86 PC Principal
Oct 30, 2023
PC is an altcoin trader who trades narratives, news, and the inefficiencies of the crypto markets.
What attracted you to trading?
I never really wanted to be a trader when I first started in crypto. My only objective was to make some quick cash to use for a house deposit. Out of boredom in the bear market, I started dabbling a little and found so many parallels between trading and the games I used to be obsessed with as a kid like Runescape. That’s kind of how trading feels to me today; one giant multiplayer game with unlimited paths, upgrades, possibilities and challenges to overcome.
That’s kind of how trading feels to me today; one giant multiplayer game with unlimited paths, upgrades, possibilities and challenges
What are some upgrades that you’ve been levelling up?
Recently I’ve been trying to gain a better understanding of orderflow/positioning data to help refine my trades. This has been quite helpful in trading events and catalysts since it allows you to get a better idea on what your counterparty believes.
How long have you been trading and what markets have you traded over your career?
I’ve been in this space since 2017 but didn’t actually decide to be a trader until around 2020. I’ve never traded any other markets and have no desire to. Crypto is the most inefficient market with the highest upside so I feel like spending my time elsewhere would be a major opportunity cost.
Crypto is the most inefficient market with the highest upside
How long did it take you to become profitable? Were there any major milestones where things just started to click?
I had patches of profitability when I first started, but it took me about a year to become consistent and to avoid insane PNL swings and drawdown. I’d say the major turning point for me was losing around 75% of my portfolio in a month.
I made a lot of money on Binance Smart Chain in 2021 while I was still working a 9-5. It was the most money I ever had after years of getting destroyed DCAing into shitcoins I heard about on YouTube or Twitter. On top of that, my fiancé was also pregnant and I was feeling a sense of relief knowing that I had a nice bankroll to support our family.
Fast forward one month, I blew 75% of it overtrading on perps and spiralling out of control trying to run my account up fast during shitty conditions. I felt so depressed and ashamed for weeks. Just thinking about the hole I was in made me feel so overwhelmed.
Eventually, I climbed out of the hole and ended the year in an infinitely better place, but I think I needed to really get destroyed to learn my lesson and to improve. Getting destroyed taught me the importance of trading only when you have an edge, how quickly cocky and arrogant traders get humbled, how the house money effect works, and that you need to take this game really seriously in order to succeed.
Just thinking about the hole I was in made me feel so overwhelmed.
What does a typical day look like for you?
It’s not healthy but my days largely revolve around the state of the market. When the market is boring I will try to spend less time trading and more time living like a normal human and preparing for the good times. When the market is hot I turn into a total goblin who grinds 20-hour days and sleeps on the floor of my office in patches.
My days are fairly unorganised but I always make sure I spend time with my family and that I exercise daily. If I don’t work out my mind turns to shit and my trading suffers massively. I always try to do something even if it’s just 20 minutes of pushups on the floor while I work.
I turn into a total goblin who grinds 20-hour days and sleeps on the floor of my office
Who did you look up to when you first started trading?
Loma, Krillin, G Maker, and some guys from the Haven like Damien and Ciro Viotti. Ciro isn’t on CT but he probably taught me more than anyone, he viewed losses with zero emotion and just accepted them as variance. He never tried to be too clever and just made a few really good decisions each day while working extremely hard.
Tell us about your most memorable trade
I think shorting SOL on the FTX collapse. This was a braindead trade that required zero skill so I can’t be too proud of it, but watching the second-largest exchange collapse in real time was just so surreal.
I saw the FTX balance sheet before they halted withdrawals and realised that SOL was the only liquid asset they could liquidate to support the FTT price. The other stuff like RAY, SRM, OXY was too illiquid to extract any value out of. I threw my entire balance on that short and ended up increasing my portfolio by 43% that day with a few other trades. In hindsight I should’ve sized 2-3x bigger – this is one of those trades that only comes around once a year or so and is a very unique situation.
What’s the best trading advice you’ve been given?
“Money is just a formality of trading well. Don’t think about money, just focus on trading well and money will come” – Loma
“Money is just a formality of trading well. Don’t think about money, just focus on trading well and money will come”
What drives you to keep trading?
I truly love playing the game and it’s the most probable path to generational wealth for me.
Would you say you’ve ‘made it’? If not, what does ‘making it’ look like to you?
Making it to me just means being free to live my life on my own terms. I’ve secured decades of this, but not a lifetime yet. So I’m close but not quite there yet.
What's the most important quality in a trader and why?
Persistence. People glamorise trading but the reality is pretty ugly at times. If you don’t have the courage to push through the tough times you won’t succeed.
Have you ever thought about quitting? What's the difference between courage and misguided stubbornness?
I never thought about quitting but I’m an incredibly stubborn person. The difference is that you can lose money while still learning and improving as a trader. If a trader cannot see any tangible growth over a 3-6 month period then something is severely wrong and they need to have a tough conversation with themselves. Even at my lowest point I felt like I was improving and was fully committed to learning.
People should consider stopping if they don’t enjoy trading, or if it’s ruining other aspects of their lives (health, relationships, overall happiness). It’s the same with everything in life; if you don’t enjoy something you likely won't have the interest to overcome the tough periods.
Even at my lowest point I felt like I was improving and was fully committed to learning.
How would you describe the way you trade?
Trading attention. The best narratives in crypto are the ones that capture the most attention. They can be driven by some technical development or fundamental factor, but at the end of the day, the amount of attention it captures will determine how high price can go and for how long.
Two examples are pure attention-based trades are:
1. Elon buying Twitter (DOGE, MASK)
2. ChatGPT going mainstream (FET, AGIX)
Neither of these catalysts warrant higher prices for these coins, but they captured so much attention and repriced massively in a short amount of time. I’m always trying to figure out where attention is and where I think it is going based on trends, news, catalysts, and any other information I can find.
- After the Bitcoin ETF is approved, attention will rotate back to Ethereum and people will start speculating on the ETH ETF. This is where I will rotate into ETHBTC heavily.
- After BlackRock’s ETF is approved, we will hear Larry Fink talk more about their plans to tokenize more things. The more he bangs this drum, there will be more interest in RWA’s, and there will be more attention on oracles too.
I’m always trying to figure out where attention is and where I think it is going
Has the way you trade changed over time?
Definitely. In 2020 and 2021 I spent most of my time trading shitcoins onchain, in 2022 I traded narratives and news on perps, in 2023 I’m mostly trading perps too but I have a much more data-driven approach.
Why do you think you have success trading?
I’m not particularly smart or well educated but I’m obsessed with trading and put in more hours than most people I know.
Do you think that teamwork helps here?
Teamwork is incredibly important, especially in a 24/7 market. You can never keep up with everything by yourself and there's always something you can learn from others.
If you’re a new trader you should be sharing your ideas on Twitter or in some Discord/Telegram communities. This will make it easier to connect with others and open a lot of doors. People are very accessible in crypto and you should take advantage of that.
If you’re a new trader you should be sharing your ideas on Twitter or in some Discord/Telegram communities.
What's the worst thing about trading and why?
How consuming it is. It takes so much time, energy, and attention to succeed as a trader which can negatively impact so many other areas of your life. The worst habit for me was checking my phone every two minutes which is incredibly disrespectful to the person you’re with. Now I try to just let my positions play out. If your TP/SL is set and your risk is managed, you don’t have any reason to repeatedly check your phone to babysit positions.
If your TP/SL is set and your risk is managed, you don’t have any reason to repeatedly check your phone
What's something you've learned in the last 6 months that has made you a better trader?
Coins with massive vested floats/huge FDV shouldn’t always be seen as bearish and the context of the market should be factored in. These teams have huge economic incentives to pump their coins to extract maximum value.
What's the mistake you find hardest to avoid when trading? Any tips to avoid it?
Taking low conviction trades out of boredom. We all want to stay involved in the market and feel like we’re advancing as traders each day and our only metric for success is dollars earned which is problematic since conditions can remain poor for weeks or even months. My way to avoid this is to spend more time studying, backtesting, researching, building and experimenting with new tools and indicators.
How much time do you spend refining your system and experimenting vs, actively trading?
It depends on the market and how much opportunity there is. If the market is slow I will probably spend 4-6 hours a day playing around on random projects and tools. But if the market is hot and full of opportunity I will grind all day and night trading and put these projects on hold.
If you could give someone starting trading tomorrow one piece of advice what would it be and why?
Find a trading style that reflects your natural abilities and situation in life. Your goal is not to be a jack of all trades – it’s to be elite at one.
If you’re a 19 year-old living with your parents with $4k saved; you should probably be trading shitcoins onchain. Why? Because you have infinite time, a small bankroll, you’re young enough to understand meme culture and you have enough energy to sift through shitcoins on Dexscreener until 5am every day.
If you’re a 36yo man with a career and two kids; you should probably be trading on higher timeframes. Why? Because you are time-poor, you have a decent bankroll, and you can still look at charts and consume enough information to craft your macro thesis each day.
There are dozens of ways to make money in crypto (news trading, perps, onchain, NFTs, building, influencer grift). Whatever niche you decide to pursue, give yourself the best odds at becoming elite at it.
Whatever niche you decide to pursue, give yourself the best odds at becoming elite at it.
How would you describe your relationship with risk?
I’m more of a ‘Nit’ these days meaning I take pretty small risks relative to my net worth. This has helped me avoid drawdown in tough conditions but is limiting in bull markets. Since I became a father I just can’t bring myself to take huge gambles like I used to. This is something I will need to change as conditions change and degenerate behaviour is rewarded more.
Since I became a father I just can’t bring myself to take huge gambles like I used to
How can you remain as disciplined with small amounts as you are with larger ones?
I never risk so little that a win would mean nothing to my bankroll or else I would be wasting my time on that trade. The only difference between trades I risk small and big on is that on big trades I am more invested in the outcome and prone to overmanaging.
What goals do you set for your trading?
I don’t have any specific trading goals to be honest. As long as I am learning from my mistakes and my PNL curve is up and to the right I am happy.
As long as I am learning from my mistakes and my PNL curve is up and to the right I am happy.
Fill in the blanks
Most traders would be better off taking half as many trades
What separates the pros from the rest is work ethic, self-awareness, hunger
A good trader should never risk total ruin regardless of conviction
The biggest misconception about trading is that it is glamorous or comfortable
Any other comments you'd like to share:
Thanks to everyone that has helped me over the years, I love you all.