The days of trading Nasdaq tech stocks may be well behind us as the financial world begins to set its sights on blockchain. Traders are leaving traditional financial assets in droves as the returns found in cryptocurrency continue to pose mouth-watering returns to those adventurous enough to take them on. Learning to trade Bitcoin is not as complicated as you might think, but learning proper risk management is. 

Safely trading Bitcoin begins with learning 5 fundamental basics, so let’s get right down to them.

STEP 1. Open a Bitcoin trading account at an exchange

This one should go without saying, but if you hope to trade Bitcoin, you’ll need a crypto exchange account to do so. If you’re reading this guide, it means you’re inexperienced as a cryptocurrency trader and should stay away from leveraged trading platforms like BitMex and KuMex. 

Instead, head on over to Binance, Coinbase, Huobi, KuCoin, or Kraken to get started with trading Bitcoin. There are many other exchanges besides those, but it’s best not to venture far away from the most highly reputed and safe digital asset markets.

To register at an exchange, you’ll need a few basic pieces of KYC (Know Your Customer) documents like your photo ID and e-mail address. After passing through the basic registration processes, you can fund your trading wallet from a bank account, credit card, or by moving crypto from another of your wallets to your new exchange wallet.

STEP 2. Buy Bitcoin

To start trading Bitcoin, you’ll need to own some first. On the exchange, find the BTC trading pair that has your preferred currency (whichever currency you’ve loaded into your wallet). You’re likely buying BTC with USD, EUR, CNY, JPY, or GBP if you’re using one of the aforementioned exchanges. 

Alternatively, you can simply buy BTC with cash at the current going rate instead of funding a wallet with USDT or another stablecoin.

Once done, you can open your BTC wallet to check on your current balance. Keep track of the price at which you bought BTC.

STEP 3. Buying and Selling BTC (Going Long and Short)

At this point, you’re ready to do one of two things. You can either:

  1. Hold BTC (Longing) – When you hold BTC, it literally means that you are not selling it and are betting that its price will rise.
  2. Sell BTC (Shorting) – When you sell BTC, it’s because you either think that the price has reached a top and will go down, or because the price has reached a take profit target which you identified as a place to sell.

STEP 4. Don’t Invest More Than You’re Willing to Lose

Trading cryptocurrency always involves risk. Owing to that, it’s for the best if you only invest money that you are willing (and able) to lose forever. 

Basically, don’t invest your rent money, car payment money, or any other money that would detrimentally alter your life if you were to lose it.

STEP 5. Always Have a Plan

Never go into a trade without having a plan first. If you enter a trade without a plan, the price can move for or against you but you still won’t know what to do. Read up on technical analysis charting basics to identify BTC support and resistance zones, then make a list of three take profit areas where you will sell when and if BTC makes it.

Finally, ALWAYS use a stop loss when entering a trade. Depending on how risky the trade is, consider placing the stop loss at a maximum 5% loss on your position. The more conservative your stop loss, the smarter your trade will be. 

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