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Beni is a Monero and Bitcoin enthusiast, trading shitcoins since 2016.
What attracted you to trading?
The competition. I was born with a genetic condition that made it difficult to play sports competitively and having been brought up by athletes it was always a sore subject for me. I started by playing poker online and later found out about trading and transitioned. I needed to find something I could be competitive on a level playing field, and thought trading was perfect.
Have you always had a head for figures/probability/risk or was this something you’ve learned over time?
I think that was innate, I’ve always liked numbers and I started betting my sweets at school when I was in primary school. I guess you could say that it came naturally.
I started betting my sweets at school when I was in primary school.
How long have you been trading and what markets have you traded over your career?
Believe it or not, I was a Bitcoin maxi long before I knew what an orderbook was, I am probably one of the few guys that actually held it for the tech. I loved the concept and truthfully it didn’t even occur to me that it was an investment, I was in my early teens after all.
I only started trading in 2016-17. I am a true crypto native, I learned on the go and hence only ever traded those markets. Truthfully, I doubt I would have the same returns on any other markets… It’s difficult to find dumber market participants than in crypto.
You’re not ‘in it for the tech’ any more? Disillusioned with crypto?
The utopist in me is still in it for the tech, but I think most people who’ve been here long enough have gotten disillusioned by now. I am still a strong Monero advocate, still a Bitcoin maxi at heart, but it’s difficult to have faith in an industry when it is run by clowns.
it’s difficult to have faith in an industry when it is run by clowns.
How long did it take you to become profitable? Were there any major milestones where things just started to click?
I was profitable from the get-go but for a long time, I would use the profits from profitable strategies to pay for my losses on the others. I was hemorrhaging money, market makers truly loved me but it was an important lesson.
I had nobody to talk to back then, just a kid with no financial education trying to make shit work so the only way to learn was to make mistakes and hopefully learn from them.
Was there a tipping point where you thought you should focus on the winners?
Funnily enough, I still try random things from time to time, the only difference is that now I can afford to lose a few grand on a losing strategy but back then I couldn’t. The main issue was that I used to run all my strats with the same amount of capital, and the idea of running trials with a few hundred bucks sounded ridiculous. I’ve learned my lesson since.
The main issue was that I used to run all my strats with the same amount of capital
What does a typical day look like for you?
I live in Europe but trade US/ASIA hours so my schedule is fucked beyond belief. I wake up around 11-12pm, If I can afford to take an hour afk before tuning in I do, I eat my breakfast, read the news whatever. I start around 1pm and after that I am basically on my computer all day until 4am, I force myself to take a 2h30 break in between but since shit happens around the clock in crypto I tend to take it whenever I can. I’ve performed better since I implemented that rule so I kept it. Obviously, this isn’t for everybody and right now I live alone, my girlfriend and I are long distance so I can afford to live that way.
Do you think these are the extremes required to beat the market or is it possible to still trade profitably on a more ‘casual’ schedule?
It’s absolutely unnecessary. I think you can outperform this market by taking less than a trade a month rather easily. It’s a mental thing, I don’t want to miss an opportunity, so I want to max my hours in front of the computer. I know that I’ll look back to this in a few years and cringe but there is no point for me to lie haha
I think you can outperform this market by taking less than a trade a month rather easily
Who did you look up to when you first started trading
As I mentioned above, I didn’t really know anybody in the field back then. I didn’t look up to Tradfi traders because I naively thought that Tradfi and Crypto were just too different and I didn’t know any other crypto traders.
I looked up to BTC OGs though; Andresan, Adam Back, Voorhees etc
Tell us about your most memorable trade
I have one pinned on my Twitter that goes in detail and is not very sophisticated at all. Anybody reading this could’ve found that trade. I think those are the most beautiful trades, those that need the least complexity. They’re hard to find nowadays for discretionary traders. Finding them often requires you to think outside the box and have a strong sense of curiosity.
The trade I want to share is different though, we’ll call it karma: I wanted to do a simple basis trade on $BTT, but since it had very little volume it was gonna be difficult to get a good execution. Being young and an imbecile, I figured I could just spoof the BTT market and get filled for cheap. So I started posting large walls and slowly opened my positions.
Maybe 2 minutes after I started, somebody offloaded 80k worth of BTT-perp on my ass. The orderbook was empty, I had no way to get rid of the tokens efficiently, and if that wasn’t enough, the dude started cleaning the bids in the orderbook. I panicked and decided to offload everything into him and just paid for the slippage.
I was fuming even though deep down I knew I had just gotten owned at my own game. Naturally, as we all do, I went on Discord to cry about it to my friends. After I was done venting, one of my friend goes “Beni I was on the other side of that trade, I am sorry”.
I have never participated in such shenanigans since, I got the message loud and clear market gods.
I panicked and decided to offload everything into him and just paid for the slippage.
Meaning you need to be more patient waiting for legit opportunities to open up, or are more selective where you can play?
It sure taught me to be more careful and to be honest I am glad it happened. After that I did a lot of research on execution and trading illiquid/low-float shitcoins.
What’s the best trading advice you’ve been given?
RJ (@robotjames) told me to focus on trades that suck and it was the best thing anybody could have ever told me. Can’t scale? Awesome. Requires operational effort that others aren’t willing to do? Fantastic.
As long as you find people who are willing to trade with you at a terrible price you got a trade.
As long as you find people who are willing to trade with you at a terrible price you got a trade.
What drives you to keep trading?
The competition. I strive to be the best, I want to beat you in the orderbook. It seems to be a difficult concept to grasp for many considering the amount of grifting that goes on in the space.
You could not pay me to shill anything, not because of the ethics behind it but simply because I want to be able to stand in front of the mirror one day and be able to say “You made it, and you made it because you were better than them”.
I know it sounds immensely cocky, but that’s what drives me, the money is like the trophy I receive for beating others.
I want to be able to stand in front of the mirror one day and be able to say “You made it, and you made it because you were better than them”.
Would you say you’ve ‘made it’? If not, what does ‘making it’ look like to you?
To me making it isn’t a number… Making it is becoming the man you want to be for your family. Making it is having a girl by your side who is loyal to you through sickness and adversity, friends who care and love you etc.
So yes, in this case, I think I made it. You can always make more money, but you can’t buy time or love.
What's the most important quality in a trader and why?
Patience. Discretionary traders really struggle to sit on their asses and not force trades.
How would you describe the way you trade?
Anything that can be explained with common sense and/or basic maths. Low//high latency news trading, arbitrage, carry trades etc.
Has the way you trade changed over time?
Looking back nothing changed, I just got more sophisticated over time. The biggest difference is my infrastructure, I transitioned from 100% discretionary to a hybrid approach, I had tools built for my needs, better dashboards etc
Some may disagree, but voodoo stuff like my intuition has gotten pretty sharp. When you login as many hours as I have, you start spotting things that others don’t.
voodoo stuff like my intuition has gotten pretty sharp
Why do you think you have success trading?
The simple answer is that am willing to do things that others aren’t.
What's the worst thing about trading and why?
It’s really hard to take a day off, I always fear that volatility will rise the second I turn my computer off. Something my friend worstcontrarian knows all about. Every time he logs off 15 minutes later we get volatility.
What's something you've learned in the last 6 months that has made you a better trader?
That it’s okay to have a life outside of crypto. I was burning myself out when the markets were literally dead. Touching some grass helped me immensely.
What do you like to do away from the charts?
I play golf and you can make fun of me all you want but it’s a great sport. You’re out in nature for 4-5h and you speak with people from all walks of life it’s awesome. There is a reason so many top athletes play golf, it’s almost as much of a mental game as it is physical.
What's the mistake you find hardest to avoid when trading? Any tips to avoid it?
Being mad at your sizing, I think we all struggle with it deep down. “Was so obvious I should’ve bet more” or “Why tf did I go 5x kelly on $PEPE”. You can’t change the past, just move on and learn from it.
If you could give someone starting trading tomorrow one piece of advice what would it be and why?
Trust nobody and trust nothing. If somebody tells you something they likely have an incentive to do so. Find something that makes intuitive sense to you and go down the rabbit hole. I’ve lost a lot of money by trusting. Trusting people, trusting exchanges, and so on. Be careful, nobody is here to help you before helping themselves.
Also, trading is not for everybody, it’s really not the best job there is. Go into tech, get a good salary, remote working conditions, a retirement plan and so on. You’ll have more time to spend with your loved ones, a better lifestyle, and a better social life. You should only go full-time if you can afford to and if you know that it’s right for you.
Find something that makes intuitive sense to you and go down the rabbit hole.
How would you describe your relationship with risk?
Risk is what pays me, so obviously risk is a bro. More seriously, poker helped me tremendously in that aspect, I have no problem folding hand after hand but if I think am ahead I have no problem putting all the chips in.
Risk is what pays me, so obviously risk is a bro
What goals do you set for your trading?
I am not really a goal-orientated person I guess. I deal with whatever happens at the given time. I feel like it’s hard to have goals for something like trading where your control is very limited. My only goal is that I keep getting better and that my edge doesn’t vanish before I have “fuck you money”.
it’s hard to have goals for something like trading where your control is very limited
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