I'm not normally a multitasker, but let me tell you, when procrastinating, I can really do it. Last night, while doing some boring but necessary tasks on the right screen of my desktop and wanting some mental stimulation on the left screen to liven up my evening, I logged into my gemini.com account and starting clicking around. First of all, anyone wanting to know how easy it is to trade bitcoin or ether may be assured that it could not be more streamlined. I believe my cat could do it. Hey - wait! While I was in the kitchen, who sold for that price?!? Just kidding. The truth is that some crumbs must have been present on the keyboard recently and my dog "helped" by cleaning up and at the same time, adding a bunch of new people on Twitter. (Joke there, too, about the unsavory Twitter contacts - but it could happen!) Keep pets away from your keyboard to ensure you are the one making the trades.
Everyone loves Bitcoin, but it so happens I wanted to vanish into the ether last night. Let me explain how I set my account up: Online, by filling out some fields and providing some proof of identity, and it took just a few minutes - I was shocked at how fast I was up and running. As to how I funded it: The simplest way you can imagine, by transferring (via ACH bank transfer, although you can also wire) funds from my checking account. In my case, $400 cash was sitting there (more like $402 and some change after having done some trading earlier in the fall).
Here is what I did last night as an exercise, challenging myself to simply buy, sell, buy, sell, and bring my account up by at least $1 each time. Of course, the greater purpose everyone (including myself) would have in mind would be to trade more or less frequently than I did, pay more attention to entries and exits, and maybe increase the size of trades in order to get better returns for the effort. For my purposes last night, though, I wanted to pay the least amount of attention possible to my left screen while I did other things I had to do, and demonstrate to myself that in a semi-automated fashion, I could pull a few dollars out of thin air.
Let's get right to the buys and sells:
To simplify things greatly so we don't get bogged down in math, the fees for these trades were running about $1.01 apiece, so my goal was to set my sell prices $2 or so higher from my buying price, to allow for the fee and some profit. Then I'd turn around and set a limit order to buy at a few dollars lower than where I had sold - again, to allow for a fee and to get in lower. "Buy low, sell high."
Of course, after buying, if I saw nice high prices, I would go ahead and get one instantly, rather than set a limit order and walk away. Previously I had used market orders exclusively, but last night I learned the advantages of limit orders. Currency moves fast, and it's not inordinately risky to examine the current bid/ask pool and set a limit for something that seems within reason at the moment. Very frequently the fill comes sooner than you'd think. Unless unloading a position at a certain juncture in time (like, immediately) is critical, setting a limit order is a valid/convenient method.
As you can see in the detail above, I raised my account in steady $1 increments by hitting the sell button only four times most often using my simple formula of , "What did I buy for? Add $2 and set a limit order to sell for that."
Gemini allows users to download spreadsheet data and here is a sample showing the above detail in a different format:
One transaction appears different than the others and it's only because it was split into two; this must have been some kind of internal accounting and was visible only in the xls data and not on the user end as it does not affect anything I do. In viewing the transactions, you can see that whether I chose to end in cash or in ETH, my value increased: Greater cash value, greater ether balance.
If you are interested to see what the trading screen looks like, I have captured one; see below. I believe you may have to click to expand it, since it's too large to display in full detail in this column.
In this screen capture you can see: My open limit order at the very bottom, and if you look at the trades competing to execute you'll see mine at the next-to-bottom line. On the right is a series of alerts informing me of current status of my account and open and executed or cancelled (if I were to cancel one) trades. The tabs at the top confer the ability to transfer funds (linking a checking account makes it easy to electronically transfer or wire money in or out), and obviously to buy and sell. Upon clicking buy or sell, the pull-down bar offers a few options - choose one and you're good to go. In this case I was using buy ETH with USD and sell ETH for USD.
I decided to leave my account in cash overnight, since I didn't want to take the chance on ETH declining while I held it. I think I could have sat up all night and traded, but people have to sleep some time. I'm not putting down people who play games, but I simply cannot relate to wasting my time collecting the bananas or blowing up the imaginary island. I witnessed (in the reflection I could not avoid seeing it) the person one row ahead of me on the train the other day playing solitaire or some other move-the-cards game for the entire 40-minute ride. If I am going to be clicking and scrolling, I want the prize to be some money. I find great motivation in the prospect of advancing myself financially, especially when I can do it with nothing besides my brain and a display.
For more detail on the trading platform, see this shot of a trade I placed this morning: A limit order to buy ether using the total amount of USD in my account (this is the way I placed each buy order) at a price no higher than 443.77 (thus, it's called a "limit," since that's the top limit of what I agree to pay.)
I outlined my bid in yellow. I placed the bid under the current, but just a penny over the next guy in line behind him. Very soon it was filled, and note that while I had been working with a quantity of ether in the .87 to .88 range last night, I now have 0.91358172 ETH. I'm currently waiting on a sell order to bring my account up yet higher. Then I'll set a limit order to buy lower.
While these amounts gained are small, my point in performing this exercise was to make sure I'm well familiar with the platform (and there's nothing to it, so the warm-up is almost instant), experiment with low-effort strategies to generate return just by riding the waves of bid/ask prices, and gain insights into buying and selling habits that may enable me to move larger amounts around for greater gain.