In this complex chart, you can see the current Bitcoin prices in the upper third. The green lines indicate a rising price, red lines indicate a falling price. The thin blue threads above and below the candle-shaped price indicators are the Bollinger Band. If the candle touches the top, then the value is “overbought” and will likely fall. If it touches the bottom, then the value is “oversold” and will likely fall.
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.
For instance, you might have a day trading strategy that exploits differentials in tightly correlated cryptocurrencies: BTC and ETH, for example. If you think that BTC and ETH are tightly correlated and you see that ETH is disproportionately low, you might buy ETH with the expectation that ETH will rise up again to restore its typical relationship with BTC. However, this might be a case of contagion: the whole market is going down. In this case, your technical analysis could be your downfall: you’ve just bought into a position that’s still going down.
It’s even crazier that traditional strategies that are used in valuing stocks don’t exactly apply to the crypto market. For instance, when valuing stocks, one can do a fundamental analysis by using ratios such as the price to earnings ratio P/E, debt ratios among others. These are concepts that don’t apply to the crypto markets. So can you value cryptos and make money in this highly volatile, but lucrative market? The answer is YES. Here are 4 tips on how to do so.
It is important investors realize not all exchanges and brokers that offer delivery of the underlying Bitcoin are created equal. Some firms have fallen victim to theft by hackers who have stolen Bitcoin belonging to clients whose money was held at the exchanges. Meanwhile, other Bitcoin exchanges have gone bankrupt (as in the case of Mt. Gox), as a result of fraud or mismanagement.
If you’re new to cryptocurrency, you were probably sucked into this rabbit hole for one of three reasons: You heard about the hype regarding Bitcoin, Litecoin or another very popular coin and you wanted to be one of the first adopters of a potentially world-changing piece of technology. You saw the returns that people were getting from cryptocurrencies and heard…
Consider setting stop orders after you buy. Did I really just wait to point #37 to commit a whole tip to stops?! They are super important for everything except maybe building a long position over time. A stop order will create a market order when a price is hit. This means stop orders are subject to slippage and fees, but this also means you can calculate your risk. As a very general rule of thumb, one might want to ladder stops when not at a computer to protect their investment. Sure, crypto markets are thin (low volume), and that means prices could dip and eat all your stops (super depressing when this happens). However, most of the time we don’t get very deep and temporary dips, and thus most of the time stops will work as intended and simply save your investment in the case of a downturn. I.e., use stops, but be careful and understand the risks.
So it comes as no surprise that this new generation are exhibiting all the same traits and mistakes that sucked the previous generation of new investors and generations before them through the financial wood chipper. Now a funny event in the last few days made me think running over some classic errors of judgement for this new generation might have some benefit.
Coinbase/GDAX will want more personal information than you’ll feel comfortable giving them; there is no way around this. The more information you give them, ID, Bank account, credit card, etc., the higher your limit and the less restricted your account will be. Don’t let this scare you off from becoming a cryptocurrency investor. Every other exchange user went through this process; you have to also. Since you have to trust someone, Coinbase/GDAX is a good bet.
Dollar-wise, as you can see – Litecoin’s price has increased along with Bitcoin (but less). A reminder about the majority of those quoting “Bitcoin has increased greatly, I’ll buy Litecoin”, buy Litecoin with FIAT (or by converting to Bitcoin, then to Litecoin right after – which is the same). Therefore, learning from the graph yet maintaining the same behavior, when Bitcoin’s value drops, Altcoins’ USD value will drop as well (although as a percentage it will probably be less, but it will still go down).
Leverage is money that a broker loans you. Unless you’re a professional trader, you should stay away from leverage until you’ve learned everything you can learn about making trades with your own money. While leverage can help you make greater profits with short cryptocurrency movements, it can also amplify your losses when the trade takes a wrong turn.
Especially for traders dealing with fairly large amounts, multiple, small entries and exits over a fixed period of time (dollar-cost averaging) can help obtain a good price for an asset over an extended period of time. Consider using time-weighted average price trading: specify n, t, and p such that you buy or sell n of a cryptocurrency over t hours for an average price of p.
Writer and hustler. Adventurer and vagabond. Master of the handstand pushup. Conqueror of mountains, survivor of deserts and crusader for cheap escapades. Will has been on the road for nine years, travelling to far-flung lands on a budget. Today, he runs a number of online ventures. He is passionate about teaching others how to ditch their desks, hit the road and achieve real freedom by earning money online. Currently, Will is on a four year journey from the UK to Papua New Guinea; travelling through truly special countries such as Iran, Pakistan and Bhutan whilst running his businesses online.
One fact of trading that’s best to make peace with is that you’re never going to perfectly time your buys and sells. What are the chances you’re going to purchase at the exact bottom and sell at the exact top, coupled with putting enough capital into the trade to make a dent in your wealth. Trading is not cut in dry in the sense that there is only one set path to take. Every person has different goals in investing and trading, and cryptocurrency trading is similar in that regard.
You could try this instead: Be sure to keep reading crypto news and price analyses — not just staring at charts. Even though you shouldn’t give in to the FOMO and FUD generated by many crypto articles, you still need the news in order to stay apprised of market conditions. Also consider setting stop-loss orders to ensure that your losses will be mitigated in the event of something like contagion.
When you buy/sell via an exchange, try to use limit orders (try not to use market orders). On some exchanges, like GDAX, limit orders have lower fees than market orders. On GDAX, limit orders are free as long as they don’t fill immediately. Meanwhile, market orders result in a .3% fee, which is better than the 1.4% that Coinbase charges but not as good as 0%, especially if you are day trading. If your exchange rewards you for using certain order types, aim to use them.
We’ve come a long ways in our path to becoming crypto traders, but there are still some very important things to learn. So far, we’ve learned how to do a fundamental analysis of a cryptocurrency, and that it’s important to do this so that we fully understand them before investing. But as traders, we need to understand what kinds of things tell us when should buy or sell. We need to understand technical analysis.
In the first week of January 2018 popular exchanges like Binance, Bitfinex, Bittrex have shut down new users registrations to maintain the quality of exchanges. This is when the Gate.io name popped up and after trying for almost 1 month, this exchange seemed to be a solid pick for 2018. The mobile app is fully functional and lets you also add fiat money using AliPay account. You can trade BTC, ETH, USDT, QTUM for any other crypto of your choice.
There is also an Ethereum-based ETF pending regulatory review, and many such products are likely to follow. For now, there are just a few options available. For example, ticker symbol GBTC is one such security listed on the US-based OTC Markets Exchange, and is available at major online brokerages such as Fidelity, providing stock market investors a way to gain exposure to Bitcoin without buying the underlying or using a derivative.
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).
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.
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.
The next thing we’ll need to do is deposit fiat currency into our account. The easiest way to do this is by adding a bank account. Once you’ve initiated the deposit, it will take 4 business days to appear in your account. Kind of a bummer, I know; but the idea is to only need to do this once, as we’ll be growing this initial investment day by day with our trades.
The cryptocurrency market is a difficult environment to navigate. Its volatility can be a boon for some and a curse for others. However, what is clear is that there are a variety of trading strategies that one can employ to try and ‘beat the market’. Regardless of the strategy that one chooses to utilize, one must acknowledge the risk that comes with trading in this market. As such, it is important to not invest more than one is willing to lose, and also to make sure that thorough research is always performed before executing any trade.
Mean reversion is where the investor assumes that the price of a coin will remain at an average price level over time. Upward trends, and downwards trends, are expected to revert back to the average over the long haul. This means you need to know the charts well and be able to figure out what the average price for the cryptocurrency you intend to trade in. When the coins are less than the estimated average that is when one wants to make a few purchases. When the price is higher than the average it is expected to drop back down to the mean price and that would be the time to sell. Of course, figuring out just when to sell is the trick, and that is where the gamble comes in.
Don’t go downloading random wallets or clicking on random links, but do accept that you have to share information with exchanges. There is some malware out there, and you need to do research and be careful. However, for all you want to protect your privacy, you have to share your info with exchanges you want to use. So share what you have to and download apps as needed, but be careful and do research.
Disclaimer: I am not a professional (or even a veteran) trader. I am an intermediate trader with a passion for cryptocurrency. I am disclosing my own ventures in crypto because cryptocurrency trading does make up a chunk of my online income and I want to be 100% transparent with you when it comes to making money online. Investing in cryptocurrencies carries a risk – you may lose some or all of your investment. Always do your own research and draw your own conclusions. Again – this article is aimed purely at advising; draw your own conclusions on whether cryptocurrency trading is right for you.
So let’s take our hypothetical 1 BTC from before and take a short position on Ethereum. We are able to borrow 2.5 BTC worth of ETH and sell it. 30 minutes later, the price of ETH has plummeted 10%. Now we can close our short position, buying back 2.5 BTC worth of ETH; except now, since the price has dropped, we are buying more ETH than what we sold. Our borrowed coin can be payed back and we take the rest as profit!
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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.