, the rule to rule the rules. As soon as your money is converted into cryptocurrency, consider it lost forever. There is absolutely no guarantee you can get it back. Losses don’t simply come from dips in the market; extraordinary factors such as hacks, bugs, and government regulation can mean you’ll never see any of your money again. If you are investing money you can’t afford to lose, you need to take a step back and re-evaluate your current financial situation, because what you’re about to do is an act of desperation. This includes: using credit cards, taking out mortgages, applying for loans, or selling everything and traveling the world (as glamorous as that sounds).