Jan 10, 2022
7ommyzero a market profile trader that sits on the partnership team at @olympusdao.
What attracted you to trading?
The thrill of solving the puzzle. When the pieces fit just right and I find a strategy with a repeatable edge, I am happy.
Tell us about your trading journey
I've been trading since 2017 after getting into Bitcoin around $1400 for the first time. At first, I was just buying spot Bitcoin but once I started diving into the space I learned about basic technical analysis, did all the line drawings, Fibonacci and crap that everyone loved to do at the time. I quickly fell into the margin-trading trap since Bitmex was all the rage. I made a good chunk of money between margin trading BTC and buying shitty alt-coins on Cryptopia and Bittrex, and subsequently lost all of my money in 2018.
During the crypto-winter years that followed I was determined to beat the game and had little success until I found something that made sense to me, Market Profile, which is just a way of looking at how the market values an asset and determining when that value is shifting. Around the same time, I was discovering quantitative trading and the idea of having a ruleset really clicked with me and even though I can't code, writing down my plans for entry, exit, and recording the aftermath had a huge impact on my trading.
How did the bear market impact you as a trader?
During the bear market, I mostly traded Bitcoin during the crypto-winter because I was disillusioned with alt-coins and how the ICO season euphoria played out. This lack of optimism infected me going into the next market and all of us weary war-torn vets were shorting everything all the time. However, nowadays I rarely trade with any kind of indicators and most of my focus is longer-term.
Do you still lack optimism?
Getting a job as a crypto-researcher and riding the NFT + DeFi hype has definitely changed how I approach the market. I've had to relearn optimism and stop doubting the ingenuity of humans. Because of that my investments/trades are thesis-based now, as opposed to technical like they were before. Success for me came from being systematic in the bear season. In the bull season, the biggest change and success came from understanding the mania of the masses and not going against it. Fundamentally trusting that people will always come up with something cool. That's what we do as humans, surviving and building. So I say never short humanity.
“THAT’S WHAT WE DO AS HUMANS, SURVIVING AND BUILDING. SO I SAY NEVER SHORT HUMANITY.”
Do you have a daily routine?
Wake up at 6 am most days to go to a workout class first thing, then make coffee and settle in for the day. I try not to check my phone or notifications until I’m through my morning routine.
These days? Twitter. There are so many smart people out there so I use their eyes and ears to find new things and then if I see a mention or follow of something I’ve never heard of I take the time to do some digging. After that, I’ll rummage through the discords and telegrams of the projects I’m keeping an eye on to check for discussions and updates from their teams to see if anything fundamentally profound is coming for the project and what kind of timeline to expect. This is how I find narratives that are hiding in plain sight.
What's the worst thing about trading?
Trading can warp your perception of yourself if you don’t have other things in your life to maintain perspective. Possibly the worst thing is needing to trade to “make it”. It is incredibly difficult to trade when you’re trying to make a living and very few people can do that successfully. Take care of everything else in your life (family, bills, regular income, stable house, basic needs, and so on) before you try to make a living trading.
What's the most important quality in a trader?
Knowing your limits. I’m not intelligent enough to keep competing at a high level in liquid markets, so I don’t. If you don’t have a quantitative edge in liquid markets, tackle the low hanging fruit. There is a higher reward for playing games in markets where the big boys can’t, won’t or don’t.
There are various ways you can judge whether a project is “hidden enough” but if it isn’t on CoinGecko yet that’s a good start. If you have to buy OTC, even better; that’s the kind of friction I like.
“THERE IS A HIGHER REWARD FOR PLAYING GAMES IN MARKETS WHERE THE BIG BOYS CAN’T, WON’T OR DON’T.”
Why do you think you have success trading?
I’ve been forged in the light and shadow of the fever pitch optimism of 2017 and the gruelling pessimism of 2018 and beyond.
My greatest success has come from throwing away the scars of 2018 and believing in the innate optimism of humanity. That’s a mouthful but what it means practically is humans always look to create value, so don’t bet against it when you find something innovative and intriguing.
Now, try to couple wide-eyed eagerness with the willingness to tolerate friction. Go where others aren’t willing to because the interface is too clunky, or the wallet is too hard to interact with, or the website is crashing all the time, or the discord is being spammed by unhappy people, or the whitelist is difficult to qualify for, and so on.
There is huge wealth when things just don’t work properly and you take the extra steps to try. Friction weeds out the lazy and creates FUD. That’s exactly where value is hidden in plain sight.
What's something you've learned in the last 6 months that has made you a better trader?
Patience and conviction. I never used to look at a project’s fundamentals and truly thought that the chart is all that matters. But poke around in a few discords, ask questions, help out a DAO or two, communicate with team members and you’ll find alpha hiding in plain sight. Often an informational edge you find in a public discord can take weeks to materialize in the open market, and all you had to do was take a few minutes out of your day to do it. This conviction helps you buy value because you know what the project is trying to achieve even when the market doesn’t reflect it yet.
What's the mistake you find hardest to avoid when trading?
Being patient. Especially when your account is small and vulnerable to hits, it is difficult to maintain a sense of abundance and space when it comes to taking a trade. If you’re still a small account, don’t be afraid to take losses and move on. Similarly, take profits often and compound your wins frequently. When you get larger you can afford to have larger portfolio volatility and be underwater, but the worst thing for a small trader is to have all capital tied up and no more bullets to fire.
“THE WORST THING FOR A SMALL TRADER IS TO HAVE ALL CAPITAL TIED UP AND NO MORE BULLETS TO FIRE.”
If you could give someone starting trading tomorrow one piece of advice what would it be?
Don’t try to be the best because there are already people out there 10x smarter than you. Trade the markets other people won’t.
We’ve seen an explosion of olympusDao “clones” of late, why do you think this is happening and what does it tell the team?
I’ll quote my good friend @1MrClean1 here and say that clones for Olympus, like clones for Punks and BAYC, are generally a value add. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and in this space, it brings eyes back to the original. Specifically for Olympus, failed projects solidify that the Olympus team knows what they are doing, and further validates to our partners that they can trust us to steward our treasury and influence in the DeFi space when other forks can no longer function.
After the wave of copy-cat clones (and rugs) that started off the Olympus tokenomic narrative, a wave of forks uniquely innovating on the Olympus structure started to develop while maintaining strong relationships with Olympus. One that comes to mind is [REDACTED], which aims to be a blackhole of governance assets like CRV, CVX, FXS, DPX and more to come.
Olympus is always willing to work cooperatively with forks and protocols that have honest intentions.
A lot has been made of the detailed OlympusDAO roadmap - what are you excited about?
We have lots of exciting proposals, but I’d say the classic is OIP-63: Reward rate adjustment. For those unfamiliar, this OIP reduces the APY% of Olympus according to certain market cap thresholds. Olympus is always at war with inflation and this proposal is just another step along the way of creating a lower-inflation asset as we enter a more “stable” phase of the lifecycle. Olympus already has a vast warchest, so reducing the reward rate as the market cap grows is just one lever we have to make sure our runway stays healthy going into 2022 and beyond.
FILL IN THE BLANKS
Most traders would be better off not trading.
What separates the pros from the rest is capitalizing on their strengths and respecting their weaknesses.
A good trader should never expect the market to reflect their personal views. If the market is going down, it doesn’t matter if you think the coin is undervalued -- people are selling. If the market is going up, it doesn’t matter if you think the coin is a scam -- people are buying.
The biggest misconception about trading is that once you find your edge you’re gonna be rich. Markets are always evolving and if you can’t adapt and admit that your edge has expired then you’re NGMI.