Bitcoin and Altcoins trading is like a raging river. It is a non-stop, rapidly changing process, more often than not accompanied by significant consequential events. If you swim against the current, you might disappear completely. In order to improve trading skills and market understanding, it is best to learn from other’s mistakes. The following article was written based on major experience in the crypto field and after having thousands of crypto trade positions over the past years. And of course, mistakes were made along the way. Shall we begin?
There are some people who believe that Bitcoin is the only blockchain based protocol which has value and that all others will fail. These people are known as Bitcoin maximalists and their belief is based on economics, specifically Austrian economics, and that the technology which is great for Bitcoin is not useful for anything else. I am more open minded and believe that there are other applications of the technology which will create sustainable ecosystems but I could be proved wrong here. It is important to spend time doing your own research and building up your own view on where the technology may be used.
As mentioned above, get ready for tracking and research. If you want to be successful, track the latest cryptocurrency news, ranking and key indicators daily. Join the discussion threads on Reddit and Telegram. And don’t be afraid to ask fellow traders questions. If you look at those discussion threads, you will see that it is a very engaged and helpful community. This will help you to make smarter decisions. But don’t do the FOMO trade (Fear Of Missing Out). Don’t be caught in the fear of missing out the next big opportunity in the crypto space.
Good traders acknowledge their mistakes, and more importantly – analyze and learn from them, thus improving their skills for understanding the market. So which kind of trader are you? Did you find yourself somewhere in the article? We would love to hear on the comments section below, and you are welcome to share this article with whoever you see as relevant.
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.
Dad Advice: Don’t invest more than you can afford to lose. No really, there will be many great investments in your lifetime, there has been in Bitcoins lifetime. Bitcoin doesn’t cost $225 anymore. The chances that you’ll never have to work again if you invest your life savings in Bitcoin aren’t non-existent, but they aren’t as good as they used to be. If Bitcoin ends up down, you’ll be hodling the bag while others are on to better and brighter pastures.
An additional common mistake is searching for crashed coins, in accordance to their value against the Bitcoin, hoping they will return to their glory prices. So newsflash – there are coins which are light years away from their peak levels. Take Aurora for example; in March 2014 an all-time high price of 0.14 Bitcoin for one Aurora was recorded. As of the time of writing, Aurora trades at a 99.9% discount – 0.00014 Bitcoins. Could the (damned) Aurora make a move upwards 1000x? You’ll never know. You surely can’t assume a coin being lower than its peak price is an opportunity rather than a falling knife. There are also coins which disappeared and slowly got out of continuous trading – a scenario defiantly worth considering (especially with the low-cap and volume altcoins).
In 2015 and the beginning of 2016, when Bitcoin held solid – as solid as Bitcoin can be – shuffling around $300 per one BTC, the game was trading Altcoins in order to gain more Bitcoin. It was expected that Bitcoin would grow higher in the future (the Pygmalion effect). Having a rather volatile base asset, such as Bitcoin, raises our need to compare our portfolio performance both in terms of its Bitcoin’s value and its dollar’s value. Many traders decreased the number of Bitcoin they are holding during the past year (hey, and it wasn’t hard when Ethereum got cut 70% from its Bitcoin all-time high…) although it had a nice dollar yield. Bitcoin’s growth made a lot of money for the crypto market, causing its total market cap to increase 30 times during the last year! As traders, it is important to keep Bitcoin as your base asset, but also not to forget the dollar value, and to take profit sometimes. You should always see the bigger picture – crypto is only one tier of your investment options. There are also the stock markets, real estate, bonds and many more investment opportunities. It is important to spread the risks among the crypto portfolio, as well as in the whole household investment portfolio.
Don’t FOMO. This is a spot that people most frequently lose money on. A dash of manipulation, two tablespoons of media hype, a cup of CME and CBOE announcements, and a generous handful of FOMO drove Bitcoin prices from $10,000 to $20,000 in December. Since that time, Bitcoin fell to a low of $9,000 and is currently sitting at around $11,000. It’s easy to look back and say, “if only I waited one month, then I could’ve bought at $9,000 instead of waiting for Bitcoin to hit $20,000 again for me to break even.” But the reality is, the combination of 1) being greedy, 2) investing blindly, and 3) FOMO were likely large contributors to the purchase at an all-time-high. Even in the crazy world of cryptocurrency, if a coin pumps that quickly, it will correct — it’s a matter of time. Speculative pumps are almost always followed by dips. While trying to jump onto a train going full speed sounds like something straight out of a James Bond movie, I’m sure most of us can agree we would probably save some limbs if we just waited for it at the next stop.