Home>Blog>My Crypto Trading Journey: A Conversation With Smokey
My Crypto Trading Journey: A Conversation With Smokey

My Crypto Trading Journey: A Conversation With Smokey

By Smokey - 29-Apr-2024

Personal lessons and advice from experienced crypto traders are some of the most valuable educational tools. In this written conversation between the CMM team and Smokey, we explore his trading career, how he developed a profitable trading system, and his mistakes and experiences in the market. Enjoy!

An Interview with Smokey

How and why did you start trading crypto?

I started “trading” crypto back in 2017 after a friend of mine got introduced to the industry, and then he subsequently talked me into taking a look as well. I really liked the idea of Bitcoin and immediately threw in basically all my saved up money, which wasn’t much back then. I was still in high school, and basically had no concept of money, how the world works, or why Bitcoin was important. All I knew was that banks are annoying and Bitcoin doesn’t use banks.

I started by making an account on Kraken and stayed there for a while. I didn’t touch leverage. I only bought and sold when I felt my profit was good or when a friend told me to buy something. I didn’t have any idea tools like TradingView existed. After that point, I made an account on Twitter also from a friend’s recommendation and I started shitcoining on Bittrex. Then I was completely hooked, and the rest is history.

How would you describe your trading system? What’s your general approach to the market?

It really takes a while to find the groove in trading, and I feel like I’ve changed my system very frequently over the early years simply because I had no actual clue what I was doing at first. And every new thing that was trending seemed like the holy grail to me. After a couple years though, I went back to my basics of price action and Ichimoku indicators, and that’s it for the most part. 

I also realized that I’m not as comfortable actually going net short so I’m mostly buying and holding spot for larger and longer term trades. For leverage, I try to keep it short term with lucky entries and then taking profit relatively quickly. Very rarely do I keep a leverage trade open for weeks or even months – only a couple days at max seems to be the sweet spot for me.

68 (25).png

What’s the biggest obstacle you overcame in trading?

My answer has to be the emotional side of things. Dealing with swings in profits or buying when you’re scared and keeping your emotions intact even when things look grim and sticking to your plan are all essential to success. Obviously, traders have to be somewhat flexible when operating in a discretionary way, but even then, every trader still has a few rules that they stick to most of the time to actually have actionable information on how well a trader is performing. Anyone who just opens or closes trades seemingly at random has no way of knowing why they’re doing well or poorly.

What advantages do you see from trading on an exchange like our partners at WOO?

I really like the way the exchange is set up, and using basically anything as collateral, and getting fee reductions by staking WOO, and the amount of projects they list isn’t small either. I feel like they’ve struck a nice balance between quickly listing new projects, but also not listing every short term trending garbage under the sun. Besides that, communication with the people responsible for partners is on point, which has not been the case with some other exchanges.

What's some advice you have for new crypto traders?

First, new traders should take a second to actually think about the trade you’re about to enter instead of just blindly hitting buttons.Is the capital you’re allocating worth it? Is the risk worth it? When you’re a beginner you don’t have the experience it takes to “ape” into trades quickly because you haven't put in the time yet. 

Also, new traders should definitely stay away from oversizing. Oversizing is the biggest killer of trades and trade management in my experience. Start with spot trading – no leverage is really needed at all in a market as volatile as crypto as a beginner.

Do you regularly use a journal when trading?

Yes, and the reason is simple. If you don’t track what you’re doing then how can you learn from it? You need to know what you’re doing well and what you’re doing wrong. Where did you make mistakes? Are there specific time windows where you perform well or underperform? Knowing about these things will undoubtedly make anyone a better trader.

Option 1 (13).png

What do you think is the biggest reason you’ve been successful trading over the years?

I think the biggest reason is because I was stubborn about doing it. I’m not the fastest learner when it comes to trading, and it took me quite a while. But somehow, here I am. If I wasn’t as stubborn about pulling this off, I would’ve probably thrown in the towel after the 2018 Bitcoin crash to $3,000. Also probably realizing that there is no magic formula to this whole thing helped, and that experience beats any system at the end of the day.