I spent most of last week in Las Vegas where I attended Trader’s Expo and Crypto Intelligence, a new full-day event for active traders looking for an edge in crypto. In partnership with Charlie Shrem’s new venture, Crypto IQ, the Trader’s Expo team lined up a group of speakers that shared their views on a variety of crypto trading topics. The group was an impressive array of analysts, strategists, traders, and plain ole’ “crypto nerds” like myself.
Charlie Shrem participated in much of the day, including a “fireside chat” with yours truly to discuss the evolution and future of crypto trading. I am proud to say that Voyager’s mission fit seamlessly into the conversation which covered everything from custody and execution to the fundamentals of a crypto asset.
As one of the most prominent bitcoin believers, Charlie helped a room full of active traders understand why crypto matters and what is happening behind the scenes. Industry veterans like Jon Najarian and John Netto, along with crypto OTC trader Zhao Dong and many more also provided mainly bullish perspectives on the asset class with tons of ideas on how to gain an edge in the bear market.
Below are some of my key highlights from 8+ hours of stellar content.
Traditional Traders Want In
By a show of hands, nearly 70% of the attendees of Crypto Intelligence had yet to invest in crypto, but throughout the conference, nearly everyone surveyed was interested. I was injected with major confidence as I was reminded quite visibly how many active and self-directed investors are not yet in crypto. Voyager's mission has always been to increase the adoption of crypto investing by developing tools and technology that empowers investors of all types.
There is a massive crowd of active and educated traders who are itching to get into crypto but need resources and information comparable to those that drive their existing investment decisions. Research, news, and key fundamentals are “table stakes” for the active trader, and these resources are scarce at best in the crypto world. This is not to say that the current crypto trader is not making informed decisions. There is a large amount of technical analysis in crypto, though fundamentals and reliable research are not widely available. Many crypto traders understand that their investment (if not purely based on technical chart analysis) is similar to a seed-stage investment in an emerging technology startup - the fundamentals will arrive as the demand for the technology does.
Many crypto traders understand that their investment (if not purely based on technical chart analysis) is similar to a seed-stage investment in an emerging technology startup – the fundamentals will arrive as the demand for the technology does.
Particularly with a return to volatility, I expect a continued insurgence of new traders. Tools will become available to support more strategic trading.
Technical Analysis is (almost) Everything
Multiple analysts and traders took the stage at Crypto Intelligence with convincing, data-backed arguments for the future of crypto assets. Crypto IQ’s Bill Noble toured us through a bullish case for Bitcoin using Fibonacci, a 12th-century mathematical method that tracks patterns using a particular sequence, while he anticipated a drop to <$100 for Ethereum. Ryan Wilday made another compelling case for a crypto bull run using Elliott Wave Theory – a near century-old theory that sees investments as cyclical in multi-decade “waves” that are largely driven by outside influences.
Tour through “Crypto Twitter” or Trading View any day and you will see a flood of crypto chart analysis. Though I think that these contributions are great, most traders aren’t sure which sources are reliable and which signals matter. The presenters at Crypto Intelligence proved that reliable analysis is being done. At Voyager, we believe that it’s our responsibility to filter through the noise and bring reliable research to customers. We are actively working on this for our official app release next year, and are excited about our growing partnership with Crypto.IQ. Currently, anyone who signs up for the Voyager waitlist gets a free trial toCrypto.IQ’s Trading Room. You can learn more and sign up here.
Institutions Operate without FUD
It may have already become trite to say “the institutions are coming.” But let me double down Paul Revere style – “The institutions are coming! The institutions are coming!” According to well-known trader Jon Najarian, they are already here. Jon shared the daily requests he gets from hedge funds, family offices, and other financial institutions looking to buy and sell “tens of thousands of bitcoin” through a trusted party. Jon is perhaps a human representation of what this tidal wave of institutions require – trust.
In my segment with Charlie and during other panels, we highlighted some of the barriers to entry for institutions. The need for custodians for safekeeping of assets and technology to maximize liquidity were common themes. Voyager institutional will provide a solution for both of these issues.
Off Chain Trading is Huge
The vision of the bitcoin blockchain was for all transactions to be transparent and shared on a ledger that everyone posts to and owns. In theory, this is true for wallet transfers in crypto. However, a lot of crypto trading is done through hosted custody, meaning that the registered owner (with the trading platform) changes but the crypto does not necessarily move wallets. Similarly, the sale of crypto by the handover of a cold storage device or thumb drive would not constitute the need for an on-chain transaction.
The subtle differences in the transfer of crypto are important to understanding market data. A large transfer or trade of crypto done through a shared custodial partner or a hardware device would likely not be reported to the blockchain and most all market data sources (e.g., CoinMarketCap). Though regulatory authorities would still require the reporting of this trade, all traders are blind to this volume. Comparisons can be made to traditional market “block trades” and alike, though these marketplaces are better understood than the offline world of crypto trading. Needless to say, there is a large amount of crypto trading that we don’t see in popular data sources and there could be increasingly more as institutions pile in.
BTC is (still) in the Driver’s Seat
Though many coins were discussed, not a single expert saw Bitcoin as a temporary phenomenon. Furthermore, most agreed that the movement of Bitcoin is a, if not the key driver of other coin prices.
Multiple analysts highlighted the next halving of the bitcoin block reward as a critical market event, while also educating the attendees on the importance of limited coin supply in price. As miner’s efforts begin to net half the number of coins in 2020, most analysts point to upward trends from historical halvings and a bullish case for the next one. The token economics of Bitcoin seems to drive the most praise while its community remains the largest, all supporting why Satoshi’s invention deserves the most attention for any crypto trader.
As I type this, Bitcoin is tumbling below $5k, and the majority of the market has followed suit. I am excited about so many different token projects, their vision, and founding teams, though no greater influence seems to be that of Bitcoin’s success.
There was so much to learn at Crypto Intelligence and I left feeling energized and excited about the future of crypto trading. To keep learning and gaining an edge in the market head to Crypto.IQ. We’ve partnered with them to give all users who sign up to Voyager’s waitlist a free 30-Day trial to the Crypto IQ Trading room. You can learn more and register here.