Jul 18, 2022
LSDinmycoffee (Krillin) is a full-time trader, daytrading altcoins on Binance futures and scalping BTC.
What attracted you to trading?
I love the intellectual challenge that comes with trading. It mixes data analysis, game theory, strategy, and emotion control. A decade before I discovered trading, my main hobbies were Starcraft and poker, two games of incomplete information requiring a very similar skillset to trading. I got into crypto in the Summer of 2017 to invest but instantly took to trading.
Incomplete information forces you to use a probabilistic approach. I like that since many important decisions in real life are also based on incomplete information.
How long have you been trading?
I started in the Summer of 2017 as an investor. I was clueless with no trading experience. I looked at charts from the first half of 2017 and saw every shitcoin doing x5 -> small consolidation -> x5 -> consolidation. So I picked a dozen shitcoins thinking I just needed one big winner to break even. It turned out this was a local top, and I learned that diversification in crypto is a meme when the entire shitcoin market is significantly correlated. It made me realize it wouldn't be easy, and I needed to dig deeper. That's how I fell down the rabbit hole.
I learned that diversification in crypto is a meme
Five years later, I'm also trading metals and commodities CFD. Stocks are a bit annoying; the daily closes make them frustrating to day trade. As long as crypto is liquid enough, I have no reason to day trade on other assets. Also, all the drama and the shitposts make crypto Twitter a lot more fun than fintwit.
Where did you start?
I didn't even know TA was a thing at the very beginning. I only looked at fundamentals and bought whatever the price was when I believed the project was a good one (lol).
I remember I had bought ZRX because of its fundamentals. By Nov 2017, I was down 75% and gave up. The next day I stumbled across a ZRX chart on Twitter, with someone drawing what I didn't know was a falling wedge that started to break out. And then ZRX giga pumped. And I was like, "Wow, what is this magic? I wanna learn that". Eventually, I discovered meme patterns are memes, but that was all I needed to understand. Timing and price levels were everything and most likely way more important than the fundamentals. And that's how I started to pay attention to charts and learn to read them.
Do you still pay attention to fundamentals?
Nah, fundamentals are primarily memes. The only fundamentals you need are pretty much tokenomics and trying to identify the next shitcoin narrative early. 98% of altcoins are scams or vaporware, do not trust their founders promising you the moon!
The only fundamentals you need are pretty much tokenomics and trying to identify the next shitcoin narrative early.
How long did it take you to become profitable?
I started to be profitable after 1.5 years, very early 2019. I had a full-time job, and the 2018 market was very unforgiving. There is a gigantic gap between starting to be profitable and making consistent gains, not giving them back and living off trading.
The next step was understanding the cycles better, how money flowed between assets and how to manage my exposure better. For example, I called for a BTC bottom in March 2019 just before the 3.5k->6k pump, yet I kept significant altcoin exposure. Back then, when altcoins were generally traded against BTC, BTC going x2 meant altcoins would get rekt. And then BTC kept pushing. If it weren't for the leveraged longs on BTC, I would have stayed breakeven on my whole portfolio while BTC went from 3.5k in March to 14k in June.
My last big mistake was keeping considerable exposure in September 2019 before the significant "Bakkt 10k drop" while going on vacation. I had just set a goal to trade full-time in 2020 and asked my boss at the office to go part-time so that I could trade more. And as usual, the market is here to humble you. I spent my vacation trading poorly on the move with shitty internet and sky-high expectations about an altcoin position and kept it open. I lost 30-35% of my account when BTC did 10k->7k in a single night.
After that expensive lesson, something clicked about risk management and exposure. And then my account went pretty much up only from that day. I went through the COVID nuke unscathed six months later and went full-time trading right after. However, I did suffer from bear PTSD in 2020 because of the Sep 2019 trauma.
How was balancing a full-time job and trading? Any advice you'd give on making that work?
Pure pain. 45hrs a week at the office, and 35 on evenings and weekends spent on crypto. Luckily I was on a computer all day at the office so I could look at charts and manage positions a bit. But it was tough. I had no free time. The truth is, I was down horrendously in 2018, including some relatives' money I had invested at the top, and there was no way I was not going to make it back. I had to make it back. So I worked my ass off for it, and it was ok because I genuinely enjoyed analyzing and trading.
In hindsight, losing my family's money was probably a blessing in disguise. I might have given up during the bear market if I hadn't put myself in that situation. Enjoying trading is not enough when you have no more free time and keep losing money and making the wife angry. The line between hard grind and gambling addiction is very thin.
In hindsight, losing my family's money was probably a blessing in disguise.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Read the news/browse Twitter while drinking my morning coffee. Check BTC, ETH, SPX, DXY and a few others, and make a plan for the day. Then it depends on the current market conditions; if it's choppy, I'll likely be scalping BTC or look for the few trending liquid alts on Binance futures and focus on these for scalping. I'm a daytrader, and I'm risk-averse. I will not hesitate to close positions when in doubt or before going to sleep. The market will still be here tomorrow and offer new opportunities. The only thing that matters is consistency.
If it's trending, typically at an early stage of a reversal on 1h/4h, I'll be looking for continuation plays to catch the safe chunk of the move. I don't try to catch bottoms or tops; I prefer to focus on capturing the move in-between safely.
The market will still be here tomorrow and offer new opportunities. The only thing that matters is consistency.
Tell us about your most memorable trade?
Not just one. I keep fond memories of early 2019 trading on IDEX. For the new people reading this, IDEX was the first successful DEX; it had all the new ERC20 tokens before they'd get listed on more prominent exchanges. It was the best way to get into low caps with solid fundamentals like $QNT. I had great success there, and that's how I started to rebuild my account after the 2018 shipwreck. And that's also when I began to share stuff on Twitter and got my first followers. Funnily I longed QNT again a couple of weeks ago at $48, and it's doing fantastic; QNT is my lucky charm, haha.
Besides that, longing the Swell pump in Sept 2018. I went close to x15 my Bitmex account on that pump, and Bitmex auto-deleveraging closed my position at the pico top. But in 2018, I was still learning, and I ended up giving it all back.
What's the worst thing about trading and why?
Variance and bad luck. Like you plan something correctly, you make good decisions yet still get a negative outcome. Losing streaks are inevitable. Just don't do dumb shit like increasing your risk to make it back. Luckily I learned to handle variance in poker before I started trading.
What kind of trader are you?
I use various strategies, but I focus mostly on trend-based strategies. I have a very discretionary system based on liquidity theory and moving averages. I think moving averages are extremely powerful, but too few people know how to use them properly. They got a bad reputation because they're mostly known for lagging MA crosses, which are complete garbage.
Instead, long MAs like MA100 and EMA200 can identify support/resistance; the EMA13-21 band is extremely good for mean reversion plays, so much can be done with moving averages. It's imperative to look at the "slope" of a moving average, i.e.: whether it's pointing upwards or downwards.
Has the way you trade changed over time?
Execution is everything in trading. It's a bit paradoxical, but my advice is to keep refining your best strategies (2 or 3 max) to execute them flawlessly. At the same time, always keep an open mind and adjust to current market conditions. The two can be reconciled by defining a list of filters for each of your strategies - when to enter them, when to sit out and when to switch to alternate approaches.
Execution is everything in trading. It's a bit paradoxical, but my advice is to keep refining your best strategies
What's something you've learned in the last six months that has made you a better trader?
There is nothing specific in the last six months. Building your system and strategies is a never-ending process, not only because there is always room for improvement, but you must constantly adjust to the context, just like adapting to the metagame in Starcraft and poker.
What's the mistake you find hardest to avoid when trading? Any tips to avoid it?
Getting chopped during unfavorable conditions and knowing when to sit out. You can find trends within the chop; just like you can find some chop within the trend, it's a fractal. In my case, my system focuses on trends and works on almost every time frame. I zoom in or out if PA is too choppy on a certain timeframe.
If you could give someone starting trading tomorrow one piece of advice, what would it be?
Being a copycat usually doesn't work. Everyone is different. And there are infinite profitable strategies; that's the beauty of trading. But some general advice, in no particular order, would be:
Charts/TA won't predict the future but can be used to find EV+ plays.
Don't fight market cycles.
The market doesn't care about what you want to see, it usually does the contrary, actually.
You don't control the market. The only thing you control is your risk.
Game theory rules.
What's the best trading advice you've been given?
I don't think I've received much advice; the best lessons were the ones learned from major losses. You don't forget these. I could summarize them all in one sentence: "you don't control the market. The only thing you control is your risk".
There will be new opportunities tomorrow, so chill and don't chase trades. Let the good trades come to you. Most people fail to understand how prevalent opportunity is.
What drives you to keep trading?
I haven't reached my money goals yet. Never been into luxury, never dreamed of getting rich when I was younger, but let's be real for a sec, money is power. I'd love to have more money to use for the greater good.
I'm very much into sustainable farming, it's been years, and with the current global situation, it's becoming more relevant than ever.
I weren't trading; I'd be bored as hell. Ever since I started trading, most other activities feel dull. Sadly these are signs of addiction, but as long as addiction doesn't hurt you, what's the problem?
Ever since I started trading, most other activities feel dull. Sadly these are signs of addiction, but as long as addiction doesn't hurt you, what's the problem?
Would you say you've 'made it'? If not, what does 'making it' look like to you?
While I'm very comfortable financially, I wouldn't say I made it. To be honest, I don't even know what 'making it' would mean. Money is a means to an end, not an end in itself.
Fill in the blanks
Most traders would be better off not tweeting
What separates the pros from the rest is discipline
A good trader should never be cocky; the market will find a way to make you humble again
The biggest misconception about trading is trying to catch every move / trying to catch pico tops and bottoms
Any other comments you'd like to share:
Just a shout-out to people I like or who influenced my journey
Pierre, my French brother, as our systems are similar and developed jointly
Loma because he's the GOAT in my eyes. When in doubt, I ask myself "what would Loma do in this situation?"
Bros from The Compound
Bros and students from The Haven
Inspiring people like RektProof, cuban, Salsa, GCR, real beasts
Jim for the cat memes