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Watch out for Spoofers and market manipulation. Welcome to the wild west, the sheriff is out-of-town, enter the saloon at your own risk. Spoofing caused the flash crash of 2010 in the regulated stock market, and that happens times 10 in crypto. A too-good-to-be-true price spike or dip is often the work of either market manipulators, bots, or both. Know what to avoid and what to look for by reading our article on cryptocurrency and spoofing.
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.
NOTE: Once you have Coinbase down, try moving onto GDAX. It’s, in overly simple terms, like a better version of Coinbase with lower fees. Coinbase operates both platforms, and both use the same logins. GDAX is the preferred exchange of many Bitcoin traders in the U.S. It caters to both pros and novices. After you master that, then consider exchanges like Bittrex and Binance.
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.