Crypto Trading Guide: First Year Review March 2023 – March 2024

My Crypto Trading Notes – First Year Review: Just sharing the results of what I have been doing since March 2023. Stay tuned to this page, I will update it with the actual results, spreadsheets, charts, etc, etc.

As always, do your own research. These are not investment advice, etc. And I have been playing with crypto since 2012, so you shouldn’t expect to be able to just pick these up after reading just a few articles. I don’t publish these articles for money, or for promoting crypto trading. More of a note to self to record what I have been doing and avoid having to repeat myself too many times to too many friends. Crypto can still be seen as a scammy thing which are not best for dinner chats. But sure, if you want to support/reward these articles, use my code to get your 10% fees kickback. You will see the 10% icon when you sign up. I get referral bonus from Binance, you will get 10% of all your trading fees forever as a kickback, all at no additional cost to you.

Some of you might already know I have been spending more time on crypto trading since late 2022, the backstory isn’t too interesting, but something like: sat at a work meeting in Nov 2022, when my boss suddenly decided to cut all dev projects because of the FTX meltdown, they went on and on about how BTC will go under 9k and did nothing, old school TradFi traders pretended to know about web3, but couldn’t even understand simple concepts like L1 and L2 chains; that’s the moment when I realised that even when HK is pushing for web3/fintech, it will still take years for these TradFi guys to wake up and miss a few bear to bull cycles. So I just ignored them from then on and pushed ahead with my own trading experiments. In fact, the darker side, I kind of placed a bet against these jokers, put down about 50% of whatever I earned from that role and now waiting for it to grow into something way more substantial and rewarding. And yes, I am winning.

I wrote a few articles about crypto trading experiments since. Here are the links, in the intended reading order.

This article is more of an overarching one to the above whilst I prepare to share my full year results.

  • Worth making it the first item, many of my articles assumes that Binance will not go under. There are many other crypto exchanges out there. Many with similar trade bot features, pick the one that you believe won’t just suddenly disappear. If they do, you will lose everything. Many exchanges went under since the beginning of bitcoin/crypto 15 years ago. Even the biggest ones of any period, Mt.GOX, BTCChina, FTX can just quickly disappear (BTCChina was orderly shutdown, but still, they were by far the biggest back then). Be warned.
  • An extension to the above is, I am assuming the trading pair or trade bot feature will continue be available on the exchange. Like any common products and services, Binance and other exchanges might change or terminate it in short or no notice. They add and remove trading pairs often and even can kill of a whole product line like like BVLT. Again, be warned.
  • Now that you are aware or can manage the risks above. The next warning is about only do it with tokens which you would have HODL regardless. These strategies will only help you to get a bit more than your ordinary HODL. But if you won’t have HODL a particular token anyway, avoid these strategies. There are other ways out there to make more money, day trading, staking, etc. But I chose these 2 strategies because I would have HODL these tokens for long (3-5 years or longer) anyway, so these strategies just help me to get a little bit of (16-22% annual) extra income.
  • Do your own research, don’t rely on Binance AI (preselected/recommeded) strategies. Have your own tweaks to them. Take a look around on other “successful” bots that are running on Binance, knowing that you cannot replicate their success directly as you can’t go back in time to start with the same conditions. Put your own strategies to test before loading it up with more money.
  • Even for the HODL+ grid bot, I made over 11.6% of bad bots, losing over 5.5k USD. From time to time, you will lose money, to cut poor performing and money losing bots. So you can setup another bot to make the money back. In total, I made 22k USD profit from HODL+ including the 5.5k loss.
  • Crypto is still very volatile, even with the BTC ETFs, it hasn’t really stabled down. It can easily go down 17% in a day and bounce back 22% next day. That’s why you have to be careful when using traditional views on setting stop loss, etc. It can easily exceed these and unless you are reacting fast enough to come up with new parameters, you will be losing out on the swings.
  • It’s bull market at the moment, (use this site, but don’t take it too seriously). For the truly lazy, just do the HODL++, pick a few tokens you like to keep for medium/long term, over a year at least. Just leave it there. Even my most “stable” pairs like “BTC 71% : ETH 29%” netted over 9.418% more tokens in a year, which is part of the value gain of 90.23%+ due to market value gains. HODL+ Grid Bot is better during horizontal market, not bull or bear. HODL+ is better during bull or bear, to balance out the rise and drop. For my first year, as it was horizontal market, my HODL+ made about 63.589% gains.
  • It’s important to set clear goals. Using these strategies might not likely to outperform just holding of a particular token pairs in short term. After nearly a full year, I am still not beating straight hodling of BTC, I am about 13.73% down against if I had just put all money into BTC on day one. But over the medium to long term, my goal is to have higher return than straight HODL of BTC and/or ETH. Can’t be specific as to how long I meant, but better to view them in terms of bull and bear markets. In a bull run, when BTC and ETH can double or more, outperforming these can be very hard to achieve. But in a longer term view, cross many bull cycles, these strategies can outperform simple holding. Try not to see this as just the USDT values, but the actual token holdings you have.
  • So why use these bots if they are not going to just beat HODL on its own? If that isn’t clear, I am saying that it can outperform HODL, but not likely in just a single bull/bear cycle. You have to zoom out to see it through many cycles. That’s kind of like most companies won’t outperform S&P consistently over a long period, but can have a great year every now and then. HODL+ is great for horizontal market to pick up some “cash”, but a very inefficient use of your capital, and you have to be disciplined in stopping and starting the bot again every 3-5% to make serious (compounding) gains. HODL++, you can pick up 10-20% of tokens a year, and leave it to the wider market for price/value changes.
  • So if you don’t mind doing more work, then HODL+ can net you over 63.589% annual even with a stable pair like “BTC/FDUSD”. It can be “tricky” to pick the range, but the AI 30D/180D recommendations are good enough to keep you in range usually. And you just need to be disciplined to manual compound it every 2-3% of net/total profit. *”BTC/FDUSD” might be considered a bad example as it is currently charging no trading fees, making the bot even easier to be profitable.
  • With the various trading bots I setup since end of March 2023, broadly speaking:
    Annualised ROI ~ 86%, of which HODL+ ~64%, HODL++ ~120%
    HODL+ did about 51k automated orders; HODL++ did about 32k automated orders.
    Gain of about 18.5% of tokens with HODL++.
  • Binance does not offer good API for tracking all of the trading bot orders. So you will have to do your own analysis. I will share a cleaner version of the spreadsheet here soon for your reference/template. I won’t go into the full details of each number I track, but you can play around and adapt it for your own trading.
  • BTC ETF Approved in the US, reluctantly by the SEC, but it’s officially approved. So it is here to stay. 11 Approved BTC ETF on 2024/01/10, started trading on 2024/01/11. Fees ranging from 0.20-1.5% (Most of them around 0.25%) annual on AUM. Initially, all news focused on the exodus from Grayscale (Trust -> ETF, highest fee of 1.5%, about $5B outflow), but slowly recognising that Blackrock and Fidelity ETF were amongst the top 10 ETF by trade volume in January (just with 2/3 of a month of trading), with a total inflow of $5.9B. Some say that it is the “best” ETF launch in 30 years.
    This is just the beginning. Just 11 crypto spot ETFs approved so far, (there are well over 3000 ETFs in the US) and we are still waiting for Ethereum ETFs to be approved. Hong Kong followed with their own BTC and ETH ETFs at the end of April, but didn’t attract as much money into them, 10-20m or so in the first week.
  • BTC Halving in April 2024, the lower supply with the higher demand is likely to push the price much higher. Basically, every 4 years or so, the bitcoin system will lower the reward given out to the miners, effectively reducing the supply.
    Just sharing some previous records:
    2012 Halving – Price on Halving Day: $12.35 – Price 150 Days Later: $127.00
    2016 Halving – Price on Halving Day: $650.63 – Price 150 Days Later: $758.81
    2020 Halving – Price on Halving Day: $8601 – Price 150 Days Later: $10923
  • FTX collapse pushed the bear market right down to about 16.5k in November 2022, but within a year, it went back up to 35k or so in November 2023. And now it is at around 52k, aiming at all time high of 68.8k (Nov 2021). If you look at this chart below, will you still question if (or just when) BTC will beat the previous all time high?
    Just sharing some previous records:
    Bear market No. 1: Bitcoin crash from $32 to $0.01 in 2011 – Time to retest previous high: 20 months (June 2011–February 2013)
    Bear market No. 2: Bitcoin tanks from $1,000 to below $200 in 2015Time to retest previous high: 37 months (November 2013–January 2017)
    Bear market No. 3: Bitcoin plunges below $3,200 after hitting $20,000 in December 2017 – Time to retest previous high: 36 months (December 2017–December 2020)
    Bear market No. 4: BTC slumps from $63,000 to $29,000 in 2021 – Time to retest previous high: six months (April 2021–October 2021)
    Bear market No. 5: Bitcoin plummets from $68,000 to around $16,500 in 2022 – Now back to 52k or so, we are already well into the recovery phase. Should be asking how high it will get this time. 

Other Reference:

  • 19 Bitcoin ETFs and Their Fees, Promotions and Holdings –

Ask me anything:

    • I don’t offer these as investment advice. I don’t promote crypto as such and I am not affiliated with Binance other than I am a user of their platform so I get some referral kickbacks if someone signs up.
    • Feel free to leave me comments or questions here, I will try to reply when I have time.

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