The Precedence of Price

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I’d like to preface this post by mentioning that this, unlike the vast majority of blog posts I publish, is expressly aimed at newer speculators, with little to no familiarity with markets.


The price paid for any asset is the single most important aspect of speculation, and one that largely determines the profitability of said speculation.

This idea is drummed into our heads by the most successful traders, investors and speculators of all time; and justifiably so.

Whilst investors like Warren Buffett refuse to acknowledge the long-term utility of technical analysis, relying solely on fundamentals in their decision-making process, they all – going all the way back to Benjamin Graham – make the concession that price is paramount. Price is both fundamental and technical in its nature, with all technical analysis deriving from two data-points: price and volume.

For the purposes of this post, we will be focusing on price, as it is the most critical component to your decision-making process.

Now, the problem with a sole reliance on fundamental analysis is that it often disregards the price-history of an asset. Whilst there are many valuation models in equity research that allow for a relative measure of cheapness to be determined, this is not the case with cryptocurrencies, at present.

In this space, we rely heavily on past prices for an indication as to the relative value of current prices. This is because fundamental analysis is very much in its infancy within the cryptosphere, and those valuation models do not yet exist, thus technical analysis is critical to prevent from overpaying for any given altcoin; an act that renders profitability highly unlikely.

A project might be impeccable in its fundamental quality, comprising of an engaged and growing community, consistent development, a working product and unique use-cases; but if you enter a position in that project at or near all-time highs, there is a strong chance that you spend a long time underwater or even realise a loss. Indeed, gravity is far greater a force within this particular asset class, and no amount of structural soundness will prevent the eventual (and cyclical) collapse.

As such, a study of price-history is indispensable when considering an entry for a new position. In fact, if you do nothing else in your research except study price-history, you will likely be doing enough to find some degree of success.

Now, this is all exceptionally simple; intuitive, one might argue. And so, I’ll refrain from rambling on any more. Rather, I believe it will prove useful to provide some examples of this concept of relative cheapness, if only to illustrate its simplicity.

First, consider all that has been said thus far. All we are looking for are periods of cheapness and dearness across price-history – in essence, we are reframing the concepts of support and resistance and simplifying them.

Below are printed the before-and-after charts of several coins. These are just a sample of the dozens and dozens of examples that are available in the market:

DOGE:

Dogecoin is perhaps the best possible example to illustrate this concept, as it has experienced numerous market cycles in its price-history. Looking at this first chart, intuitively, which prices look as though they are cheap and which look expensive?

Here, I have depicted my thoughts on this, where there is a price range of extreme cheapness, which has only been traded 4 times; a price range of cheapness, which has been traded 8 times; and a range of expensiveness, which has been traded 6 times.

Those that have bought within the extremely cheap range have been rewarded every single time with a possibility to sell within the expensive range. Those that have bought in the cheap range have been rewarded 5 out of 7 times with the same opportunity (excluding the current, 8th touch of this range) without experiencing price trade inside this range a second time prior to reaching the expensive range. To clarify this, look at the 2nd and 6th periods of price trading inside the cheap range: subsequent price-action took price up and out of the range but fell short of the expensive range, moving back inside cheap before making another (this time successful) run at expensive.

In all of Dogecoin’s price-history, buyers below 50 satoshis have been rewarded with an opportunity to sell above 100 satoshis, no matter when they decided to buy below this point.


STEEM:

Now, above is printed a STEEM chart, but I have excluded the first few months of price-history simply because it was an anomaly that massively distorts the chart. This is often the case when coins first begin trading, as circulating supplies are extremely low, drastically affecting early pricing.

Where, on this chart, would you consider price to be cheap and where is it expensive?

Clearly, there is one price-range that indicates relative cheapness across STEEM’s price-history. This range has been traded inside on 3 separate occasions. Each entry within this range has been reward with an opportunity to sell inside the expensive range except the most recent one, from which price is only just exiting. If we look between the 2nd and 3rd entries into the expensive range, we can see a failure for price to return to cheap, and thus bargain hunters would have missed this opportunity; a risk always present for those who adhere to the approach of buying at the very extremes of relative cheapness.


BCN:

BCN is an interesting case, as it spent a long time in a relatively tight price-range before experiencing several cycles in quick succession. Where would you consider price to be cheap for BCN, and where is it expensive?

Now, whilst this entire exercise is largely subjective and open to interpretation, BCN in particular is a trickier case. Whilst I doubt anyone would argue against there being a cheap range below 20 satoshis, I have marked out the area above it (between 30-40 satoshis) as relatively expensive rather than, say, less cheap or relatively cheap. That is because this range between 30-40 satoshis has only acted as a catalyst for a move towards the expensive and extremely expensive ranges once without price also moving into the cheap range. It has also acted as a range from which price has actually declined back into cheap without moving any further up on two occasions.

You might feel that this is actually still a relatively cheap range, and that is your call to make. For me, there is only one range that I’d be buying, and that is below 20 satoshis. Now, every single time price has traded within this range, it has been followed by at least a move up to 40 satoshis, with the more common pattern being a move up towards the expensive and extremely expensive ranges.

Price is currently trading inside the cheap range for the 5th time in BCN’s price-history.


SC:

Siacoin has a beautiful price-history, with very clear areas of relative cheapness and dearness. Looking at the above chart, where would you expect these to be?

Clearly, the range below 50 satoshis is extremely cheap; this range has only been traded within on 2 separate occasions. There is, however, a more recent cheap range that has formed just above it since around November 2017. Why is this range relatively cheap? Because it – like the extremely cheap range – acted as a catalyst for extremely expensive prices.

We have three gradations of dearness depicted, also. There is a relatively expensive range that has been hit 4 times in price-history; 3 of which have occurred after price has traded inside the cheap or extremely cheap ranges.


That concludes the examples, but I would advise you to go and seek out your own examples. The more you study and observe the entire price-histories of altcoins, the more you’ll spot periods of relative cheapness that can be capitalised on. Don’t make things difficult for yourself by seeking out opportunities in altcoins with obscure and clumsy charts; it is unneccesary when there are thousands of coins out there.

I hope this post has provided some insight for less experienced speculators.

As ever, feel free to leave a comment or question below and I’ll get back to you!

Interview on The Crypto Sky Podcast

On 19th June, 2017, I was interviewed for The Crypto Sky Podcast.

Here is a link to that podcast, for anyone interested:

http://thecryptosky.com/2018/06/ep-018-interview-with-nik-patel/


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Picking Out Microcaps 101 (Revised 2018)

N.B: This is a revised edition of the post I published in July 2017, which featured a framework for filtering for microcaps. Since that post was published almost twelve months ago, much has changed in the space, not least of which being the price of Bitcoin. Consequently, many of the more minute details and figures in the original post are now invalid or ineffective, and a revision of said post feels necessary. I have refrained from changing the style or structure of the post, and have instead simply opted to update whatever information feels out-dated. I hope that you will find it useful.

Microcaps: Coins that have a market cap between 0-25BTC ($0-170,000, at the time of writing this).

Microcaps have long-proved to be the most profitable coins for me, and the process by which I pick them out is rather simple:

Step One:

Direct your browser to www.coinmarketcap.com: Click view all. Filter the list using the ‘Market Cap’ option for $0-100k. Open a new tab and repeat this for $100k-1mn. Click on the button that says ‘USD’ and change to BTC so that the market cap figures display in Bitcoin. Note down all of the coins below 25BTC that show a circulating supply below 1 billion coins. For all of these, also note down their 24H volume in BTC. Cross out the coins with a lower than 2% market cap to volume ratio: if X has a market cap of 25BTC, its 24H volume should be 0.5BTC or more. This is simply to filter for the microcaps that are getting a decent amount of attention. Now open up a separate tab for each remaining coin. From these remaining coins, cross out all the coins that have a total supply that is more than twice the size of their circulating supply (this is usually indicative of a large premine, and that is unnecessary added liability). Make sure that the figure you are looking at is the ‘total supply’, not the ‘maximum supply’. Total supply means the total amount of coins currently in existence. Maximum supply means the maximum possible amount of coins that can come into existence. The ones remaining (there’s usually quite a few) are the ones you will research further.

Step Two:

Head over to Bitcointalk and read through the announcement threads of every single coin that you have left on your list. Make a note of the level of activity in the thread, the number of pages it contains, the last time there actually was communication on there (some coins will be dead), and get a general feel for the community of each coin. Read through the announcement itself to find out where the coin has come from and where it is heading — look for roadmaps, Slack and Telegram channels, and active, communicative developers. Have a look at their websites and block explorers. Remove coins from the list of remaining ones that do not have at least a decent standard for all of the above (room for improvement can be profitable).

Step Three:

You should now have a small-ish number of coins on your list. These are the ones you’re looking to pick up, but whittle the number down even further by doing more meticulous research on how they are currently trading. Remove anything that trades only on Yobit – remove it immediately. Of the other exchanges, CoinExchange, CryptoBridge, TradeOgre and Cryptopia can be great for microcaps. Look at the charts for each of these coins, and spot accumulation patterns: constricted ranges; spikes of high buying volume etc.

Another research tool is the block explorer for these coins. Some may have rich-lists or largest address tabs. Monitor movements within these addresses. Are the largest addresses getting larger over time or are they in distribution? Screenshot the top 25 richest addresses and then screenshot the top 25 again a few days later. Compare your lists. Are these coins in accumulation?

Step Four:

Take the plunge and buy the ones you’re most confident in. It may even take you weeks to accumulate a decent amount of any single microcap project. Most likely, it’ll take months before you start seeing serious returns, but it’s worth it if you have the patience.

I hope this post helps with your research.


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Disclaimer: This post references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.