Developing a facility with TA takes time, but there are good, free resources available to help beginners get acquainted with the basics. As a place to start, consider checking out the free educational material on BabyPips.com. While the site is focused on forex rather than cryptocurrency, its lessons on TA are relatively applicable to day trading BTC, too.
I wrote the following simple guide to investing in Bitcoin and Crypto Assets back in Jan '17. After publishing version 3 of my strategy I felt a need to review and update it to reflect any changes in my approach, but upon review, I found very little needed changing. If you are new to Crypto, take your time to read this and the strategy, if you have any questions then feel free to get in touch, and I will do my best to get back to you.
Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.
If you are a big player, keep in mind you can distort the price (thus, you might actually want to margin trade… or like, spot trade and help us lift the market 😀 ). Volume is decent on any given crypto exchange, but this isn’t like trading the S&P. If you are playing with 50BTC, and you try to buy or sell that much at once, you can distort the market temporarily. When you watch buy and sell orders in an exchange, you’ll notice that when sells ball up the price tends to drop and when buys ball up the price tends to go up. If you try to buy or sell too hard, you can drag the price up or down a little. If you have insanely deep pockets, you can accidentally be dipping your toes in at-best-grey-area behavior. It is much better etiquette to buy and sell in amounts that are average for the book you are buying on. When a high-level investor buys ten billion worth of a stock or sells, they do it in chunks (to avoid dropping or spiking the price of the asset). TIP: Also watch out for shady people pumping or dumping a coin by doing this. What looks like a lot of buyers could be one person or a group messing with the price. The lack of regulation is a blessing and a curse with crypto, as is the relatively low volume compared to other asset types.
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EDIT: #10 Bonus (Suggested by @kerstenwirth ) — always check the ticker symbol. Ticker symbols are not universal, and may vary from exchange to exchange in rare cases. Those cases, though, can come back to bite you. For example, Bitcoin Cash trades on some exchanges as BCH, while it trades on others as BCC. BCC is also the ticker symbol for BitConnect, which was recently outted as a Ponzi Scheme. If you bought BCC under the impression was Bitcoin Cash, you would’ve lost a lot of money.
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.
To be able to take short positions, we need to understand margin trading. Trading on margin means we are trading with borrowed money. On exchanges like Poloniex, we can trade Bitcoin with a handful of coins (there are fewer coins offered for margin trading) with 2.5x leverage. That is, if we own 1 BTC, we can borrow up to 2.5 BTC to trade with. To be clear, this is not 2.5 BTC that we own. Now, on a trade that nets us 10% profit, we are bringing home .25 BTC instead of .1 BTC.
If you are doing any active trading, set stop losses. For any coins not in your medium or long-term holds, always set stop losses. This is important for several reasons — the most obvious is mitigating your losses. But more importantly, you force yourself to decide on a point of acceptable loss, and because you now have a reference point, you are able to measure your effectiveness to keep or adjust for future trades. Sometimes, during a market dip, altcoins can plummet, and stop losses can lead to profitability by automatically selling for fiat that you can use to re-enter at lower prices.