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Trading 101: What is the Best Trading Software?

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Trading software

As we all know, any kind of professional activity requires its own set of tools and equipment. Trading is no exception to this. It is also true that the more demanding your use is, the more expensive the required equipment tends to get. Still, when compared to other jobs you could take up, the equipment required to trade, whether it is in crypto, stocks, or forex, is quite cheap.

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You have wide options available when it comes to choosing a platform to trade on. Cryptocurrency traders usually use an exchange with its own decent web-based trading interface, thus reducing the need for other platforms that forex and stock traders have traditionally used.

Many cryptocurrency traders instead opt to do their charting on a separate platform, and then place their orders directly on the exchange. In fact, separating trading and charting is a good practice that I usually recommend because it keeps you from making impulse trades when you are doing your analysis. If you instead do your analysis on a separate platform, and then need to log in to your broker to place the trade, chances are you will have time to reflect over what you are doing and thus reduce the likelihood of making mistakes.

Trading software packages also vary widely in price, from free basic packages to extremely expensive options designed for institutions. In this article, I will cover two of the most popular platforms for retail traders that are available for a relatively low cost.

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TradingView

Perhaps the most popular charting software for technical analysis right now is TradingView. This platform has earned the top spot over the past few years for very good reason, with the main one being its social experience.

TradingView lets users publish their own trade ideas for the rest of the community to see and rate. Ideas are usually based on technical analysis, and are drawn directly on the charts using the built-in tools for technical analysis.

While TradingView used to be a community mainly consisting of forex traders, a huge number of cryptocurrency traders have also come to the platform over the past year. The charting tool now supports a large selection of cryptocurrency trading pairs, and their “Cryptocurrencies” chat has become one of the most popular chats on the platform.

Lots of technical analysis enthusiasts will claim that TradingView is simply the best charting platform available today. It is simple enough for beginners to understand, while at the same offers all of the features an advanced trader would ever ask for.

You can start using TradingView for free today, and choose to upgrade to one of their paid plans later once you become comfortable with the platform. Although their prices have increased over the past few years, TradingView is still reasonably priced considering how powerful the platform is.

TradingView has the following subscription plans (month-to-month subscriptions):

  • FREE
  • PRO: US$14.95/month
  • PRO+: US$29.95/month
  • PREMIUM: US$59.95/month

All plans offer better prices if you opt for a 2-year subscription period. Personally, I feel that their PRO+ plan offers the most bang for the buck.

MetaTrader

While TradingView is a web-based platform that runs directly in your browser, MetaTrader is a more traditional kind of trading software that you need to download on your computer. Originally built by Russian company MetaQuotes Software, MetaTrader is by far the most popular trading software for retail forex and CFD traders in the world.

We have previously talked about how you can profit from having robots trade for you, and this is probably what the MetaTrader platform has become best known for. You have the option of tracking the trades of a free robot, or paying for access to a (presumably) better one. You can also track the trades made by other human traders in the same way, also known as copy-trading.

MetaTrader users can also put their coding skills to work and develop their own trading robots or custom technical indicators. The end result of your work can either be used by yourself or sold to other users on the built-in marketplace.

As a new trader, it is really important that you don’t blindly buy into the promises of trading robots you come across, and that you are aware of their limitations. As Jonas explained in his recent article, oftentimes these robots will perform fantastic for a short amount of time before they eventually fail miserably, causing you to lose all the money you initially gained. Trading robots are sometimes optimized to perform perfectly in past market conditions, but that does not necessarily mean that they will perform equally well in the future. This is one of the big pitfalls of algorithmic trading, often referred to by traders as “curve-fitting” or “over-optimization.”

Lastly, there is no doubt that MetaTrader has a more advanced feel to it than TradingView, and it is also more complicated to learn how to use it. That alone, however, does not mean that it is a better platform to use.

MetaTrader or TradingView – which one should you go for?

Perhaps the best way to approach this is to think of MetaTrader and TradingView as complements of each other. You could for example use TradingView solely as a technical analysis tool and a social network for staying in touch with other traders, while placing your trades in MetaTrader (if your broker supports that platform).

Many traders who used to be hardcore supporters of MetaTrader have switched to TradingView, at least for their charting work. The most obvious reason for doing that is probably that TradingView runs in the cloud, and therefore automatically backs up everything you do on the platform. If your computer breaks down while using TradingView, you can simply get a new one and continue where you left off. With MetaTrader however, everything is saved locally on your hard drive, meaning everything you have done will be lost when your computer crashes.

For those active in the forex market, most brokers will offer their own web-based trading platform in addition to the MetaTrader platform. I would recommend starting with the web-based solution to learn the game at first. MetaTrader may feel overwhelming to start with, and there is no need to make things more difficult than they already are.

Once you have gained more confidence in the markets, you can try out MetaTrader if you feel the need for more advanced functionality or want to test out trading robots. If you instead prefer to do your own technical analysis, TradingView has you covered with pretty much everything you will ever need. By doing it this way and taking things one step at a time, your learning curve will become more manageable and your odds of success greatly improved.

Featured image from Pixabay.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.3 stars on average, based on 32 rated postsFredrik Vold is an entrepreneur, financial writer, and technical analysis enthusiast. He has been working and traveling in Asia for several years, and is currently based out of Beijing, China. He closely follows stocks, forex and cryptocurrencies, and is always looking for the next great alternative investment opportunity.




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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. usher

    January 15, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    And Coinigy?

  2. engrossa

    January 15, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    Ok. But I use Coininy…

  3. boybianchi

    January 15, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    Not mentioning coinigy?! You have got to be kidding me?

  4. Fredrik Vold

    January 16, 2018 at 4:31 am

    Perhaps we’ll do a separate review of Coinigy later. This one was written for all traders, not just crypto.

  5. boybianchi

    January 16, 2018 at 11:16 am

    Hi Fredrik, understood and thanks for explaining. It’s just that most of the trade recommendations are in fact for crypto. Not all, but most of them are. It would only make sense to me to include software based on crypto alone.

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How to Purchase Altcoins

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There is no doubt about it, bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency most of you will have heard about. But after you’ve whet your appetite on this “blue chip” coin, you may wish to expand your horizons into other coins.

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An altcoin, or alternative cryptocurrency, is any coin other than bitcoin. In terms of market capitalization, bitcoin has a total value of $143.9 billion, which is much larger than any of the other cryptocurrencies. At the same time, you have other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum or Ripple that have market capitalization of $66.6 and $26.1 billion, respectively. Those numbers are no laughing matter.

What Makes Purchasing Them Different

The big difference when it comes to purchasing altcoins is the fact that you generally need to use a different exchange than you started off with. Most users are drawn to big, well-known exchanges like Coinbase, because of their ease of use and the quality of their reputation. But Coinbase only allows for the purchase of a few other currencies (Litecoin, Ethereum, and bitcoin cash at the time of publishing). So for any other coins, it is necessary to use a different exchange in order to purchase them.

Getting into these projects early is the equivalent of investing like a venture capitalist, which is exactly why many people are so interested in them. Ethereum went through massive price increases in 2017, and although many projects may end up being worthless, they also have the potential to achieve unicorn status.

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How To Perform the Purchase

To go about making your purchase of whatever altcoin you are interested in investing in, first you must choose an exchange that lists the cryptocurrency in question. Binance is known as one of the best and most trustworthy, so for the purposes of this article, we will assume you are going to use their services.

The only way to get money into Binance is by transferring in Bitcoin, as they don’t allow for fiat deposits. Once you sign up for an account with them, look for your deposit address and use it to withdraw from the exchange you purchased your Bitcoin on. The money should show up right away, and you are now set up to trade on Binance.

The purchase process is easy from here. Find the cryptocurrency pair you wish to trade (BTC/XRP, for example), select it, and enter the amount of money you wish to invest with them. One tip with Binance: you can save money by purchasing some of their proprietary coin, BNB, and applying that towards your transaction fees. This generally results in a 50% discount on the fees, which can add up over time.

Finally, best practices for security are to withdraw your coins to your own wallet. However, you must make sure that the coins are compatible with your wallet, otherwise they will disappear and be non-recoverable.

Diversification is Healthy

The strongest case for purchasing an altcoin is that you need to diversify out of holding only Bitcoin in the cryptocurrency space. The potential percentage gains are much higher than they are for Bitcoin because of the relatively low exposure the rest of world has had to them. Most investors have heard of Bitcoin, but altcoins are still a very fringe topic.

By taking some of the steps outlined above, you can easily obtain your own altcoins, and increase the potential returns of your portfolio. One last thing: if you really want to get into an altcoin early, you should stay up to date on new ICO’s, since these are likely the lowest prices you will be able to purchase the cryptocurrencies at.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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How to Buy Bitcoin Anonymously

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anonymous

As we have previously written about on Hacked.com, many people hold the false belief that bitcoin, by its very nature, is anonymous. However, as transactions recorded on the blockchain are available for anyone to see, this is not entirely true.

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Still, the biggest issue when it comes to privacy arises when someone wants to buy or sell his or her bitcoins for fiat currency. Going through an exchange requires an often lengthy verification process where you need to upload things like your passport, proof of residence, bank statements, etc. It is really a far cry from the privacy that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies were envisioned to offer.

Fortunately, we do have a few solutions to this problem. In this article, we will guide you through four of the ways that exists for buying bitcoin anonymously, either online or offline.

1. Using a bitcoin ATM

With the number of bitcoin ATMs currently exploding, buying bitcoins through an ATM is perhaps the most obvious option for anyone wanting to avoid all the requirements that come with traditional fiat to bitcoin trading.

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The catch with this option, though, is that there is usually a buying limit of around USD 750 before you need to present your ID. However, as long as you stay below this amount for each transaction, your purchase will be completely anonymous.

As bitcoin ATMs are still not very commonly found, you do depend on having one nearby. Currently, about 75% of all bitcoin ATMs in the world are located in North America, with some also found in major European cities.

2. Buying bitcoin peer-to-peer

By far the most popular peer-to-peer bitcoin trading platform out there is LocalBitcoins. Using this platform, you often have the option of meeting up in person with a specific seller who is willing to trade is bitcoin for cash in your local currency. LocalBitcoins have sellers listed in more than 10,000 cities across the world, so there are good chances you will find someone not too far from your location.

All you need to do to start using LocalBitcoins is to sign up on their website with an email address and username, and then start looking for people who are willing to sell bitcoin to you in your area.

Make sure to check the reviews of a seller before you agree to make a trade. Sellers with plenty of good reviews are safe to use, but you should be careful buying from sellers with few or no reviews. There have even been cases where people have been fooled into traps by undercover police officers posing as sellers in countries where crypto trading is illegal or requires a license.

3. Use a prepaid debit card

In the US and some other countries, it is possible to walk into any convenience store and buy a prepaid debit card that you can load up with cash over the counter. You can then use the same card to buy bitcoin on any fiat-to-bitcoin exchange such as Coinbase or Kraken in just the same way as you would have done if you used a debit or credit card from your bank.

This may be a less convenient option, but if there is no bitcoin ATM or LocalBitcoins sellers nearby, using a prepaid card may be your best shot.

4. Using a decentralized exchange (DEX)

Perhaps the most anonymous way to buy bitcoin online is to use a decentralized exchange, something most people in the world of cryptocurrencies are not very familiar with yet.

Decentralized exchanges are largely a new concept, but they are by many seen as the future of bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading. However, current platforms are still a bit complex for non-technical users, but this is a field that is quickly moving forward. Binance, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges today, has even said that they are working on a decentralized exchange expected to be launched in the not-too-distant future.

One such platform already in operation is Bisq, and another option is AirSwap. Both are early players among decentralized exchanges, which is an area that is inevitably set for growth in 2018.

When using Bisq, no ID verification is necessary and the exchange does not hold any of the user’s funds, which also makes it a much safer choice than traditional centralized exchanges. To buy bitcoin using this service, you would make a cash deposit equal to the amount of bitcoin you wish to buy, and then contact a seller directly. Lastly, an escrow service is used to ensure sellers get paid the cash and buyers receive their bitcoin.

Featured image from Pixabay.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.3 stars on average, based on 32 rated postsFredrik Vold is an entrepreneur, financial writer, and technical analysis enthusiast. He has been working and traveling in Asia for several years, and is currently based out of Beijing, China. He closely follows stocks, forex and cryptocurrencies, and is always looking for the next great alternative investment opportunity.




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How to Sell Bitcoin

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Generally, bitcoin investors are split into the buy-and- hold variety and the speculators. As one would guess, the buy-and- hold crowd intends to hold their bitcoin for a long period of time, but if you’re a speculator, you could want to get rid of it as soon as you achieve your desired returns. And if you do decide to sell it, there are two main ways you can go about doing this: online or offline.

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Sell Via a Trading Exchange

The most likely option is to sell via an exchange. This is probably the same way you initially bought your bitcoin too, so it would be easy to set up. What you are doing here is converting your bitcoin back into a fiat currency before transferring that currency into your day-to- day banking account.

The exchange takes the Bitcoin off your hands and it is all done near instantly. Just like any other market, a buyer and seller are connected, but this happens much faster than the direct trade option. The result will probably be a higher fee for lower time invested on your part. Fees are generally broken down into withdrawal/deposit fees and then transaction fees, and you should do your due diligence before you waste too much money on these fees.

Another interesting business model for selling bitcoin is to do it via a peer-to- peer marketplace. These marketplaces connect buyers and sellers based on their mutual needs. The way it is set up, someone with Bitcoin is put in touch with someone who wants Bitcoin, and they engage in a bit of a complicated maneuver. The person who wants Bitcoin buys the seller something with their fiat currency, and is then transferred the appropriate amount of Bitcoin from the other person.

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Physically Selling Bitcoin

One of the top reasons people perform physical trades of Bitcoin is to avoid the hassle of dealing with regulators. This isn’t to say they are committing illegal acts, it’s just not easy to get through all the regulations which are currently in place. Banks are petrified of regulators and stay away from cryptocurrencies as a result. It also isn’t cheap to deal with the banks. Wire transfers and other money moving methods cost a decent chunk, so online withdrawal can lead to some memorable problems that push users towards the physical side of the industry.

When selling Bitcoin in person, the overall mechanism is the same as selling anything else. The only catch is that it is a lot harder to verify the trade, which leaves open the possibility for fraud. In the best case scenario, you are dealing with family or a friend, so the trust factor of this transaction is not an issue.

Using a Local Service

If you are selling to an absolute stranger over an exchange like Localcoins.com, you will need to agree on a few terms ahead of time. This could mean dictating a price that day, or it could mean choosing the exchange which the transaction price will be based off of. Remember that the cryptocurrency is still very volatile, so price swings are to be expected. This is why terms should be agreed upon way in advance.

Meetups are a safer alternative to meeting new people in areas you are not familiar with. These groups will usually have a few members who are looking to sell some Bitcoin or at least have some friends that will. This is the value of community. Just make sure you stay safe and perform all your transactions in a public place. You wouldn’t go around with a $10,000 good on you, so don’t do the same thing with bitcoin.

Bitcoin ATMs

The other physical option you can pursue is cashing your Bitcoin out at a cryptocurrency ATM. These are present all over the world and are popping up with a higher frequency as time goes on. The major benefit to this method is not having to deal with multiple fees. When you convert your money back into fiat currency online, you usually need to send it to a separate bank account at the end before you can access it. An ATM works to directly charge your wallet and save you this trouble.

Conclusion

Each method has its own positives and negatives, but as long as you register them both, you won’t have a problems getting rid of your coins. Selling them online often results in significant delays, but doing it in person means you have a security risk and have to go through more effort. The industry is expected to evolve, and it will eventually be easier to sell Bitcoin, but for the time being, most innovators are focused on making buying Bitcoin easier. These are your best options for now.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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