Bitcoin

How to Buy Bitcoin in 2019 – Best Platforms

2019 is going to be a big year for Bitcoin.

With public awareness constantly increasing, more regulatory oversight on the way, and ETFs still in the works, more people will be buying and trading Bitcoin than ever.

But there are so many different platforms and exchanges these days – are the big names still top-dog? What’s the best way to buy Bitcoin in 2019?

We’ve found that for the time being, the most well-established platforms are the best for most uses, but it really depends on where you are and what you’re looking to get out of your Bitcoin investment. Let’s take a look at some different options and the advantages they have over competitors.

Buying Bitcoin as a US Newcomer – Coinbase

That’s right – Coinbase is still a great place to enter the Bitcoin market for US investors in many countries. Acting as a wallet and an exchange, Coinbase is known as arguably the most user-friendly and easiest way to enter the market for newcomers.

After signing up and connecting your bank account, you’ll be able to transfer funds to and from your bank account. Coinbase charges a 1% on U.S. transactions ($1 min, $50 max) from a bank account or Coinbase USD wallet. Purchases with a credit or debit card add on a 2.49 percent fixed fee.

Cash balances of up to $250,000 are insured against theft or platform breaches and the platform is secure and offers the vital two-factor authentication required to keep finds safe.

The drawback with Coinbase is that it’s only available to investors in the US, UK, Australia, Singapore, Austria, Canada, and Andorra, making it inaccessible to the vast majority of potential investors for the time being.

Buying Bitcoin With No Fees as a US Trader – Robinhood

If someone really wants exposure to Bitcoin as an asset, then Robinhood is a great platform that allows users to trade BTC with no fees – that’s a really great service with a major use case for day traders who can spend a lot of money on fees throughout the course of their workday. You won’t be able to withdraw Bitcoin from Robinhood but you can invest in it. Robinhood does sell their customer’s data though, so take that into consideration when using the site.

However, while its main competitor, Coinbase, is only available in a handful of countries, Robinhood is only available in the US, and even within that nation, only in 16 states. Robinhood is pursuing a banking license and aims to expand, but for now, it’s extremely limited in terms of its user base.

International Low-Fee Trading – Binance

Unlike Coinbase and Robinhood, Binance has a huge selection of currencies to trade against BTC and offers low-fee trading of just 0.1% per trade, making it a very affordable option. The platform is generally very-well trusted within the cryptocurrency community, and very widely-adopted too, usually listed as the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.

The reason it’s so popular is that the exchange is available everywhere – while some national regulators have discouraged crypto trading, Binance doesn’t list any countries that it’s not available in, perhaps making it the best option for international traders and investors.

Binance, like the other exchanges on the list so far, does require KYC, and it’s possible that people in countries where cryptocurrency is highly controlled won’t have easy access.

For that, we have DEXs.

Anonymous, Unregulated Crypto Trading – Decentralized Exchanges

Decentralized exchanges are a great option for anyone who doesn’t want to give an exchange their identity or control of their cryptocurrency keys and funds. DEXs allow users to control their funds at all times, and the platforms are owned by nobody.

There are a number of options currently functioning an in development – Binance is actually aiming to launch a DEX soon too.

IDEX is a popular and trusted option with a 24-hour volume of almost $1 million. DEXs are available anywhere in the world with an internet connection and, if they’re in a state trying to regulate crypto, ideally a VPN for private browsing.

As you can see, there are a whole bunch of options – so take a look and see which one is best for you.

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Interested in more crypto content? Check out 6 Benefits Of Forex Trading and Weekly Cryptocurrency watch: Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC) and Ethereum (ETH)

How to Stay on Top of the Market – Crypto Trends

Crypto can be a little overwhelming.

Scratch that – crypto can be extremely overwhelming. There’s a lot of information to take in, and with fake news and on-the-take influencers abound, it can be difficult to get a sense of how the market is actually doing and what to base your long-term investment strategy on.

While technical analysis is great for short-term trading, it’s important to be able to get a sense of the direction things are heading in overall. Here are some of the top crypto trends that will allow you to keep your finger on the pulse of the crypto market.

Google Trends

Yale University economists recently published a study stating that cryptocurrency price action was positively correlated with social media and Google search volume. The more mentions on Twitter and search inputs processed by Google, the more public interest there is in a particular cryptocurrency.

You can check Google Trends to get a sense of how often people are searching for the word “Bitcoin”, for example.

Here’s the BTC Google trend chart for the last week:

And the CoinMarket weekly chart with some recent correlation:

You can also check Google search volume on Coin Dance, and even examine the different demographics searching on Google.

Twitter and other Social Media

Bitinfocharts has a comprehensive web activity section for all major cryptocurrencies. You can check BTC-related Tweets per day along with number of Bitcoin subreddit subscribers, GitHub commits, mining difficulty, TX volume, hasrate, and other interesting and relevant stats.

Trade Volume By Exchanges

Trading is the lifeblood of any cryptocurrency, and the daily exchange volume across multiple exchanges is a key piece of information that not only lets you know overall trading activity, but allows you to navigate potentially inflated figures by seeing how BTC is doing on multiple exchanges. Of course, not all trading is done on exchanges!

LocalBitcoins

LocalBitcoins is a service that coordinates people looking to meet up in person and buy or sell BTC. This article gives a great breakdown of LocalBitcoins trading volume by country, giving further insight into where and how BTC is being traded, and among which demographics.

 Lightning Network Progress

BTC supporters and traders would also do well to carefully monitor LN activity to see how the scaling solution is coming along – significant progress could quickly and drastically influence price action.

DApp Radar

Of course, it’s not all about Bitcoin. With the increasing number of decentralized application and smart contract platforms, DApp Radar is a great tool worth keeping an eye on. It allows users to check up on the all-important adoption of decentralized applications by monitoring daily active users, number of new DApps being created, volume, transactions, and more.

DYOR

There are simply too many crypto resources to list, but there are two ways to stay up to date. One is to DYOR – do your own research and keep looking for those hidden gems of information, whether they be a trustworthy influencer, a useful news site, or a statistics aggregator that lets you look under the hood of different cryptocurrencies.

The second way is to keep on reading Crypto Is Coming.

Obviously.

There’s a lot of information to take in out there, but the above resources should be enough to give you a solid insight into the state of the market and make an informed decision when trading. Good luck!

Bots and Whales – Anatomy of a Pump and Dump

The cryptocurrency market is a turbulent place, with accusations of widespread market manipulation coming from mainstream media, government regulators, and crypto traders themselves.

Interesting fact about those accusations –  they’re true. The market is manipulated, and using methods that are totally illegal when applied to the regulated stock market.

Trading Bots and Whales

One of the main manipulating influences in the market is trading bots.

The crypto market is still largely unregulated, even in areas with otherwise strict financial regulation such as the US, South Korea, and Japan, although multiple regulators are implementing legislation to deal with the unwanted activity in crypto trading.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, CoinList co-founder and president Andy Bromberg stated that the cryptocurrency market is rife with illicit bot trading and market manipulation.

“This sort of activity is rampant in the market right now.”

Spoofing

Spoofing is the word used to describe one of the methods by which bots manipulate the market on a large scale. By placing large amounts of buy orders in quick succession, botnets can create artificial demand – other traders (and even bots) will see that there are more buy orders racking up, and conclude that demand has increased, making the currency being traded more valuable.

Bots can be instructed to suddenly cancel orders before they go through, meaning they don’t even have to spend money to manipulate the price. As it rises, the botmasters can sell their accumulated funds at an inflated price – the method can also be used to the opposite effect, with sell orders pushing the price down to facilitate cheap accumulation.

Of course, the bots do need a large amount of money to place so many orders in the first place, meaning that they are often controlled by funds or whales who also have a number of other tricks up their sleeves.

Anatomy of a Pump and Dump

Pump and dumps are similar in the sense that artificial demand is being created – this time, the method is a little more public. Influencers are hired to spread the word that a certain currency is doing well, or has promising partnerships being announced – market-moving news and social media posts are released in quick succession, creating hype.

The hype leads people to invest, inflating the price of the currency which the pump and dump orchestrators will have already accumulated. Then they sell a huge amount off, creating a trend reversal which causes the currency to lose value and typically revert back to the original price or even lower, burning all the investors who bought the hype.

Here are the different stages of a typical pump and dump according to Crypto Frenzy:

1) Position Building: accumulating vast amounts of a currency, often one with a low market cap that is easier to manipulate. Position building is contingent on part two:

2) Suppressing prices: After accumulating enough to spoof the market, spoofing and then canceling sell orders drives the price even lower. At this stage, the market is already being manipulated in such a way that could be capitalized on, but pump and dumps take things much further than traditional spoofing.

3) Test Pump: A test pump is implemented through spoofing and sometimes social media hype to slightly increase the price, driving out weak hands looking to sell early and leaving only people who want to ride the currency to the moon and won’t sell easily, giving the whales more complete control.

4) Actual Pump: This is where the price inflation tactics begin in earnest, taking prices to the top.

5) Shakeouts: A sudden forced price reaction tanks prices and shakes out more sellers.

6) Re-allocation and distribution: A carefully coordinated series of buys and sells on the part of the whale facilitates rich market activity and creates the impression of a healthy price increase.

7) Exiting – The Dump: This is where the whales leave the other traders holding the bill for their very expensive exercise in market manipulation. This is usually done in bits and pieces – it’s difficult to make a major exit without deflating the price, but this will begin during the reallocation phase and gradually continue until the whale has exited at the top or the price has crashed.

These tactics are illegal under SEC regulations when used to trade FOREX currencies or stock – but in the crypto market we have yet to see regulations that protect investors from such activity, and indeed, there are those in the space who would prefer manipulation over government regulation in any case.

Online Cryptocurrency Resources

Online Cryptocurrency Resources we Recommend

Trusting online resources can be a daunting task. How do you know that site is really legit? With this resource we sift through the crap and provide you with reliable cryptocurrency and blockchain resources. Here is a list of online cryptocurrency resources that will help you keep track of and research different topics in the crypto space:

Coinmarketcap

Coinmarketcap

The best site to begin researching any project, new or old, in crypto. They show total market capitalization, price (in USD or BTC terms), daily volume, circulating coin supply and price change as well as other historical metrics for every notable coin in crypto. One of if not the most used website for quickly referencing quick coin and token metrics. Possibly the most important online cryptocurrency resource out there.

Live Coin Watch

LiveCoinWatch Crypto Market Cap

New kid to the block, Live Coin Watch provides your with an alternative to the monopoly Coinmarketcap has. Live Coin Watch has a much more modern design and feel and a host of features to help you analyze the market. Provides ALL the data points you’ll need to properly research any relevant project in crypto and then some. It even allows you to switch the Korean markets on or off. Nifty, right?

Bitcointalk

A huge forum where everything in the crypto world is announced and discussed. This is an indispensable resource for researching any project or current event related to the cryptocurrency and blockchain world. Do not let the Forum nature decieve you, this is a mine of knowledge. 

Coinigy and Trading View (Subscription services)

Trading View tool

The two most used platforms by traders for technical analysis tools and indicators. If you are serious about trading these are must have cryptocurrency resourcse. Both services offer a free trial period of 30 days. Check it out, see if it’s your thang. 

Onchainfx.com

OCFX Crypto resources

A traders dream site. Allows users to visualize and filter through any type of crypto data you can think of. Highly recommended.

ICO Whitelists

ICOWhitelist

Tracks new projects (ICOs) with newsletter alerts for whitelist (signing up to be an early investor) deadlines as well as tracking the number of members that each project has in their telegram channel (updated every 15 minutes) and other relevant information. Very useful to get an idea of the market sentiment for a recently announced project. 

Token Data

Token data

Tracks ICO data for past, ongoing and future ICOs. It includes price and a calendar feature. Great way to know what the original ICO price was for a token before investing in it. 

Ian Balina

Ian does in depth project analysis for upcoming ICOs. Very insightful on what is driving the crypto markets (though he is a bit or a primadona these days). He uses both data analysis and fundamental analysis as well as speaking to team members to rate projects. The most relevant cryptocurrency resource for people interested in becoming ICO investors as well as a great way to learn about new projects. 

Coin360.io

Coin360io

Relatively new to the space Coin360 brings users a visual representation of the cryptocurrency universe. It’s a great tool to get a general feeling of the crypto space’s mood. You can zoom in and double click tickers for more details and apply filters.

Masternodes.Online

Masternodes.online

A resources that tracks cryptocurrencies that have Masternodes online. It provides you many data points such as price of the coin, number of nodes, required amount of coins to stake, and Return on Investment. Be careful though lot’s of these high ROI masternode coins are people staking and instadumping. If you don’t know what a Masternode is, check out our guide.

Masters of Crypto Forum

For crypto discussions, Masters of Crypto is a growing cryptocurrency forum that focuses on helpful information for both beginner and advanced investors. They have over 2,500 members and 20,686 discussions.

*Twitter

One of the most important resources for anyone interested in cryptocurrency and blockchain. For an up to date list of our recommended twitter follows go to crypto twitter guide and online cryptocurrency resources. 

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