Cryptocurrency markets move according to supply and demand. However, as they are decentralised, they tend to remain free from many of the economic and political concerns that affect traditional currencies. While there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrencies, the following factors can have a significant impact on their prices:
- Supply: the total number of coins and the rate at which they are released, destroyed or lost
- Market capitalisation: the value of all the coins in existence and how users perceive this to be developing
- Press: the way the cryptocurrency is portrayed in the media and how much coverage it is getting
- Integration: the extent to which the cryptocurrency easily integrates into existing infrastructure such as e-commerce payment systems
- Key events: major events such as regulatory updates, security breaches and economic setbacks
How does cryptocurrency trading work?
With your broker, you can trade cryptocurrencies via a CFD account – derivative products that enable you speculate on whether your chosen cryptocurrency will rise or fall in value. Prices are quoted in traditional currencies such as the US dollar, and you never take ownership of the cryptocurrency itself.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means you can open a position for a just a fraction of the full value of the trade. Although leveraged products can magnify your profits, they can also magnify losses if the market moves against you.
What is the spread in cryptocurrency trading?
The spread is the difference between the buy and sell prices quoted for a cryptocurrency. Like many financial markets, when you open a position on a cryptocurrency market, you’ll be presented with two prices. If you want to open a long position, you trade at the buy price, which is slightly above the market price. If you want to open a short position, you trade at the sell price – slightly below the market price.
What is a lot in cryptocurrency trading?
Cryptocurrencies are often traded in lots – batches of cryptocurrency tokens used to standardise the size of trades. As cryptocurrencies are very volatile, lots tend to be very small: most are just one unit of the base cryptocurrency. However, some cryptocurrencies are traded in bigger lots.
What is leverage in cryptocurrency trading?
Leverage is the means of gaining exposure to large amounts of cryptocurrency without having to pay the full value of your trade upfront. Instead, you put down a small deposit, known as margin. When you close a leveraged position, your profit or loss is based on the full size of the trade.
What is margin in cryptocurrency trading?
Margin is a key part of leveraged trading. It is the term used to describe the initial deposit you put up to open and maintain a leveraged position. When you are trading cryptocurrencies on margin, remember that your margin requirement will change depending on your broker, and how large your trade size is.
Margin is usually expressed as a percentage of the full position. A trade on bitcoin (BTC), for instance, might require 15% of the total value of the position to be paid for it to be opened. So instead of depositing $5000, you’d only need to deposit $750.