By Gabriele Musella, Coinrule

Trading, whether for cryptocurrencies or stocks, is about buying and selling at the right time in order to increase your overall funds and make a profit.

With over 14 million day traders[i] around the world and many more trading on a part-time basis, there are lots of people looking to the markets to make some money.

However, to make money when trading, you have to invest time; a lot of time.

It’s about spotting patterns and identifying the opportunities, whether you are trading shares or crypto currencies. The time requirement has been a key driver in the development of algorithms to help when trading.

Day trading is when someone who buys and subsequently sells financial instruments like stocks, cryptocurrencies or futures within the same trading day. This, along with other forms of regular trading, used to be the sole domain of the professionals in the City and on Wall Street. But that is no longer the case.

Today, millennials make up 58% of online traders and over 75% of cryptocurrency traders[ii] – whether that is Bitcoin, Ethereum, Polkadot or any of the other, nearly, 7000 cryptocurrencies[iii] that currently exist.

Low barriers to entry together with the ability to trade online make it tantalising for this age group. But, is it profitable?

Making a Profit or Loss?

It is estimated that 95% of day traders[iv] lose money.

There many reasons why; with under-preparation[v] being most often cited as the main reason. People start too quickly and don’t have a strategy they stick to.

So, where do trading algorithms fit into this?

Trading with Algorithms

Put very simply, a trading algorithm or strategy is a set of rules that, together, define when trades should take place. The algorithm helps a cryptocurrency trader to either buy, or sell, at the right time. This enables them either to minimise losses and take profits.

The algorithm can be tested on historical data, on different and past market conditions, giving you scenarios that it will help deliver good returns when used on the current markets.

These rules can then be executed by trading bots to make the trades at the right time.


Reason for Using a Trading Algorithm

There are three main reasons for using a trading algorithm:

  1. Time

The time needed to analyse the available market data and spot the right moment to trade is considerable. Most traders simply don’t have this time available, so a trading algorithm can help.

  1. Too much data

There is simply too much data available that needs to be analysed to make profitable trades. For example, with over 7,000 cryptocurrencies on the market, it is impossible to know everything about all of them without automated assistance.

  1. It’s a steep learning curve

What I see is that most hobby investors have about one or two hours a week available to them to learn ‘how’ to trade, ‘what’ to trade and ‘when’ to trade. This simply isn’t enough. Trading algorithms are constantly learning because of their ability to consume and analyse large amounts of market data.


What Are the Alternatives?


  1. Scripts

One alternative to using a trading algorithm would be to program a script. Trading scripts enable automatic trading, but they can only follow one strategy, are difficult to code and struggle to react to market changes quickly.

  1. Copying the professionals

Copy trading is where professional traders allow people to copy the trades they do. They get paid to allow public access to their trading activities. If the right traders are chosen, this can be a highly successful alternative, but the fees can be very high, up to 30% of the profit.

  1. Do it yourself

If you have the time – a lot – and the analytical skills, you may not need a trading algorithm and you can go back to trading manually.

How to Use a Trading Algorithm


Choose a supplier

There are plenty of suppliers of algorithm software. Most are for large firms, however companies like Coinrule aim to help hobby investors, occasional investors and professional traders, to have easy access to trading algorithms. Coinrule’s customers are trading anything from $150 a month upwards, to $millions per month.

You can sign up for free or choose which of the three pricing plans work best for you, based on your trading budget, template strategies and required execution speed.

Choose Your Strategy

Choosing the perfect trading strategy takes research and time. Bitcoin traders often use a long-term strategy, with trading on other cryptocurrencies being done using shorter-term strategies. However, you need to choose your own. To help you choose check out these videos:[vi]

Pick Your Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin is obviously the most well-known, but there are nearly 7000 others. Keeping track of all of them will be impossible, so choices need to be made, at least initially. You can, of course, move between them in the future.

Define Your Risk Levels

One of the most important aspects of implementing an automated trading strategy is to prevent significant losses that will potentially compromise a trader’s capital over the long-term. Before you make money, it’s important to learn how you can protect your crypto portfolio.

Protecting funds is one of the most important aspects of the algorithm. So set your risk levels accordingly and ensure the algorithm is set up to protect you from losses.

Allocate A Trading Budget

When first starting to invest in cryptocurrencies, it is vitally important to set a budget that can be lost without real impact on your personal finances. Your initial budget then needs to be broken down into a daily trading budget, i.e. how much will be invested on a daily basis. The 1% Risk Rule is an often-quoted rule[vii]. If the portfolio is, for example, £100,000, no more than £1,000 is traded on any single trade. This protects your capital from big losses.

Cryptocurrencies are very in-vogue at the moment. There is a lot of media coverage about huge fortunes, and losses, being made by people trading on these exchanges. The low barriers to trading and it all being online can tempt people in very quickly, believing they will make a lot of money. This, as mentioned earlier, is a major reason for most day traders losing money. By following the guidelines above, investing time in learning what you can, and then making use of a trading algorithm, portfolios can be protected and, ultimately, grown.


Gabriele Musella is CEO and co-founder of Coinrule, a beginner-friendly and safe trading platform enabling you to automate your crypto investments across multiple platforms, helping you protect your funds and catch the next great market opportunity.

Coinrule gives investors, from beginner to pro, access to algorithmic trading without having to learn a single line of code.

Coinrule is both educational and gamified helping deliver financial inclusion for all by giving everyone the tools to compete in a new world of trading.