According to a Rutgers study, day trading crypto reminds gamblers of haphazard gambling more than legitimate investing. I would say consider the source, but eToro warns traders of a similar thing in its General Risk Disclosure when referring to its contract for differences (CFDs), which include crypto:
You’ll find a similar warning on any broker’s site that is under traditional regulation. Yet traders continue to throw money at crypto exchanges and brokerages. The year over year crypto market cap nearly doubled from 2018 to 2019. The warning from eToro gives us a clue that a not-insignificant portion of these users is trying to day trade.
In the volatile world of crypto, you will need nerves of steel, a winning game plan and an intuitive trading platform if you want to win. You’ll find the nerves of steel and intuitive trading platform through research, research and more research. Let’s take a look at the X-factor in this gumbo — the trading strategies you’ll use.
In many cases, a cryptocurrency will trade for a long time inside a certain range. Bitcoin, for instance, traded between $8,601.40 and $10,210 for a 30-day period. This ±9.4% range seems volatile until you realize that Bitcoin can realize a ±42% change in 24 hours.
Cryptomarket caps are small enough that they can be manipulated by a single big mover. In some cases, those big movers will systematically manipulate the price of a coin up and down to profit from a range. If you notice these patterns, you can take advantage of them as well.
If you are range trading, you want to pay attention to overbought and oversold zones. Overbought means that buyers have saturated their need, and the stock will probably sell off; oversold means the opposite. Chart indicators, included in any reputable stock chart program, can help you find these zones. Common indicators used for this purpose include the Stochastic Oscillator and relative strength index (RSI).
Scalpers take advantage of increased trading volume to profit. Scalpers may exit a trade seconds after entering, and many use automated bots to increase the frequency of their trading cycles. Ideally, scalpers want to exit a trade before any news item or short-term fluctuation has a chance to change the market’s sentiment on a coin.
It is best to have a large bankroll to take advantage of this extremely short-term day trading crypto strategy. Although the ROI of each trade is very small, staking a large amount means the scalp comes back with a substantial amount of money (0.5% of $100,000 is $500, enough for a luxury car payment). Trading frequently — sometimes making 10-20 trades per minute — also means those small gains add up.
Playing Bitcoin Volatility
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) offers options on Bitcoin futures, opening up a wealth of volatility strategies for traders. Crypto has 5X the volatility of traditional asset classes. Volatility trades are ideally directionless, meaning there is a possibility of making money whether Bitcoin goes up or down.
The long straddle is one directionless volatility strategy using Bitcoin options. To initiate, you buy a call and put option at the same time for the same strike price and expiration date. The Bitcoin straddle is profitable when Bitcoin falls or rises away from the strike price by more than your premium. To exit the trade, you sell the call and put at the same time.
In simple language, a big move up or down is in your favor.
Arbitrage involves buying cryptocurrency in 1 market and selling it in another market at a higher price. The difference in the buy and sell price of an asset is known as the “spread.” As a generally unregulated market, crypto allows anyone to create an exchange. This can lead to major differences in the spread because of the differences in asset liquidity and trading volume.
In the crypto market, traders usually hold a portfolio on an exchange they are trading. To start an arbitrage opportunity, open accounts on exchanges you believe will show significantly different prices for the same asset.
At one point, Bitcoin traded at a 40% higher price in South Korea than in the U.S. This was known as the “kimchi premium,” and it showed up more than once. Traders profited by simply purchasing Bitcoin on U.S. exchanges and immediately selling it on South Korean exchanges. Although the discrepancy will not usually be this large, the low barrier to entry for new exchanges brings new arbitrage opportunities more often than in traditional asset markets.
Traders should also take trading fees into account when attempting arbitrage. The fees to make a trade on an exchange may wipe out the gains from the trading spread.
Best Online Cryptocurrency Brokers
The trading platform you choose will likely make a big difference in your day trading results. The strategy that you choose should make a difference in the platform you choose because different platforms will have different strengths. For instance, scalpers need a fast execution time while volatility traders may profit more from an instant news feed.
Take a look at some of the best online cryptocurrency brokers and what they have to offer.
Trading Crypto Doesn’t Have to be Cryptic
Regardless of the strategy you choose, you must be willing to accept losses in a volatile market like cryptocurrency. Have your exit plan ready before you enter any trade. Don’t follow the hot tips crowd; invest only in coins that you actually believe in — even for just the day.
Also, keep in mind that the market provides endless opportunity. So don’t bite your head off if you’re playing cautious and miss one, and don’t chase the gazelles that have already run off of the farm. Trading is more than anything an emotional journey — you must keep a clear head and stick to your chosen strategy through thick and thin.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which crypto coins are the best for day trading?
A. Day traders look for volatility. Volatility is most prevalent in micro coins, or coins with small market caps compared to other cryptos. Right now, any coin with a market cap lower than $1 billion is considered small cap. Some small-cap coins with good trading volume include SiaCoin (SIA), Basic Attention Token (BAT) and Fusion (FSN).
How much can you make day trading crypto?
A: High volatility microcoins can gain price multiples in 1 day, providing exponential returns to lucky investors. High volatility also means those coins can move in the wrong direction just as quickly. As the potential reward goes up, so does risk.
Are there any restrictions for day trading cryptocurrencies?
There are no restrictions on cryptocurrency day trading.
Can I day trade cryptocurrencies with $200?
You can open an account at a cryptocurrency exchange using $200 and start day trading.
Gemini builds crypto products to help you buy, sell, and store your bitcoin and cryptocurrency. You can buy bitcoin and crypto instantly and access all the tools you need to understand the crypto market and start investing, all through one clear, attractive interface. Gemini Crypto Platform offers excellent account management options. You can manage your account at a glance, view your account balance 24-hour changes and percent changes. Get started with Gemini now.