Bitcoin trading basics
Last update: January 01, 2017
What you should know
- What is AML/KYC
- Flat fees
- Maker-Taker Fees
- Trading Charts
- Trading on Mobile
- - New price alarm Android app: Boilr
- Margin Trading
- Moving Coins from Exchange to Exchange
- Best practice
One of the most annoying things for novices, definitely. This stunning abbreviation stands for anti-money laundering and know your customer policies. Most Bitcoin exchanges have them, the hassle differs from exchange to exchange.
Before you will be able to send in fiat money be prepared to have a high-res photo of your passport, driver's license or ID. Mostly you will also need a proof of residence and that not older than 3 months. Keep in mind that they don't like to count the days. If you got a utility bill on 15th of March, it will probably be rejected as too-late-mate on 10th of June even though technically it is still less than 3 months.
These two papers will do it at some exchanges. Not everywhere though. From the famous ones, Bitfinex wants also a bank statement. On Kraken it depends on how much money you want to deposit and from which country you are. You might be asked to provide a photo of yourself with your ID. Be careful to have all of your face visible. It’s really important and needs an exceptional selfie-skill.
This is why LocalBitcoins might be the easiest option to get coins if all you want to do is to get them and spend them. People on LocalBitcoin might sell with a thick margin but unless you really have nothing else to do, the absence of compulsory AML/KYC there will save you a lot of pain. Be aware of scammers though. Opt for wire transfer and demand at least real name and phone number verification.
Also if you are interested in trading cryptocurrency pairs like BTC and LTC, you don't have to worry about identity check so much. There are plenty exchanges that allow Bitcoin deposit and withdrawal on accounts without identity. If this speaks to you, get a verified account somewhere where it is relatively painless, do your fiat/BTC exchange there and for the trading only transfer the coins.
Fees: Flat Fee
Most Bitcoin exchanges will take about 0.2% of trade amount from you. When a place is starting out you might be lucky to get 0 % for a limited time. There are also places with lower fees for those who came from a referral link.
Another set of fees comes into play with deposits and withdrawals. Cryptocurrency deposits are usually free of charge.
Fees: Maker-Taker Fees
This is kind of an individual fee model based on how and how much you trade: See full explanation on itBit
Traditionally, makers are the traders who make the market liquid. Makers place order that sit for a while in te order book before another user places complementary order. To keep makers in the exchange gives them rewards mostly in terms of lower fees. There are also exchanges that will give you rebate - you earn a small percentage when you trade instead of paying the fee. See HitBtc.
Nowadays it goes per order. Orders executed at market price are taker orders and get taker fees. Orders that stay on the market a while before executing are maker orders with maker fees.
The link from itBit sounds like it’s not about traded volume but more about hodling and strategy. Usually, you also get further fee discount for large monthly volumes though. Maker-Taker system simply has two separate fee schedules, one for makers and other for takers.
You can expect a deposit via bank transfer to be ready in some 3 days. That means making that deposit when you notice interesting pattern in the chart that needs immediate action – you got it, that's too late. For trading fiat vs Bitcoin, your fiat money must be sitting on an exchange ready to be invested.
You can follow technical analysis reports but it is not a good idea to just take someone's word for it. Technical analysis is also wrong, and quite often at that. It is not quite a get-rich-quick scheme but the best way really is to keep staring into tradeview charts, trying to make conclusions and then honestly assessing if you were right. This way you will get the grips of it without textbook knowledge.
Bitstamp has a good tradeview available for anyone. You need no user account to see it.
Some exchanges do not really provide a good tradeview. They only offer API access for third party services to use to draw the charts. There are platforms that will give you access to all your exchange accounts at once:
Coinigy – Paid
Trader – Free desktop client for Windows, Linux and Mac.
You can also use BitcoinWisdom, a website that plots charts of all major bitcoin exchanges.
If you are often on the go: There is an Android app called TabTrader. There are about 15 Bitcoin exchanges supported. To trade real-money you will need to get an account and paste in your API key and secret (In “Accounts”).
If you don’t want to have your identity tied to your phone, you can always set up new accounts without verification. On most exchanges offered by TabTrader that is still an option.
If you only want to check the price levels, add charts to “Watchlist”.
This way you will be able to stare into trade charts in your spare time and keep updated about the movements, though on a desktop it is indeed better.
TabTrader is probably the best of the Bitcoin trading apps. It has good charts (after clicking a tab you’ll get a chart) with the most common technical analysis indicators. Once you select an indicator the app remembers your choice. Also, looking at the tabs next to each other will give you a good overall idea about the markets.
Many apps now support alarm on price change but there are a few dedicated apps that will do that (perhaps) better:
Bitcoin Checker (Android) supports 80 different exchanges for which you can set an alarm. Bitcoin Paranoid is a bit more intrusive option.
Bitcoin Paranoid (Android) is probably the best. You choose the exchanges, it keeps flushing their BTC price into the top bar. In the alarm set up you can choose the price difference the app should notice. It will make some sound.
Bitcoin ticker widget (Android) - similar alternative, not so funny language.
CoinMama - Bitcoin and ETH with credit/debit card
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- Promotions and Coupons
- All about Bitcoin lending
- All about Bitcoin VCC's
- Buying Bitcoin with Skrill
- Bitcoin Cold Storage 2016
- Bitfinex Referral Code 5egV78YtlC
- Coinmama Referral Code fny3000
Good to Read
- Finance & Technology: VPRO Backlight on Youtube (full documentaries)
- Macro & Bigger Picture: Stratechery
- Wall Street Technologist
- Austerity Sucks
- For Coders: Crypto Trading Tools
- Bitcoin Markets Wiki
- Baby Pips Forex and Charting School
- Technical Analysis for Dummies [PDF]
- StockCharts Chart School
Basics to Start Bitcoin Trading
- What is AML/KYC
- How high are fair flat fees
- What are Maker-Taker fees
- How to get trading charts
- How to trade on mobile
- Best practice
About This Site
There is a rumor around the web that Bitcoin has no real value other than for speculations.
Sherlock Holmes: ”Has all my instruction been for naught? You still read the official statement and believe it.”
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