Interview: Chris Dunn
Chris Dunn is an experienced and well respected trader in the crypto community, a serial entrepreneur and founder of Skillincubator, a company that teaches valuable skills, including cryptocurrency trading, to help people thrive in todays economy. Follow him at @ChrisDunnTV.
What was your background before you got into crypto and what got you interested in this industry?
I started off trading stocks and Futures in the early 2000s when I was in high school and watched those markets become highly manipulated and overrun with high-frequency algorithms and Big Wall Street firms. After the 2008 financial crisis and every year after that it became more and more difficult for people who are individual retail Traders. I was always just keeping my ear to the ground for different options, and you know different markets to trade where the smaller trader could have a better chance at being consistently profitable.
When I first heard about Bitcoin in 2011 one of my hedge fund buddies was telling me about it. I thought it was a scam, and I looked at a chart, and then just like in five seconds I was like “oh this looks like a Ponzi scheme or fad” and then in 2013 it popped back on my radar when it had its second bubble in the spring. So I started looking into it. This thing isn’t going away.
I basically spent most of 2013 researching and just learning the basics of crypto and decided this is it, like this is going to be huge and so basically shifted my focus from day trading the stock market to cryptocurrency trading.
You run a cryptocurrency trading school, Skillincubator, tell us a little about that business, why did you start it?
I was posting my trades and predictions and stuff on Twitter and tradingview.com back in 2013 and 2014 and a lot of people were like hey I’d like a trading group, or do you have a trading room? And so just opened up like a simple course and a little cryptocurrency trading room. I think we had maybe 30 people in there, and it just kind of blew up, and you know cryptocurrency trading is a lonely business, it was really nice having that daily interaction. For example last weekend we had 30 Traders fly in to Austin, Texas and spend three days on this and so that for me is just really fulfilling.
It’s profitable as well, and I just I’m an entrepreneur at heart so anywhere that I see a big problem, which the problem is that there’s so many new traders in crypto that don’t know what they’re doing. I felt like I had a solution which was just solid Education and training.
What are you thoughts on this scaling debate and how do you think it plays out over the next year or so?
I’m not a coder. I don’t pretend to know what the right answer is. There’s a lot of people in the space that are way smarter than I am. I just know that I love competition so I think it’s actually a good thing that we have so many crypto currencies that are competing. I know on the political side of this people get really emotional and really biased on the topic. I tend to just think about things in terms of where’s the opportunity. Not just a cryptocurrency trading perspective, but also like long-term Investments, and so I do the best I can to kind of understand it, but again I’m not a technical person that claims to know what the right answer is.
When it comes to Bitcoin cash and stuff like that I know that there’s a lot of controversy. You know I don’t necessarily agree with the way that he (Roger Ver) has gone about doing things. When it comes to what I’m actually excited about though is things like decentralized exchanges, and if the lightning network is something that works, and we get faster swaps with lower fees, I think that’s just going to increase the amount of people that have access to being able to trade crypto because I think the biggest risk right now is the exchanges. I know this is why the 0x token is gaining so much recently. I’m really bullish on on that type of Technology, but I can’t really speak intelligently about the tech.
What about BTC futures opening up? Will it dramatically alter the cryptocurrency trading environment?
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this, but I think that it’s more of a self-fulfilling prophecy. A chart was going around for Uranium futures and people were like “when these Futures launched the price crashed” and so I think a lot of people were expecting that to happen.
I think there was a lot of buying in anticipation of the futures coming out. You know that that run from $8,000 to almost $20,000 in just a few weeks was so unsustainable. I was kind of tweeting about it and did some videos a while ago talking about how to prepare for a bear market when it happens.
I didn’t expect us to go like $8k to $20k that fast, but you know you can never really anticipate the full stupidity of people that will chase and buy it at super high prices. Ive been paying attention to the Futures markets, but I haven’t traded them yet. I’ve just been watching the liquidity and have been waiting for a little more margin requirements and execution orders and stuff like that, but that’s probably something that I’m going to start testing over the next 30 to 60 days and maybe start talking about a little more publicly as how to actually trade those.
How concerned are you about any government regulation putting a stop to this cryptocurrency trading party? China news, SEC, etc?
I think there’s a huge crack down on ICOs coming. I think it’s already here and basically anybody that’s running obvious scams is going to get hammered, and they should. It’s kind of hard to say exactly what they’re going to try to regulate.
I think governments have three options:
1) They could either completely try to ban crypto, which I think is stupid for many reasons.
2) A government could also try to regulate it and profit from it. Tax it and put structure around it.
3) Or they could take a laissez-faire approach, and you know just be like this is the free market. Just let it go.
I do think that regulation is a good thing when it comes to raising Capital because there are so many scams. The Bitconnect scam was a big example. I mean that was a brutal billion-dollar Ponzi in full View, and and that just shows you that there is some level of investor protection that needs to be out there.
One thing that I disagree with is the accredited investor model where it basically says if you’re going to raise capital for a startup; you know if its traditional VC funding, if it’s an ICO, then you know that the government only wants accredited investors investing in those. Meaning basically only millionaires could invest. Look at the SAFTA agreement, it’s called a special agreement for future tokens and basically that is a framework for venture capital. I would like to see more small investors around the world have access to that. I think if people are educated it’s going to take the pressure off of regulators to to have to try to be the the rule makers for everything.
How do you balance technical cryptocurrency trading with fundamental news? right now we have all these good news events yet technically BTC looks like theres higher probability to the downside?
Bullish and bearish news comes out everyday. Even stuff like Facebook banning crypto ads, that’s a negative thing right, and then you have news events coming out talking about how many new people are coming in and adoption going up. So for me the truth behind the story is always in the price action, thats the only thing that matters. That’s a visual representation of the actions of all Market participants. Its not speculation. It’s not people spoofing on the order books. Those are trades that actually occurred and sure there could be manipulation behind that in many different ways, but that to me is the most pure information you can get. What I do everyday is read and look at the bull and the bear scenarios, but always come back to the charts and say how could this market, how could this chart cause people pain?. For example, If there’s too many shorts in a market then we will likely get a short squeeze, etc.
Most days I only take action when I see something lineup that I think is high probability and so what I do is come out with a bull and a bear plan everyday and if something triggers great. If not, I stay away. I try not to get caught up too much in guessing. I only like to take action when there’s a high probability scenario in play.
Thoughts on Government backed cryptos, like Venezuelas recently announced PETRO?
Andreas (Antonopoulos) and a few other people have pretty strong opinions on this. I don’t know and I haven’t done enough research on how these governments are trying to issue these coins and what control they’re going have over them.
Last thing, which crypto sector (anonymous coins, master node, tokens, etc) do you think will have the best 2018? Why?
I think the decentralized areas is what I would push more than most and what I’m most excited about. Anonymous coins have been around for a while. I think anything that can improve the user interface. The side of crypto which right now the biggest pain in the ass is the The exchanges, the identity verification, the KYC stuff. Exchanges get hacked all the time; people don’t trust them, whenever there’s volatility they crash they have expensive fees.
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