The act of speculating on cryptocurrency price movements via a contract for difference (CFD) trading account, or buying and selling the underlying coins via an exchange is known as cryptocurrency or crypto trading. CFD trading is a type of derivative that allows you to bet on Bitcoin (BTC) price changes without possessing the underlying currencies.
For example, you can go long (buy) if you believe the value of a cryptocurrency will rise, or short (sell) if you believe the value will fall. Both are leveraged instruments, which means that you only need a little deposit, known as margin trading crypto, to have total exposure to the underlying market. However, because your profit or loss is still determined based on the total size of your investment, leveraging trading crypto magnifies both earnings and losses.
Furthermore, cryptocurrency options are used by investors to reduce risk or increase market exposure. Crypto options trading refers to the “derivative” financial instrument that derives its value from the price of another asset — in this case, the underlying cryptocurrency.
Before even thinking about venturing into crypto trading, it is important that one has a comprehensive understanding of the assets and technologies involved. Bitcoin is the soil from which thousands of other cryptocurrencies have grown.
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As with stocks and other financial markets, trading cryptocurrency can be complex, involving a variety of components and requiring knowledge. Bitcoin launched in 2009 as the first crypto asset and remains the largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization and prevalence.
Over the years, however, an entire industry of other digital assets has come into existence with the assets being tradable for profit. All other cryptocurrencies that are not BTC are known as altcoins, the largest of which is Ether (ETH).
This guide will explain crypto trading strategies and familiarize you with crypto trading platforms and applications, the components of a trade, the styles of trading and the role of technical and fundamental analysis in creating a comprehensive trading strategy.
How to trade cryptocurrency for beginners
Many different approaches exist in terms of how to trade cryptocurrencies. In order to start trading cryptocurrencies, one first needs adequate knowledge of the subject. It is also critical to know the associated risks and the laws that may apply based on one’s jurisdiction and decisions should be made accordingly.
Sign up for a cryptocurrency exchange
You’ll need to open an account with a crypto exchange unless you already own cryptocurrency. The best crypto brokerages on the market include Coinbase, eToro and Gemini. All three of these services have a straightforward user interface and a wide range of altcoins to pick from.
To open an account with a crypto brokerage, you’ll need to supply personal identifying information just like you would with a stock brokerage. When creating an account, you’ll need to submit your address, date of birth, Social Security number (in the United States) and email address, among other things known as Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements.
Fund your account
You’ll need to connect your bank account once you’ve signed up with a crypto brokerage. Most cryptocurrency exchanges accept bank deposits via debit cards and wire transfers. Wire transfers are usually the most cost-effective way to fill your account and they’re accessible on Coinbase and Gemini.
Pick a crypto to invest in
The majority of cryptocurrency traders put their money into Bitcoin and Ether. However, trading utilizing technical indicators is possible because these cryptocurrencies move more predictably than smaller altcoins.
Many cryptocurrency investors put a portion of their money into altcoins. Although riskier than large-market cap cryptos, small mid-market cap cryptos have more significant upside potential.
You might try automatic crypto trading with software like Coinrule if you’re looking for a crypto trading strategy. Crypto trading bots implement a process designed to provide you with the most significant returns possible based on your investment objectives.
You can make money rapidly, keep your coins, or diversify your portfolio with crypto automated trading, which can provide you with a conservative, neutral, or aggressive way. You might even explore trading cryptocurrency actively on some sites while automating trading on others.
Store your cryptocurrency
If you’re actively trading BTC, you’ll need to keep your funds on the exchange in order to access them. For example, you should purchase a Bitcoin wallet if you’re buying cryptocurrency to hold for the medium to long term.
Software wallets and hardware wallets are two types of cryptocurrency wallets. Both are safe, but hardware wallets provide the most protection because they keep your cryptocurrency on a physical device that is not connected to the internet.
Basics of cryptocurrency trading
Bitcoin’s value is determined second-by-second and day-by-day by a market that never sleeps. As an autonomous digital asset whose value is determined by an open market, Bitcoin presents unique challenges around volatility that most currencies do not face.
Thus, it is important for newcomers to have some literacy of how crypto-asset markets work so that they can safely navigate the markets, even intermittently, and get the most value out of their participation in the crypto trading economy.
Bitcoin trading can range in scale and complexity from a simple transaction, such as cashing out to a fiat currency like the U.S. dollar, to using a variety of trading pairs to profitably ride the market in order to grow one’s investment portfolio. Of course, as a crypto trade increases in size and complexity, so does a trader’s risk exposure.
First, let’s go over some basic concepts.
Structure of a crypto trade
A cryptocurrency trade consists of a buyer and a seller. Since there are two opposing sides to a trade — a purchase and a sale — someone is bound to gain more than the other. Hence, trading is inherently a zero-sum game: There is a winner and there is a loser. Having a basic understanding of how the cryptocurrency markets operate can help minimize potential loss and optimize for potential gain.
When a price is agreed upon between a buyer and seller, the trade is executed (via an exchange) and the market valuation for the asset is set. For the most part, buyers tend to set orders at a lower price than sellers. This creates the two sides of an order book.
When there are more buy orders for crypto than sell orders, the price usually goes up, as there’s more demand for the asset. Conversely, when more people are selling than buying, the price goes down. In many exchange interfaces, buys and sales are represented in different colors. This is to give the trader a quick indication of the state of the market at a given moment.
You may have heard the common adage in trading: “Buy low, sell high.” This saying can be difficult to navigate in that high and low prices can be relative, although the adage does give a basic representation of the incentives of buyers and sellers in a marketplace.
Simply put, if you want to purchase something, you want to spend the least amount possible. If you want to sell something, you want to make as much out of the deal as possible. While this is generally good wisdom to follow, there is also the added dimension of longing an asset vs. shorting an asset.
To go long on an asset (longing) means buying an asset and earning profit based on its upward price movement. In contrast, going short on an asset (shorting) essentially means selling an asset with the intention of buying it back when its price falls below the point at which you sold it, profiting from a price drop. Shorting, however, is slightly more complicated than this brief description and involves selling borrowed assets that are paid back later.
Reading the markets
To the layperson, “the market” may seem like some complex system that only a specialist could ever hope to understand, but the truth is, it all comes down to people buying and selling. How to trade crypto might seem like an esoteric concept at first. Once you begin to understand it, however, the idea becomes a lot simpler.
The totality of active buy and sell orders is a snapshot of a market at any given moment. Reading the market is the ongoing process of spotting patterns, or trends, over time, which the trader can choose to act upon. Overall, there are two market trends: bullish and bearish.
A “bullish” market, or bull market, occurs when the price action appears to steadily increase. These upward price movements are also known as “pumps,” as the influx of buyers increases the prices. A “bearish” market, or bear market, occurs when the price action appears to steadily decrease. These downward price movements are also known as “dumps,” as the mass sell-offs result in the price going lower.