Hold some coins, range trade some coins, keep money on hand for a dip, and set some high-ball and low-ball orders. If you want to ensure you are happy no matter which direction the winds blow, then be set-up to benefit from whatever comes next. If you have some coins you hold, some coins you trade daily or weekly, some money set aside for a dip, and some high-ball and low-ball orders set, then you stand to benefit regardless of what happens. It can be tempting to cash out of crypto or go all in, but both of those can be disappointing if the market goes in the opposite direction you were hoping for. It isn’t always the most profitable move to run a strategy like this, but it can help you to gain experience and have something to be excited about in almost any market. TIP: Note that diversifying your strategy and holdings eats into profits, but offers flexibility. It is a trade-off.
The basic idea of this strategy is, “get out until the carnage is over.” When the crypto-market is under fire, non-crypto assets will appreciate in value compared to cryptocurrencies. Moving some of your portfolio over to fiat currencies (or something else) will protect it from a declining cryptocurrency market. This is similar to how investors buy gold as a safe haven in times of stock market turbulence. When the storm is over, you can buy back your assets at a lower price. It’s always a good idea to keep a diversified portfolio.
If you are going long, consider building an average position (for example via dollar cost averaging or value averaging). There is no better way to avoid making a poorly timed trade than buying incrementally instead of all at once and thereby buying an asset at its “average” price over time. If you don’t have a really solid grasp of technical indicators and the way the volatile crypto markets work, consider averaging out of positions as well. Averaging isn’t just financially conservative, it is important psychologically. Taking too big of a position at once can be emotionally difficult to deal with (and can thus lead to bad decision making) given the historic volatility of the cryptocurrency market.
Daytraders try to utilize special short-term course fluctuations. In the crypto space, this brings them profits between one and three percent. On other values they lose money. It’s almost a zero-sum game. Allegedly, good day traders average one to two percent in profit per day. We tried it and we are evidently worse than the statistical probability.
The cryptocurrency market is insanely volatile in 2018. You can make a fortune in a moment and lose it in the next whether you trade Bitcoin, another coin, or the GBTC Bitcoin trust. Consider mitigating risks, hedging, and not “going long” with all your investable funds. TIP: If you trade only the top coins by market cap (that is coins like Bitcoin Ethereum), or GBTC, then the chances of losing everything overnight are slim (not impossible, but slim). Other cryptocurrencies are riskier (but can offer quick gains on a good day).
On cryptocurrency mining: As noted, one way to invest in cryptocurrency is via cryptocurrency mining. That is a valid way to start investing if say you love computer gaming and need a new rig and want to invest in small amounts of cryptocurrency while maybe making back some of the cost of the rig (and maybe even breaking even) but that is an entirely different subject. The average investor will want to trade USD for cryptocurrency on an exchange and avoid the complexities and investments of mining. In all cases, unless you already have a good rig with a great graphics card, you’ll need to put down USD upfront anyway.
TIP: There are a few sides to cryptocurrency. 1. you can trade and invest in it, 2. you can use it for transactions (anywhere a coin type is accepted), 3. you can break out a graphics processing unit and some software and mine coins (see how to mine coins). Those are all valid and interesting, but with that in mind, this page is focused on “trading” cryptocurrency (and therefore also investing in it). With that said, even if you want to do the other things with cryptocurrencies, you still need to be set up for trading.
For instance, suppose you’re day trading Bitcoin and have a rule that you’ll close your position if its price hits 10% over the price for which you bought it. Bitcoin hits that marker so, like a good day trader, you follow your rule strictly and sell. But then, unexpectedly the price just keeps going up as the market continues to recognize Bitcoin’s value. By focusing on day trading, you missed out on greater potential profits.
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).
EDIT: #10 Bonus (Suggested by @kerstenwirth ) — always check the ticker symbol. Ticker symbols are not universal, and may vary from exchange to exchange in rare cases. Those cases, though, can come back to bite you. For example, Bitcoin Cash trades on some exchanges as BCH, while it trades on others as BCC. BCC is also the ticker symbol for BitConnect, which was recently outted as a Ponzi Scheme. If you bought BCC under the impression was Bitcoin Cash, you would’ve lost a lot of money.