So you want to buy some altcoins but don’t necessarily know who to trust and how to get the process rolling? The complexity of buying cryptos can be daunting for many who don’t have a financial or trading background. No worries, you’re not alone.
Built and operated in the United States, Bittrex is a next-generation crypto trading platform created by security professionals. Bittrex handles one of the largest volumes of BTC trading in the world. If you’ve been around the crypto space a while you’ve undoubtedly heard of them, but if you’re a newcomer perhaps not.
In the following, we’ll explain why you should use Bittrex and walk you through how to do it.
What Makes Bittrex Different?
When you use the Bittrex exchange to buy and sell, you will be the beneficiary of all of the following perks:
- Security — Bittrex prides itself on providing a secure platform for users as they “leverage an elastic multi-stage wallet strategy ensuring that 80-90% of funds are offline and safe.” Bittrex also uses two-factor authentication which is required for all withdrawals and API usage.
- Customer service — Feedback on Bittrex’s customer response appears to be well above average. To quote one Reddit user, “ I recently had a problem, opened a ticket, and reached out to them on their Slack channel. Within 15 minutes they had fixed the problem.”
- Fast transactions — Bittrex boasts some of the fastest exchange transaction times currently available. This includes updates on balance, trade, and wallet information.
- Peace of mind — Bittrex is well-regulated and compliant with all of the current US rules, so crypto users can feel safer about their funds than on exchanges operating in other jurisdictions.
Want to know more about Bittrex and learn their backstory? Click here. Now let’s get to the meat and potatoes.
Bittrex supports two types of accounts:
- Basic Account – a withdrawal limit of 3 BTC/day.
- Advanced Account – a withdrawal limit of 100 BTC/day.
In order to withdraw funds, you must go through a KYC verification process involving ID document checks, phone number and two-factor authentication (for higher limits). If you get stuck, here is their official verification guide.
It’s also worth noting that Bittrex is a “crypto-only” exchange, in that they don’t allow you to deposit any fiat currency. The user interface is simple and intuitive, so newbies can pick it up quickly.
Getting Started on Bittrex
Step 1: Create an Account
Step 2: Buy Bitcoin or Ethereum
Once your account is set up, you’ll need to transfer some money in so you can start trading. You’ll remember that Bittrex doesn’t allow you simply pay in with USD or Euros so you’ll need to buy BTC elsewhere (many people use CoinBase although they charge higher fees) and transfer the BTC to your new account on Bittrex.
This can be done by generating a Bittrex-specific address and transferring the BTC there. Ethereum can also be used. A complete guide is here, if needed.
Step 3: Start Making Some Trades
With your Bittrex account loaded with funds, you can now start trading.
From the dashboard, search for whatever coin you want to buy, Litecoin for example. Click on the currency ticker when it comes up and you will be directed to the page seen below.
Here you have your basic price chart, which you can adjust to show data by the minute by the hour or by the day. You can play around with other settings under the chart tab to turn your candle depictions into a line or bar graph.
On the right-hand side of the screen, you’ve got your latest price, trading volume (number of transactions), bid and ask price – the difference between them being your spread.
At the bottom, you’ve got the 24-hour high and 24-hour low. All of these figures are shown with their USD equivalency (or another currency you choose).
Scroll down the page and next you’ll find this.
At the top, you have the available amount of BTC (in this case 0) and as you can see there are options to buy and sell. Enter the amounts you wish to purchase, accept a rate from the order book below, and click buy.
- “Unit” refers to the number or percentage of a new coin that you are buying.
- “Bid” refers to the price per unit.
- “Type” refers to timing and you have two options, “Good ‘Til Cancelled” and “Immediate or Cancel”.
- “Good ‘Til Cancelled” means the transactions can be done in a piecemeal manner.
- “Immediate or Cancel” means the transaction must be done at once or canceled altogether.
- “Total” refers to the total amount of coin you will be spending for the coin you desire to buy.
If you’re processing a buy order, you should see a small green confirmation box in the right-hand corner of your screen. You can check that things are complete by clicking on your wallet and reviewing its contents.
At the top, you’ll see Litecoin, and if a trade had been completed, you would see the new totals reflected here. That’s it: congratulations, you’ve completed your first trade!
To sell, do the same process but designate a sell action instead.
Beyond buy and sell orders, you may want to set a “stop loss” order to protect yourself against the falling value of a coin. Think of this as a safety net and see the tutorial below.
When to Buy and When to Sell?
At the end of the day, everyone must do their own due diligence, understand their risk tolerance and answer this question for themselves. But a great place to start is our Investing in Cryptocurrency: A Beginner’s Guide, and here are a few more things that may be helpful.
Determine whether you want to trade cryptocurrency or invest in it as these are two very different things. Investors tend to be in it for the long-haul; they invest their money, want to diversify and they tend to ignore price volatility as they resolutely hodl. Investing can be a “set it and forget it” exercise.
Conversely, traders operate with short-term positions that they often hold for no longer than days or even hours. They are extremely sensitive to price fluctuations and strive for perfect market entry and exit, quickly abandoning unprofitable positions. Trading is a contact sport that requires a lot of time.
Trading is extremely competitive and requires a level of expertise most people are lacking. It’s generally best that beginners don’t start with trading. This doesn’t mean you can’t get in on the action, however. A lot of people investing in BTC or other altcoins are using two simple strategies, buying the dips and dollar cost averaging.
Buying the dips is a slang phrase referring to the practice of purchasing an asset following a decline in prices. This doesn’t mean to buy at the first sign of a downturn; it means buying when a price has settled or is even slightly recovering. This isn’t foolproof obviously, but it doesn’t take much skill or technical know-how to implement.
Dollar cost averaging, as you probably know, is a strategy whereby investors purchase a fixed dollar amount of a particular coin on a regular schedule, regardless of its price. When prices go up, the investor buys less; and when they go down, he or she buys more. Given that no one knows where prices will be in the near future, it is prudent (Reddit debate here) to not just invest a huge chunk of your money on a single buy.
If you want to dig deeper, here are some other posts that will serve you well:
- Playing in the Riskiest Market of All: How To Mitigate Cryptocurrency Risk
- A Bitcoin Trading Guide
- 6 Questions To Consider Before Investing In Crypto
Bittrex is great in terms of things like security, transparency, UI, coins supported and access to inbuilt wallets. The Bittrex fee schedule is also competitive in comparison to other well-known exchanges.
Being based in the US, having a strong reputation and being relatively easy for beginners to pick up all make it a great option for trading cryptos. But what you actually do on Bittrex is solely up to you.
The explosion of cryptocurrencies is shaping up to be the biggest story in the history of finance. There are tons of reasons to get excited (and involved!) but do your homework, be measured, develop a system and stick with it.