One interesting development that we have seen with the advent of blockchain technology is the cryptocurrency market. Blockchain has spawned an entirely novel marketplace of investible digital assets. Like with any other existing traditional markets such as stocks or bonds, the cryptocurrency market is ripe with opportunities for those that are able to capitalise on them. There are a variety of different trading strategies that one can take to ‘beat the market’, here are a few that are most commonly employed.
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.
Daniel Defoe, the author of Robinson Crusoe, wrote a pamphlet in 1719, “The Anatomy of Exchange Alley or, a system of stock jobbing. Proving that scandalous trade, as it is now carry'd on, to be knavish in its private practice, and treason in its publick.” Does the sentiment sound familiar? I have republished some books from the turn of the 19th century with a preface saying basically, “Do you notice the stock market is basically unchanged even after more than a 100 years of historical turmoil?” The scams and attitudes of the market and its participants are still so recognizable after over 100 years you are left to wonder if the billions spent on compliance on the worlds bourses are not a complete waste of money.
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The crypto world is a uniquely perfect environment for arbitrage. As William Belk argues here, the combination of it’s distributed nature, regulation, security, availability, and anonymity factors means that the marketplace has many inefficiencies, and that “arbitrage opportunities will continue indefinitely.” For example, some markets pay a premium for security, geographical location, or simply because they don’t know they can get it cheaper somewhere else. In some cases, the price discrepancies across different exchanges can be as much as 43%.
Cryptocurrency exchanges are websites where you can buy, sell or exchange cryptocurrencies for other digital currency or traditional currency like US dollars or Euro. For those that want to trade professionally and have access to fancy trading tools, you will likely need to use an exchange that requires you to verify your ID and open an account. If you just want to make the occasional, straightforward trade, there are also platforms that you can use that do not require an account.
Know thy taxes. Speaking of legal tender like the USD, it is what you use to pay taxes. If you don’t understand Bitcoin’s tax implications, brush up on them before you start power trading. One could get them into a situation where they make money on paper, but end the year down in Bitcoin without taking their loss, and thus end up owing a bunch of money they don’t have in taxes. Those who don’t have investment experience can get in trouble if they don’t understand the somewhat complex implications of trading crypto.
As you know, the focus of this guide is all about trading cryptocurrencies, but there are other ways to get a hand in the pot. Some people choose to buy a cryptocurrency and forget about it, much like you would do with some stock in say, Amazon. Other’s are actually investing through the stock market via the Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC). If you are a firm believer in the future of Bitcoin, both are perfectly fine ways to go about it.
Backed by trusted investors and used by millions of customers globally, Coinbase is one of the most popular and well-known brokers and trading platforms in the world. The Coinbase platform makes it easy to securely buy, use, store and trade digital currency. Users can purchase bitcoins, Ether and now Litecoin from Coinbase through a digital wallet available on Android & iPhone or through trading with other users on the company’s Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX) subsidiary. GDAX currently operates in the US, Europe, UK, Canada, Australia, and Singapore. GDAX does not currently charge any transfer fees for moving funds between your Coinbase account and GDAX account. For now, the selection of tradable currencies will, however, depend on the country you live in. Check out the Coinbase FAQ and GDAX FAQ
For example, if it was thought that things were getting very frothy, and most of the people who were getting in were just gamblers who were buying on credit, then that might be the time to cut loose using that as your signal rather than using a technical one. On the other side, if you have cryptocurrency that is just hammered to the floor with everyone thinking it’s dead and everyone’s out of it, one can use this opportunity to make a few purchases as a long-term investment and wait for the upturn.
The day I first heard about Bitcoin on Reddit, a friend had also called me to tell me about it. We spent most of our friendship talking about Ayn Rand and programming, so when we heard about a currency that was software and couldn’t be controlled by governments we were very interested. I purchased $600 worth of BTC and my friend and I planned on buying a mining rig.
Don’t invest blindy. There are people in this world who would sell a blind person a pair of glasses if they could make money. Those same people play in the cryptocurrency markets and use every opportunity to exploit less-informed investors. They’ll tell you what to buy or claim certain coins will moon, just to increase the prices so they can exit. Due to the highly speculative nature of the cryptocurrency markets today, a good investor will always do his or her own research in order to take full responsibility for the potential investment outcome. Information coming from even the best investor is, at best, great information, but never a promise, so you can still get burned.