Cryptocurrency trading is the act of speculating on cryptocurrency price movements via a CFD trading account, or buying and selling the underlying coins via an exchange.
CFDs trading are derivatives, which enables you to speculate on cryptocurrency price movements without taking ownership of the underlying coins. You can go long (‘buy’) if you think a cryptocurrency will rise in value, or short (‘sell’) if you think it will fall.
Both are leveraged products, meaning you only need to put up a small deposit – known as margin – to gain full exposure to the underlying market. Your profit or loss is still calculated according to the full size of your position, so leverage will magnify both profits and losses.
When you buy cryptocurrencies via an exchange, you purchase the coins themselves. You’ll need to create an exchange account, put up the full value of the asset to open a position and store the cryptocurrency tokens in your own wallet until you’re ready to sell.
Exchanges bring their own steep learning curve as you’ll need to get to grips with the technology involved and learn how to make sense of the data. Many exchanges also have limits on how much you can deposit, while accounts can be very expensive to maintain.