And remember, you don’t have to buy a whole coin — you can buy fractions of coins. The top coins are expensive, so consider buying fractions of a coin to start if you don’t have a big bankroll. It has historically been a mistake to buy only ETH and LTC because BTC costs more. You should consider which one is most likely to increase in and retain value.
We did it! We made it through all the fundamentals needed to start trading cryptocurrency. I think you might agree that each individual concept on it’s own is not terribly complicated. You might even be thinking: “This sounds really easy! I’m going to be a millionaire by Christmas!” It’s great to be ambitious about getting started, but slow your roll. It’s going to take some work to put all of these concepts together, and the only way to do it is to start trading.
Read Part 2 of BTCManager’s series, ‘A Guide to Trading Cryptocurrency,’ here. In Part 3, we look again at another complicated trading style that focuses on your inner self and human behavior. Markets are chaotic. Cryptocurrency markets, even more so. But just because the markets are random and sentiment can shift rapidly does not mean you cannot profit from fluctuations…
I think the simplest place to buy, sell, and store coins is Coinbase (and our tutorial below will help you get set up with that), but you can only buy, sell, and store Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash on Coinbase. If you are serious about trading cryptocurrency, you’ll need another exchange like Coinbase’s GDAX, Bittrex, Binance, or Kraken (and you’ll likely want to find a wallet to store your coins in). See a top 5 list of cryptocurrency exchanges and the Best Bitcoin Exchanges ranked (those above are my picks).
How often will you buy or sell? Some people want to be day traders, but we’ve shown that holding could be the best bet. The general rule of thumb is that the longer of a time horizon you plan on holding for the less risk you incur. This rule carries over into the realm of cryptocurrency from stock investing. However, here may be times to simply cut and run. Declines due to unforeseen structural issues are an indicator to cut losses and sell out.
Active traders looking to speculate on Bitcoin over the short or medium term may find that trading CFD/derivatives on Bitcoin using an online forex broker will provide them with 24hour trading, potentially lower margin, and the ability to go either long or short. Because of counter-party risk, choosing a broker is just as important as finding one with the best trading tools or commission rates.
For stock market investors, investing in Bitcoin indirectly through a listed security such as an ETF, ETP, or trust may be suitable for those looking at taking a passive position. Active traders might find the limited trading hours and potential lack of volume a limiting factor that could hinder their trading. Overall, using listed securities that invest, track, or hold Bitcoin can be a viable alternative to diversify away from the risks of margin trading or safeguarding private keys when buying the underlying.
The market is so volatile that big movements up and down are pretty common and you can capitalise on this through swing trading. I recommend choosing a group of coins to be in and then sticking to swing trading in those coins rather than jumping constantly between different cryptocurrencies – it does help to have an understanding of what different coins do and how much volatility can be expected and you will gain that understanding with time. Good luck!
Always pay attention to Bitcoin. Most altcoins (every cryptocurrency except Bitcoin) are pegged more closely to Bitcoin than Asian currencies were to the USD during the Asian Financial Crisis. If Bitcoin price pump drastically, altcoins price can go down as people try to exit altcoins to ride the BTC profits; inversely, if Bitcoin prices dump drastically, altcoin prices can go down, too, as people exit altcoins to exchange back into fiat. The best times for altcoin growth appear when Bitcoin shows organic growth or decline, or remains stagnant in price.