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The Cryptocurrency Market Has Become a Casino
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[Image: casino.jpg]
Crypto trading has always entailed a blend of skill and good fortune, but in the frothy markets of 2019, that weighting is skewed heavily in favor of the latter. Fundamentals go out the window when there’s a surety that the latest token is going to pump at any moment. For traders with a low timeframe patience, bitcoin will always be the safer and more profitable bet. But when your friends are getting fleetingly rich on altcoins, the temptation to FOMO in can prove irresistible.

Traders Are Betting Big and Losing Large at the Crypto Casino

In the drawdown that followed the excesses of 2017, traders were taught a sobering lesson. Despite vowing to change their ways, stop being greedy, and learn to take profits along the way, it appears that old habits die hard. It was a little more than two months ago that BTC broke free of the $4,000 price point it had been locked into, embarking on a mazy run that’s seen it double in price and drag the rest of the market up with it. This has brought significant cheer to the beleaguered cryptosphere, as can be seen in the sentiment score indicators by data firm Omenics, which maps the mood of the markets alongside the price of the corresponding asset.

[Image: bch-sent-1-1024x585.png]
BCH sentiment score

Its social sentiment score for BCH, shown in purple, has broken its previous high and is heading to the positive zone, according to data for the week ending May 21.

[Image: btc-1-1024x585.png]
BTC sentiment score

BTC is showing similar positive signs, though there is a notable drop depicted on May 9, which Omenics attributes to the Binance hack and the reorg debate this sparked. Even though BTC has retraced a little from the year’s high of $8,300, the mood of the markets remains distinctly greedy, according to an alternative sentiment analysis service.

[Image: screenshot-2019-05-23-at-09-21-05-1024x447.png]

Day Traders Are Going for Broke

With IEOs launching across scores of exchanges, there’s scarcely time to agree to the T&Cs and send funds, let alone perform DD on the project and the token metrics. Meanwhile, Binance tokens are performing impressive, albeit unsustainable, feats of multiplication; matic did 8X in a little over 10 days, aided by market makers, causing trading volume to surpass 50,000 BTC and inducing unprecedented FOMO. The crash, when it arrived, was almost as vertiginous, wiping 30% off the balance of traders who arrived late to the party.

[Image: screenshot-2019-05-23-at-17-26-34.png]
The Rekt Plebs Telegram channel is filled with tales of woe from traders who lost heavily.

Bitcoin is not immune to manipulation, as shown a week ago, when a huge sell order on Bitstamp was triggered to induce a wave of liquidations on Bitmex, and healthy profits for whoever shorted with high leverage. Such behavior, however, is limited to whales with the means to engage in such mischief. For the retail rest, small fortunes can be won and lost on newly listed IEO tokens and illiquid altcoins belonging to near-abandoned projects, which can be easily pumped and dumped.

[Image: bitcoin.jpeg]

It’s hard to exercise restraint and apply risk management when crypto Twitter is shilling shitcoins and boasting of the sick gains they made in a day. To quote the New York Times’ infamous headline, “Everyone is getting hilariously rich and you’re not.” When the music stops, most of the current crop of crypto tokens will be as dead as those that launched last year, and every year before that, all the way back to 2014. In the meantime, though, it’s hard to resist the bright lights and bumper payouts of the crypto casino.

by Kai Sedgwick

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