The cryptocurrency landscape has changed significantly over the past 12 months. Gone are the guaranteed returns of 5x, 10x or greater on ICOs, as a growing number of investors clamor for a piece of the pie. New coins, new forks, and new airdrops have created a competitive marketplace characterized by diminishing returns and reduced profits. The best traders are still able to claim the lion’s share of the rewards though, leaving the rest to fight it out for the scraps.
Welcome to 2018, Where 20% Is the New 20x
Up until last year, the best performing ICOs could be expected to net investors an easy 10x profit by flipping tokens the moment they were listed on an exchange. 2017’s best performers include Spectrecoin, which has provided a 2,143x return on its token price, Qtum (106x) and Neblio (103x). 2018’s best performer, Bluzelle, in comparison, has managed a mere 5x on its ICO price to date. That’s still a healthy profit admittedly, especially when compared to the sort of single digit gains to be enjoyed in traditional asset markets. But by cryptocurrency standards, 500% is small fry.
There are a number of reasons behind the reduced dividends. For one thing, the world has now caught on. Telegram groups promote the most promising ICOs, while projects that attract rapid community interest are prominently promoted, leaving fewer undiscovered gems. Everyone’s looking for the next Stratis, Dragonchain, or Antshares, and it’s not just crypto investors who are wise to this – so are the ICOs issuing the tokens. The best projects, or rather the ones that are generating the most hype, are able to raise their hard cap, increase the number of tokens issued, and bump up the token price in the knowledge that they’ll still sell out in hours. As notorious Twitter trader and shitposter Romano put it, “20% is the new 2x”.
Big Exchanges Are Triggering Smaller Pumps
20% seems an accurate figure for the sort of price bump that tokens added to major exchanges such as Binance and Kucoin can now expect. Bittrex, which has stagnated for months, has finally begun clearing out some of the deadwood, delisting tokens with low trading volume and replacing them with newer entrants. Its latest addition, Vatoms (VEE), was introduced on Friday, whereupon its price pumped by a modest 20%. Six months ago, the same feat would have seen a token previously only available on decentralized exchanges comfortably double in price.
Sites like Etherdelta and IDEX used to be frequented by more experienced traders on account of the complexities of using them, though the masses are catching on. Etherdelta’s interface is notoriously counterintuitive to use, even after successfully completing numerous transactions, while IDEX is at least a little more user-friendly. It’s not rocket science, but neither is it as seamless as setting a buy order on Binance. In January’s altcoin market, everyone was a winner, with everything from scamcoins to shitcoins pumping, causing newbs to conclude that they’d mastered the art of trading. As the mania dispersed and more bearish conditions set in, many of these newfound “pros” were forced to conclude that hodling was perhaps a safer strategy, leaving the riskier trades to those with the crypto wealth and TA skills to make it work.
100x Leverage Is Not for the Fainthearted
One exchange where it’s still business as usual for the top dogs is Bitmex. Thanks to its margin trading of up to 100x, skilled traders can profit handsomely off even the slightest moves in bitcoin’s price. It’s a high risk strategy that’s not for the fainthearted or the charting illiterate. The best of the best are still doing as well as ever though, with AngeloBTC the Twitter trader currently top of the heap.
The changed cryptocurrency landscape hasn’t entirely disadvantaged new traders and investors of low means. Thanks to the craze for airdrops, in which free tokens are awarded to community members for tasks such as following an ICO’s social channels, it’s possible to net up to $500 a month in freebies. It’s not a lot to play with, but with patience and perseverance these meager crumbs can be turned into a respectable pile, aided by a few shrewd trades along the way. The easy money in cryptocurrency may be no more, but there are still plenty of ways for enterprising investors to turn a little into a lump sum.
Do you think cryptocurrency trading has gotten more competitive? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter, and Bitmex.