{Cryptoland} - the ever expanding universe of blockchain projects and virtual currencies.

Disclaimer: Although fairly new to this, I have taken a deep dive in the past few months. This guide is just some of the practices and tips I have learned. This is not professional investment advice.

Most importantly, do not invest the money you are not willing to lose!

Buy the idea, not the price

If you're just starting out, it's best to stick to projects that have at least 1 billion market cap (e.g. BTC, XRP, NEO, ETH, ETC, XLM). Those are well established and relatively low risk compared to newer projects that just went to market and haven't gained a wider audience.

Browse to https://coinmarketcap.com and sort the coins by market cap. From there you can click on each one and you'll get some histroical market performance. You can also view which Exchange you can buy them from.

Do your own research to see which projects you like. Never buy a coin only because it's going up. The crypto market is exteremly volatile and sudden large uptrends (= pump) are typically followed by heavy downtrends (= dump). In a lot of cases, each particular coin is susceptible to market maniupulation by whales (= holders of a large potion of the coin) who will profit from either trend.

Like with any other investment, it's important that you believe in what you're investing. For example, I don't believe that Bitcoin will overcome its scalability issues anytime soon and it has a very narrow purpose, so my Bitcoin holdings are only 5% of my portfolio, but again that is my personal view.

Spend time researching the idea

Look at the roadmaps, read the whitepaper, what has been accomplished so far? If the project is alive and has a solid community support, you'll notice continuous blog updates and member participation.

Check the github repository (= open source code repository of the project). See how frequently it gets updated, how many contributors it has and how recent is the last commit. This will give you an indication of how well the project is maintained.

What does the coin actually do?

When buying into a token, it is important to understand what value it holds relative to the project. Bitcoin is the currency itself, i.e. the Bitcoin is the project. What about ICN? It gives you access to the Iconomi investment platform and you can pay usage fees using ICN tokens but the coin itself is not the entire project. Iconomi is a digital asset management platform where managers set up portfolios and investors invest in those pre-defined portfolios, but the ICN token plays only a minor role in the ecosystem. Do you think its value will increase over time to the same heights as Bitcoin?

You will have to decide whether the token you're buying holds enough value relative to the project. If you realy like the project but the token isn't providing that value, then stay clear!

Spread your coins

There is an increasing number of market platforms where you can trade using fiat or Bitcoin. If you're only starting out, it's easier to think in fiat so feel free to pick something like https://changelly.com, https://coinbase.com or https://coinspot.com.au. For more options to get Bitcoin using fiat head to https://www.buybitcoinworldwide.com.

In most cases, when you want to add altcoins to your portfolio you'll need to buy BTC first and then use it to buy other coins. Some of the larger trading platforms for that are Binance, Bittrex, Bitfinex, Poloniex, etc.

Bitfinex was hacked last year and hackers stole over $60 million in Bitcoin. Another Exchange - Youbit has recently filed for banckrupcy after a hack. Lessons learned? Store your coins in multiple places.

I keep one portion across 2-3 Exchanges and another portion in software/hardware wallets to which I have the private keys. Most of my altcoins are in Exchanges where I can quickly trade them. Most of the ETH and BTC is stored away from the Internet for long term holding.

Hodl, hodl, hodl

Once you've done your research and bought a coin, you need to trust yourself and hodl. The crypto market is very volatile and there is a high chance your coin will become cheaper the second you bought it. Like that brand new car you drive out of the dealership. That is just the nature of the market, but fear not, you are in for the long term!

Buy on the rumour, sell on the news. A rumour of upcoming development milestones, releases, partnerships, events, etc. can all trigger a wave of buying, uptrends, and ultimately higher valuation of the project.

Buy the dip! Similar to the stock market, there are good days and bad days. Then your entire portfolio is in the red, it's a good time to get in.

Don't day trade

Unless you have trading experience and know how to perform a technical analysis on trading volume, moving averages, resistance levels and trend lines, don't do it!

Rememeber, you're in for the long run, you bought into the idea. No matter how satisfying it is to look at the green bars going up, you'll have no idea what to do with the red ones.

Most exchanges out there cater for semi or professional traders but if that isn't you, just get what you came for and hodl.

Stay in the know

One you've invested and happily watching your portfolio on Delta, you still need to know what's happening with the projects, aside from watching the market curves.

I use the following resources on a daily basis to stay in the know:

  • https://coindesk.com (the big news and overall analysis)
  • Crypto News app on Android
  • Crypto Signals app on Android
  • https://solume.io for social media trends
  • Reddit and Twitter (not to be taken seriously!)
  • Individual project blogs
  • Subscribe to email newsletters
  • https://cointelegraph.com via their Facebook or Twitter (buzzfeed)