Crypto Trading Strategies: The Ins and Outs of Scalping
15We’ve looked at various different crypto trading strategies in recent articles. Any trader in this volatile space has a plethora of paths to choose when deciding how best to execute. Since all crypto trading strategies are different, we thought we’d take a closer look at Digitex Futures CEO’s favorite ones, including day trading and scalping.
Different Styles of Futures Trading
Traders with a high tolerance to risk will look to pursue strategies that may make other retail traders uncomfortable. These can include buying futures on margin or keeping positions (long or short) open for extended periods of time, sometimes even years.
These types of actions can certainly magnify a trader’s profits. But they can also be extremely risky. A wrong call can see them liquidated with hefty losses.
Advanced futures trading styles often rely on hefty fundamental analysis, whereas shorter-term styles such as day trading and scalping look at technical analysis and charts. Of all the crypto trading strategies out there, Digitex Futures CEO Adam Todd prefers scalping as it gives him less exposure to risk but still a good chance of making a profit when conditions are right.
What Is Scalping?
Scalping is the most labor-intensive and aggressive style of day trading. Scalpers look to take advantage of even the smallest of price fluctuations, sometimes holding a position open for a very short time of just a few minutes or even seconds. The main aim of scalpers is to buy low and sell slightly higher for profits sometimes only the equivalent of a few cents.
The name of the game is focusing on reducing losses rather than, as Adam calls it, “riding the winners.” Scalpers will open and close multiple positions in one day with the aim of racking up lots of profits from many places; rather than act on one large swing trend or pattern. Adam explains that in order to be a successful scalper, your trades should be as short as possible: “I discovered that the longer I held a position, the bigger the risk that my position would turn into a loser.”
It’s vital to be disciplined as a scalper and to leave your emotions out of trading. In fact, according to Adam, it’s better if you don’t know anything about the underlying asset at all.
“Short-term scalping requires no fundamental knowledge of the underlying instrument on which you’re trading. As soon as you have entered a position you’re looking to exit it, hopefully with a one or two tick profit but willing to scratch it or lose a tick without any emotional attachment to the trade.”
Scalping Trading - The Ins and Outs
Scalping requires full concentration from the trader. We're talking about continuous monitoring of the screens and profiting from even the smallest of price changes. If you’re reading your emails or checking social media, you’ll likely fail to see success. According to Investopedia, scalping is “A fast-paced activity for nimble traders. It requires precision timing and execution.”
Scalpers focus on time frame interval charts like the one-minute and five-minute candlestick charts and look out for certain momentum indicators. These could be the relative strength index (RSI), the moving average convergence divergence (MACD), or stochastic. Price chart indicators are also commonly used to identify support and resistance levels.
One of the biggest mistakes a scalper can make according to Investopedia (and echoed by Adam’s words) is late exits (holding a position open for too long). This exposes them to more risk and can turn a profitable day into a losing one if they get caught out in the wrong position. Since scalping generates high commission fees from extensive trading, successfully scalping is currently almost impossible in today’s cryptocurrency markets.
Scalping on Digitex Futures
At Digitex Futures, we want to see all types of crypto trading strategies used so that we appeal to a wide net of traders. However, one of the main things we are looking forward to when we come to market is to at last stop punishing our most active traders, the ones who provide liquidity to the market with commission fees.
As Adam said, “As a scalper, I shouldn’t be paying a percentage of the notional value of the underlying instrument. I’m providing liquidity and should be encouraged, not squeezed out of the market entirely.”
Since we will charge no maker or taker fees on any trade, scalpers will be able to enter and exit as many positions as they like. They’ll be able to make a real living out of aggressive day trading without worrying about how much they have to give back to the house.