65 Pierre Crypto
Mar 20, 2023
Pierre is a 28-year-old crypto market analyst, investor and trader from France. After hearing about crypto for a few years in the esport scene, he eventually started his trading journey in 2017 as an engineering student.
What attracted you to trading?
I have always been a very curious and competitive person. Every sport and game I played, I played them fully and up until I realised I couldn't reach the next level. I used to be rapidly bored of subjects, by a lack of learning curve and/or competitiveness.
This is how I first fell in love with Counter-Strike, quite young when I was 10 years old, a highly competitive esport with a never-ending learning curve, and that was the beauty of it: an extremely simple game, but hard to master.
It's pretty natural that after years of trading CS:GO cases and skins on Steam Marketplace, I ended up learning about crypto from my brother and eventually trading: a highly competitive field, with a never-ending learning curve... a simple game, but hard to master.
I think trading may be THE most competitive esport. That's how I used to see things. Eventually trading took over playing Counter Strike.
How long have you been trading and what markets have you traded over your career?
Without truly realising it, I think I started my trading career as a teenager trading CSGO cases and skins on Steam marketplace. Chasing cases and skins based on their quality, rarity, signature and stickers (based on players/teams performances). Looking back, I was trading NFTs without even knowing it.
I started trading during the 2016-2018 “ICO/crypto not bitcoin” cycle. However, I'm not quite sure we could refer to my 2016-2018 activities on the market as trading per se, but it's really when I got hooked.
As much as I’d like to diversify in the coming years, crypto has been my main and only focus ever since.
How long did it take you to become profitable? Were there any major milestones where things just started to click?
I think I was a more profitable CS skins flipper than profitable crypto trader for at least a couple of years. With, of course, periods of profitability, like I would assume a good majority of market participants in a bull market. But only to give everything back a couple of times, creating a big "do not give it back" PTSD, still very much alive today.
Things really started clicking for me in early 2019, after a couple of months bedridden following back surgery, I finally had some time to be fully dedicated to the market and to look back on past mistakes.
I used the opportunity to build a system fitting me and not necessarily reflecting/copying what I was seeing on Twitter. A bit like finding your identity. I realised I did not have to trade like the people I was following, and that I could build a much simpler system/approach to fight and fix my own limits.
I've had my periods of profitability and unprofitability ever since, one side definitely winning over the other as the years go by, and often thanks to the PTSD of my early years on the market.
A bit like finding your identity. I realised I did not have to trade like the people I was following, and that I could build a much simpler system/approach to fight and fix my own limits.
What does a typical day look like for you?
It really depends. As a trend/momentum-based trader, I can have periods of intense activity and others where things are calmer. Days can go from 5h to 15h of screen time if market activity is crazy enough. The main constant in my daily routine remains The Haven, a Trading Educational Platform I've built with a few other friends in 2020/2021.
A typical day for me would be working on market updates for The Haven in the morning, with a main focus on BTC, ETH and SPX/DXY, trying to highlight early in the day the main levels and trends to play with, potential scenarios associated with their triggers and invalidations. I then usually let the market unfold until the New York session opens. Two to three times per week I stream after the New York open with fellow analysts from The Haven, answering questions and taking chart requests. Again, depending on market dynamics, I'll allocate more or less time for these activities.
I usually finish my days on the market like I've started them: with a summary market analysis for The Haven.
Who did you look up to when you first started trading?
I have always been a self-taught person, and I haven't ever truly looked up to someone as a trader, never had a mentor or anything like it. However, when I first started trading seriously, I rapidly surrounded myself with a circle of like-minded crypto market traders/builders and tryhards. Indeed in early 2019, with the goal of sharing trade ideas and discussing markets, Tunez (@cryptunez) created a Twitter private group conversation gathering traders/builders he thought would make a great fit together. He couldn't have been more on point.
For years and still today, we spend days and nights talking about the market, sharing setups, sharing market theories, sharing losses and wins, sharing ideas on how to perfect our systems, and sharing on what trends to focus on and why. All of us still follow the market, many of us still actively trading (I've built The Haven with some of them), some are retired, and others are done trading and now building. Still, today I look up to each of these guys.
Tell us about your most memorable trade
I’ve been thinking about this question for quite some time, trying to think about trades that actually marked my mind, but in the past 6 years, we went through such a vast amount of volatility, trends and narratives that it’s been hard to pick one.
If I have to pick, I’d say the “sub $10,000 last retest long” from late August 2020/early September 2020. I learned how to trade during the bear market, and practised riding HTF uptrends mostly/only on shitcoins until that moment. It was the first time that my system gave a swing-long signal on a weekly basis on Bitcoin. I remember a lot of uncertainty in the community, but itwas the first time I held such conviction for a swing long based on my own system, and with that, an actual sense of control (compared to 2017/2018 mania). To this day, at least, it was the last time Bitcoin hit 4 digits.
it was the first time I held such conviction for a swing long based on my own system, and with that, an actual sense of control
What’s the best trading advice you’ve been given?
"Journal everything, then find why you're losing money on the market, realise you're being an idiot, and just stop being one."
I know that sounds extremely obvious and simple... But a vast majority of new (or not so new) traders know perfectly that what they're doing is dumb (FOMOing big moves, no clear exit strategies, in/out during consolidation periods, ...) and yet just kept doing it.
The "wait, but I'm truly dumb for doing that" realisation when journaling everything you do, is something many traders go through but won't admit to.
What drives you to keep trading?
I think there are many different answers to that question:
I just simply love trading, I think it's fun
Knowing I'm still galaxies away from the level I can reach
Dopamine/serotonin rushes addiction
Would you say you’ve ‘made it’? If not, what does ‘making it’ look like to you?
Making it to me has always been the ability to cover for your family's needs, support your friends' projects, be your OWN boss and be responsible for how YOU spend YOUR time.
In the past few years, I have achieved some of these goals: I'm my own boss, I work when and where I want, and I have been able to help some friends with projects while taking care of my family.
But I'm still not quite to the point where I could simply stop working, and to be honest, I am not quite sure that would actually be something that I want.
What's the most important quality in a trader?
I think it's a fair battle between patience and adaptability. I've always been a very impatient person, and I paid the price bigly during my early days in the market. It's trying to fight this trait that I ended up building a system relying on trends and momentum.
I've been hesitating with "adaptability" as it's, IMO, the second main factor that tends to rekt traders the most: the incapacity to adjust to new information. The incapacity to adapt to shifting trends, only to end up round-tripping trades.
I've always been a very impatient person, and I paid the price bigly during my early days in the market.
How would you describe the way you trade?
I'm a classic price action, trend, momentum and narrative based trader: my goal will be to find altcoins with ongoing (or dying if looking to short) narrative, and chase entries based on the confluence of simple horizontal levels and trends.
I have a very simple approach that I try to optimise by picking setups wisely and riding trends with discipline.
Has the way you trade changed over time?
Yes, drastically. I started building this system more seriously in early/mid-2019. Before, I was definitely overcomplicating the approach, I wanted to replicate the day traders I was following on Twitter. Only to come back to two simple horizontal levels.
I wanted to replicate the day traders I was following on Twitter. Only to come back to two simple horizontal levels.
Why do you think you have success trading?
I am not afraid to take risks. I'm a try harder. I'm passionate and ready to put in the work. I am also a very competitive person, but I learned to lose, to accept it, and to move on.
What's the worst thing about trading and why?
Trading is a game where your money, your capital, is your hitpoints. You want to protect them, but you have to risk them to keep playing. Like every game, it can be addictive and insanely time-consuming. If like me, you don't count hours; it's very easy to lose track of the time some days.
What's something you've learned in the last 6 months that has made you a better trader?
If you doubt, don't. Even if you end up being right, with a lack of conviction, you'll most likely mess things up between the moment you entered and exit the setup.
For example, the entire FTX collapse came with a lot of opportunities, a lot of people rushed to buy the dip and I hesitated to do so for a while. I even got chopped up a couple of times trying to do so, not respecting my system. Eventually, my system gave a long signal in early January on the 16.5-17.0k reclaim, sending us directly to > 24k. My system built to avoid chop and time entries as best as possible had delivered, I was just too eager. When > where.
the entire FTX collapse came with a lot of opportunities, a lot of people rushed to buy the dip and I hesitated to do
What's the mistake you find hardest to avoid when trading?
I won't be very original by saying that managing emotions is most likely the hardest thing to control for most people, and therefore letting emotions take over is the hardest mistake to avoid in trading. I wish I had a secret recipe, alpha or tip to avoid being too emotional, but I don't think there is ONE ultimate answer to this. I actually think it's THE reason trading is NOT for everyone.
Personally, as mentioned earlier, journaling everything has been an immense help in improving my execution. Mostly because I think it helps identify setups you're executing the best and giving you the best returns. It's easier to put emotions on the sideline when you have a system/process to trust.
If you could give someone starting trading tomorrow one piece of advice what would it be and why?
Spend more time understanding, identifying and respecting basic trends and market structures before trying to implement more complex data to your approach.
As a trader, I tend to believe entering/exiting at the right time is often as important as (if not more) entering/exiting at the right price. Your capital is your working tool; if it's parked somewhere and not moving for too long, it can be as costly as a loss.
If the advice is more directed to HTF trader/investor, then: keep things simple and do less but do it well. It's pointless trying to ride everything in crypto; stick to a few high-conviction plays and majors.
Your capital is your working tool; if it's parked somewhere and not moving for too long, it can be as costly as a loss.
What goals do you set for your trading?
I try to keep my goals as realistic as possible. For the first few years of trading, the goal was clear: quit your job, become your own boss and manage your time yourself.
The goal is now to maintain this status and strengthen it so that, if ever needed, I can hard carry my family.
Fill in the blanks
Most traders would be better off using fewer indicators.
What separates the pros from the rest is risk management, forward thinking, adapability.
A good trader should never lose it all at once/get liquidated.
The biggest misconception about trading is that it's easy, that everyone can or should do it.