Bitcoin (BTC) has been engaged in a predictable up and down pattern where it absolutely crashes at the beginning of any year and then sky-rockets as the year nears its end. Bitcoin held steady at around $19,000 in December 2017, and then sure enough – crashed big time to around $6,000 at the beginning of 2018. At the time of writing, March 8th 2018, the price of Bitcoin is relatively stable between $10,000 and $12,000. In my opinion, the price will run again soon.
Watch the Order Book. The order book (found on all exchanges) can give you a good sense of what buy/sell orders are “on the books” (sitting on the market waiting to be bought or sold). If you see a lot of sell orders at a certain price and want to sell, you may aim to sell under that price. Likewise, if you are waiting for the price to drop to buy, look at the distribution of other people’s buy orders. Just watch out for artificial buy walls and sell walls (large orders that aren’t meant to fill). You’ll almost always find buy walls and sell walls at support and resistance levels.
LocalBitcoin is a P2P Bitcoin exchange with buyers and sellers in thousands of cities around the world. With LocalBitcoins, you can meet up with people in your local area and buy or sell bitcoins in cash, send money through PayPal, Skrill or Dwolla or arrange to deposit cash at a bank branch. LocalBitcoins only take a commission of 1% from the sellers who set their own exchange rates. To ensure trading is secure, LocalBitcoins takes a number of precautions. To start, the platform rates each trader with a reputation rank and publicly displays past activities. Also, once a trade is requested, the money is held on LocalBitcoins’ escrow service. After the seller confirms the trade is completed the funds are released. If something does happen to go wrong, LocalBitcoins has a support and conflict resolution team to resolve conflicts between buyers and sellers. Check out LocalBitcoins FAQ
Bitcoin is a volatile asset (relative to FIAT) and this fact should be taken into consideration, especially in the days when the Bitcoin value is moving sharply. Bitcoin and Altcoins have an inverse relationship in their value, i.e. when the value of Bitcoin rises then Altcoins are losing their Bitcoin value, and vice versa. When Bitcoin is volatile, our conditions for trading are kind of foggy. During fog we can’t see much ahead, so it is better to have close targets for our trades or not to trade at all.
For myself, and most crypto traders, the goal is to increase the amount of Bitcoin we own. I don’t care about the US dollar, at least not directly. When I look at the price of a cryptocurrency, I look at it in terms of BTC. For example, right now the price of 1 ETH (Ethereum) is 0.049 BTC. My trades are based on that price, not the fact that 1 ETH is $304.
The reader is likely the sort of person that reads up on investing but most people who enter markets do so without reading a book. They invest like the old pilots of early flight. They just get in the plane and take off and then figure out what to do next. That is not often going to end well. The legions of crypto traders and investors are simply not doing their homework in the same way as dotcom investors hadn’t got a clue about the technology they were investing in or about the market itself they were putting so much of their wealth into.
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).
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).