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.
You cannot “buy the dips” if you have all your money to invest already invested. LET US STRESS THIS POINT! The point should be obvious, but it bears repeating over and over. It is tempting to go all-in, but that limits your options. Consider always having some funds to the side to buy an unforeseen downturn. Even if you want to “go all-in” on crypto… leave yourself at least a little money to the side just in case. If you are all-in and the price takes a hard downturn, it takes lots of options off the table. It is hard not to go all-in when a coin goes down 60% – 80% over the course of weeks or months, but sometimes they go down even more than that, and it is wise to always prepare for the worst case.
Watch out for Spoofers and market manipulation. Welcome to the wild west, the sheriff is out-of-town, enter the saloon at your own risk. Spoofing caused the flash crash of 2010 in the regulated stock market, and that happens times 10 in crypto. A too-good-to-be-true price spike or dip is often the work of either market manipulators, bots, or both. Know what to avoid and what to look for by reading our article on cryptocurrency and spoofing.
The screenshot below is a basic representation of these concepts, where the horizontal lines roughly mark zones where price either finds a ceiling or a floor, and generally, in an uptrend, past resistance zones can become supports later on (notice how candles earlier failed to breach the second-last horizontal line, but later bounce off from the same) and in downtrends, support zones can become resistance.
Cex.io provides a wide range of services for using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The platform lets users easily trade fiat money with cryptocurrencies and conversely cryptocurrencies for fiat money. For those looking to trade bitcoins professionally, the platform offers personalized and user-friendly trading dashboards and margin trading. Alternatively, CEX also offers a brokerage service which provides novice traders an extremely simple way to buy bitcoin at prices that are more or less in line with the market rate. The Cex.io website is secure and intuitive and cryptocurrencies can be stored in safe cold storage. Check out the Cex.io FAQ
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I think the simplest place to buy, sell, and store coins is Coinbase (and our tutorial below will help you get set up with that), but you can only buy, sell, and store Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash on Coinbase. If you are serious about trading cryptocurrency, you’ll need another exchange like Coinbase’s GDAX, Bittrex, Binance, or Kraken (and you’ll likely want to find a wallet to store your coins in). See a top 5 list of cryptocurrency exchanges and the Best Bitcoin Exchanges ranked (those above are my picks).
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).
Use small buy-ins, and don’t margin trade or short unless you know your stuff. The smaller your bet is compared to your total investable funds, the less risk you are taking on every bet (one of many insanely important things we are covering here). Putting it all on black is tempting, but then if it comes up red, you have nothing left to invest. Live to fight another day by learning to manage your buy-in size. As a rule of thumb invest 1% or less per buy-in (yes, that small, really; losing 100% of 1% leaves you with 99%, losing 1% of 100% leaves you with 99%. Small bids offer the same bet, but with way less risk). Put reward aside and practice risk management and capital preservation until you are very experienced (and thus, by logical extension: don’t margin trade or short unless you know what you are doing, as those leveraged bets magnify your risk by their very nature). See Kelly criterion.
Arbitrage trading can be described as the simultaneous purchase and sale of an asset in order to profit from discrepancies in its price. In other words, arbitrage traders will purchase an asset in one market, and then sell that same asset at a higher price in another market. In the context of the cryptocurrency market, arbitrage trading might resemble something like this:
Founded in 2011, Kraken is the largest Bitcoin exchange in euro volume and liquidity and is a partner in the first cryptocurrency bank. Kraken lets you buy and sell bitcoins and trade between bitcoins and euros, US Dollars, Canadian Dollars, British Pounds and Japanese Yen. It’s also possible to trade digital currencies other than Bitcoin like Ethereum, Monero, Ethereum Classic, Augur REP tokens, ICONOMI, Zcash, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Ripple and Stellar/Lumens. For more experienced users, Kraken offers margin trading and a host of other trading features. Kraken is a great choice for more experienced traders. Check out the Kraken FAQ
A quick look at the Bitcoin price over the last few years reveals a strong upward trend, but also times where the price was over and undervalued. Since most buyers and sellers are regular people and not professional traders, the cryptocurrency market is extremely sensitive to media hype and news stories. When the news is good, people rush to buy overvalued cryptocurrencies. When something bad happens, they panic and sell their coins at below their true value.
Don’t zoom in too much on the price trends of the moment; don’t sweat the small things. It’s easy to zoom in and get stressed when Litecoin goes from $220 to $213 (or something like that). However, these little movements only matter if you are day trading large amounts of coin relative to your total investable funds. Zoom out a bit and look at trends over larger periods of time. Don’t think of that $213 relative only to $220, think of it relative to the $100 Litecoin was at a few months back, the $400 it was at after that, and the $100 it was at just a little while ago. From that perspective, a fluctuation between $220 and $213 is nearly insignificant. I will rarely make trades on timeframes shorter than 2hr candles, and I generally am looking at 6 hr and 1 day candles, because I value my sanity and am focused on the long term trajectory of crypto. That only changes in very specific instances and with purpose. If you zoom in too much, you lose sight of overarching trends (many of which are actually stronger indicators of what is actually happening).
While these rules are by no means the only lessons you need, they’re definitely a great starting point. Sometimes, though, things are easier said than done, such as watching your portfolio value plummet and still having the iron willpower of resisting the sell button. One of the best solutions I’ve found to this was to join a community of like-minded cryptocurrency investors. Educated and smart crypto-traders, as well as the community members, will all be there to support your efforts and will be holding with you in the rough times.