Crypto Trading 101: A Guide to Getting Started in Crypto Trading

By Arslan Butt

Are you tired of watching others make a fortune in the crypto market while you’re left wondering how they did it? Crypto trading might seem like an enigma wrapped in a maze, but mastering the basics can be your key to unlocking this digital treasure trove. Picture yourself playing a strategic game of chess, where every move carries weight; similarly, with some well-thought-out moves in crypto trading, you could conquer the board of financial success. Embark on an eye-opening journey as we delve into Crypto Trading 101, unravelling the secrets that will transform you from a mere spectator to a skilled participant in the ever-evolving world of cryptocurrencies!

Cryptocurrency trading involves buying and selling digital assets through a cryptocurrency exchange or broker. Traders speculate on price movements of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others, by opening long or short positions. This can be done via buying the underlying coins themselves on an exchange, or using leveraged instruments such as CFDs (contracts for difference) to bet on the price movements without owning the asset. It’s important to have a good understanding of the risks and benefits before starting in crypto trading.

Understanding Crypto Trading

If you’re interested in trading cryptocurrencies, it’s important to have a good understanding of the basics of crypto trading. First and foremost, it’s important to remember that cryptocurrencies are not backed by a central authority, such as a government or financial institution. Instead, they exist only as a shared digital record of ownership, stored on a blockchain.

One way to trade cryptocurrencies is through a contract for difference (CFD) trading account or buying and selling the underlying coins via an exchange. CFDs are derivatives that enable you to speculate on cryptocurrency price changes without owning the underlying coins. When you buy cryptocurrencies via an exchange, you purchase the actual coins and store them in your own wallet.

For instance, imagine you are shopping for groceries online and you want to buy apples. You can either buy apples directly from the farmer who grows them, which is like buying coins via an exchange. Alternatively, you can bet on whether the price of apples will go up or down without actually buying any apples, which is like speculating on cryptocurrency price changes through CFD trading.

Another important aspect of understanding crypto trading is knowing that both buying (going long) and selling (going short) involve leveraged instruments. This means that you only need a small deposit (known as margin trading crypto) to get total exposure to the underlying market, but this also magnifies both earnings and losses.

It’s crucial to understand how cryptocurrencies differ from other financial assets when diving into crypto trading. For instance, cryptocurrencies tend to be more volatile than traditional currencies due to their decentralised nature. Additionally, many new traders approach cryptocurrency trading with the expectation of making quick profits based on hype or FOMO (fear of missing out), rather than using rational analysis.

Therefore, it’s essential before participating in any trading activity that newcomers learn some literacy on how crypto-asset markets work and the nature of blockchain technology.

  • According to a 2020 report, approximately 101 million unique users had registered on various cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide, showcasing the growing interest in crypto trading.
  • In an analysis conducted between May 2013 and March 2018, Bitcoin (BTC) experienced an average daily return of around 0.32%, drawing investors towards cryptocurrency trading due to its high volatility.
  • A study published in 2020 revealed that during the first two quarters of the year, total trading volumes for cryptocurrencies reached almost $14 trillion, with spot markets constituting 85% of the volume and derivatives making up the rest.
  • Cryptocurrency trading involves understanding the basics of how cryptocurrencies work, leveraging either CFDs or buying and selling actual coins via an exchange. It’s important to note that both going long and short involve leveraged instruments, which can increase earnings and losses. Newcomers should approach trading with rational analysis instead of FOMO, and it’s essential to learn some literacy on how crypto-asset markets work before participating in any trading activity.

Basics of Buying and Selling Coins

Crypto Trading Buy-Sell

Buying and selling coins is at the core of cryptocurrency trading. When selecting a coin, it’s important to consider factors such as market capitalization, user adoption, and utility. Bitcoin is the largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization and prevalence, while all other cryptocurrencies that aren’t BTC are considered altcoins, with Ether (ETH) being the largest among them.

Unlike stocks or commodities which have a fundamental basis for their value such as earnings reports or production costs, cryptocurrencies’ value is mainly determined by supply and demand. In other words, crypto prices can be affected by anything that leads to changes in market sentiment. This could range from increased distrust in traditional financial institutions to hype generated by new ICOs (initial coin offerings).

As mentioned earlier, buying cryptocurrencies through an exchange entails purchasing the coins themselves and storing the digital currency tokens in your own wallet. When it comes to selling coins, you can do so either through fiat currency or another cryptocurrency.

Another thing to consider when buying or selling coins is the fees involved. Some exchanges charge high fees for deposits, withdrawals, and trades – making it essential to research before choosing which exchange or broker best suits your interests. Even though some charges may seem negligible – they can impact overall gains based on high trading volumes.

Also worth noting here is that different coins have different levels of liquidity and trading volume. This means that certain assets might take longer to sell due to low demand compared to more established cryptocurrencies such as BTC or ETH.

Understanding these basics is crucial before one starts thinking about getting into crypto trading strategies and safeguarding your investment assets while avoiding risk amplification due to incorrect methodologies or inherent volatility.

Trading Platforms and Exchanges

One of the most critical aspects of crypto trading is selecting the right trading platform or exchange. Crypto exchanges allow traders to access cryptocurrency markets, purchase and sell crypto coins, and store their digital assets securely.

When selecting a platform or exchange, several factors should be considered, including security, reputation, fees, user interface, and available trading pairs. It is important to do due diligence research on any trading platform or exchange to ensure its reliability and credibility.

For example, Coinbase is one of the largest and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges globally. Its user-friendly interface and ability to buy and sell cryptocurrencies with ease make it an excellent choice for beginners. However, Coinbase does charge high transaction fees compared to other exchanges.

Security should be a top priority when selecting a trading platform or exchange. Cryptocurrency storage often has inherent risks; thus, it is imperative to select an exchange with robust security protocols in place. Look for platforms that offer multi-factor authentication, cold storage wallets, encryption of private keys, and regular security audits.

One major debate within the crypto community regarding exchanges is centralised vs. decentralised exchanges. Centralised exchanges are operated by a third party and enable users to trade cryptocurrency in a controlled environment with centralised authority over market-making functions. In contrast, decentralised exchanges are peer-to-peer trading venues that rely on smart contracts executed on blockchain technology. Decentralised exchanges have no centralised control point but are usually slower than centralised ones.

Think of centralised exchanges as being similar to traditional stock markets such as NASDAQ while decentralised exchanges resemble peer-to-peer marketplaces like eBay.

Now that we have discussed selecting the right platform or exchange let us shift focus onto weighing the benefits and risks associated with crypto trading.

Benefits and Risks of Crypto Trading

Crypto trading risk-benefit

Cryptocurrency trading can provide immense returns compared to fiat currency trading. However, the cryptocurrency market has significant risks, including volatility, security concerns, and regulatory uncertainties.

One primary benefit of crypto trading is that it enables traders to gain exposure to a wide range of asset classes, offering high liquidity in various markets at all times. Moreover, investors who opt for CFD (contract for difference) trading are not required to take ownership of the underlying digital assets. This strategy helps them avoid several issues such as bitcoin storage/security or the lack of regulation surrounding certain altcoins.

Throughout 2021, Bitcoin experienced a phenomenal year with its price hitting numerous highs. By trading on such a price surge, one could have realised considerable profits in relatively shorter periods compared to more complex investments like real estate.

However, there are several risks associated with cryptocurrency trading. The best approach is always to do extensive research before investing any money in cryptocurrencies. Prices fluctuate rapidly in such markets, and while the rate of return can be high, losses can be equally devastating.

Taking a gamble on the digital currency arena is like spinning roulette wheel if you do not perform adequate due diligence and know when to get out; otherwise, it’s easy to lose your investment.

Regulatory uncertainty remains one of the most significant downsides. With many nations still deciding on how they intend to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges or outright ban some virtual currencies from being used as legal tenders.

In May 2021 China’s State Council Financial Stability and Development Commission issued a statement banning financial institutions and payment companies from offering services related to cryptocurrencies yet again throwing uncertainty into the market despite similar measures occurring previously in 2014.

Besides absenting claims about government intervention, frauds too continue to plague the industry with fake coins popping up regularly. Similarly, hackers have successfully carried out attacks on numerous exchanges resulting in users losing millions of dollars.

It’s good to think of digital currencies as a high-wire act- every step requires caution because a single misstep can cause you considerable harm.

Potential for High Returns

One of the most significant benefits of crypto trading is the potential for high returns. In comparison to traditional financial markets, the crypto market can offer much higher profits due to its volatility and relatively low market capitalization.

For instance, let’s consider Bitcoin’s price in 2017. It took less than a year for its value to skyrocket from $1,000 per coin to nearly $20,000 in December of that same year. This massive increase attracted many investors who were looking for a chance to make quick profits.

However, this example also highlights that investing in cryptocurrencies comes with risks as well. While some investors gained huge profits during the 2017 Bitcoin boom, others lost quite a bit of money when the bubble burst, and prices started plummeting.

Nevertheless, despite such risks, there are several reasons why crypto trading can offer some of the highest returns among all asset classes. First off, cryptocurrencies do not have traditional limitations like geographical barriers or centralised control by governments or financial institutions.

To put this into perspective: consider investing in real estate properties. If you want to invest internationally or even within your own country but still far away from you geographically, there would be many challenges regarding legal restrictions and ownership opportunities as well as finding reliable managing agents.

On the other hand, cryptocurrency is globally accessible to anyone with internet access; it has no physical location limits or international exchange rate issues that could affect your investment return.

But as mentioned earlier, high returns come with high risks, and this leads us to our next discussion point – volatility and market fluctuations.

Volatility and Market Fluctuations

One of the main characteristics of cryptocurrencies is their high level of volatility. Cryptocurrency prices can fluctuate greatly over short periods leading both to potentially large gains and devastating losses.

In traditional financial markets, price fluctuations are typically more gradual over long periods. Still, in crypto trading, prices can fluctuate by tens or even hundreds of percentage points within a few hours or days.

For instance, if you invested $10,000 in Bitcoin in late 2017 when it was at its peak, and you sold it just one year later at $3,000 per coin, you would have lost about 70% of your initial investment.

On the other hand, some argue that market volatility is not necessarily a bad thing. It presents opportunities for investors to make substantial profits if they can correctly anticipate market movements.

Think of it like surfing: waves come and go; some are huge, and others are minor, but if surfers know how to ride them properly and measure their timing and technique carefully, they can catch the biggest ones to win competitions impressively. Similarly with crypto trading, significant fluctuations present opportunities for investors who have excellent timing and strategy to profit greatly.

Nevertheless, it is important to understand that market fluctuations in crypto trading can also pose major risks to any investor. Cryptocurrency is still a relatively new asset class with options trading becoming more popular among traders than ever before. A sudden surge or drop in value could potentially wipe out an entire investment portfolio.

Crypto Trading Strategies

When it comes to crypto trading, there are several strategies investors can employ to maximise their returns. No single approach is a guaranteed path to success, which is why traders often integrate multiple strategies into their overall investment approach. Here are some of the most common crypto trading strategies investors should consider:

Day Trading

A popular crypto trading strategy among experienced investors is day trading. This approach involves buying and selling crypto within the same day, with the goal of generating small but consistent profits. Day traders use technical analysis and market trends to identify profitable trades in real-time.

Swing Trading

Swing trading involves buying a cryptocurrency when its price is low and then holding onto it until the value increases before selling it off during a bull run. This strategy capitalises on price movements in a market cycle that can last from days to weeks or even months.

Buy and Hold

Buy and hold is a long-term investment strategy where an investor buys a cryptocurrency and holds onto it for an extended period, with the expectation that its value will eventually increase over time. While this strategy may be effective in some cases, particularly with projects that have strong fundamentals or potential for mass adoption, it also comes with substantial risks. Cryptocurrency markets are highly volatile, and what appears to be a good investment today could turn out to be worthless tomorrow.

Dollar-Cost Averaging

Another popular strategy for crypto traders is dollar-cost averaging (DCA). DCA involves investing a fixed amount of money at regular intervals (such as weekly or monthly) regardless of market conditions. This strategy enables investors to reduce their exposure to volatility by spreading out purchases over time and mitigating losses resulting from market fluctuations.

Ultimately, how you choose to invest in the crypto market ultimately depends on your investment goals, risk tolerance, and experience level. Employing a combination of different strategies can help you build a diverse portfolio and manage your risk.

Long-Term Investment Approaches

Investing in cryptocurrencies for the long-term is different from trading with short-term goals. Here are some of the most common long-term investment approaches that crypto traders should consider:

Blue-Chip Investing

Investors can choose to invest in cryptocurrencies with high market capitalization, strong fundamentals, and wide-scale adoption as these are considered blue-chip investments. Such cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin and Ethereum. These asset types have been around the longest and thus commanded the largest market share.

Social Media Analysis

Another long-term investment strategy is social media analysis that focuses on monitoring social activity across numerous platforms. This approach helps investors identify emerging trends and networks, indicating which cryptocurrencies might have broad appeal or growing exposure.

New Token Offerings

Initial coin offerings (ICOs) are an option, though this type of investment carries substantial risk due to its association with a lack of regulation measures. Success rates for ICOs may differ depending on several factors like market conditions, project fundamentals, and management capacity.

Dollar-Cost Averaging

Another strategy that works well for both short- and long-term investments is dollar-cost averaging. It allows one to spread purchases over time to mitigate losses resulting from market volatility while enabling investors to reduce their exposure to cost fluctuations by spreading out purchases over time.

When it comes to investing in cryptocurrencies for the long term, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, it’s vital for investors to evaluate their risk tolerance and goals thoroughly before deciding on a specific strategy. No matter which route you choose upskilling yourself on fundamental analysis will assist you in identifying worthwhile projects to invest in.

Remember, successful trading must not be spontaneous; instead, it’s based on an intelligent approach leveraged by skill, knowledge, risk minimization, and discipline.

Short-Term Trading Techniques

Short-term trading is a popular strategy among crypto traders who aim to take advantage of the daily fluctuations of the volatile cryptocurrency market. The goal of short-term trading techniques is to generate quick profits by buying low and selling high in a matter of days or even hours. Here are some essential techniques that every beginner should know before attempting to trade cryptocurrencies in the short term.

One of the most common short-term trading strategies is day trading, where traders open and close positions within 24 hours. Day traders use technical analysis tools such as charts, candlesticks, and indicators to assess market trends, identify support and resistance levels, and make informed decisions based on past market data.

Another popular short-term trading technique is scalping, where traders aim for small profits by repeatedly buying and selling cryptocurrencies over a short period. Scalpers typically enter and exit trades within seconds or minutes and rely heavily on leverage to amplify their returns.

However, it’s worth noting that short-term trading comes with its own set of risks. The crypto market moves rapidly and often unpredictably, making it more challenging to manage risk than long-term investments. Additionally, short-term trades are susceptible to fees and taxes that can significantly impact profits, especially for smaller trades.

Think of short-term trading like running a marathon – it requires endurance, strategy, focus, and taking calculated risks. Just like some runners prefer sprinting at different intervals during the race instead of keeping one constant pace, crypto traders also employ various speed-based strategies to increase their chances of making a profit.

Now that you’ve learned about short-term trading techniques let’s dive into how to get started with crypto trading.

Getting Started with Crypto Trading

If you’re interested in participating in crypto trading but aren’t sure where or how to get started, this section will provide you with the essential steps to take.

The first step towards getting started with crypto trading is to choose a reliable cryptocurrency exchange. An exchange is a platform where you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies for fiat money or other digital assets. Some popular exchanges include Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken.

Once you’ve chosen an exchange, create an account, and undergo the necessary verification process. You’ll typically need to provide personal information, such as your name, email address, phone number, and government-issued ID. Verification can take anywhere from a few minutes to several days depending on the exchange.

It’s essential to research the fees associated with different exchanges before signing up as they vary significantly across platforms. Some exchanges charge flat fees per transaction, while others calculate fees based on the volume of trades you make. Additionally, some exchanges charge deposit and withdrawal fees or have minimum deposit requirements that may affect your trading strategy.

Choosing an exchange is like choosing a shopping mall – you want to find one that fits your needs in terms of location, accessibility, product selection, and pricing.

The next step is to safeguard your crypto assets by setting up a digital wallet.

A wallet is a secure digital location where you can store your cryptocurrencies. Some exchanges offer built-in wallets for their users, while others require you to use external wallets. Hardware wallets are considered the most secure type of wallet since they’re stored offline and can’t be hacked remotely.

It’s crucial to keep your wallet private key safe by never sharing it with anyone. Your private key is like the password to access your funds; if someone gains access to it, they also gain control over your assets.

While hardware wallets are more secure than software wallets, they’re also more expensive, and their physical nature makes them susceptible to loss or damage. Software wallets, on the other hand, are often free and accessible via desktop or mobile devices. However, they’re more vulnerable to hacking and malware attacks.

Think of a digital wallet as your crypto piggy bank; you want to keep it secure by protecting its content and never leaving it unattended.

With these fundamental steps in mind, you can begin trading cryptocurrencies and start exploring different investment strategies. Remember always to manage risk, start small, and remain informed about market trends.

Choosing a Cryptocurrency Exchange

Choosing a cryptocurrency exchange is one of the first and most important decisions you will make as a crypto trader. With such a vast range of exchanges available, it can be overwhelming to decide which one is right for you. Regardless of your level of experience, there are certain factors that should be taken into consideration before choosing a cryptocurrency exchange.

First and foremost, it is essential to choose an exchange that is reputable and trustworthy. A reputable exchange should have a track record of maintaining high security standards, transparency in operations, and prompt customer service. Look for well-established exchanges with a large user base and positive reviews from other traders.

However, some exchanges may have certain features that might be more important to you than reputation alone. For instance, some traders value anonymity more than anything when it comes to trading cryptocurrencies. In such cases, decentralised exchanges may be your best bet as they do not require users to provide personal information to trade.

Another crucial factor that you must consider is the availability of your preferred cryptocurrency on the exchange. Some exchanges are exclusive to Bitcoin while others offer a wide range of altcoins as well. Before committing yourself, ensure that the exchange you choose supports the coins you plan to trade.

Next, take time to examine the fees charged by each exchange. Every crypto exchange charges its own set of fees varying from transaction fees and withdrawal fees to deposit fees and trading fees. It is essential to conduct thorough research on what fees are being charged for every transaction you make on the platform before making any investments.

Think about this like shopping at different stores in your town or city; some stores charge higher prices than others for the same items. If you do not conduct proper research ahead of time, then you could end up losing out on potential profits due to paying higher fees.

Feeling unsure about where to begin? Consider taking your first step with our innovative Immediate Connect trading platform. It’s designed to streamline your journey into the world of crypto trading.

Safeguarding Your Crypto Assets

Immediate Connect 2

Safeguarding your cryptocurrency assets is just as important as choosing the right exchange. Whether you are a long-term HODLer or a short-term swing trader, it is essential to protect your funds from theft and loss. Here are some tips to keep your crypto safe.

Firstly, ensure that you store your coins in a secure wallet. Wallets come in different forms such as hardware wallets, desktop wallets, and mobile wallets. However, hot wallets (online connected) should be avoided when looking to store large sums of cryptocurrencies due to their vulnerability to hacking attacks. Hardware wallets such as Trezor and Ledger Nano S are highly recommended for storing large sums of cryptocurrency.

Secondly, do not underestimate the importance of using strong passwords and two-factor authentication (2FA). Create complex passwords that consist of a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Enabling 2FA adds an extra layer of security to your account by requiring a unique code generated by an app like Google Authenticator.

While these steps will significantly reduce the risk of losing your funds, hackers have advanced techniques that could still compromise even the most secure wallets. The risk is further heightened when traders use several exchanges and wallets to manage their assets. Therefore, it’s always important to monitor activity on all your accounts regularly.

Lastly, always maintain software updates on devices that interface with cryptocurrencies. Keep anti-virus software up-to-date and avoid suspicious downloads. Attacks through malware via downloads can result in the loss of vast amounts of digital currency in one go.

Remember: investing in cryptocurrencies comes with its own set risks, therefore safety must be taken seriously when starting out in crypto trading.