Bitcoin isn’t just an unknown commodity: it will always be an unknown commodity. Bitcoin doesn’t have the fundamentals that investors typically use to analyze an asset. Most stocks or bonds can be analyzed based on some trait of the instrument. Stocks have P/E ratios and dividends, for example, while bonds have return percentages. Bitcoin has no fundamentals that can be easily measured.
A common beginners’ mistake is to look at the coin’s price rather than the market cap. Just as you asses a company by its market cap performance, which is calculated by multiplying the number of shares times a single share’s price, the same is done for Altcoins. The number of existing coins in circulation times the coin’s price. For a low price coin, such as Ripple, there is solely a psychological influence on the buyers. There is no difference whether one Ripple equals one dollar, and there are a billion Ripples out, or if one Ripple equals a thousand dollars and there are million units of Ripple. Therefore, from now on, when examining coins for investment on CoinMarketCap, look mainly at the more substantial figure, which is the market cap, and focus less on the price for one coin.
Then there are the fundamental strategies. Some people say that fundamentals are the valuation of crypto, but it is challenging to value a cryptocurrency as there is no chart giving the earnings and the assets to derive a valuation from. Cryptocurrency is all about speculation, with one guy saying it’s worth a high price that reaches into the stratosphere while another says it’s worth squat.
On the contrary, bitcoin has been widely used for international payments and is way more efficient compared to traditional cross-border remittance. According to Mr. Smith, “They use Western Union, traditional banks; It is slow and it is expensive. And there are people that can stop you from sending that money, whether that’s good or bad. With bitcoin, I can send money. It’s fast. It’s cheap. And frankly, no one can stop me.“
Lots of traders use bots (you might want to as well if you have the chops). To the next point, lots of traders use trading bots. Some are white hat; some will try to get you to make bad trades. Keep an eye out for bots. If you are using a bot, be careful, there are bots designed to exploit poorly programmed bots. In general, if you don’t have a solid grasp of TA and crypto trading, skip the bot. They are only as useful as the strategies they run.
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.
Now, about mean reversion. When looking back at charts for cryptocurrency trading from the times gone by, most of the plays have been in the momentum category. If we have the condition for mean reversion with a range-bound environment, one should be very cautious when we have momentum. If everyone else is buying and you’re trying to sell you are going to get run over as if standing on the tracks in front of a freight train.
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).