Trading the London Session: Guide for Forex Traders
Trading the London Session: Guide for Forex Traders
How end of day trading can change your life.
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FOREX, USDCRC End of Day and Historical Quotes [US Dollar
LondonForexRush.com – The London Forex Rush Trading System
H1 Backtest of ParallaxFX's BBStoch system
Disclaimer: None of this is financial advice. I have no idea what I'm doing. Please do your own research or you will certainly lose money. I'm not a statistician, data scientist, well-seasoned trader, or anything else that would qualify me to make statements such as the below with any weight behind them. Take them for the incoherent ramblings that they are. TL;DR at the bottom for those not interested in the details. This is a bit of a novel, sorry about that. It was mostly for getting my own thoughts organized, but if even one person reads the whole thing I will feel incredibly accomplished.
For those of you not familiar, please see the various threads on this trading system here. I can't take credit for this system, all glory goes to ParallaxFX! I wanted to see how effective this system was at H1 for a couple of reasons: 1) My current broker is TD Ameritrade - their Forex minimum is a mini lot, and I don't feel comfortable enough yet with the risk to trade mini lots on the higher timeframes(i.e. wider pip swings) that ParallaxFX's system uses, so I wanted to see if I could scale it down. 2) I'm fairly impatient, so I don't like to wait days and days with my capital tied up just to see if a trade is going to win or lose. This does mean it requires more active attention since you are checking for setups once an hour instead of once a day or every 4-6 hours, but the upside is that you trade more often this way so you end up winning or losing faster and moving onto the next trade. Spread does eat more of the trade this way, but I'll cover this in my data below - it ends up not being a problem. I looked at data from 6/11 to 7/3 on all pairs with a reasonable spread(pairs listed at bottom above the TL;DR). So this represents about 3-4 weeks' worth of trading. I used mark(mid) price charts. Spreadsheet link is below for anyone that's interested.
I'm pretty much using ParallaxFX's system textbook, but since there are a few options in his writeups, I'll include all the discretionary points here:
I'm using the stop entry version - so I wait for the price to trade beyond the confirmation candle(in the direction of my trade) before entering. I don't have any data to support this decision, but I've always preferred this method over retracement-limit entries. Maybe I just like the feeling of a higher winrate even though there can be greater R:R using a limit entry. Variety is the spice of life.
I put my stop loss right at the opposite edge of the confirmation candle. NOT at the edge of the 2-candle pattern that makes up the system. I'll get into this more below - not enough trades are saved to justify the wider stops. (Wider stop means less $ per pip won, assuming you still only risk 1%).
All my profit/loss statistics are based on a 1% risk per trade. Because 1 is real easy to multiply.
There are definitely some questionable trades in here, but I tried to make it as mechanical as possible for evaluation purposes. They do fit the definitions of the system, which is why I included them. You could probably improve the winrate by being more discretionary about your trades by looking at support/resistance or other techniques.
I didn't use MBB much for either entering trades, or as support/resistance indicators. Again, trying to be pretty mechanical here just for data collection purposes. Plus, we all make bad trading decisions now and then, so let's call it even.
As stated in the title, this is for H1 only. These results may very well not play out for other time frames - who knows, it may not even work on H1 starting this Monday. Forex is an unpredictable place.
I collected data to show efficacy of taking profit at three different levels: -61.8%, -100% and -161.8% fib levels described in the system using the passive trade management method(set it and forget it). I'll have more below about moving up stops and taking off portions of a position.
And now for the fun. Results!
Total Trades: 241
TP at -61.8%: 177 out of 241: 73.44%
TP at -100%: 156 out of 241: 64.73%
TP at -161.8%: 121 out of 241: 50.20%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account):
TP at -61.8%: 5.22%
TP at -100%: 23.55%
TP at -161.8%: 29.14%
As you can see, a higher target ended up with higher profit despite a much lower winrate. This is partially just how things work out with profit targets in general, but there's an additional point to consider in our case: the spread. Since we are trading on a lower timeframe, there is less overall price movement and thus the spread takes up a much larger percentage of the trade than it would if you were trading H4, Daily or Weekly charts. You can see exactly how much it accounts for each trade in my spreadsheet if you're interested. TDA does not have the best spreads, so you could probably improve these results with another broker. EDIT: I grabbed typical spreads from other brokers, and turns out while TDA is pretty competitive on majors, their minors/crosses are awful! IG beats them by 20-40% and Oanda beats them 30-60%! Using IG spreads for calculations increased profits considerably (another 5% on top) and Oanda spreads increased profits massively (another 15%!). Definitely going to be considering another broker than TDA for this strategy. Plus that'll allow me to trade micro-lots, so I can be more granular(and thus accurate) with my position sizing and compounding.
A Note on Spread
As you can see in the data, there were scenarios where the spread was 80% of the overall size of the trade(the size of the confirmation candle that you draw your fibonacci retracements over), which would obviously cut heavily into your profits. Removing any trades where the spread is more than 50% of the trade width improved profits slightly without removing many trades, but this is almost certainly just coincidence on a small sample size. Going below 40% and even down to 30% starts to cut out a lot of trades for the less-common pairs, but doesn't actually change overall profits at all(~1% either way). However, digging all the way down to 25% starts to really make some movement. Profit at the -161.8% TP level jumps up to 37.94% if you filter out anything with a spread that is more than 25% of the trade width! And this even keeps the sample size fairly large at 187 total trades. You can get your profits all the way up to 48.43% at the -161.8% TP level if you filter all the way down to only trades where spread is less than 15% of the trade width, however your sample size gets much smaller at that point(108 trades) so I'm not sure I would trust that as being accurate in the long term. Overall based on this data, I'm going to only take trades where the spread is less than 25% of the trade width. This may bias my trades more towards the majors, which would mean a lot more correlated trades as well(more on correlation below), but I think it is a reasonable precaution regardless.
Time of Day
Time of day had an interesting effect on trades. In a totally predictable fashion, a vast majority of setups occurred during the London and New York sessions: 5am-12pm Eastern. However, there was one outlier where there were many setups on the 11PM bar - and the winrate was about the same as the big hours in the London session. No idea why this hour in particular - anyone have any insight? That's smack in the middle of the Tokyo/Sydney overlap, not at the open or close of either. On many of the hour slices I have a feeling I'm just dealing with small number statistics here since I didn't have a lot of data when breaking it down by individual hours. But here it is anyway - for all TP levels, these three things showed up(all in Eastern time):
7pm-4am: Fewer setups, but winrate high.
5am-6am: Lots of setups, but but winrate low.
12pm-3pm Medium number of setups, but winrate low.
I don't have any reason to think these timeframes would maintain this behavior over the long term. They're almost certainly meaningless. EDIT: When you de-dup highly correlated trades, the number of trades in these timeframes really drops, so from this data there is no reason to think these timeframes would be any different than any others in terms of winrate. That being said, these time frames work out for me pretty well because I typically sleep 12am-7am Eastern time. So I automatically avoid the 5am-6am timeframe, and I'm awake for the majority of this system's setups.
Moving stops up to breakeven
This section goes against everything I know and have ever heard about trade management. Please someone find something wrong with my data. I'd love for someone to check my formulas, but I realize that's a pretty insane time commitment to ask of a bunch of strangers. Anyways. What I found was that for these trades moving stops up...basically at all...actually reduced the overall profitability. One of the data points I collected while charting was where the price retraced back to after hitting a certain milestone. i.e. once the price hit the -61.8% profit level, how far back did it retrace before hitting the -100% profit level(if at all)? And same goes for the -100% profit level - how far back did it retrace before hitting the -161.8% profit level(if at all)? Well, some complex excel formulas later and here's what the results appear to be. Emphasis on appears because I honestly don't believe it. I must have done something wrong here, but I've gone over it a hundred times and I can't find anything out of place.
Moving SL up to 0% when the price hits -61.8%, TP at -100%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 5.36%
Taking half position off at -61.8%, moving SL up to 0%, TP remaining half at -100%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): -1.01% (yes, a net loss)
Now, you might think exactly what I did when looking at these numbers: oof, the spread killed us there right? Because even when you move your SL to 0%, you still end up paying the spread, so it's not truly "breakeven". And because we are trading on a lower timeframe, the spread can be pretty hefty right? Well even when I manually modified the data so that the spread wasn't subtracted(i.e. "Breakeven" was truly +/- 0), things don't look a whole lot better, and still way worse than the passive trade management method of leaving your stops in place and letting it run. And that isn't even a realistic scenario because to adjust out the spread you'd have to move your stoploss inside the candle edge by at least the spread amount, meaning it would almost certainly be triggered more often than in the data I collected(which was purely based on the fib levels and mark price). Regardless, here are the numbers for that scenario:
Moving SL up to 0% when the price hits -61.8%, TP at -100%
Winrate(breakeven doesn't count as a win): 46.4%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 17.97%
Taking half position off at -61.8%, moving SL up to 0%, TP remaining half at -100%
Winrate(breakeven doesn't count as a win): 65.97%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 11.60%
From a literal standpoint, what I see behind this behavior is that 44 of the 69 breakeven trades(65%!) ended up being profitable to -100% after retracing deeply(but not to the original SL level), which greatly helped offset the purely losing trades better than the partial profit taken at -61.8%. And 36 went all the way back to -161.8% after a deep retracement without hitting the original SL. Anyone have any insight into this? Is this a problem with just not enough data? It seems like enough trades that a pattern should emerge, but again I'm no expert. I also briefly looked at moving stops to other lower levels (78.6%, 61.8%, 50%, 38.2%, 23.6%), but that didn't improve things any. No hard data to share as I only took a quick look - and I still might have done something wrong overall. The data is there to infer other strategies if anyone would like to dig in deep(more explanation on the spreadsheet below). I didn't do other combinations because the formulas got pretty complicated and I had already answered all the questions I was looking to answer.
2-Candle vs Confirmation Candle Stops
Another interesting point is that the original system has the SL level(for stop entries) just at the outer edge of the 2-candle pattern that makes up the system. Out of pure laziness, I set up my stops just based on the confirmation candle. And as it turns out, that is much a much better way to go about it. Of the 60 purely losing trades, only 9 of them(15%) would go on to be winners with stops on the 2-candle formation. Certainly not enough to justify the extra loss and/or reduced profits you are exposing yourself to in every single other trade by setting a wider SL. Oddly, in every single scenario where the wider stop did save the trade, it ended up going all the way to the -161.8% profit level. Still, not nearly worth it.
As I've said many times now, I'm really not qualified to be doing an analysis like this. This section in particular. Looking at shared currency among the pairs traded, 74 of the trades are correlated. Quite a large group, but it makes sense considering the sort of moves we're looking for with this system. This means you are opening yourself up to more risk if you were to trade on every signal since you are technically trading with the same underlying sentiment on each different pair. For example, GBP/USD and AUD/USD moving together almost certainly means it's due to USD moving both pairs, rather than GBP and AUD both moving the same size and direction coincidentally at the same time. So if you were to trade both signals, you would very likely win or lose both trades - meaning you are actually risking double what you'd normally risk(unless you halve both positions which can be a good option, and is discussed in ParallaxFX's posts and in various other places that go over pair correlation. I won't go into detail about those strategies here). Interestingly though, 17 of those apparently correlated trades ended up with different wins/losses. Also, looking only at trades that were correlated, winrate is 83%/70%/55% (for the three TP levels). Does this give some indication that the same signal on multiple pairs means the signal is stronger? That there's some strong underlying sentiment driving it? Or is it just a matter of too small a sample size? The winrate isn't really much higher than the overall winrates, so that makes me doubt it is statistically significant. One more funny tidbit: EUCAD netted the lowest overall winrate: 30% to even the -61.8% TP level on 10 trades. Seems like that is just a coincidence and not enough data, but dang that's a sucky losing streak. EDIT: WOW I spent some time removing correlated trades manually and it changed the results quite a bit. Some thoughts on this below the results. These numbers also include the other "What I will trade" filters. I added a new worksheet to my data to show what I ended up picking.
Total Trades: 75
TP at -61.8%: 84.00%
TP at -100%: 73.33%
TP at -161.8%: 60.00%
Moving SL up to 0% when the price hits -61.8%, TP at -100%: 53.33%
Taking half position off at -61.8%, moving SL up to 0%, TP remaining half at -100%: 53.33% (yes, oddly the exact same winrate. but different trades/profits)
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account):
TP at -61.8%: 18.13%
TP at -100%: 26.20%
TP at -161.8%: 34.01%
Moving SL up to 0% when the price hits -61.8%, TP at -100%: 19.20%
Taking half position off at -61.8%, moving SL up to 0%, TP remaining half at -100%: 17.29%
To do this, I removed correlated trades - typically by choosing those whose spread had a lower % of the trade width since that's objective and something I can see ahead of time. Obviously I'd like to only keep the winning trades, but I won't know that during the trade. This did reduce the overall sample size down to a level that I wouldn't otherwise consider to be big enough, but since the results are generally consistent with the overall dataset, I'm not going to worry about it too much. I may also use more discretionary methods(support/resistance, quality of indecision/confirmation candles, news/sentiment for the pairs involved, etc) to filter out correlated trades in the future. But as I've said before I'm going for a pretty mechanical system. This brought the 3 TP levels and even the breakeven strategies much closer together in overall profit. It muted the profit from the high R:R strategies and boosted the profit from the low R:R strategies. This tells me pair correlation was skewing my data quite a bit, so I'm glad I dug in a little deeper. Fortunately my original conclusion to use the -161.8 TP level with static stops is still the winner by a good bit, so it doesn't end up changing my actions. There were a few times where MANY (6-8) correlated pairs all came up at the same time, so it'd be a crapshoot to an extent. And the data showed this - often then won/lost together, but sometimes they did not. As an arbitrary rule, the more correlations, the more trades I did end up taking(and thus risking). For example if there were 3-5 correlations, I might take the 2 "best" trades given my criteria above. 5+ setups and I might take the best 3 trades, even if the pairs are somewhat correlated. I have no true data to back this up, but to illustrate using one example: if AUD/JPY, AUD/USD, CAD/JPY, USD/CAD all set up at the same time (as they did, along with a few other pairs on 6/19/20 9:00 AM), can you really say that those are all the same underlying movement? There are correlations between the different correlations, and trying to filter for that seems rough. Although maybe this is a known thing, I'm still pretty green to Forex - someone please enlighten me if so! I might have to look into this more statistically, but it would be pretty complex to analyze quantitatively, so for now I'm going with my gut and just taking a few of the "best" trades out of the handful. Overall, I'm really glad I went further on this. The boosting of the B/E strategies makes me trust my calculations on those more since they aren't so far from the passive management like they were with the raw data, and that really had me wondering what I did wrong.
What I will trade
Putting all this together, I am going to attempt to trade the following(demo for a bit to make sure I have the hang of it, then for keeps):
"System Details" I described above.
TP at -161.8%
Static SL at opposite side of confirmation candle - I won't move stops up to breakeven.
Trade only 7am-11am and 4pm-11pm signals.
Nothing where spread is more than 25% of trade width.
Looking at the data for these rules, test results are:
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 47.43%
I'll be sure to let everyone know how it goes!
Other Technical Details
ATR is only slightly elevated in this date range from historical levels, so this should fairly closely represent reality even after the COVID volatility leaves the scalpers sad and alone.
The sample size is much too small for anything really meaningful when you slice by hour or pair. I wasn't particularly looking to test a specific pair here - just the system overall as if you were going to trade it on all pairs with a reasonable spread.
Here's the spreadsheet for anyone that'd like it. (EDIT: Updated some of the setups from the last few days that have fully played out now. I also noticed a few typos, but nothing major that would change the overall outcomes. Regardless, I am currently reviewing every trade to ensure they are accurate.UPDATE: Finally all done. Very few corrections, no change to results.) I have some explanatory notes below to help everyone else understand the spiraled labyrinth of a mind that put the spreadsheet together.
I'm on the East Coast in the US, so the timestamps are Eastern time.
Time stamp is from the confirmation candle, not the indecision candle. So 7am would mean the indecision candle was 6:00-6:59 and the confirmation candle is 7:00-7:59 and you'd put in your order at 8:00.
I found a couple AM/PM typos as I was reviewing the data, so let me know if a trade doesn't make sense and I'll correct it.
Insanely detailed spreadsheet notes
For you real nerds out there. Here's an explanation of what each column means:
Pair - duh
Date/Time - Eastern time, confirmation candle as stated above
Win to -61.8%? - whether the trade made it to the -61.8% TP level before it hit the original SL.
Win to -100%? - whether the trade made it to the -100% TP level before it hit the original SL.
Win to -161.8%? - whether the trade made it to the -161.8% TP level before it hit the original SL.
Retracement level between -61.8% and -100% - how deep the price retraced after hitting -61.8%, but before hitting -100%. Be careful to look for the negative signs, it's easy to mix them up. Using the fib% levels defined in ParallaxFX's original thread. A plain hyphen "-" means it did not retrace, but rather went straight through -61.8% to -100%. Positive 100 means it hit the original SL.
Retracement level between -100% and -161.8% - how deep the price retraced after hitting -100%, but before hitting -161.8%. Be careful to look for the negative signs, it's easy to mix them up. Using the fib% levels defined in ParallaxFX's original thread. A plain hyphen "-" means it did not retrace, but rather went straight through -100% to -161.8%. Positive 100 means it hit the original SL.
Trade Width(Pips) - the size of the confirmation candle, and thus the "width" of your trade on which to determine position size, draw fib levels, etc.
Loser saved by 2 candle stop? - for all losing trades, whether or not the 2-candle stop loss would have saved the trade and how far it ended up getting if so. "No" means it didn't save it, N/A means it wasn't a losing trade so it's not relevant.
Spread(ThinkorSwim) - these are typical spreads for these pairs on ToS.
Spread % of Width - How big is the spread compared to the trade width? Not used in any calculations, but interesting nonetheless.
True Risk(Trade Width + Spread) - I set my SL at the opposite side of the confirmation candle knowing that I'm actually exposing myself to slightly more risk because of the spread(stop order = market order when submitted, so you pay the spread). So this tells you how many pips you are actually risking despite the Trade Width. I prefer this over setting the stop inside from the edge of the candle because some pairs have a wide spread that would mess with the system overall. But also many, many of these trades retraced very nearly to the edge of the confirmation candle, before ending up nicely profitable. If you keep your risk per trade at 1%, you're talking a true risk of, at most, 1.25% (in worst-case scenarios with the spread being 25% of the trade width as I am going with above).
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread TP -61.8% - not going to go into huge detail, see the spreadsheet for calculations if you want. But, in a nutshell, if the trade was a win to 61.8%, it returns a positive # based on 61.8% of the trade width, minus the spread. Otherwise, it returns the True Risk as a negative. Both normalized to the 1% risk you started with.
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread TP -100% - same as the last, but 100% of Trade Width.
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread TP -161.8% - same as the last, but 161.8% of Trade Width.
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread TP -100%, and move SL to breakeven at 61.8% - uses the retracement level columns to calculate profit/loss the same as the last few columns, but assuming you moved SL to 0% fib level after price hit -61.8%. Then full TP at 100%.
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread take off half of position at -61.8%, move SL to breakeven, TP 100% - uses the retracement level columns to calculate profit/loss the same as the last few columns, but assuming you took of half the position and moved SL to 0% fib level after price hit -61.8%. Then TP the remaining half at 100%.
Overall Growth(-161.8% TP, 1% Risk) - pretty straightforward. Assuming you risked 1% on each trade, what the overall growth level would be chronologically(spreadsheet is sorted by date).
Based on the reasonable rules I discovered in this backtest:
Date range: 6/11-7/3
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 47.43%
Feeling good lately. Wanted to share my personal checklist for what I do in leading up to a trade in case there might be someone who finds it helpful.
So, in short about me, Im in my mid 20s, and have been trading for about 5 years. The first 2 I did not take seriously at all, I was in college, working a lot and had a lot happening, long story short, I have given it my all the past 3 years and have done really well to the point Im starting to have close friends/family ask me to teach them or how to get started. Im not here to teach anyone or promote anything so please do not PM me asking for my strategy or for help on any of the things I mention. My only reply would be to use your friends google and youtube to do your own research into each checklist item, if I even responded at all. Anyways, today id like to just try to give back to this sub a little bit. I see a good bit of negativity on here and have even found myself bickering with users on here which has led me to pay a lot less attention to this sub altogether. One thing I recently noticed is that we are at 80k members in here! I think I subscribed just 2-3 or so years ago and it was around 15k. So that tells me that up to ~80% of this sub probably has less than 3 years experience. So obviously a ton of people are all here debating/arguing/attacking/trolling ideas/topics or users that are likely still in the learning phase so this sub I feel like can often discourage or delay a new persons chances of success because everything about forex is subjective, Technicals, Fundamentals, RM/Psychology, all of it is subjective and when users clash it often ends up toxic and someone that is new may completely give up just because they ran into some asshole on here. I believe what I share could benefit this community and if it happens to do so I may post more breadowns on different topics. For me personally, I enjoy daytrading. I've tried all types and find daytrading to be the best fit for me. I trade the London/NY crossover, for me that is 5-9:30am central time. Occasionally ill come in an hour early or stay an hour late. I trade 18 pairs, majors, crosses and gold, occasionally silver. No CHF and only few NZD. I know countless people who do just fine with CHF and NZD but from my results over time I do the least well with those. The RSI is mainly the only indicator I use, occasionally an EMA or Bollinger band. Also I have a sessions indicator I sometimes use that I had a friend make for me that outlines a box around my 5-9:30 time and range. My list of factors in being a successful trader, in order are
*Ill go ahead and state, directed to newbies, that strategy is important but is one of the lesser important factors in the sense of thinking long term, most new traders are out strictly searching for the golden strategy, which doesn't exist or it would be well known, even my best strategy is around 80% which I believe is awesome but without having 1-3 covered, any strategy is useless. This is my checklist, in order, although some are kind of closely related. I could go on and on about every point but ill try to keep it short and let you use your friends google and youtube to go further into any point you are more interested in understanding better. Before the trade/before I start trading this takes around 15 minutes for me to have all these in check, so I arrive at my desk around 4:30-4:45am to get all these in check
Psychology- your mental state is the most important factor. You need to be in a clear state of mind and not have anything heavy weighing on you.
News- Go ahead and be aware of upcoming news events, I use forexfactory.com and only takes me a minute or 2 to review the news and get a bias on what might happen or if any currency should be avoided due to high impact news.
Risk Management- Never take a trade risking over 1-2% of your account is kind of known standard for decent risk management. I would mostly agree but I'm personally super conservative and trade 0.25-1% per trade. Also I aim for trades with at least a 1:2 Risk:Reward, never ever less than a 1:1. When trading most days, I already kinda have the pip value and expected risk lot size in my head before im even at my desk, just because its fresh on my mind. I use https://www.myfxbook.com/forex-calculators/position-size to calculate my risks if i'm unsure.
*The more data you can gather about the pairs you trade the more you can use RM to your advantage, For instance, I backtest ALL THE TIME, constantly trying to learn as much as I can about my pairs such as: How many trade setups did each pair produce each week, month year? What pair produced the most setups? What pairs provided the most wins, losses or breakevens? What time during my session did the trade setup form? How many trades went for 20 pips, 40 pips or 100 pips? (for swing traders or scalpers you may want to adjust these numbers) Did news affect my trades? What happened in the Asian session? Early London session? Knowing this information allows me to organize my attention to the more profitable pairs for my strategy. I'm almost certain very very few people may have the same exact strategy I use but just as a tid bit out of my 18 the best ones for me in 2019, not necessarily in order, were GOLD, GBP/AUD, GBP/CAD, GBP/USD, GBP/JPY, EUAUD, EUCAD. These 7 have been my favorites and most reliable, so I will do 0.75-1% risk for these. Next preferred, in no particular order, are EUGBP, CAD/JPY, AUD/JPY, AUD/CAD, EUNZD, GBP/NZD, GOLD/EURO. For these 7 I use a 0.25-0.75% risk. The last 4 are EUUSD, USD/JPY, USD/CAD, EUJPY, which I use a 0.25% on typically. This doesn't mean the pairs suck or anything, again this was based off my strategy, could be completely different for you but I hope you can see how this improves your odds vs just slapping a 2% trade across all pairs. If you do some research you'll find my best ones were also some of the most volatile and had higher ADRs.
Trend. Since I daytrade I don't pay as much attention to H4, D1, W1, M1 although I do establish a bias for these timeframes, and I typically don't check these everyday honestly, because Ill already know in my head where these are. So I check H1, M30, M15 for my daily bias, Trying to establish a good trendline on the H1, preferably a nice channel.
What did Asian/Early London sessions do? My trades typically form bettemore often/more reliable when the Asian session is mostly flat or around a 20-50 pip range, more or less depending on the pair and ADR.
So these are before, this section is about being aware of news and establishing bias'. Also note other than news, your bias' may or may not be correct, this is simply just getting an idea before we jump into ouyour session. It takes me a short while and it worth doing, especially the psychology part, I probably spend half of the time just on number 1, not to watch some motivation video or get super pumped but more so just getting relaxed, putting worries aside if there are any, getting rid of distractions, maybe some light/short meditation. 4:30-5am is definitely a quiet time so its relatively easy to do. I might have a cup of coffee but no more than 1-2 to not get jitters or too much hype in me. During my session/preparing for a trade. I wont go in to my specific strategy but I believe the checklist can work with many strategies.
Wait for overbought/oversold on RSI, over 75 or below 25. I don't trade in the middle of the range, simple rule we all know buy low, sell high. I set an alert for when the RSI hits either 75 or 25 so I can start to pay attention to it. I simply wait for an RSI alert then bring that pair to my attention. THIS DOES NOT MEAN ENTER AS SOON AS RSI IS TOUCHED, It just tells me I may potentially have a setup form on that pair soon. The alert allows me to trade 18 pairs relatively easily because there's no way I could sit there and constantly be flipping through charts for hour on end. I have been (what I feel like is) more aggressive in the recent years trading this many pairs. I have a reliable strategy that I could easily cut the the latter 4-11 pairs I mentioned out and just get paid off my best 7 which I probably will in the future as i've gotten more involved in other businesses and opportunities. For now and recently it hurts worse than a loss to know there was a clean trade setup that I missed just because I didn't have it up on MT4. A loss I can study and identify why I was wrong or what went wrong, a missed clean pattern just sucks lol
Pattern/Setup. There's a ton of candlestick/pattern formations that happen and people learn an example here where a user posts a lot of charts and examples of all kids of patterns. https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4846473.0 So again for new traders, This can be incredibly overwhelming to attempt to learn everything and every pattern. I trade 4 patterns total, 2 when buying , 2 when selling. My advice is find a pattern or 2 and stick to them for a decent amount of time before switching or trying others, I know plenty of traders that stick to 2 patterns, 1 buy, 1 sell and are set. I've studied many but have found my favorite 4. You have to pick a pattern and pay attention to it over time gathering all the info you can to understand if that pattern works well. Every single pattern you can find online has happened on every single pair before, often times over and over and over. Find a pattern/setup, study how much it moves, if news affects the pair, how many times that patterns forms, how it acts around trendlines, etc.
Once I have identified a clean setup I begin to think risk/reward, SL/TP, entries/exits, having clear risk and targets in mind instead of jumping in and hoping it goes well. I pay attention to recent levels, Support/Resistances, Trendline touches and news to get an idea to where to place my SL/TP. I wouldn't recommend just using a flat amount for an example such as a 40 pip SL and a 80 pip TP across all pairs. A value of a pip changes across different pairs (An entire topic that should be learned but the calculator from myfxbook I stated takes care of the pip value for you.
I check other pairs that have the same currencies involved from the pair I received an alert on to see if there are similar setups forming on those. Currencies have positive and negative correlations, meaning some pairs move together and some pairs move opposite. For instance typically EUUSD and GBP/USD move in the same direction and EUUSD and USD/CHF typically move in opposite directions. This is largely due to economic factors. Here's a link that gives a little more insight but this one doesn't list all of the correlations out there. https://www.markettraders.com/blog/understanding-currency-pairs-correlation/. So if I see or get alerted for a potential setup on EUUSD I can check GBP/USD to see if there is a setup there too.
Enter after patten had been confirmed and is clean.
So these 5 are leading up to entering the market. Based on my backtesting, I typically get around 3-4 setups per day. Sometimes theres none, sometimes theres 10. I never ever force a trade on a slow day, I know that my pattern will happen eventually so I never take a setup I think is iffy or that im forcing. Also that is another reason I keep my risk low incase there are days where 10 trades happen that all look good. So for my session I place my trades around 5-9:30am central time and I usually close them by noon cst when NY session has ended and prices start to go flat. Occasionally I might hold for a day or 2 if I took a good trade in line with the trend and other factors. So after the trades are placed I have just one thing left
Psychology- I said this was the most important, it comes full circle for me and many other. Trading my session and my strategy means my trades could be open for 5 minutes or up to 7 hours. A good trader needs to be able to handle his emotions and trust the process. This means trusting in your setup and let it run while also knowing when to get out in case it show signs of going against you. A traders real job is to manage risk, not to make big trades or a ton of trades. The more selective you are after you've learned a pattern and having everything else in line, the better. There are 5 outcomes of every trade Big win, small win, breakeven, small loss, big loss. To become a successful trader you just need to eliminate the big losses. For me I look at a small win and a small loss basically as breakeven trades. This helps with my psychology because to me it all ends up evening out, just the cost of business. If you take a small loss or small win and let that affect your psychology going to the next trade youre hurting yourself. Sometimes I take a 5-10 pip profit instead of holding and then it going against me for a loss and sometimes I take a 5-10 pip profit and it could've been 100 pips in my favor. Oh well, I protected my account and I know more setups will come tomorrow or later this week.
That is my complete checklist for entering the market. 11 bullets to cover, 5 before you start your session, 5 leading up to entering and 1 during/closing the trade. I hope this will be beneficial to some and may try to post a little more if I see it is helpful. Thank you for still reading this far! Best wishes in your trading endeavors and 2020! Edit: I forgot to mention for a beginner or any skill level I highly highly recommend getting a simulator. There’s several out there, I don’t want to break any rules by naming which one I use, but they basically all work the same, all close to $100 which if you understand the power of backtesting you realize how necessary it is to have and that cost is nothing. A simulator allows you to download the candlestick tick data for any pair, for as far back as the pair’s chart goes. So then you can pick a day in the past, any day, pick your timeframe, and press play and the chart will start playing out like it actually did on the day it happened. So you see every little tick up and down. You can control the speed and speed it up fast so you can cover a years worth of trading of a currency in just a few hours. This makes it really easy to get a ton of accurate data in a short time. Demo trading is cool but fully controlled simulated trading kicks ass. I can’t recommend it enough. Edit 2: my apologies for showing my ass in the comments right after I spoke about the negativity in here. I posted this at local time 4 am right after I stayed up finishing my 2019 backtest results and then I noticed the 80k members and felt an inspiration to post something what I thought could be helpful. I spent over an hour on this post and the lack of sleep and 2 straight all-nighters allowed me to allow others to get under my skin after they come at me with some dumb shit. If you see a post from me just know I’ve put some thought into it and am attempting to bring value. Haters gone hate. If I see some are receiving value I’ll keep it up as long as I know it’s something valuable. Again I have nothing to sell or promote even though others assume I do just for posting this. I specifically said stay out of my inbox. Whatever I decide to teach it will be fo free. Thanks again for your time.
I’ve been reading these posts on an off for quite some time now and it saddened me to see someone had recently posted their “I quit the game” statement. We all walk through fire to stand in the green valley...and the journey has to be made on foot. And alone. And it’s tough. In response, I wanted to add a list of pointers for people starting out in this insane game and to address what I’ve learned from over a decade of trading Forex. It’s long-ish but it’s based on reality and not a bunch of meaningless retail junk systems and “insider knowledge” by nitwits on YouTube or some 19-year old “whiz kid” who apparently makes ten billion dollars a week with a mystical set-up that’ll only cost you $1,999 to buy! I became a profitable trader by keeping everything simple. I lost thousands when I started out, but I look back now and realise how easily I could’ve avoided those losses. Keep Everything Simple. For the sake of disclosure, I worked for Morgan Stanley for over a decade in fixed income but learned almost everything I know from the forex guys whom I got to know as good friends. They make markets but there’s still a lot to learn from them as a small fry trader. I got into all this as a hobby after annoying the traders with questions, and all these years later it still pays me. There are still occasional nightmare accidents but they’re far rarer to the point where they don’t affect my ROI. Possibly the most clear statement I could make about Forex trading in the large institutional setting is actually a pretty profound one: Forex traders are not what you think they are: every single forex trader I ever worked with (and who lasted the test of time) had the exact same set of personality traits: 1. NOT ONE of them was a gung-ho high-five loudmouth, 2. Every single one of them analysed their mistakes to the point of obsession, 3. They were bookish and not jocks, 4. They had the humility to admit that many early errors were the result of piss-poor planning. The loudmouths last a year and are gone. Guys who last 5, 10, 20 years in a major finance house on the trading floor are nothing like the absurd 1980s Hollywood images you see on your tv; they’re the perfect opposite of that stereotype. The absolute best I ever met was a studious Irish-Catholic guy from Boston who was conscientious, helpful, calm, and utterly committed to one thing: learning from every single error of judgement. To quote him: “Losing teaches you far more than winning”. Enough of that. These points are deliberately broad. Here goes:
Know The Pairs. It amazes me to see countless small account traders speak as though “systems” work across all pairs. They don’t. Trading GBP/CHF is an entirely different beast to trading CHF/JPY. If you don’t know the innate properties of the CHF market or the JPY or the interplay between the AUD and NZD etc then leave them alone until you do. —There’s no rush— Don’t trade pairs until you are clear on what drives ‘commodity currencies’, or what goes on behind currencies which are easily manipulated, or currencies which simply tend to range for months on end instead of having clear trends. Every pair has its own benefits and drawbacks. Google “Tips on trading the JPY” etc etc etc and get to know the personality of these currencies. They’re just products like any other....Would you buy a Honda without knowing a single thing about the brand or its engine or its durability? So why trade a currency you know nothing about?
Indicators are only telling you what you should be able to see in front of you: PRICE AND MARKET STRUCTURE. Take everything off your charts and simply ask one question: What do I see happening right here and right now? What time frame do I see it on? If you can’t spot a simple consolidation, an uptrend, or a downtrend on a quick high-versus-low time frame scan then no indicator on the planet will help you.
Do you know why momentum indicators work on clear trends but are often a complete disaster on ranges? If not, why not? Do you know why such indicators are losing you tons of trades on low TFs? Do you actually understand the simple mathematics of any indicator? If the answer to these questions is “no” then why are you using these things and piling on indicator after indicator after indicator until you have some psychedelic disco on your screen that looks like an intergalactic dogfight in Star Wars? Keep it simple. Know thy indicator.
Risk:Reward Addiction. The greatest profit killer. So you set up your stops and limits at 1:1.5 or whatever and say “That’s me done” only to come back and see that your limit was missed by a soul-crushing 5 pips before reversing trend to cost you $100, $200, $1000. So you say “Ah but the system is fine”. Guys...this isn’t poker; it doesn’t have to be a zero sum game. Get over your 1:1.5 addiction —The Market Does Not Owe You 50 Pips— Which leads to the next point which, frankly, is what has allowed me to make money consistently for my entire trading life...
YOU WILL NEVER GO BROKE TAKING A PROFIT. So you want to take that 50-pip profit in two hours because some analyst says it’ll happen or because your trend lines say it has to happen. You set your 1:1.5 order. “I’ll check where I’m at in an hour” you say. An hour later you see you’re up 18 pips and you feel you’re owed more by now. “If I close this trade now I could be missing out on a stack”. So what?! Here’s an example: I trade in sterling. I was watching GBP climb against it’s post-GDP flop report and once I was up £157 I thought “This is going to start bouncing off resistance all morning and I don’t need the hassle of riding the rollercoaster all day long”. So I closed it, took the £157, went to make breakfast. Came back shortly afterwards and looked at the chart and saw that I could’ve made about £550 if I’d trusted myself. Do I care? Absolutely not...in fact it usually makes me laugh. So I enter another trade, make another quick £40, then another £95. Almost £300 in less than 45 mins and I’m supposed to cry over the £250 I “missed out on”?
£300 in less than an hour for doing nothing more than waiting for some volatility then tapping a keyboard. It’s almost a sin to make money that easily and I don’t “deserve” any of it. Shut off the laptop. Go out for the day. Does the following sound familiar? “Okay I’m almost at my take-profit...almost!.....almost!....okay it’s bouncing away from me but it’ll come back. Come back, damnit!! Jesus come back to my limit! Ah for F**k’s sakes!! This is complete crap; that trade was almost done! This is rigged! This is worse than poker! This is total BS!!” So when you were 50% or 75% toward your goal and could see the trade slipping away why wasn’t $100 or $200 enough? You need more than that?...really?! So point 6:
Tomorrow Is Another Day. Lordy Lordy, you only made $186 all day. What a disaster! Did you lose anything? Nope. Will the market be open again tomorrow? Yep. Does London open in just four hours? Yep. Is the NOK/SGD/EUR whatever still looking shitty? Yep. So let it go- there are endless THOUSANDS of trades you can make in your lifetime and you need to let a small gain be seen for what it is: ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL PROFIT.
Four or five solid but small profits in a day = One Large Profit. I don’t care how I make it, I don’t care if it’s ten lots of £20, I don’t care if I make the lot in a single trade in 30 seconds either. And once I have a nice sum I switch the computer off and leave it the Fk alone. I don’t care if Brexit is due to detonate the pound or if some Fed guy is going to crap all over the USD in his speech; I’ve made my money and I’m out for the day. There will be other speeches, other detonations. I could get into the entire process by which I trade but it’s aggravatingly basic trend-following mostly based on fundamentals. Losing in this business really does boil down to the same appalling combination of traits that kill most traders: Greed, Impatience, Addiction. Do I trade every day? Absolutely not; if there’s nothing with higher probability trades then I just leave it alone. When I hit my target I’m out for the day- the market doesn’t give a crap about me and I don’t give a crap about the market, if you see my meaning. I played poker semi-professionally for two years and it’s absolutely soul-destroying to be “cold decked” for a whole week. But every player has to experience it in order to lose the arrogance and the bravado; losing is fine as long as you learn from it. One day you’ll be in a position to fold pocket Kings because you’ll know you’re dead in the water. The currency markets are exactly the same in that one regard: if you learn from the past you’ll know when it’s time to get out of that stupid trade or that stupid “system” that sounded so great when you had a demo account. Bank a profit. Keep your charts simple. Know the pairs. Be patient. Touch nothing till you understand it inside out. And if you’re not enjoying the game....STOP PLAYING. [if people find this helpful I might post a thread on the best books I’ve studied from and why most forex books are utterly repetitious bullshit]. Peace.
The foreign exchange market is where currencies are traded. Currencies are important to most people around the world, whether they realize it or not, because currencies need to be exchanged in order to conduct foreign trade and business. If you are living in the U.S. and want to buy cheese from France, either you or the company that you buy the cheese from has to pay the French for the cheese in euros (EUR). This means that the U.S. importer would have to exchange the equivalent value of U.S. dollars (USD) into euros. The same goes for traveling. A French tourist in Egypt can't pay in euros to see the pyramids because it's not the locally accepted currency. As such, the tourist has to exchange the euros for the local currency, in this case the Egyptian pound, at the current exchange rate. One unique aspect of this international market is that there is no central marketplace for foreign exchange. Rather, currency trading is conducted electronically over-the-counter (OTC), which means that all transactions occur via computer networks between traders around the world, rather than on one centralized exchange. The market is open 24 hours a day, five and a half days a week, and currencies are traded worldwide in the major financial centers of London, New York, Tokyo, Zurich, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris and Sydney—across almost every time zone. This means that when the trading day in the U.S. ends, the forex market begins anew in Tokyo and Hong Kong. As such, the forex market can be extremely active any time of the day, with price quotes changing constantly.
22 year old friendship ruined, need your thoughts....
I'd love some perspective on a recent story that's bothering me. Any and all perspectives welcomed. In August last year an old friend (we're 38 now and 16 when we met) had been doing a guidance ritual with his mum who is trained to be a shaman… she gave him LSD as part of the ritual- and I haven't tried it so I don't know what it's like. Anyway, for some reason I contacted him out of the blue the next day when he was still feeling some of the effects. He told me that he loved me, probably always had and it had been a long time coming. I was really surprised, but it was lovely. On some level I'd always felt like that about him (I denied it a lot over the years) but really didn't think that he would ever say or feel something like that. In that convo he said I'd make a great girlfriend and he'd be lucky to have me, I was really smart and lovely but intense and opinionated. Also, that ironically he thought he'd missed his one chance at happiness with me (you can understand the ironically part when you know the backstory). He said I was beautiful and he was stupid for not being completely in love with me. He said he was sure we'd known each other in past lives. I was very touched by all of this because I adore him but I took it with a pinch of salt, and tried to find out if it was just a fleeting feeling. But he also said that his life is on a dark path, and that in this lifetime he is only meant to suffer, maybe he'll be dead by 50 and we should see each other in the next life. He said he has huge issues (lots of drink and drugs of many types), is also very intense, and I'd never be able to handle the up and down of his lifestyle. I got the feeling that he was having those thoughts about loving me for the first time right then, so I asked him if he’d felt like that before, or just that night. And he said he’d thought it the last time we spoke when I’d interviewed him for a book a couple of years previously. But I didn’t get the impression he’d really felt like that when we were younger. I checked a month or 2 later if he remembered what he said because I thought maybe he had just been high. He said he thought he remembered everything he had said, and said I wasn't very nice for not believing him, so I was really happy and decided to go and see him. Fast forward a couple months to after Christmas - I hadn't been to see him yet- but we’d been messaging and sending photos. For Christmas, his mum had bought him a tarot card reading with a chocolate ritual with a shaman or a psychic lady, and he was sharing with me that he'd done it and that it said his head was really messed up. He seemed quite upset. So me being 5% moron, my nervousness and excitedness had returned (I was always very, very nervous around him when we were young) and I made a joke he really didn't appreciate, offering to shoot him in the head if he wanted (I was trying to lighten the mood, and also we seemed to be getting a bit more gentle, intimate and less jokey in the way that we were talking to each other, which freaks me out. He's much sweeter than he used to be, and it kind of makes me freeze up a bit). Well! Bang. It was like I stabbed him in the chest or something. It seemed to instantly remind him of all the things that annoy him about me, and after 5 months being really sweet he went cold on me. Really, really cold. From there I got very confused and kept making worse mistakes because I got nervous, and kept trying to fix it. I sent him some long, weird email which I’m sure made things worse. I also posted something on Facebook which made it look like I was chatting to other guys. All very silly. It's ridiculous. I'm an adult and am pretty confident these days. But suddenly I was really nervous again feeling like a kid and like there’s something terribly wrong with me. I arranged to go and see him for a few days in Tenerife, and before I went it was pretty tense between us and I couldn't tell if he wanted me to go or not- I did everything I could to try and find out if he actually wanted me to go or not- but he was his usual tight-lipped self. When I got there, he was very hospitable, apologized for being off-radar and showed me round, we went out to bars and the beach... We spent four days (before he had to go home to England) as a quasi-couple, and it was a very surreal experience. It was bizarrely intimate, sweet but tense, with someone I know very well... naked. For the first time I realised how peace-loving and gentle he is- which I never saw before. He can't stand a lot of the more boisterous things I do, which is fair, but ironically they're things I tended to do from nerves and trying to get his attention. I kind of got it after that- why he finds me so aversive sometimes, it's like we're stuck in a negative feedback loop, and he thinks I’m too harsh for his delicate constitution. Which, he might just be right about. In between the fun, laughing, joking, drinking, sex and bonding- of which there was lots and it was really nice - he was filled with sadness and depression, grumpiness, and a funny attitude from him that seemed to shout: "yuck, it's you, you're more like a sisteannoying irritation than a woman to me." He said that it was because his life was falling apart- and he was obviously very very depressed but trying to show me a good time and doing a good job of it too, I might add. But so many things pointed to the fact that he mainly just felt annoyed by me, found me totally unsuitable, and kind of pitied me, rather than feeling any love for me, and that he finds me generally very annoying. Wall up, blinds closed, aint comin' in. He also kept telling me about his lifestyle of drink and drugs and how everyone he knows is a junky or a crazy person. It felt like he was trying very hard to make me see reality and put me off him, or save me from him, or warn me, or see how I would react and if I would run. Or save himself from what he sees as inevitable hostility and rejection (as well as from me and how annoying I am). "Be careful what you wish for" and "curiosity killed the cat" seemed to be his repetitive catchphrases when I showed an interest in him. Apparently, his ex thinks he's a bastard, he would tell me. I think, ideally, if he could change me (he used to talk a lot about me doing DHT to rebalance myself) he would want to be in a relationship, because we enjoy each other’s company. But it could only work if he was tougher and I was less harsh. I think he sees these things quite clearly as they are – that he’s got a delicate constitution, and I’m far too frustrated by him to be delicate enough for things to work out. I’d soon get pissed off and ditch the situation, rather than sweep things under the rug and carry on from day to day in a carefree world of consumption- I just couldn’t do that. I’m a strategic future-planner. At one point we played some intimacy/trust game with lots of questions, and he loosened up a little... but the way he would answer questions like "Name 3 things you like about your partner" was like "well you ARE very caring" in the same way that someone might say "Well, Hitler WAS very spiritual." It's funny because in relationships I'm very soft in general, in recent years, but I do still get very harsh and frustrated when problems don’t seem solvable. But with him I just can't seem to relax and trust him enough to be soft with him at all, and he didn't give me a chance anyway. We just don’t trust each other- we’re not safe for each other. After I went home he checked in with me a couple times, which I liked. He tried to share some things with me that interest him, about quite spiritual or unusual subjects (trees being interconnected, aliens having been involved in human development, DHT, the memory of water… stuff that as someone who studied physics I don’t normally hear about, but I’m pretty open to hearing about them)- he's very soft and very chilled- doesn’t like stress at all. But every time I tried to dig a bit deeper and engage with him to see what it was about them that interested him - he completely ignored me. Didn’t try, nothing. Me trying to talk with him about the things he shared seemed to send the walls up and just bug him. Really really frustrating. It's like I couldn't do anything right. Particularly frustrating when he said he was trying to open up my mind- but then wouldn't connect or follow through. So, for a couple months, for the first time in 20 years I seemed to be chasing him. It's like he promised me something, judged me for being nervous and "annoying" and not perfect, and then instead of being understanding, he ran. Yikes. Eventually I got so confused I sent him screenshots of the conversation where he'd said he loved me and he didn't even remember it! He was shocked, blamed it on the drugs and mental illness saying that he was "not a well person." He said he was beginning to get the feeling that he'd "annoyed me" now, and that he sees me as a friend, and he didn't mean to piss me off. Then he changed the subject. He finished up that conversation by saying "we're on different paths and in different places", and he needs to sort himself out and that's that. The backstory goes like this… The first year we knew eachother he nicknamed me “TT” which meant “no tits and no teeth” (I had big gaps before I had braces). He used to do things like hit me on the butt with a stick and then I’d punch him and go nuts. He really took the piss out of me with his friends and girlfriends because I had a huge crush on him (he thought it was hilarious that I felt like I’d been struck by lightning when I first saw him). They used to put me on speakerphone and laugh. He was the only guy I ever asked out – which I did on his answer machine!! Ugh. So, yeah, really humiliated me actually and I’ve never asked anyone out since (thank goodness I’m a woman, haha). After that I had braces and turned into a social person who had lots of parties and friends. He started being really nice to me. But I didn’t forgive him very easily, and we had a big bust up and weren't friends for a year or so. I did a pizza leaflet with his phone number on it. And I banned him from my 18th birthday party to which all our friends were going, and he was pretty upset. I felt bad once when I saw him outside one of my parties on the curb holding his head in his hands saying “why does she hate me so much?” Well, deep down I loved the guy, but he’d humiliated me, so I guess there was a thin line between love and hate. I don’t know if that would have made him feel any better, but hopefully. From some point on, we made up and we always had great chemistry after that... we did things like hanging out and smoking some weed in his car together with other people, going out in London with our mutual friends, him giving me lots of lifts home from pubs and friends houses, me driving his car drunk and pretending I was going to crash it to wind him up (that was stupid and irresponsible). Looking back I think he kind of liked me at that point but was scared of me, didn’t know how to make a move as I had moved on and had given him such a hard time, but at the time I really didn't have a clue whether he liked me or not, I was always just very, very feisty and energetic around him (after all the humiliation I guess) so I could never be calm. Then we went to the same uni town, texted constantly for a year, and even then he said he thought we’d known each other in past lives. To my friends I gave him the nickname "my future husband", he asked me out in the cutest way by saying that if I had the guts and the inclination to go out with him, then we should go for a drink. I was soooo excited.. Well, we almost went out and then he dropped out of uni because of an argument with a lecturer or something. I honestly believe everyone has to follow their own path, so for me it was just sad for him that he had so much stress, and it was disappointing about the date. Our first kiss was when he came up to the uni town again and we did a pub crawl, and he seemed to want to go and sit somewhere and be sweet but I was too nervous so we just kept doing the pubcrawl and ended up spooning on a friend’s floor (just hugging and kissing). We almost went on a date in our home area but he cancelled without suggesting an alternative, and I got annoyed so he stopped talking to me- surprisingly easily- it’s like he has a very low threshold for any kind of angst, and isn’t able to soothe himself or the other person, so just bails. Which, considering the fact that he creates a lot of angst-provoking situations means that he kind of expects to go through life without facing any consequences for his actions. Pretty frustrating for someone like me, who expects quite a lot of openness and honesty. We eventually hooked up once and he never called me after so after waiting for a while, I reluctantly moved on and ended up with someone else for 4 years. I have no idea how he felt about this, but a couple of small things surprised me and I wondered if he had actually felt more than I gave him credit for. I mean, that love confession blew me away, I wouldn't have thought for a moment that he had been harbouring any thoughts like that about me, I thought for him it was all a big joke and meant nothing, so maybe he did feel something other than annoyance for me when we were younger. It's hard to tell as he's been with a lot of women, is very tight-lipped and doesn’t put himself on the line, or take any risks at all. But in those days I was always so nervous around him that any signs would have just gone completely under the radar anyway. A few years later, after lots of traveling, he popped up working in the office down the hall from me at this random summer job I took and we started emailing lots. He seemed disappointed with how life was not as exciting as he'd expected. Then he disappeared one day- he was living with his ex at the time (very lovely girl) and I was with the same guy (the 4 year one). A few years after that we were back hanging around in the same social circle until everyone, including him, moved abroad, and eventually, so did i. It was funny, I would always be able to talk to him if I was upset about, say, moving to uni or something. It didn't happen often but a couple of times. Most of this he probably wouldn't even remember because I think he's been with a lot a lot of girls. He has low self-esteem, apparently. He thinks he has bad luck with women even though women adore him (he's exceptionally easy on the eyes. He’s beautiful actually)- and according to a mutual friend of ours, when he was a teenager he always worried that no decent women would want someone like him. Recently (in the past 15 years, which isn’t so recent, lol) we didn't really hang out much but we became more normal adults. I went down quite a dry academic path and got a BSc in physics with astrophysics and an MSc in clinical research, and ended up stuck in a corporate job I hated until I quit to become a writer, whereas he had more balls than me and did what he wanted much earlier- becoming an entrepreneur trading stock, gold, Forex, imports and exports... at times making a fortune and at other times going bust and beating himself up for it, but always finding something new to try, which I think's pretty damn cool (but try convincing him of that). It's pretty normal for entrepreneurial people to have ups and downs in their success-levels I think, but he seems to judge himself very harshly. The last couple of years he’s been making more money than I’ve ever been able to shake a stick at! I really don’t think he should feel ashamed at all (which he seems to), I think he should feel proud that he’s so dynamic. Good for him. He’s awesome. The only thing I wish is that he had heavy enough emotional armor that he could deal with more difficult situations without bailing. Anyway. Over the years I stopped being super into him and we had a nice, pretty normal friendship -we chatted sometimes on messenger and would always have nice chemistry when we saw each other. He's been trying to arrange a visit for about 10 years or so between the various countries we've been living in (we're both expat people and he wanted to come see me in Madrid and Amsterdam when I lived there, then he wanted me to go seem him in Tenerife for a few years) and I've avoided it, as although I wanted to see him I was scared of a casual fling with him as it’s not what I wanted, and I really don’t like that kind of thing anyway (tried it once or twice thinking I could handle it and I was being all “modern” and cool and everything – because I think I’m a bit old fashioned deep down - but I got emotionally attached and then end up hurt. So now I accept myself for who I am- someone who doesn’t really like flings or casual stuff, but someone who is into monogamy. Whoops! How very boring and unfashionable, and I don’t give a shit. Rayyyy for the love. Whoop whoop.). A couple years ago I interviewed him for a book I wrote about ADHD entrepreneurs. His lifestyle was pretty cool making a lot of money through affiliate marketing and living near the beach in hot sunny Tenerife in an apartment with a pool. But he seemed to think that he sucked for some reason (everyone else seems to think it's pretty darn cool). He said that when he grew up he was under a lot of pressure and that it seemed to have messed up his head. He said that to do well in life you need to do what you want to do, because if you listen to other people you are only going to be messed up. When he was on LSD he said that he had thought he loved me during that interview. This year, his life as an expat abroad basically fell apart as the affiliate marketing scheme crashed and he had to move home to live with his parents, which has brought him really, really down into depression. He said he keeps being told he is going to end up working in McDonalds, and being reminded of the fact that he’s almost 40, and this seemed to be weighing on his mind. It sounds like a lot of pressure. But anyway, for about 5 months after the conversation when he was on LSD he opened up to me, and he was really lovely to me. It was so nice. I guess it was because I was more relaxed and the main thing I wanted was to check up on him and see that he was ok. I didn’t have an agenda to see if he would be a match for me or anything like that- I was just really worried about him. So maybe he felt safe enough to relax. I said that I always imagined that we would end up as platonic roommates when we were 50 and I would make him sandwiches and listen to all his funny antics – which he thought was cute. Actually, I really did like that idea- because it would take away the underlying obligations that a relationship brings that we couldn’t deliver for each other. And friendship is what relationships turn into anyway. For my part, it's really disturbed my sleep for months since I came back from visiting him. Now after trying to message in a friendly way during the coronavirus quarantine (er, I am very very bored) and being annoyed by his total lack of supportiveness, I've recently just told him that I don't want to be friends any more. Too painful. He says I have anger issues and I think he sees himself as an innocent victim. Actually, if I'm honest, I've been pretty angry at a lot of people for a few years, so, maybe he has a point. I guess I'm being a bit selfish. It's not really fair expecting anything from a self-confessed depressed, unwell person. He's "in his pit of despair" as he calls it for 6 months and he has zero interest in me. I'm utterly irrelevant to him. He's snippy, rude, ignores me, and then seems to offer a little bit of an olive branch in the smallest of ways. Excuse the really long story, would be interested in any insight people have on this situation, particularly with respect to how you think he feels and why he acts the way he does. If I feel like I understand this situation then hopefully I can stop thinking about it, because for the past 10 years I've just had the odd nice thought every now and then about him- and would like that to become the status quo again.
Strategy to Make 50% - 100% a Year Trading One Day a Week.
I feel a lot of times people can over think and try to over engineer making moderate annual gains in the Forex markets. Simple and low maintenance strategies can be devised to do this. If someone said to me, "Hey, I've got $10 million and want 15% a year . I don't want to be in the market more than 3 hours a week". I'd say, "I got this. Give me close of New York session on Friday to 2 hours before the market close. Easy gig." In this post I will teach you how. I will also post setups and track results from strategy on Friday's that qualify. Since I am not doing this for a pedantic millionaire investor, I'll use the whole of Friday for my trades. With this I think I should be able to beat 50% on 1% risk per position. There are specific qualifiers needed going into Friday to trigger this strategy. It will not trade every week. Only when there is a trend present and we are either in a trending week or near the end of a corrective week. Here is what a corrective week tends to look like. https://preview.redd.it/dtdwbsjt74i31.png?width=673&format=png&auto=webp&s=37030c3d5e4aad34812ab806addb5e34e948b525 You can sync up this with real price action in what has been (and still is) a corrective week in GBPUSD. Setting Up Approaching Final High When we see this, we have a really easy trade looking to buy London open area at a 61.8% retracement. There are multiple reasons this trade could work. Lots of different ways a strategy can pick up this trade (I won't cover these here, if you look through my post history I cover them extensively). Here is the area on this chart I will be looking to trade. Entry Area Let's look closer at the trades when we have this set up. I said buy 61.8, but that is too arbitrary. Working one day a week here, should pretend to look busy, huh. https://preview.redd.it/lwtj73tia4i31.png?width=1298&format=png&auto=webp&s=444c8d13d15c8b8f3ea5402ec35cb46c63be1440 So we're looking for the 61.8 retracement for around London. This is where the strategy can potentially come active. This trade may or may not be taken, it depends on a few things. Honestly, one of them is I might sleep in. Others are more professional ... promise. When there has been this failed new high move, it's on. I always want the following trade. Here we're looking for a 61.8 retrace from the failed new high swing. A bounce from there, and then pending order can be placed to enter on a retest of there. This is what I consider to be a strong signal. I can use tight stops here and get good RR. I expect a strong move from this area. When it breaks out of the high and runs a little, I'll close half my profit and trail stops to protect running profits. I will wait and watch for the market contracting and starting to make a messy range. I'll then look for it to start to pull back and look like it's going to start to correct the move of the day. I will look to buy into this move and expect to see price spiking. Not trying to "time the market" or anything, but it's probably going to be 90 to 120 minutes before the market closes this happens. For trending weeks, I'll be using the same sort of execution rules and trading patterns. he prerequisite price action I want to see will be there having been a new high/low in the trend made by Thursday. I'll then be looking for a retrace of that and the market running out the end of the week with a final trend move. https://preview.redd.it/5u0qyoeec4i31.png?width=520&format=png&auto=webp&s=986aa1b123f98e24aec8c23da2dd8651417a8c85 Part 2 https://www.reddit.com/Forex/comments/cufic1/strat_for_50_100_a_year_more_details_first_trade/
The foreign exchange market is where currencies are traded. Currencies are important to most people around the world, whether they realize it or not, because currencies need to be exchanged in order to conduct foreign trade and business. If you are living in the U.S. and want to buy cheese from France, either you or the company that you buy the cheese from has to pay the French for the cheese in euros (EUR). This means that the U.S. importer would have to exchange the equivalent value of U.S. dollars (USD) into euros. The same goes for traveling. A French tourist in Egypt can't pay in euros to see the pyramids because it's not the locally accepted currency. As such, the tourist has to exchange the euros for the local currency, in this case the Egyptian pound, at the current exchange rate. One unique aspect of this international market is that there is no central marketplace for foreign exchange. Rather, currency trading is conducted electronically over-the-counter (OTC), which means that all transactions occur via computer networks between traders around the world, rather than on one centralized exchange. The market is open 24 hours a day, five and a half days a week, and currencies are traded worldwide in the major financial centers of London, New York, Tokyo, Zurich, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris and Sydney—across almost every time zone. This means that when the trading day in the U.S. ends, the forex market begins anew in Tokyo and Hong Kong. As such, the forex market can be extremely active any time of the day, with price quotes changing constantly. To trade Forex, try ForexProfitWay
What Price Does is Real, and Everything Else is Only a Thought.
At the start of the week I made posts saying I thought USDJPY was heading to 110 - 111 this week. I later revised that. At the start of today I said I thought USDJPY would be up, with a low of 105.40 (it'd been at 105.30 already, actually. I was buying 105.40). This had a 7 pip stop and I'd posted another pending order to buy 105.15. This filled, but later in the day I posted I was exiting all USDJPY. Furthermore, I went short. I have some questions about this (and some accusations), and I think what it boils down to really is, "What's with the random flip flopping?" I'd be happy to explain. First we'll chart up the trade themselves. Let's map out clearly the events and outcomes we're talking about here. Here I'll only use the actionable entries and exits. By which I mean, the times I specifically said XXX price enter, XXX price stop. These are the only times I've been engaging the market. The rest has been discussing plans, not executing them. Signals I gave; USDJPY buy 104.60. Stop 104.20 USDJPY buy take profit 106.06 USDJPY buy 105.75 stop 104.20 USDJPY buy updates, tight stop entry 105.75 - 105.80. Stop 105.60 USDJPY take profit 106.50 USDJPY sell 106.50. Stop 106.80 USDJPY take profit 105.35 USDJPY buy 105.35. Stop 105.27 USDJPY stop hits. 8 pips loss. USDJPY sell 105.35. Stop 105.48 USDJPY take profit 105.20 (There was one more trade planned and possibly executed on by some people. I've not included it since there was no exits given. Just a price action condition to enter. I'll touch on that trade too a little) I can't be bothered getting all the stuff together to show this, but it is in my weeks posting history. Those of you who followed closely what I was posting this week and had these trade plan discussion with me where we defined the actual entry and exits, please confirm in the comments this is at least reasonable accurate. https://preview.redd.it/110x6tohnnj31.png?width=814&format=png&auto=webp&s=4a346672f67dadb585f7b1738f8d8802a996b987 White, green winning buys. Yellow winning sell. Red Losing buy. (The final scalp I've not added because it's too small. It was from about the last high to last low, though. You can check) I think these are good trades. Throughout my posts talking about these trade setups I think I've presented solid reasoning, and good information on risk awareness and control. I think that, but we all have perspectives. Here's an exchange with someone with another perspective thinking my way of trading (I don't think they read 1/4 of my posts to know what I am doing) is harmful to explain. Only to those who do not consume the full explanation., would be my thought. https://preview.redd.it/6r6h9wwhonj31.png?width=813&format=png&auto=webp&s=48465a16cc34a2a4b426b727c00d9641da73ac9c https://preview.redd.it/niv3ce6lonj31.png?width=803&format=png&auto=webp&s=c6ecc2acfef538da3fa8406a7620e39efd15469e The entries that are being criticised here are the white buy, the green buy and the yellow sell. When we look at these on a chart, it is clear this was not teaching people to reverse because price was not going there way. It was teaching them to take profits at good places, and enter into new trades with good probabilities. There was only one time the market moved against the direction I'd given in trading signals, it was the buy today. It was from 135.27, and it hit a 8 pip stop. After the stop hit, price retested the entry level and then continued to head lower into the close of the week (we sold, profiting from this and covering the loss on the buy). Everyone has their own ideas about how things can and can not be done, but the raw facts here are none of my signals exposed to large risks, and the trades entered and exited at excellent prices. Whether or not this is gambling depends on how often I can do it. I done exactly the same trade pattern last week. Before I executed the trade plan last week, I explained every aspect of it. I even drew the chart. Literally. I covered all my forecasts in the close of this post.. Through this week, I've explained the exact same thing step by step, and again entered precisely at the start and end of swings. If you think this is gamblers luck, I don't fancy your odds. They odds will get longer. I'll keep posting forecasts, execution and reports. I may win or lose, can never know ... but I know the long term trend. After getting stopped out, I reversed. This was not a great trade because it was late in the week, but is part of an established trading pattern I use. I don't know why you guys stop loss, but I do it because the market has proved me wrong. Usually I have reasons I'd be wrong and why they'd change my view on the market. Here was the specs I wanted to see to keep this trade active. https://preview.redd.it/lqywirooqnj31.png?width=709&format=png&auto=webp&s=224038831b6421d71e757b8a0b655fe760868f3b Source: https://www.reddit.com/usewhatthefx/comments/cx7gun/usdjy_now_we_sell/ When the London low broke, the entire strategy this trade was based upon failed. Signals from it became invalid. The stop loss this strategy used is placed purposefully. When it hits, price very often will retest the entry but never go back into profit before gathering a far larger loss than the 8 pips would be. So this is the kill point, and also the point at which the market shows counter momentum. When it does this, I then deploy a contingency strategy where I look for small chart trend and corrective patterns to reverse on the position. I've practised this a lot, and tested many variant of stops, re-entries and reversal. What I do is highly efficient at getting out of the market and covering the loss in the following trading pattern. All of the trades I posted this week won (even the losing one was dealt with in a winning way). Even though my overall forecast was incorrect, I used strategies and designed trading patterns to adapt my thoughts to profit from what the market was actually doing. Where price really goes is where we really make money. Not in all the reasons we think things about what price can do. I spend a lot of time on what I do. I've been posting here for a month now, and objective review of my entries and exits shows they have done well. Please .... please, can people stop telling me in absolute terms what "can't be done". You have to start to do one of two things; 1 - Relate the real analysis and entries and exits of what I do to your opinion of what I do. 2 - Start to use the words, "I think ..." if you're making speculations that do not relate to current facts.
I was going through old emails today and came across this one I sent out to family on January 4, 2018. It was a reflection on the 2017 crypto bull market and where I saw it heading, as well as some general advice on crypto, investment, and being safe about how you handle yourself in cryptoland. I feel that we are on the cusp of a new bull market right now, so I thought that I would put this out for at least a few people to see *before* the next bull run, not after. While the details have changed, I don't see a thing in this email that I fundamentally wouldn't say again, although I'd also probably insist that people get a Yubikey and use that for all 2FA where it is supported. Happy reading, and sorry for some of the formatting weirdness -- I cleaned it up pretty well from the original email formatting, but I love lists and indents and Reddit has limitations... :-/ Also, don't laught at my token picks from January 2018! It was a long time ago and (luckliy) I took my own advice about moving a bunch into USD shortly after I sent this. I didn't hit the top, and I came back in too early in the summer of 2018, but I got lucky in many respects. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Jan-4, 2018 Hey all! I woke up this morning to ETH at a solid $1000 and decided to put some thoughts together on what I think crypto has done and what I think it will do. *******, if you could share this to your kids I’d appreciate it -- I don’t have e-mail addresses, and it’s a bit unwieldy for FB Messenger… Hopefully they’ll at least find it thought-provoking. If not, they can use it as further evidence that I’m a nutjob. 😉 Some history before I head into the future. I first mined some BTC in 2011 or 2012 (Can’t remember exactly, but it was around the Christmas holidays when I started because I had time off from work to get it set up and running.) I kept it up through the start of summer in 2012, but stopped because it made my PC run hot and as it was no longer winter, ********** didn’t appreciate the sound of the fans blowing that hot air into the room any more. I’ve always said that the first BTC I mined was at $1, but looking back at it now, that’s not true – It was around $2. Here’s a link to BTC price history. In the summer of 2013 I got a new PC and moved my programs and files over before scrapping the old one. I hadn’t touched my BTC mining folder for a year then, and I didn’t even think about salvaging those wallet files. They are now gone forever, including the 9-10BTC that were in them. While I can intellectually justify the loss, it was sloppy and underlines a key thing about cryptocurrency that I believe will limit its widespread adoption by the general public until it is addressed and solved: In cryptoland, you are your own bank, and if you lose your password or account number, there is no person or organization that can help you reset it so that you can get access back. Your money is gone forever. On April 12, 2014 I bought my first BTC through Coinbase. BTC had spiked to $1000 and been in the news, at least in Japan. This made me remember my old wallet and freak out for a couple of months trying to find it and reclaim the coins. I then FOMO’d (Fear Of Missing Out”) and bought $100 worth of BTC. I was actually very lucky in my timing and bought at around $430. Even so, except for a brief 50% swing up almost immediately afterwards that made me check prices 5 times a day, BTC fell below my purchase price by the end of September and I didn’t get back to even until the end of 2015. In May 2015 I bought my first ETH at around $1. I sent some guy on bitcointalk ~$100 worth of BTC and he sent me 100 ETH – all on trust because the amounts were small and this was a small group of people. BTC was down in the $250 range at that point, so I had lost 30-40% of my initial investment. This was of the $100 invested, so not that much in real terms, but huge in percentages. It also meant that I had to buy another $100 of BTC on Coinbase to send to this guy. A few months after I purchased my ETH, BTC had doubled and ETH had gone down to $0.50, halving the value of my ETH holdings. I was even on the first BTC purchase finally, but was now down 50% on the ETH I had bought. The good news was that this made me start to look at things more seriously. Where I had skimmed white papers and gotten a superficial understanding of the technology before FOMO’ing, I started to act as an investor, not a speculator. Let me define how I see those two different types of activity:
Investors buy because the price is less than the value they see in the investment. Speculators buy because they think that someone will pay more in the future than they are paying now.
Investors trade on information (The white paper was really well-written, had a clear technical advantage over other alternatives, and addresses a need that I can understand and value.) Speculators trade on sentiment. (Buy the rumor! Sell the news!)
Investors usually look at the investment and themselves and can describe why they purchase in those terms (ABC-Coin provides (service) that isn’t addressed yet and matches (requirements) for an investment.) Speculators usually describe why they bought something in terms of how other people think (I think that other people think that the price will rise, so I want to get ahead of that.)
Investors don’t necessarily check the price every day. The can, and very often I do, but it isn’t required because fundamentals don’t often change on a dime. Speculators need to be glued to a price feed, because sentiment very often changes on a dime.
Investors like ideas, people, business plans, and market opportunities. Good ones are like Spock. Speculators like trends. They are tribal.
Investors have a longer time horizon than speculators. In cryptoland, the notion of a “longer” time horizon is still laughably small (months) compared to traditional markets, but it certainly isn’t weeks or days or hours, which is whre speculators often live.
So what has been my experience as an investor? After sitting out the rest of 2015 because I needed to understand the market better, I bought into ETH quite heavily, with my initial big purchases being in March-April of 2016. Those purchases were in the $11-$14 range. ETH, of course, dropped immediately to under $10, then came back and bounced around my purchase range for a while until December of 2016, when I purchased a lot more at around $8. I also purchased my first ICO in August of 2016, HEAT. I bought 25ETH worth. Those tokens are now worth about half of their ICO price, so about 12.5ETH or $12500 instead of the $25000 they would be worth if I had just kept ETH. There are some other things with HEAT that mean I’ve done quite a bit better than those numbers would suggest, but the fact is that the single best thing I could have done is to hold ETH and not spend the effort/time/cost of working with HEAT. That holds true for about every top-25 token on the market when compared to ETH. It certainly holds true for the many, many tokens I tried to trade in Q1-Q2 of 2017. In almost every single case I would have done better and slept better had I just held ETH instead of trying to be smarter than Mr. Market. But, I made money on all of them except one because the crypto market went up more in USD terms than any individual coin went down in ETH or BTC terms. This underlines something that I read somewhere and that I take to heart: A rising market makes everyone seem like a genius. A monkey throwing darts at a list of the top 100 cryptocurrencies last year would have doubled his money. Here’s a chart from September that shows 2017 year-to-date returns for the top 10 cryptocurrencies, and all of them went up a *lot* more between then and December. A monkey throwing darts at this list there would have quintupled his money. When evaluating performance, then, you have to beat the monkey, and preferably you should try to beat a Wall Street monkey. I couldn’t, so I stopped trying around July 2017. My benchmark was the BLX, a DAA (Digital Asset Array – think fund like a Fidelity fund) created by ICONOMI. I wasn’t even close to beating the BLX returns, so I did several things.
I went from holding about 25 different tokens to holding 10 now. More on that in a bit.
I used those funds to buy ETH and BLX. ETH has done crazy-good since then and BLX has beaten BTC handily, although it hasn’t done as well as ETH.
I used some of those funds to set up an arbitrage operation.
The arbitrage operation is why I kept the 11 tokens that I have now. All but a couple are used in an ETH/token pair for arbitrage, and each one of them except for one special case is part of BLX. Why did I do that? I did that because ICONOMI did a better job of picking long-term holds than I did, and in arbitrage the only speculative thing you must do is pick the pairs to trade. My pairs are (No particular order):
I also hold PLU, PLBT, and ART. These two are multi-year holds for me. I have not purchased BTC once since my initial $200, except for a few cases where BTC was the only way to go to/from an altcoin that didn’t trade against ETH yet. Right now I hold about the same 0.3BTC that I held after my first $100 purchase, so I don’t really count it. Looking forward to this year, I am positioning myself as follows:
ETH will still be my core holding. It is the “deepest in the stack” crypto investment that I have. “Deep in the stack” is a programming term that gets at the idea that most software is built on other software. If you just think about your notebook, you have your OS, and programs run on that. But even inside the OS there is a stack. The bottom of your stack is the kernel, and on top of that are the drivers, protocols, and other layers that allow the programs to talk to the OS, the hard drive, the screen, the mouse, your printer, etc. You can change your mouse or printer easily. Changing things deeper in the stack becomes harder and harder. ETH is deep in the crypto stack, so is very hard to dislodge – Around 60 of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap run on top of Ethereum, so getting rid of Ethereum is something that would take a long time to do.
DNT, QTUM, ZRX, and OMG are all, to varying degrees, “deep in the stack” tokens that, once established, will be very hard to dislodge.
That said, I am peeling away some of my holdings into USD right now, because big changes are afoot and they are going to cause market disruptions. I’m going to come right out and admit that this is speculative, but I’m also going to back it up with some non-speculative facts.
The SEC has been sending out hundreds of subpoenas to cryptocurrency organizations over the past 3-4 months. These subpoenas are simply asking for information and nobody has been charged with any crimes or misdoings, but it is clear that the SEC is getting together information so that they can begin to regulate cryptoland. When that happens, other countries will follow, and that means:
Some tokens will be deemed outright scams and people will be prosecuted.
Some tokens will be deemed securities and will be regulated.
Some tokens will not be deemed scams or securities and will continue as they have.
Looking at this, it is clear to me that the tokens that escape prosecution and regulation should do better, but the short-term impact will be brutal and ugly. It would not surprise me at all to see a 50% drop in overall market cap within Q1-Q2, with Q1 being more likely.
Cryptoland has always been a bit nuts, but it is more nuts now than I have ever seen it. Back in 2011-2014 it was a freaks-n-geeks show where people were all about the technology and I would sit around for a 3-day weekend installing a *nix VM on my Windows machine so that I could compile the most recent source and run a CUDA SHA-256 routine rather than thrash my CPU. If that doesn’t make sense to you, you wouldn’t have even thought about being involved.
Now, people see Bitcoin advertisements in their Facebook feed and think “I gotta get on the BTC train!” before going to Coinbase and buying some with a credit card. They don’t know anything about crypto, and they are getting eaten alive – It is no coincidence that BTC peaked after the Thanksgiving holidays when people sat around the table and Janice got Uncle Mike and Cousin Bob all excited as she talked about going to Cancun for Christmas because of her crypto winnings. Huge amounts of fiat got transferred from newbies to BTC whales during this period, and once the whales were done, BTC had dropped from $20,000 to $12,000. It’s now back at $15,000, but for people who bought at a higher level, this sucks. As a result many have moved from BTC to ETH, with the single biggest money flow in crypto in December being the BTC à ETH flow. As a result, it’s no coincidence that ETH is at all-time highs now. The thing is, though, that even most people that moved from BTC to ETH really have no idea what they are doing. They are acting on buzzwords and emotion. They are speculators and are going to get crushed.
The stock market is quite high right now, but people are starting to worry that it is too high and that we are going to enter into a period of inflation again. This has caused gold to go up a lot the last quarter and is likely also responsible a bit for the rise in cryptos. If this view is correct, then cryptos stay stronger than if that pressure wasn’t there. If wrong, then cryptos will swing down as money exits cryptoland for more traditional markets.
I am spending most of my time and money on the arbitrage effort. The nice thing about arbitrage is that it works as the markets go up, and it works as the markets go down. When markets are too volatile, however, arbitrage can get very messy and dangerous, with each trade generating a loss instead of a profit, so I am working right now to tune the algorithms to take into account rate-of-change and add in some circuit breaker triggers. Once this is done I will expand those operations.
I am getting much more serious about systems security.
I have a Nano Ledger and recommend that anyone with >$1000 of crypto have one. The Trezor is also supposed to be good, but I haven’t used it.
I will set up a dedicated *nix notebook that is used for nothing except my crypto work. All it takes is one keylogger to get on your PC/Mac and your crypto is gone. What is on your Nano Ledger will be OK, but they will sweep out your exchange account or Coinbase account faster than you can type. A standard Linux installation with Chrome and nothing else is as about as secure as you can get in the civilian world.
If you don’t use LastPass or a similar password manager yet, you need to do that. Your password to LastPass should be at least 16 characters long and should not have a recognizable English word in it. If you think that “Iluvu4evah” is a secure password, you’re wrong.
Hackers know that “4”=”for” and “u”=”you”. Writing a script to substitute those in is trivial if they want to write the script, but it’s much easier for them to download one of the many, many programs out there that already do this.
If your password contains any string of numbers from anything that can be associated with you at any time in your life, it is insecure. Take those numbers out of the character count because they are an insignificant barrier to cracking your account.
The good news is that you probably won’t be targeted, but if you ever mention online that you are doing anything significant in crypto, that chance increased enormously.
*Never* talk with *anyone* about how much you have in crypto. You’ll notice that I haven’t here. There is no reason to tell even a family member how much you have unless you are sharing a tax form. Sure, you may trust them, but all it takes if for someone to overhead someone else mention at a party that a relative got into crypto a long time ago and made a bunch of money. That person can also then be subjected to the $10 hack and force you to send all your crypto to them.
Your password to LastPass (Or equivalent.) should look something like this -> 6k0jQMoziX&D#4W8
Yes, it’s a headache. Imagine your headache, though, were you to open your account one day and find all of your money gone.
Looking at my notes, I have two other things that I wanted to work into this email that I didn’t get to, so here they are:
Just like with free apps and other software, if you are getting something of value and you didn’t pay anything for it, you need to ask why this is. With apps, the phrase is “If you didn’t pay for the product, you are the product”, and this works for things such as pump groups, tips, and even technical analysis. Here’s how I see it.
Technical analysis (TA) is something that has been argued about for longer than I’ve been alive, but I think that it falls into the same boat. In short, TA argues that there are patterns in trading that can be read and acted upon to signal when one must buy or sell. It has been used forever in the stock and foreign exchange markets, and people use it in crypto as well. Let’s break down these assumptions a bit.
i. First, if crypto were like the stock or forex markets we’d all be happy with 5-7% gains per year rather than easily seeing that in a day. For TA to work the same way in crypto as it does in stocks and foreign exchange, the signals would have to be *much* stronger and faster-reacting than they work in the traditional market, but people use them in exactly the same way. ii. Another area where crypto is very different than the stock and forex markets centers around market efficiency theory. This theory says that markets are efficient and that the price reflects all the available information at any given time. This is why gold in New York is similar in price to gold in London or Shanghai, and why arbitrage margins are easily <0.1% in those markets compared to cryptoland where I can easily get 10x that. Crypto simply has too much speculation and not enough professional traders in it yet to operate as an efficient market. That fundamentally changes the way that the market behaves and should make any TA patterns from traditional markets irrelevant in crypto. iii. There are services, both free and paid that claim to put out signals based on TA for when one should buy and sell. If you think for even a second that they are not front-running (Placing orders ahead of yours to profit.) you and the other people using the service, you’re naïve. iv. Likewise, if you don’t think that there are people that have but together computerized systems to get ahead of people doing manual TA, you’re naïve. The guys that I have programming my arbitrage bots have offered to build me a TA bot and set up a service to sell signals once our position is taken. I said no, but I am sure that they will do it themselves or sell that to someone else. Basically they look at TA as a tip machine where when a certain pattern is seen, people act on that “tip”. They use software to see that “tip” faster and take a position on it so that when slower participants come in they either have to sell lower or buy higher than the TA bot did. Remember, if you are getting a tip for free, you’re the product. In TA I see a system when people are all acting on free preset “tips” and getting played by the more sophisticated market participants. Again, you have to beat that Wall Street monkey.
If you still don’t agree that TA is bogus, think about it this way: If TA was real, Wall Street would have figured it out decades ago and we would have TA funds that would be beating the market. We don’t.
If you still don’t agree that TA is bogus and that its real and well, proven, then you must think that all smart traders use them. Now follow that logic forward and think about what would happen if every smart trader pushing big money followed TA. The signals would only last for a split second and would then be overwhelmed by people acting on them, making them impossible to leverage. This is essentially what the efficient market theory postulates for all information, including TA.
OK, the one last item. Read this weekly newsletter – You can sign up at the bottom. It is free, so they’re selling something, right? 😉 From what I can tell, though, Evan is a straight-up guy who posts links and almost zero editorial comments. Happy 2018.
Which are your Top 5 favourite coins out of the Top 100? An analysis.
I am putting together my investment portfolio for 2018 and made a complete summary of the current Top 100. Interestingly, I noticed that all coins can be categorized into 12 markets. Which markets do you think will play the biggest role in the coming year? Here is a complete overview of all coins in an excel sheet including name, market, TPS, risk profile, time since launch (negative numbers mean that they are launching that many months in the future) and market cap. You can also sort by all of these fields of course. Coins written in bold are the strongest contenders within their market either due to having the best technology or having a small market cap and still excellent technology and potential. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1s8PHcNvvjuy848q18py_CGcu8elRGQAUIf86EYh4QZo/edit#gid=0 The 12 markets are
Currency 13 coins
Platform 25 coins
Ecosystem 9 coins
Privacy 10 coins
Currency Exchange Tool 8 coins
Gaming & Gambling 5 coins
Misc 15 coins
Social Network 4 coins
Fee Token 3 coins
Decentralized Data Storage 4 coins
Cloud Computing 3 coins
Stable Coin 2 coins
Before we look at the individual markets, we need to take a look of the overall market and its biggest issue scalability first: Cryptocurrencies aim to be a decentralized currency that can be used worldwide. Its goal is to replace dollar, Euro, Yen, all FIAT currencies worldwide. The coin that will achieve that will be worth several trillion dollars. Bitcoin can only process 7 transactions per second (TPS). In order to replace all FIAT, it would need to perform at at least VISA levels, which usually processes around 3,000 TPS, up to 25,000 TPS during peak times and a maximum of 64,000 TPS. That means that this cryptocurrency would need to be able to perform at least several thousand TPS. However, a ground breaking technology should not look at current technology to set a goal for its use, i.e. estimating the number of emails sent in 1990 based on the number of faxes sent wasn’t a good estimate. For that reason, 10,000 TPS is the absolute baseline for a cryptocurrency that wants to replace FIAT. This brings me to IOTA, which wants to connect all 80 billion IoT devices that are expected to exist by 2025, which constantly communicate with each other, creating 80 billion or more transactions per second. This is the benchmark that cryptocurrencies should be aiming for. Currently, 8 billion devices are connected to the Internet. With its Lightning network recently launched, Bitcoin is realistically looking at 50,000 possible soon. Other notable cryptocurrencies besides IOTA and Bitcoin are Nano with 7,000 TPS already tested, Dash with several billion TPS possible with Masternodes, Neo, LISK and RHOC with 100,000 TPS by 2020, Ripple with 50,000 TPS, Ethereum with 10,000 with Sharding. However, it needs to be said that scalability usually goes at the cost of decentralization and security. So, it needs to be seen, which of these technologies can prove itself resilient and performant. Without further ado, here are the coins of the first market
Market 1 - Currency:
Bitcoin: 1st generation blockchain with currently bad scalability currently, though the implementation of the Lightning Network looks promising and could alleviate most scalability concerns, scalability and high energy use.
Ripple: Centralized currency that might become very successful due to tight involvement with banks and cross-border payments for financial institutions; banks and companies like Western Union and Moneygram (who they are currently working with) as customers customers. However, it seems they are aiming for more decentralization now.https://ripple.com/dev-blog/decentralization-strategy-update/. Has high TPS due to Proof of Correctness algorithm.
Bitcoin Cash: Bitcoin fork with the difference of having an 8 times bigger block size, making it 8 times more scalable than Bitcoin currently. Further block size increases are planned. Only significant difference is bigger block size while big blocks lead to further problems that don't seem to do well beyond a few thousand TPS. Opponents to a block size argue that increasing the block size limit is unimaginative, offers only temporary relief, and damages decentralization by increasing costs of participation. In order to preserve decentralization, system requirements to participate should be kept low. To understand this, consider an extreme example: very big blocks (1GB+) would require data center level resources to validate the blockchain. This would preclude all but the wealthiest individuals from participating.Community seems more open than Bitcoin's though.
Litecoin : Little brother of Bitcoin. Bitcoin fork with different mining algorithm but not much else.Copies everything that Bitcoin does pretty much. Lack of real innovation.
Dash: Dash (Digital Cash) is a fork of Bitcoin and focuses on user ease. It has very fast transactions within seconds, low fees and uses Proof of Service from Masternodes for consensus. They are currently building a system called Evolution which will allow users to send money using usernames and merchants will find it easy to integrate Dash using the API. You could say Dash is trying to be a PayPal of cryptocurrencies. Currently, cryptocurrencies must choose between decentralization, speed, scalability and can pick only 2. With Masternodes, Dash picked speed and scalability at some cost of decentralization, since with Masternodes the voting power is shifted towards Masternodes, which are run by Dash users who own the most Dash.
IOTA: 3rd generation blockchain called Tangle, which has a high scalability, no fees and instant transactions. IOTA aims to be the connective layer between all 80 billion IOT devices that are expected to be connected to the Internet in 2025, possibly creating 80 billion transactions per second or 800 billion TPS, who knows. However, it needs to be seen if the Tangle can keep up with this scalability and iron out its security issues that have not yet been completely resolved.
Nano: 3rd generation blockchain called Block Lattice with high scalability, no fees and instant transactions. Unlike IOTA, Nano only wants to be a payment processor and nothing else, for now at least. With Nano, every user has their own blockchain and has to perform a small amount of computing for each transaction, which makes Nano perform at 300 TPS with no problems and 7,000 TPS have also been tested successfully. Very promising 3rd gen technology and strong focus on only being the fastest currency without trying to be everything.
Decred: As mining operations have grown, Bitcoin’s decision-making process has become more centralized, with the largest mining companies holding large amounts of power over the Bitcoin improvement process. Decred focuses heavily on decentralization with their PoW Pos hybrid governance system to become what Bitcoin was set out to be. They will soon implement the Lightning Network to scale up. While there do not seem to be more differences to Bitcoin besides the novel hybrid consensus algorithm, which Ethereum, Aeternity and Bitcoin Atom are also implementing, the welcoming and positive Decred community and professoinal team add another level of potential to the coin.
Aeternity: We’ve seen recently, that it’s difficult to scale the execution of smart contracts on the blockchain. Crypto Kitties is a great example. Something as simple as creating and trading unique assets on Ethereum bogged the network down when transaction volume soared. Ethereum and Zilliqa address this problem with Sharding. Aeternity focuses on increasing the scalability of smart contracts and dapps by moving smart contracts off-chain. Instead of running on the blockchain, smart contracts on Aeternity run in private state channels between the parties involved in the contracts. State channels are lines of communication between parties in a smart contract. They don’t touch the blockchain unless they need to for adjudication or transfer of value. Because they’re off-chain, state channel contracts can operate much more efficiently. They don’t need to pay the network for every time they compute and can also operate with greater privacy. An important aspect of smart contract and dapp development is access to outside data sources. This could mean checking the weather in London, score of a football game, or price of gold. Oracles provide access to data hosted outside the blockchain. In many blockchain projects, oracles represent a security risk and potential point of failure, since they tend to be singular, centralized data streams. Aeternity proposes decentralizing oracles with their oracle machine. Doing so would make outside data immutable and unchangeable once it reaches Aeternity’s blockchain. Of course, the data source could still be hacked, so Aeternity implements a prediction market where users can bet on the accuracy and honesty of incoming data from various oracles.It also uses prediction markets for various voting and verification purposes within the platform. Aeternity’s network runs on on a hybrid of proof of work and proof of stake. Founded by a long-time crypto-enthusiast and early colleague of Vitalik Buterin, Yanislav Malahov. Promising concept though not product yet
Bitcoin Atom: Atomic Swaps and hybrid consenus. This looks like the only Bitcoin clone that actually is looking to innovate next to Bitcoin Cash.
Dogecoin: Litecoin fork, fantastic community, though lagging behind a bit in technology.
Bitcoin Gold: A bit better security than bitcoin through ASIC resistant algorithm, but that's it. Not that interesting.
Digibyte: Digibyte's PoS blockchain is spread over a 100,000+ servers, phones, computers, and nodes across the globe, aiming for the ultimate level of decentralization. DigiByte rebalances the load between the five mining algorithms by adjusting the difficulty of each so one algorithm doesn’t become dominant. The algorithm's asymmetric difficulty has gained notoriety and been deployed in many other blockchains.DigiByte’s adoption over the past four years has been slow. It’s still a relatively obscure currency compared its competitors. The DigiByte website offers a lot of great marketing copy and buzzwords. However, there’s not much technical information about what they have planned for the future. You could say Digibyte is like Bitcoin, but with shorter blocktimes and a multi-algorithm. However, that's not really a difference big enough to truly set themselves apart from Bitcoin, since these technologies could be implemented by any blockchain without much difficulty. Their decentralization is probably their strongest asset, however, this also change quickly if the currency takes off and big miners decide to go into Digibyte.
Bitcoin Diamond Asic resistant Bitcoin and Copycat
Market 2 - Platform
Most of the cryptos here have smart contracts and allow dapps (Decentralized apps) to be build on their platform and to use their token as an exchange of value between dapp services.
Ethereum: 2nd generation blockchain that allows the use of smart contracts. Bad scalability currently, though this concern could be alleviated by the soon to be implemented Lightning Network aka Plasma and its Sharding concept.
EOS: Promising technology that wants to be able do everything, from smart contracts like Ethereum, scalability similar to Nano with 1000 tx/second + near instant transactions and zero fees, to also wanting to be a platform for dapps. However, EOS doesn't have a product yet and everything is just promises still. Highly overvalued right now. However, there are lots of red flags, have dumped $500 million Ether over the last 2 months and possibly bought back EOS to increase the size of their ICO, which has been going on for over a year and has raised several billion dollars. All in all, their market cap is way too high for that and not even having a product.
Cardano: Similar to Ethereum/EOS, however, only promises made with no delivery yet, highly overrated right now. Interesting concept though. Market cap way too high for not even having a product. Somewhat promising technology.
VeChain: Singapore-based project that’s building a business enterprise platform and inventory tracking system. Examples are verifying genuine luxury goods and food supply chains. Has one of the strongest communities in the crypto world. Most hyped token of all, with merit though.
Neo: Neo is a platform, similar to Eth, but more extensive, allowing dapps and smart contracts, but with a different smart contract gas system, consensus mechanism (PoS vs. dBfT), governance model, fixed vs unfixed supply, expensive contracts vs nearly free contracts, different ideologies for real world adoption. There are currently only 9 nodes, each of which are being run by a company/entity hand selected by the NEO council (most of which are located in china) and are under contract. This means that although the locations of the nodes may differ, ultimately the neo council can bring them down due to their legal contracts. In fact this has been done in the past when the neo council was moving 50 million neo that had been locked up. Also dbft (or neo's implmentation of it) has failed underload causing network outages during major icos. The first step in decentralization is that the NEO Counsel will select trusted nodes (Universities, business partners, etc.) and slowly become less centralized that way. The final step in decentralization will be allowing NEO holders to vote for new nodes, similar to a DPoS system (ARK/EOS/LISK). NEO has a regulation/government friendly ideology. Finally they are trying to work undewith the Chinese government in regards to regulations. If for some reason they wanted it shut down, they could just shut it down.
Stellar: PoS system, similar goals as Ripple, but more of a platform than only a currency. 80% of Stellar are owned by Stellar.org still, making the currency centralized.
Ethereum classic: Original Ethereum that decided not to fork after a hack. The Ethereum that we know is its fork. Uninteresing, because it has a lot of less resources than Ethereum now and a lot less community support.
Ziliqa: Zilliqa is building a new way of sharding. 2400 tpx already tested, 10,000 tps soon possible by being linearly scalable with the number of nodes. That means, the more nodes, the faster the network gets. They are looking at implementing privacy as well.
QTUM: Enables Smart contracts on the Bitcoin blockchain. Useful.
Icon: Korean ethereum. Decentralized application platform that's building communities in partnership with banks, insurance providers, hospitals, and universities. Focused on ID verification and payments. No big differentiators to the other 20 Ethereums, except that is has a product. That is a plus. Maybe cheap alternative to Ethereum.
LISK: Lisk's difference to other BaaS is that side chains are independent to the main chain and have to have their own nodes. Similar to neo whole allows dapps to deploy their blockchain to. However, Lisk is currently somewhat centralized with a small group of members owning more than 50% of the delegated positions. Lisk plans to change the consensus algorithm for that reason in the near future.
Rchain: Similar to Ethereum with smart contract, though much more scalable at an expected 40,000 TPS and possible 100,000 TPS. Not launched yet. No product launched yet, though promising technology. Not overvalued, probably at the right price right now.
ARDR: Similar to Lisk. Ardor is a public blockchain platform that will allow people to utilize the blockchain technology of Nxt through the use of child chains. A child chain, which is a ‘light’ blockchain that can be customized to a certain extent, is designed to allow easy self-deploy for your own blockchain. Nxt claims that users will "not need to worry" about security, as that part is now handled by the main chain (Ardor). This is the chief innovation of Ardor. Ardor was evolved from NXT by the same company. NEM started as a NXT clone.
Ontology: Similar to Neo. Interesting coin
Bytom: Bytom is an interactive protocol of multiple byte assets. Heterogeneous byte-assets (indigenous digital currency, digital assets) that operate in different forms on the Bytom Blockchain and atomic assets (warrants, securities, dividends, bonds, intelligence information, forecasting information and other information that exist in the physical world) can be registered, exchanged, gambled and engaged in other more complicated and contract-based interoperations via Bytom.
Nxt: Similar to Lisk
Stratis: Different to LISK, Stratis will allow businesses and organizations to create their own blockchain according to their own needs, but secured on the parent Stratis chain. Stratis’s simple interface will allow organizations to quickly and easily deploy and/or test blockchain functionality of the Ethereum, BitShares, BitCoin, Lisk and Stratis environements.
Status: Status provides access to all of Ethereum’s decentralized applications (dapps) through an app on your smartphone. It opens the door to mass adoption of Ethereum dapps by targeting the fastest growing computer segment in the world – smartphone users.16. Ark: Fork of Lisk that focuses on a smaller feature set. Ark wallets can only vote for one delegate at a time which forces delegates to compete against each other and makes cartel formations incredibly hard, if not impossible.
Neblio: Similar to Neo, but 30x smaller market cap.
NEM: Is similar to Neo No marketing team, very high market cap for little clarilty what they do.
Bancor: Bancor is a Decentralized Liquidity Network that allows you to hold any Ethereum token and convert it to any other token in the network, with no counter party, at an automatically calculated price, using a simple web wallet.
Dragonchain: The Purpose of DragonChain is to help companies quickly and easily incorporate blockchain into their business applications. Many companies might be interested in making this transition because of the benefits associated with serving clients over a blockchain – increased efficiency and security for transactions, a reduction of costs from eliminating potential fraud and scams, etc.
Skycoin: Transactions with zero fees that take apparently two seconds, unlimited transaction rate, no need for miners and block rewards, low power usage, all of the usual cryptocurrency technical vulnerabilities fixed, a consensus mechanism superior to anything that exists, resistant to all conceivable threats (government censorship, community infighting, cybenucleaconventional warfare, etc). Skycoin has their own consensus algorithm known as Obelisk written and published academically by an early developer of Ethereum. Obelisk is a non-energy intensive consensus algorithm based on a concept called ‘web of trust dynamics’ which is completely different to PoW, PoS, and their derivatives. Skywire, the flagship application of Skycoin, has the ambitious goal of decentralizing the internet at the hardware level and is about to begin the testnet in April. However, this is just one of the many facets of the Skycoin ecosystem. Skywire will not only provide decentralized bandwidth but also storage and computation, completing the holy trinity of commodities essential for the new internet. Skycion a smear campaign launched against it, though they seem legit and reliable. Thus, they are probably undervalued.
Market 3 - Ecosystem
The 3rd market with 11 coins is comprised of ecosystem coins, which aim to strengthen the ease of use within the crypto space through decentralized exchanges, open standards for apps and more
Nebulas: Similar to how Google indexes webpages Nebulas will index blockchain projects, smart contracts & data using the Nebulas rank algorithm that sifts & sorts the data. Developers rewarded NAS to develop & deploy on NAS chain. Nebulas calls this developer incentive protocol – basically rewards are issued based on how often dapp/contract etc. is used, the more the better the rewards and Proof of devotion. Works like DPoS except the best, most economically incentivised developers (Bookkeeppers) get the forging spots. Ensuring brains stay with the project (Cross between PoI & PoS). 2,400 TPS+, DAG used to solve the inter-transaction dependencies in the PEE (Parallel Execution Environment) feature, first crypto Wallet that supports the Lightening Network.
Waves: Decentralized exchange and crowdfunding platform. Let’s companies and projects to issue and manage their own digital coin tokens to raise money.
Salt: Leveraging blockchain assets to secure cash loands. Plans to offer cash loans in traditional currencies, backed by your cryptocurrency assets. Allows lenders worldwide to skip credit checks for easier access to affordable loans.
CHAINLINK: ChainLink is a decentralized oracle service, the first of its kind. Oracles are defined as an ‘agent’ that finds and verifies real-world occurrences and submits this information to a blockchain to be used in smart contracts.With ChainLink, smart contract users can use the network’s oracles to retrieve data from off-chain application program interfaces (APIs), data pools, and other resources and integrate them into the blockchain and smart contracts. Basically, ChainLink takes information that is external to blockchain applications and puts it on-chain. The difference to Aeternity is that Chainlink deploys the smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain while Aeternity has its own chain.
WTC: Combines blockchain with IoT to create a management system for supply chains Interesting
Ethos unifyies all cryptos. Ethos is building a multi-cryptocurrency phone wallet. The team is also building an investment diversification tool and a social network
Aion: Aion is the token that pays for services on the Aeternity platform.
USDT: is no cryptocurrency really, but a replacement for dollar for trading After months of asking for proof of dollar backing, still no response from Tether.
Market 4 - Privacy
The 4th market are privacy coins. As you might know, Bitcoin is not anonymous. If the IRS or any other party asks an exchange who is the identity behind a specific Bitcoin address, they know who you are and can track back almost all of the Bitcoin transactions you have ever made and all your account balances. Privacy coins aim to prevent exactly that through address fungability, which changes addresses constantly, IP obfuscation and more. There are 2 types of privacy coins, one with completely privacy and one with optional privacy. Optional Privacy coins like Dash and Nav have the advantage of more user friendliness over completely privacy coins such as Monero and Enigma.
Monero: Currently most popular privacy coin, though with a very high market cap. Since their privacy is all on chain, all prior transactions would be deanonymized if their protocol is ever cracked. This requires a quantum computing attack though. PIVX is better in that regard.
Zcash: A decentralized and open-source cryptocurrency that hide the sender, recipient, and value of transactions. Offers users the option to make transactions public later for auditing. Decent privacy coin, though no default privacy
Verge: Calls itself privacy coin without providing private transactions, multiple problems over the last weeks has a toxic community, and way too much hype for what they have.
Bytecoin: First privacy-focused cryptocurrency with anonymous transactions. Bytecoin’s code was later adapted to create Monero, the more well-known anonymous cryptocurrency. Has several scam accusations, 80% pre-mine, bad devs, bad tech
Bitcoin Private: A merge fork of Bitcoin and Zclassic with Zclassic being a fork of Zcash with the difference of a lack of a founders fee required to mine a valid block. This promotes a fair distribution, preventing centralized coin ownership and control. Bitcoin private offers the optional ability to keep the sender, receiver, and amount private in a given transaction. However, this is already offered by several good privacy coins (Monero, PIVX) and Bitcoin private doesn't offer much more beyond this.
Komodo: The Komodo blockchain platform uses Komodo’s open-source cryptocurrency for doing transparent, anonymous, private, and fungible transactions. They are then made ultra-secure using Bitcoin’s blockchain via a Delayed Proof of Work (dPoW) protocol and decentralized crowdfunding (ICO) platform to remove middlemen from project funding. Offers services for startups to create and manage their own Blockchains.
PIVX: As a fork of Dash, PIVX uses an advanced implementation of the Zerocoin protocol to provide it’s privacy. This is a form of zeroknowledge proofs, which allow users to spend ‘Zerocoins’ that have no link back to them. Unlike Zcash u have denominations in PIVX, so they can’t track users by their payment amount being equal to the amount of ‘minted’ coins, because everyone uses the same denominations. PIVX is also implementing Bulletproofs, just like Monero, and this will take care of arguably the biggest weakness of zeroknowledge protocols: the trusted setup.
Zcoin: PoW cryptocurrency. Private financial transactions, enabled by the Zerocoin Protocol. Zcoin is the first full implementation of the Zerocoin Protocol, which allows users to have complete privacy via Zero-Knowledge cryptographic proofs.
Enigma: Monero is to Bitcoin what enigma is to Ethereum. Enigma is for making the data used in smart contracts private. More of a platform for dapps than a currency like Monero. Very promising.
Navcoin: Like bitcoin but with added privacy and pos and 1,170 tps, but only because of very short 30 second block times. Though, privacy is optional, but aims to be more user friendly than Monero. However, doesn't really decide if it wants to be a privacy coin or not. Same as Zcash.Strong technology, non-shady team.
Tenx: Raised 80 million, offers cryptocurrency-linked credit cards that let you spend virtual money in real life. Developing a series of payment platforms to make spending cryptocurrency easier. However, the question is if full privacy coins will be hindered in growth through government regulations and optional privacy coins will become more successful through ease of use and no regulatory hindrance.
Market 5 - Currency Exchange Tool
Due to the sheer number of different cryptocurrencies, exchanging one currency for the other it still cumbersome. Further, merchants don’t want to deal with overcluttered options of accepting cryptocurrencies. This is where exchange tool like Req come in, which allow easy and simple exchange of currencies.
Cryptonex: Fiat and currency exchange between various blockchain services, similar to REQ.
QASH: Qash is used to fuel its liquid platform which will be an exchange that will distribute their liquidity pool. Its product, the Worldbook is a multi-exchange order book that matches crypto to crypto, and crypto to fiat and the reverse across all currencies. E.g., someone is selling Bitcoin is USD on exchange1 not owned by Quoine and someone is buying Bitcoin in EURO on exchange 2 not owned by Quoine. If the forex conversions and crypto conversions match then the trade will go through and the Worldbook will match it, it'll make the sale and the purchase on either exchange and each user will get what they wanted, which means exchanges with lower liquidity if they join the Worldbook will be able to fill orders and take trade fees they otherwise would miss out on.They turned it on to test it a few months ago for an hour or so and their exchange was the top exchange in the world by 4x volume for the day because all Worldbook trades ran through it. Binance wants BNB to be used on their one exchange. Qash wants their QASH token embedded in all of their partners. More info here https://www.reddit.com/CryptoCurrency/comments/8a8lnwhich_are_your_top_5_favourite_coins_out_of_the/dwyjcbb/?context=3
Kyber: network Exchange between cryptocurrencies, similar to REQ. Features automatic coin conversions for payments. Also offers payment tools for developers and a cryptocurrency wallet.
Achain: Building a boundless blockchain world like Req .
Req: Exchange between cryptocurrencies.
Bitshares: Exchange between cryptocurrencies. Noteworthy are the 1.5 second average block times and throughput potential of 100,000 transactions per second with currently 2,400 TPS having been proven. However, bitshares had several Scam accusations in the past.
Loopring: A protocol that will enable higher liquidity between exchanges and personal wallets.
ZRX: Open standard for dapps. Open, permissionless protocol allowing for ERC20 tokens to be traded on the Ethereum blockchain. In 0x protocol, orders are transported off-chain, massively reducing gas costs and eliminating blockchain bloat. Relayers help broadcast orders and collect a fee each time they facilitate a trade. Anyone can build a relayer.
Market 6 - Gaming
With an industry size of $108B worldwide, Gaming is one of the largest markets in the world. For sure, cryptocurrencies will want to have a share of that pie.
Storm: Mobile game currency on a platform with 9 million players.
Fun: A platform for casino operators to host trustless, provably-fair gambling through the use of smart contracts, as well as creating their own implementation of state channels for scalability.
Electroneum: Mobile game currency They have lots of technical problems, such as several 51% attacks
Wax: Marketplace to trade in-game items
Market 7 - Misc
There are various markets being tapped right now. They are all summed up under misc.
OMG: Omise is designed to enable financial services for people without bank accounts. It works worldwide and with both traditional money and cryptocurrencies.
Power ledger: Australian blockchain-based cryptocurrency and energy trading platform that allows for decentralized selling and buying of renewable energy. Unique market and rather untapped market in the crypto space.
Populous: A platform that connects business owners and invoice buyers without middlemen. Invoice sellers get cash flow to fund their business and invoice buyers earn interest. Similar to OMG, small market.
Monacoin: The first Japanese cryptocurrency. Focused on micro-transactions and based on a popular internet meme of a type-written cat. This makes it similar to Dogecoin. Very niche, tiny market.
Revain: Legitimizing reviews via the blockchain. Interesting concept, though market not as big.
Augur: Platform to forecast and make wagers on the outcome of real-world events (AKA decentralized predictions). Uses predictions for a “wisdom of the crowd” search engine. Not launched yet.
Substratum: Revolutionzing hosting industry via per request billing as a decentralized internet hosting system. Uses a global network of private computers to create the free and open internet of the future. Participants earn cryptocurrency. Interesting concept.
Veritaseum: Is supposed to be a peer to peer gateway, though it looks like very much like a scam.
TRON: Tronix is looking to capitalize on ownership of internet data to content creators. However, they plagiarized their white paper, which is a no go. They apologized, so it needs to be seen how they will conduct themselves in the future. Extremely high market cap for not having a product, nor proof of concept.
Syscoin: A cryptocurrency with a decentralized marketplace that lets people buy and sell products directly without third parties. Trying to remove middlemen like eBay and Amazon.
Hshare: Most likely scam because of no code changes, most likely pump and dump scheme, dead community.
BAT: An Ethereum-based token that can be exchanged between content creators, users, and advertisers. Decentralized ad-network that pays based on engagement and attention.
Dent: Decentralizeed exchange of mobile data, enabling mobile data to be marketed, purchased or distributed, so that users can quickly buy or sell data from any user to another one.
Ncash: End to end encrypted Identification system for retailers to better serve their customers .
Factom Secure record-keeping system that allows companies to store their data directly on the Blockchain. The goal is to make records more transparent and trustworthy .
Market 8 - Social network
Web 2.0 is still going strong and Web 3.0 is not going to ignore it. There are several gaming tokens already out there and a few with decent traction already, such as Steem, which is Reddit with voting through money is a very interesting one.
Mithril: As users create content via social media, they will be rewarded for their contribution, the better the contribution, the more they will earn
Steem: Like Reddit, but voting with money. Already launched product and Alexa rank 1,000 Thumbs up.
Rdd: Reddcoin makes the process of sending and receiving money fun and rewarding for everyone. Reddcoin is dedicated to one thing – tipping on social networks as a way to bring cryptocurrency awareness and experience to the general public.
Kin: Token for the platform Kik. Kik has a massive user base of 400 million people. Replacing paying with FIAT with paying with KIN might get this token to mass adoption very quickly.
Market 9 - Fee token
Popular exchanges realized that they can make a few billion dollars more by launching their own token. Owning these tokens gives you a reduction of trading fees. Very handy and BNB (Binance Coin) has been one of the most resilient tokens, which have withstood most market drops over the last weeks and was among the very few coins that could show growth.
BNB: Fee token for Binance
Gas: Not a Fee token for an exchange, but it is a dividend paid out on Neo and a currency that can be used to purchase services for dapps.
Kucoin: Fee token for Kucoin
Market 10 - Decentralized Data Storage
Currently, data storage happens with large companies or data centers that are prone to failure or losing data. Decentralized data storage makes loss of data almost impossible by distributing your files to numerous clients that hold tiny pieces of your data. Remember Torrents? Torrents use a peer-to-peer network. It is similar to that. Many users maintain copies of the same file, when someone wants a copy of that file, they send a request to the peer-to-peer network., users who have the file, known as seeds, send fragments of the file to the requester., he requester receives many fragments from many different seeds, and the torrent software recompiles these fragments to form the original file.
Gbyte: Byteball data is stored and ordered using directed acyclic graph (DAG) rather than blockchain. This allows all users to secure each other's data by referencing earlier data units created by other users, and also removes scalability limits common for blockchains, such as blocksize issue.
Siacoin: Siacoin is decentralized storage platform. Distributes encrypted files to thousands of private users who get paid for renting out their disk space. Anybody with siacoins can rent storage from hosts on Sia. This is accomplish via "smart" storage contracts stored on the Sia blockchain. The smart contract provides a payment to the host only after the host has kept the file for a given amount of time. If the host loses the file, the host does not get paid.
Maidsafecoin: MaidSafe stands for Massive Array of Internet Disks, Secure Access for Everyone.Instead of working with data centers and servers that are common today and are vulnerable to data theft and monitoring, SAFE’s network uses advanced P2P technology to bring together the spare computing capacity of all SAFE users and create a global network. You can think of SAFE as a crowd-sourced internet. All data and applications reside in this network. It’s an autonomous network that automatically sets prices and distributes data and rents out hard drive disk space with a Blockchain-based storage solutions.When you upload a file to the network, such as a photo, it will be broken into pieces, hashed, and encrypted. The data is then randomly distributed across the network. Redundant copies of the data are created as well so that if someone storing your file turns off their computer, you will still have access to your data. And don’t worry, even with pieces of your data on other people’s computers, they won’t be able to read them. You can earn MadeSafeCoins by participating in storing data pieces from the network on your computer and thus earning a Proof of Resource.
Storj: Storj aims to become a cloud storage platform that can’t be censored or monitored, or have downtime. Your files are encrypted, shredded into little pieces called 'shards', and stored in a decentralized network of computers around the globe. No one but you has a complete copy of your file, not even in an encrypted form.
Market 11 - Cloud computing
Obviously, renting computing power, one of the biggest emerging markets as of recent years, e.g. AWS and Digital Ocean, is also a service, which can be bought and managed via the blockchain.
Golem: Allows easy use of Supercomputer in exchange for tokens. People worldwide can rent out their computers to the network and get paid for that service with Golem tokens.
Elf: Allows easy use of Cloud computing in exchange for tokens.
Market 12 - Stablecoin
Last but not least, there are 2 stablecoins that have established themselves within the market. A stable coin is a coin that wants to be independent of the volatility of the crypto markets. This has worked out pretty well for Maker and DGD, accomplished through a carefully diversified currency fund and backing each token by 1g or real gold respectively. DO NOT CONFUSE DGD AND MAKER with their STABLE COINS DGX and DAI. DGD and MAKER are volatile, because they are the companies of DGX and DAI. DGX and DAI are the stable coins.
DGD: Platform of the Stablecoin DGX. Every DGX coin is backed by 1g of gold and make use proof of asset consensus.
Maker: Platform of the Stablecoin DAI that doesn't vary much in price through widespread and smart diversification of assets.
EDIT: Added a risk factor from 0 to 10. The baseline is 2 for any crypto. Significant scandals, mishaps, shady practices, questionable technology, increase the risk factor. Not having a product yet automatically means a risk factor of 6. Strong adoption and thus strong scrutiny or positive community lower the risk factor. EDIT2: Added a subjective potential factor from 0 to 10, where its overall potential and a small or big market cap is factored in. Bitcoin with lots of potential only gets a 9, because of its massive market cap, because if Bitcoin goes 10x, smaller coins go 100x, PIVX gets a 10 for being as good as Monero while carrying a 10x smaller market cap, which would make PIVX go 100x if Monero goes 10x.
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