The study attempts to change the well-established narrative about crypto trading being a destructive practice by describing the lifestyle of different experienced traders from several big crypto clusters around the globe.
Additionally, better knowledge of their thinking and lifestyle will help crypto companies create better products and engage more traders.
In the media, the topic of crypto trading often carries a negative connotation. The public is rather skeptical about crypto trading, sometimes comparing it to gambling and other stigmas. It provides lasting damage to the whole industry: it is harder for the projects to raise funding, it is harder for users to join the projects because of the mistrust, as a result, the market progresses slower than it can because of the unfounded fear.
Market volume during 5 years
Our study suggests taking a look at crypto traders' everyday life and rethinking the negative effects of crypto trading on their lifestyles.
The study was carried out using a qualitative methodology. In-depth interviewing was the chosen mode of information collection.
The sample design was constructed among several dynamic crypto clusters around the globe (5 participants for every cluster):
professional traders — people who have a paid full-time job as a trader.
non-professional traders — People who do not have (or have a different job than) a paid full-time job as a trader.
20 respondents total.
For each cluster, we collected representatives for low, mid and top experienced traders. We gathered quantitative data via an online questionnaire on a number of background questions. The experience level was assigned using the information on how long the trader was trading in the crypto-market — the number of deals per day averaged.
The goal of this study is to focus on what place crypto trading takes among different experienced traders and find out how it affects their lifestyle.
The key theme passing through most interviews and allowing stories to be grouped is what might be called expert maturity.
How to become an expert? Here is a pattern of “developing an expert” process that stands out based on communication with respondents
Expert maturity is the prioritization of risk reduction and predictability of the trading strategies.
The predictability of the actions and interventions on the market is the most valuable thing about “being successful”. For such traders the “luck” is equal to an “anomaly”:
Predictivity is achieved through the application of analytical methods and it can be done in a variety of ways:
For an expert - the emotional aspect is a distractor. Any emotions as positive as negative ones are undesirable. Even if participants experience some emotion, they trying to prevent it:
The most important thing when trading differs between experts and beginners. We’ve looked at the most frequent words spoken during interviews to get a clear view.
The vocabulary analysis raises these points:
Based on this information we can say that the difference is much more than skills; priorities matter as well. As one advances to the expert level, the focus shifts from making quick money to giving the market a proper evaluation and making self-estimation of risks. That’s when it starts to sound in a more expert way as the following data shows. Let’s get closer to the details.
The statements on the information fulfilment and sufficiency indicated a situation that experienced traders were less sure on the sufficiency of information they get about crypto than traders with less experience:
Such uncertainty doesn’t have anything in common with the FOMO. Therefore, if we continue our process of getting information, we see that more experienced respondents state that information is totally limited, there’s no way of getting the full information on something on the market and not all information is relevant even if it looks that way:
The most relevant information is (1) analytical reports, (2) rating agency reports, (3) fund reports. They’re most relevant and valid because they can be proven.
The less relevant information comes from popular channels in social media. The reason for this is that it can be just promo-material or add. They can be helpful sometimes also – if you want to see how they are trying to reach their audience, but it is not reliable enough to make a strong decision.
All these facts suggest that expert maturity is about shifts in personal attitudes due to the dynamic context of trading. In other words, crypto trading drove personal growth.
The “expert—non-expert” differentiation is more important than geographical characteristics.
Expert maturity is something that is similar regardless of the geographic factor. It allows for discussions about internal changes in attitudes and practices shared with respect to crypto trading.
In interviews structured around the variable of traders' experience, a number of stories were aligned in their consistency with the thoughts and practices respondents share. Presumably, this consistency refers to the increasing involvement and time spent in crypto trading in the process of personal transformation.
The discussion around this phenomenon’s definition will allow one to argue about the negative impact of the context of crypto trading on people's lives and their propensity to gambling. Expert maturity, on the contrary, that is caused by crypto trading is the reflection of personal growth.
Although not every participant has a full-time job, time slots are generally distributed around one to three big-time blocks that can be associated with a job or other activity that mainly takes place during the day.
Though no geographic differences could be found, experience in crypto trading influences the day’s cycle. General differences in activities are presented in the table:
|The day starts: from 6 to 8 am.||The day starts: from 6 to 8 am.|
Checking the news: yes
«Sometimes I read crypto and blockchain news.» (USA)
«Browsing or reading articles, mostly about Crypto» (Nigeria)
Checking the news: yes
«With this, [reading the news] I would say the morning begins.» (Belarus)
«I'm reading some news» (Nigeria)
Making trades: not always (!)
«I start my trading later» (USA)
«I can set up some algorithms at that time» (Russia)
|Making trades: yes|
1st half of work
|Checking the news: yes||Checking the news: yes|
Making trades: not much (!)
«I always have a specific time for news at work» (Nigeria)
Several transactions are being made.
«I do, but a little» (USA)
The main focus is on work.
Making trades: yes
Reported difficulties with concentrating on work
«It can be distracting» (USA)
(45 min to 1 hour)
Checking the news: not much
«I don't do anything else during lunch, just relaxing.» (Indonesia)
«I try to reply to SMS if any. If not, watch something on YouTube, literally 5-10 minutes» (Russia)
|Checking the news: yes|
|Making trades: not at the daybreak (!)|
Making trades: yes
«If I see an explicit setup» (Belarus)
«That's my time of trading» (USA)
«Usually, I'm trading» (USA)
2nd half of work
|Checking the news: yes|
Checking the news: yes, with additional attention
«Yes. There is different news. The kind of information I get in the morning might be different from what you see in the evening» (Nigeria)
«Depends on what I see in the market - what kind of news background affects the behavior of some inadequate in the market among traders» (Belarus)
|Making trades: yes|
Making trades: yes
«Concentrate on trading» (USA)
|Making trades: no|
Making trades: not much
«Yes, If I see something coming – I won't sleep, I will continue watching my portfolio.» (USA)
«Yes, I'll make some trades.» (USA)
«Well, I don't. I need to check them out in the morning when I wake up» (Asia)
The conclusion of this comparison is that experts prefer to concentrate their attention on work (or another full-time activity) and opposite to them not yet experienced traders try to use every possibility to trade.
In other words, beginners read news on crypto during the whole day. Contrastingly, experienced traders read crypto news in the morning and at the end of the working day.
Moreover, experts mainly tend to dedicate only a predefined time at the second half of a working day for trading.
Let’s look at some details of the daytime activities. The significant part of the first thoughts of the day is the planning of these activities:
But being able to work is not so simple. The participants do a number of activities to start their day. Discussing this topic indicated that the morning routine mostly is about "getting on the right track" and becoming well prepared for the day's hard work. They achieve this by soft waking up (when you stay in bed, and not getting up immediately), then moving activities and finally - the breakfast:
But some of the respondents (non-professionals) are ready to trade just after waking up:
Highly Surprising Finding: Crypto Traders Eat the Same Food as Ordinary People!
Breakfast — mostly something light:
Lunch — more complex food (but not always):
Dinner — the most complex food:
For the rest of the day, it is normal to have some snacks but nothing as heavy as dinner.
Maybe, a good dinner prepares crypto traders for more profitable trades! But who knows?..
In the morning period deals were rarely made.
Checking the news on crypto is one of the most common things that respondents do in the morning. The reasons for that is to:
The sources that traders do use,
Right after that, some traders conduct a couple of trades and prepare for work.
Getting concentrated on work is something that can be challenging sometimes, but most of it depends on what has been done the day before:
Not all the participants of the study have crypto trading as their paid full-time job. But the overall style of work time between participants is generally the same. All that is important is to be in contact with colleagues and to get interesting tasks. The approach to solving problems at work among the research participants is significantly similar - almost all respondents indicated that they prefer to solve basic tasks (usually more complex) and current tasks on a smaller scale.
How Does a Typical Trading Session Look Like? Up to 30 Minutes of Hard Thinking…
By the time of work, the trading session can take place.
The whole session goes into research, providing analytics (appr. 80% of time and effort) and making a deal (20%).
Overall it takes from 10 to 30 minutes to conduct the deal from start to finish:
To prevent burnout most of the participants who have a full-time job take a break from work. The whole duration of all breaks is about 1 to 2 hours. Every one of those breaks is about 7 to 10 minutes long. But the biggest one is for lunchtime. The study participants also stated that during lunch they did not prefer to do anything other than a subject activity.
By the end of the workday (about from 18 to 20), it is normal to feel tired but none of the respondents noted the urgent need to switch from work tasks to anything else.
Most of the deals could be made by this time because of the end of the day. If it was algorithmic trade – then traders can check the day’s results. If it is manual trading – then traders can check their portfolio, provide an analysis on the actual balance and make a rebalancing if it is needed. The most mentioned type of analysis during the interviews – technical analysis. The news is mainly used for background understanding of the project.
The main reasons for trading been stated as reaching financial independence, making big purchases, self-development:
Participants also highlighted the need for something that could facilitate their trade and decision-making.
Crypto Trading is widely known for its possibility to be active 24/7. Respondents stated that they’re getting enough sleep for their needs.
However, the real issue for the number of participants was to make yourself stop trading. While experts stated that as a potential problem, newbies experienced that themselves:
The appropriate time for sleep is 6-7 hours, according to survey participants. Although some of the participants said that they search for crypto news just before bedtime – most of the research audience stated that this is a negative practice because it can captivate so much that:
Work is the center of all daytime activity. Trades and news checking have their place during the day if the schedule permits. The intensity is different due to the traders’ experience. We’ve compared two respondents’ groups and discovered that experts prefer more structured and focused days with a couple (two to three) sessions, and non-experience prefer to be trading as much as possible. No evidence of differences based on the factor of GEO were found.
The traders try not to get burned out and save their relaxation time by limiting their trading actions before bed.
Most of the respondents stated that this is an important topic especially when it can be matched with crypto. The methods being named could be grouped into two categories:
For this topic participants stated:
The criteria for most of the measures of information security is
The study has touched on a wide range of aspects of crypto trading.
The best solution to be successful there is to be systematic in your life activities and be ready to take a risk.