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.
A lot of people in the markets love tips. Ignore them, they will lead you astray. All information is incomplete, all trends can reverse at any time, don’t listen to tips, don’t take advice, don’t believe you are right, or that someone else knows anything. Instead, soak up every shred of information you can and filter it down and try to make sense of it. If it doesn’t make sense then leave that investment alone. Stock markets, commodity markets, crypto markets, they will all strip you bare if you let yourself be lead. If you are not ready to go it alone, then don’t go at all.
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.
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.
What’s important to consider as crypto evolves is to learn everything (or as much as possible) for yourself. Crypto coins all offer white papers to the public (though they’re not always easy to find). They’re for a scientific audience, but you’ve probably read worse if you have a university degree. Find them and read them. Don’t understand something, ask a question.
Learn Technical Analysis. Technical Analysis (TA) is the analyzing of price and volume data and trying to predict future trends based on that. If you know how to read a chart, you’ll be better able to understand how things like candles, moving averages, RSI, and the order book can clue you into good spots to buy and sell. Crypto defies logic all the time, but basic indicators are still helpful to understand. TIP: You don’t have to be good at TA, you can just follow others who are. Fibonacci support and resistance levels, moving averages (try 12, 26, 9 MACD on 4hr candles), RSI, and a few other popular indicators are vital to wrap your head around. All the pros use these, and all the big players have bots who run strategies based on these (complex versions of these at least). You can’t afford to ignore TA if you are going to trade crypto and not just invest in it. I suggest you get familiar with tradingview.com ASAP. See a basic TA strategy.
Ethereum hit the scene with the promise of using the blockchain for more than just currencies. You could build decentralized apps on top of Ethereum and even new currencies. In the summer of 2016 I decided to buy ETH at around $9. The day after I purchased Ethereum something called the DAO hack happened and the price dropped 50%. Unlike in 2011, I didn’t need the money I invested to cover any bills. I watched my Ethereum swing between $4 and $20 for about 8 months. I wondered if I could take advantage of those swings by buying when the price was low, selling when it was high, and buying back in when the price dipped again. Though I didn’t take any action on the thought, the idea lingered in my head.
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.
React to “the Mood of the Market,” But Otherwise Pick a Strategy and Stick With It. The market changes moods, and some strategies are better than others in a given market. So you’ll likely want to evolve your strategy as the market changes, and you learn. However, you’ll also likely want to avoid things like going long for most of the year, but then 9 months into your investment you start day trading when the market is down. Sometimes it can be tempting to change one’s strategy to adjust to the current market (for example if the market is bearish and trading in a tight range), however, this can get you in real trouble if you don’t make very careful moves. A long investor who starts going short will start realizing capital gains and will risk being in fiat if and when there is a recovery (recoveries, like corrections, can come on very quickly and without warning). If you do switch from long to short, make a commitment to yourself to buy back in upon a certain event occurring (like the 5 day EMA crossing the 50 day on 6 hr candles; something like that). I’ve hear countless stories of plans to buy back in, they often end with “but I didn’t,” those are the stories told in bull markets by very sad people.
So I decided to take a peek at github, here's what I saw 11,200 repositories for bitcoin vs 3,563 for ethereum. **for non technical folks - repositories are where developers are storing code for projects** However, you have to note that Bitcoin was released in January 2009 and Ethereum was released in July 2015. Total volume isn't the best measure, let's take a look at the languages used.