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@Coldbloodshill is a full-time crypto trader and investor. He is part of ‘The Haven’ trading educational platform and streams twice weekly on twitch.
What attracted you to trading?
The game. Something incredibly satisfying in knowing you’re in this huge PvP battle with some of the smartest minds in the world. The biggest pull was the fact that the decisions were all mine to make. If I saw a trade, I could take it, I could make money through my own analysis and thought process. There’s something incredibly satisfying about that.
How long have you been trading and how have the assets you’ve traded evolved over time?
I’ll stick with 4 years full time, as I’m loathed to call the time before that “trading.” From a crypto perspective, I traded ETH solely for a year, scalping low time frame (LTF) day in and day out. The main feeling then was the lack of volatility given the period of time we were in from a cycle perspective. It was really a grind to get the signals. If I missed one of my signals then typically that was it, no other chances for the rest of the day.
Back then, everyone was trading vs BTC as that’s all there was. Now we have access to all of these wonderfully volatile USD pairs which provide much more opportunity for scalping LTF.
You were originally a renko trader when there weren't many around - was this a challenge or a blessing?
I guess you could say both. It was a challenge because there was no one to share information with or to discuss the approach in general. But it was a blessing because it forced me into my own research, interpretation and adaptation. Overall though probably a blessing, I had no interference or bad practices that were passed to me.
How long did it take you to become profitable? Were there any significant turning points for you?
I was profitable from the moment I started trading full time. This was because I had spent 18 months working on a system and approach to trading and the results proved that if I simply followed what the system laid out, I’d make money.
The most difficult aspect of that is removing all of the narrative and noise that can clutter the decision-making process. Purely acting on “when I have a signal, press the red or green button” was vital. The “turning point” was really getting the system working, knowing it was effective and profitable. Then it was a matter of simply having the discipline to follow it through thick and thin.
“IF I SIMPLY FOLLOWED WHAT THE SYSTEM LAID OUT, I’D MAKE MONEY.”
Do you have a daily routine?
Wake up, have coffee, check charts, and leave charts alone unless something significant has happened. The truth is that given that I operate entirely on a higher timeframe basis now I don’t spend much time in front of the charts anymore. I consider myself to be a long term investor in several areas of crypto but spend less time actively engaging with charts now. No alpha to be had here unless taking yourself away from the charts is something you need to do.
What's the worst thing about trading?
I’ll refer specifically to crypto trading here but it’s the 24/7 nature of the market. It used to crucify me in the scalping days because if I missed that signal I’d missed my opportunity to make money for the day.
The “always-on” nature of crypto is absolutely punishing and can ruin your relationships, hobbies and activities in the real world through the addictive nature of the markets and needing to be glued to the screen.
I’m incredibly grateful I stepped back from that after a couple of years of relentless grinding. During my time trading equities, you’d have weekends completely clear, which you don’t really appreciate again until you’ve spent time trading crypto.
Would you share with us your most memorable trade?
I’ve taken a few that I’d say were memorable - the top at $58k was a really nice position that I managed to ride through the liquidation sell-off in May. But the MOST memorable for me was probably MATIC back in 2019. MATIC had been on a huge run-up, doing ridiculous numbers but I could see it was weakening on each high it was making.
I decided to take the trade to the short side and hit a huge win when we capitulated -60% in a day. I even had to contact FTX to try and get me out of the position because the order book was completely empty.
“I HAD TO CONTACT FTX TO TRY AND GET ME OUT OF THE POSITION BECAUSE THE ORDER BOOK WAS COMPLETELY EMPTY. ”
What’s the best trading advice you’ve been given?
I’ve actually been given very little, preferring instead to develop my own key points over the years. I’d say that the main thing that I consider is that risk governs absolutely everything. People say “oh yeah, only lose 1-2% of your account blah blah” but the reality is that by managing your risk effectively you can stay in positions longer, worry less about price, be less inclined to trade based on emotion and small price movements and generally increase your overall profitability.
How has your view of the market shifted since joining the Haven? How is it to be part of a team compared to operating solo?
My view hasn’t really changed, I still share my overall higher timeframe thoughts and focus on trend identification for the future (such as gaming in Q2 of 2021). Being part of a team is great, we all support each other in looking after the members and ensuring that someone is always on hand. To be honest with you, the amount of content the analysts share there is astounding. It’s non-stop.
What's the most important quality in a trader and why?
The ability to accept losses but also at the same time try to improve on your ability. Understanding that even the best-looking setups and signals can fail, but also not sitting back and thinking “no worries, that happens when trading.” Sometimes we can get complacent with losses without striving to improve.
Why do you think you have success trading?
I put a lot of time in and don’t let outside influence affect me. I cannot stress enough the impact that Twitter and Discord have on newer traders' mentality. A lot of people would trade far more effectively if they never touched social media. They make the right decisions, but when they go online they let the ramblings of others affect their decision-making process.
Why do you still trade? What does “making it” look like to you?
I will always manage my money. I’m fortunate to now be in a position where I can just make long term investments, farm and sit back. I’m probably doing 1% of the total trades I was doing three or four years ago. I changed my style and process but I’ll continue to grow my money sensibly over time.
In terms of “making it” - I’d say that I’m extremely comfortable with my current portfolio and lifestyle but I don’t have the drive to push to the next level. I have two young children and my life priorities are spending as much time with them as possible. I’m very lucky to be in the position I am, which enables me to do that.
What's something you've learned in the last six months that has made you a better trader?
Never fade strength. Never think we’ve moved too much already to get in a position. Never be the “already pumpedoor.” The best example I can give of that is AXS.
“NEVER FADE STRENGTH. NEVER THINK WE’VE MOVED TOO MUCH ALREADY TO GET IN A POSITION. ”
You pivoted pretty hard and early into NFTs last year, can you share a bit about your rationale for doing so?
I’d identified that gaming was going to be a big hit in 2021, I started buying in Q1 2021, largely because the markets for gaming were setting up to be incredibly attractive from my system perspective, but also because of the interest of the participants. My portfolio 20x’d in six months of 2021 because of that decision. But that initial dive into gaming was my starting point for more exploration of NFTs in general.
In February, I purchased my first NFT and really just enjoyed the process so started exploring it more and more. Once interest levels started rising across the normies and comparisons were being made to things like Pokemon/Magic/TCGs from my youth, I realised people understood it.
I saw a golden opportunity to actively trade the space and for a couple of months, it was the easiest money the market has offered for a long time. I was in a fortunate position that I bought very strong projects very early and so when we were reaching peak euphoria I was many multiples up on each purchase. I managed to time my rotation out of large NFT holdings very well, but still, own a number of things, either that I love, or that will never sell.
That trend identification is actually one of the proudest moments of my trading career. It was the first major swing pivot into a trend I’d done with sizable capital, and it rewarded me beyond anything I thought was imaginable in that space of time.
What do you look for when shopping for an NFT?
Don’t ever buy copycat projects, see the rise of Azuki now, don’t buy BabyAzukis, ApeAzukis, whatever other garbage they create, only buy the original projects. Just look to buy the trending market. The next thing I’d say is to look for what other people are saying (reputable accounts) - there typically is a buzz going around and a universal acceptance that a project is “good.” At the end of the day, the people talking about how good it looks are also the people you’re potentially going to be selling the project to in the future.
Lastly, target larger successful projects that have yet to airdrop anything, most bigger projects have always come with airdrops, they usually offset the cost of purchase and cause the collection value to skyrocket on the announcement.
What's the mistake you find hardest to avoid when trading? How do you try and mitigate it?
FOCUS ON YOU. Ignore Twitter, ignore Discord. Just focus on your trading alone without outside influence. When you follow other people and let them dictate your plays you have no personal accountability or points to improve on.
I recommend you just trade what you see, develop your style, understand where you can be effective and not follow others blindly and give yourself the option to blame them for why you lost money.
If you could give someone starting trading tomorrow one piece of advice what would it be?
Don’t do it. Honestly, the majority of people are better investors than they are traders. Wait for positive market conditions and focus on investment and rotation around markets.
Oh and TAKE PROFIT. Never feel ashamed, never feel bad about putting real $ back into your wallet.
“NEVER FEEL ASHAMED. NEVER FEEL BAD ABOUT PUTTING REAL $ BACK INTO YOUR WALLET.”
You’ve spoken pretty candidly about the addictive side of trading, how did it manifest for you?
I felt I’d always have to be at a screen, staying on top of the conditions, trends and shifts of a 24/7 market. If I was out, I’d always be on my phone researching or checking charts. I was distracted all the time, unable to focus properly on conversations with so much information spinning around my head.
I started to neglect things I previously loved to do like hobbies and gaming as I became more and more reclusive. I only wanted to trade.
My wife was working at the time and so she was gone for traditional office hours in the day, I’d move off my seat maybe twice during that time. I wouldn’t even do things like eat properly, make coffee, not for any other reason than time would pass so quickly each day while I was staring at charts.
For me, it was an incredible time of learning, growing my portfolio substantially and cramming in 16-18 hours a day of active trading or learning. It’s something I wouldn’t change when I look back because it set me up to be in the position I am now. However, it’s also something that is not sustainable and that I would have no intention of ever being involved with again.
Lastly, it’s not for everyone. If I was unprofitable during this time, it would have been chaos. My addiction stemmed from the fact that I was making money and wanted to continue to make money, over and over again, as many times as my system allowed me to. For those people without a system or who are unprofitable, you won’t survive those periods of active addiction.