Cryptocurrency trading involves speculating digital currencies’ prices and exchanging one cryptocurrency for another. It involves trading a particular digital currency for another on a cryptocurrency exchange like Binance, KuCoin, BitMEX, Coinbase, etc.
Not only can users convert their cryptocurrency for another, but they can also exchange these assets for fiat, including USD, EUR, GBP, among others.
Types of Cryptocurrencies
Since the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin (BTC) in 2009, hundreds of thousands of other crypto assets have been created for many reasons. There are over 7,000 cryptocurrencies aside from BTC, including Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), and Monero (XMR), to mention a few.
Despite the long list of existing cryptocurrencies, not all of these assets are available on a single trading platform. The most common trading pair on exchanges is usually BTC and USDT against other cryptocurrencies.
How Cryptocurrency Trading Works
Cryptocurrency trading works by speculating the price of a particular asset over another.
For instance, should a user decide to trade XRP/BTC pair, the investor would exchange their BTC asset for XRP, hoping that the XRP coin’s value would increase more than BTC. When the user feels satisfied with the market value of the XRP coin against BTC, he or she can trade the former back to BTC.
Using the above screenshot as an example, one may wonder where the 0.00001661 price comes from. An easy way to understand it is first to understand that all cryptocurrency trading pairs are denominated in Satoshis (the small units of Bitcoin).
Therefore 0.00001661 would mean 0.00001661 sats. To get the sats value, we divide the price of XRP against the price of Bitcoin. Using the press time price of 0.24 cents for XRP and $15,055 for Bitcoin, we’ll get the price of 0.00001661 which Binance shows for the trading pair.
You can apply this same formula across any pair you chose to trade to gets the sats value.
Entry and Exit Points in Cryptocurrency Trading
An entry point is a price at which you want to buy a cryptocurrency while the exit point is the price at which you hope to sell. Traders often use this metric to define how much profits they can make on a trade or the losses incurred.
Still using the above XRP/BTC pair example, an entry point could be 0.0001500 sats with the trader hoping to exit once the pair hits a 0.00001800 sats price. Successfully closing this trade would mean that the trader realized a 20% profit.
What Factors Move The Cryptocurrency Markets?
The crypto market is almost similar to the traditional market. The forces of supply and demand determine the price of asset overtime. Although the crypto space is decentralized and is not controlled by a central authority, governments also contribute to the market value. Factors that move the market include:
This is the number of crypto investors willing to purchase at a particular price and a given period. When the asset price increases, its demand will drop and vice versa.
Supply is the total amount of a particular digital currency available to investors at a given time and price.
- Market Capitalization
Market cap describes the value of all crypto in existence. The value must regularly increase as it helps convince new users that the industry is still booming.
Another major factor that influences the crypto market is regulation. New sets of rules are published regularly to determine how users will interact with these assets and which crypto would fall under securities or commodities classification. Prohibition and recognition of digital assets go a long way to portray the market in a good or bad light.
The amount and nature of coverage that the cryptocurrency industry receives from the media is another factor that moves the market. When the news is mostly negative, especially massive theft reports or a price plunge, it tends to scare new investors away, thus having an adverse effect on the market.
Attacks on crypto exchanges or projects usually cause panic in the market. When there is theft on a particular crypto trading platform or project, most users are usually in haste to sell off the assets to stay on the safe side, thus causing its market value to decline.
Unless the market is in a bullish mode such as with a $280 million Kucoin exchange hack in 2020, market prices could be adversely affected by such news.
- Coin Listing & Delisting On Top Exchanges
Coins listing and delisting are among the major forces that move the market positively or negatively. When a coin gets listed on a top exchange like Binance or KuCoin, its value has the possibility of increasing once it goes live on the platform.
On the other hand, when a coin gets delisted from a platform for whatever reason (case study: BitcoinSV delisting) its value would drop significantly and spread panic among holders.
How To Start Cryptocurrency Trading From The Scratch
Here are the vital steps to get started with your journey.
- Learn about cryptocurrency trading.
- Create an exchange account.
- Deposit funds
- Place your first trade.
Learn About Cryptocurrency Trading
A common mistake most intending traders make is starting their journey without adequate training or guidance. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you spend quality time and perhaps money to learn about cryptocurrency trading.
Although, this article extensively explains what cryptocurrency trading is, you will need more than this information to reach the promised land. You will need to learn how metrics such as the Crypto Fear and Greed Index works and how to use it to your advantage.
Create An Exchange Account
As explained, exchanges provide the platform for crypto trading, but regardless of the trading platform a user chooses, the process is similar across all trading platforms. It begins first, with creating an account and confirming your email address.
After successfully creating an account, users may sometimes need to complete a KYC (know-your-customer) process depending on the exchange. The KYC process helps verify your identity and to eliminate the use of a platform for nefarious activities.
Typically you’ll need to submit the following to complete KYC on a cryptocurrency exchange.
- Name, Phone Number, and Residential Information.
- Means of identification (Passport, Driver’s License, Voters card).
- Real-time selfie
- Source of funds (for large traders).
Note that there are also a few crypto exchanges that let you trade on their platform without KYC. You can learn about anonymous crypto exchanges here.
Once your identity is verified, you have to deposit funds to the platform or purchase crypto directly from the exchange using the available payment methods.
Popular deposit options on cryptocurrency trading platforms.
- Credit/Debit Cards
- Bank Transfer (SEPA, SWIFT, Faster Payments).
Credit/Debit card transactions are usually instant, albeit attracting higher fees. You’ll receive the purchase amount of cryptocurrencies instantly on your exchange wallet and you can start trading.
Fiat or Bank deposit options typically require sending funds to a bank account provided by the exchange and having the amount added to your fiat balance on the exchange. You can then sell the fiat for BTC or any other coin you want to trade.
For Cryptocurrency Deposits, you’ll have to send funds from an external cryptocurrency wallet or another exchange you’re buying from. You need to get the address for the asset on your destination exchange and use it as a recipient address when sending funds.
For instance, you can copy your Bitcoin address on Binance and use it to receive Bitcoins from a purchase on Changelly or BC Bitcoin. Once the transaction is confirmed on the destination exchange (Binance), you can start cryptocurrency trading.
Placing Your First Trade
After careful observation and market research for your preferred digital asset, you set a buy order at a specific price and wait for the order to be matched.
Immediately a ‘sell order’ aligns with your order, the exchange automatically matches your order, and the transaction is complete. To trade your crypto back to its initial asset, you will need to click on the sell menu located on the ‘trade interface’ and input the quantity and price you would like to sell.
The exchange would complete your order by matching it with a corresponding buy order.
Common Terms In Cryptocurrency Trading
There are numerous terms used while trading, but we will explain just a few.
- ASHDRAKED: A situation where an investor loses all his money.
- ATH: All-Time High.
- ATL: All-Time Low
- BAG HOLDER: An investor who buys and holds many coins hoping to make good profits in the future.
- BEAR/BEARISH: Negative/downward price movement.
- BTFD: Buy The Fucking Dip (an instruction to buy a coin when it has gone down a lot).
- BULL/BULLISH: Positive/ Upward price movement.
- Circulating Supply: The total number of coins or tokens in a cryptocurrency in the publicly tradable space.
- DILDO: Long green or red candles on the chart.
- DUMP: To Sell off an asset when its price drops.
- DUMPING: Downward price movement.
- DYORb Do Your Own Research.
- FA: Fundamental Analysis (Any positive or negative news that can affect a coin).
- FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out (A situation where a coin’s value is going up, and you believe it will increase more, so you buy despite when you see it’s high, hoping to make a profit).
- FUD: Fear Uncertainty & Doubt.
- HODL: To hold a position or a coin and not sell regardless of the market condition.
- JOMO: Joy Of Missing Out on investing in an asset before the price drops.
- LONG: Margin bull position.
- MCAP: Market Capitalization.
- MOON: Continuous upward movement of price.
- OTC: Over The Counter.
- PUMP: Upward price movement.
- SAFU: Secure Asset Fund for Users or funds are safe.
- SAJ CANDLE: Huge green candle.
- SHITCOIN: A digital currency that does not have a potential value or use.
- SHORT: Margin bear position.
- SWING: Zig zag price movement of assets (Upwards and downwards).
- TA: Technical Analysis.
- REKT: When you have a terrible loss.
- REVERSE INDICATOR: Someone who mispredicts price movements.
- RSI: Relative Strength Index.
- WHALE: Very Wealthy trader/Market mover.
Risks Associated With Cryptocurrency Trading
Despite the opportunities associated with cryptocurrencies, these assets get exposed to risks, and they include:
The major risk of dealing with digital currencies is its increased volatility in nature. An asset’s value can go high within an hour, and the next minute it has lost more than 50% worth of value. Based on this reason, traders should understand crypto-related risks before putting funds into it.
There are numerous cases where funds stored on exchanges get stolen. Even popular cryptocurrency trading platform, Binance once lost 7000 BTC ($41 million) to a security breach.
Crypto investors are often advised not to hold their assets on an exchange, except for the amount they’re actively trading. The best place to store your assets is in a non-custodial wallet. You can buy a Ledger or Trezor hardware wallet and learn how to use them since they’re the safest in the industry at this time.