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Algorithmic trading types classified based on development perspectives: 1) Technical Analysis 2) Statistics and Probability 3) Machine Learning
I took a different path which is not discussed widely in this subreddit. 4) Signal Processing
I'm not a good storyteller, but this is my journey and advices for the beginners
First, my background:
- Electrical and Electronic engineer,
- Software developer (20+ years)
- Trader (5+ years)
- Algorithmic trader (3+ years)
How I Found The Alpha:
Before algorithmic trading, I was somehow profitable tradeinvestor. Like most of you, when I began to algorithmic trading, I tried to find magic combination of technical indicators and parameters. Also I threw OHLCV and indicators data into the RNN for prediction.
I saw that, even very simple strategies like famous moving average crossover is profitable under right market conditions with correct parameters. But you must watch it carefully and if you fell it is not working anymore, you must shut it down. It means you must be experienced trader to take care of your algorithm.
I am a fulltime software developer, algorithmic trading was my side project also it became my hobby. I tried to learn everything about this industry. I watched and listened hundreds of hours of podcasts and videos in all my free time like commuting from home to work.
These are the most useful to me:
- Chat with traders: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdnzT5Tl6pAkATOiDsPhqcg
- Top traders unplugged: https://www.youtube.com/usetoptraderslive
- Ukspreadbetting: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnKPQUoCRb1Vu-qWwWituGQ
Also I read plenty of academic papers, blog posts and this subreddit for inspiration.
Inspiration came from my field, electronics. I will not give you much detail about it but I have developed a novel signal processing technique. It is a fast and natural technique which I couldn’t find any article or paper which mention this method. It can transform any interval price data into meaningful, tradable form. The best part is, it doesn't require any parameter and it adapts to changing market conditions intrinsically.
These are the concepts that inspire me:
- Information Theory: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_theory
- Signal Processing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signal_processing
- ADC: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analog-to-digital_converter
What a Coincidence:
While googling to improve my algorithm, I found out that, Signal Processing is used by Jim Simon's Renaissance Technologies according to various sources including wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_signal_processing
Output of the process can be used to develop endless type of profitable strategies. I made some money with different momentum based strategies while thinking about how I can use this technique more efficiently.
I like to combine different fields. I think trading and life itself have many things in common. So beside general trading concepts, I think that I can try to implement concepts of the life. Also because of the parameterless design, it's more like a decision making process than an optimization problem.
I searched proverbs and advices for better decision making. I handled them one by one and thought how I could implement them in a unified strategy while preserving the parameterless design. In time, this process was significantly improved stability and reliability while it was evolving from momentum to mean reversion.
These are some proverbs which I use them at various aspects of the algorithm:
- “The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists.” (Japanese proverb)
- "When the rainwater rises and descends down to where you want to cross, wait until it settles." (Sun-Tzu)
- "If you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail" (Heraclitus)
If you wonder how I implement them in the code, think about the last one; how do you define the unexpected, how to wait for it and how to prepare your algorithm to generate profit.
By the way, I strongly recommend: The Art of War (Sun-Tzu)
I have plenty of ideas waiting to be tested and problems that need to be solved. Nevertheless these are the some of the backtest results, for the time being: Crypto:
- Market fee and spread are considered, slippage is not.
- For multiple assets testing; Survivorship bias was attempted to be eliminated using historical market rank of the assets. Data is acquired from coinmarketcap.com
ETH / BTC BNB / BTC Binance Historical Top 100 / BTC Other Markets:
My main focus is crypto trading. But all the improvements are cross checked in different markets and intervals and validated empirically and logically. It can’t beat every asset and every interval but it tends to work profitably across them.
The algorithm is running live for over 1.5 years with evolving strategies I mention before. The last one is running for months.
Warnings and Advices: - Bugs:
A few months ago, before bedtime, I released new version for fixing small cosmetic bug and gone to sleep. When I woke up, I saw that nearly 40% of my account wiped out in a few hours. Instead of live settings, I published test settings. It was very painful. I have been coding since childhood, so everyone must be careful. I recommend, implement hard limit for stopping the algorithm. - Fully Automatic Strategy:
Finding an edge is not enough. If you need fully automated trading system, you need a portfolio manager (a lot of research is going on at this field) and especially an asset selector mechanism which is maybe more important than the edge itself. If your algorithm is not be able to select which assets to trade, you must select manually. It's not an easy task and it's prone to error. I was very lucky with that: A mechanism already contained in the algorithm was used to rank and select the assets based on their momentums. - Fee-Spread:
Because of the market fee and spread, trading is a negative sum game. Do not ignore it when backtesting your algorithm. - Slippage:
It's really a problem for low volume assets like penny stocks and lower market cap crypto currencies. Stay away from them or play with small capital or find a way to determine how much money you can use. - Latency:
Don’t think it's a HFT only problem. If your algorithm synchronize multiple assets data from the market and run calculations before sending order back to the market, you lose significant amount of time. This usually causes losses that you have not considered before, especially in a volatile environment. Also if you want to develop realtime strategy, you must seriously consider what you will do in downtime. - Datasource:
This is the most important part for preparation before developing you strategy. If you don’t have good, reliable data; you cannot develop a good strategy. For free data for various market; I suggest investing.com
, but you should consider that volume data is not provided. For crypto, all of the exchanges provide their real data for any asset and any interval, you can use them freely. Also you can buy data , especially if you want intraday data, but I can't suggest any because I never tested them. - Biases:
Before developing algorithm, please take a look at and understand the common biases like: Survivorship bias, Look-ahead bias, Time period bias. Or you can be sure that you will face them when you go live. - Live trading:
When you think your algorithm can make money, don’t wait till perfection. Go live as soon as possible with small capital to wake up from your dreams and face with the facts early. - Psychology:
If your education is based on STEM and you don’t have trading experience, it’s not easy in the real world to swallow all those ups and downs that you see in minutes during backtest. It can affect your mood and your life much more than you think. I suggest, work with a professional trader or only invest what you can really afford to lose.
After over 3 years of journey, I have a profitable algorithm that I trust. I was supposed to lie on the beach and drink beer while my algorithm printing money. But I am consistently checking it’s health and I have always things to do like all software development projects.
I posted some of the backtest results, but I don’t know are they considered P/L Porn or not. If so, I can remove it.
Sorry about mysterious parts of this post. I removed some parts unwillingly before posting, but there is really a thin line between giving away your edge freely (also it means loosing it) and inspiring people to find their own way.
“Non est ad astra mollis e terris via" - Seneca
For those engineers and EE students who are bombing my inbox for guessing what I did; I can not write all of you in private, also I want to explain it publicly.
I must say, you are on the wrong way. If I open sourced the signal processing part, probably it doesnt mean anything to you and you can not turn it into a profitable algorithm.
I have to clarify that; before I developed the technique, I knew what I am looking for exactly. Signal processing is not magically trading the market, I am trading the market. it's just a tool to do what is in my mind near perfectly.
Also proverbs are the way of thinking. I read them and think if it means anything for trading.
Lastly watch the Kung Fu Panda :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHvCQEr_ETk
Welcome to the /Bitcoin Sticky FAQ
You've probably been hearing a lot about Bitcoin recently and are wondering what's the big deal? Most of your questions should be answered by the resources below but if you have additional questions feel free to ask them in the comments.
It all started with the release of the release of Satoshi Nakamoto's whitepaper
however that will probably go over the head of most readers so we recommend the following videos for a good starting point for understanding how bitcoin works and a little about its long term potential:
Some other great resources include Lopp.net
, the Princeton crypto series
and James D'Angelo's Bitcoin 101 Blackboard series
Some excellent writing on Bitcoin's value proposition and future can be found at the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute
Some Bitcoin statistics can be found here
. Developer resources can be found here
. Peer-reviewed research papers can be found here
Potential upcoming protocol improvements and scaling resources here
The number of times Bitcoin was declared dead by the media can be found here
Key properties of Bitcoin
- Limited Supply - There will only ever be 21,000,000 bitcoins created and they are issued in a predictable fashion, you can view the inflation schedule here. Once they are all issued Bitcoin will be truly deflationary. The halving countdown can be found here.
- Open source - Bitcoin code is fully auditable. You can read the source code yourself here.
- Accountable - The public ledger is transparent, all transactions are seen by everyone.
- Decentralized - Bitcoin is globally distributed across thousands of nodes with no single point of failure and as such can't be shut down similar to how Bittorrent works. You can even run a node on a Raspberry Pi.
- Censorship resistant - No one can prevent you from interacting with the bitcoin network and no one can censor, alter or block transactions that they disagree with, see Operation Chokepoint.
- Push system - There are no chargebacks in bitcoin because only the person who owns the address where the bitcoins reside has the authority to move them.
- Low fee scaling - On chain transaction fees depend on network demand and how much priority you wish to assign to the transaction. Most wallets calculate on chain fees automatically but you can view current fees here and mempool activity here. On chain fees may rise occasionally due to network demand, however instant micropayments that do not require confirmations are happening via the Lightning Network, a second layer scaling solution currently rolling out on the Bitcoin mainnet.
- Borderless - No country can stop it from going in/out, even in areas currently unserved by traditional banking as the ledger is globally distributed.
- Trustless - Bitcoin solved the Byzantine's Generals Problem which means nobody needs to trust anybody for it to work.
- Pseudonymous - No need to expose personal information when purchasing with cash or transacting.
- Secure - Encrypted cryptographically and can’t be brute forced or confiscated with proper key management such as hardware wallets.
- Programmable - Individual units of bitcoin can be programmed to transfer based on certain criteria being met
- Nearly instant - From a few seconds to a few minutes depending on need for confirmations. Transactions are irreversible after one or more confirmations.
- Peer-to-peer - No intermediaries with a cut, no need for trusted third parties.
- Portable - Bitcoins are digital so they are easier to move than cash or gold. They can even be transported by simply memorizing a string of words for wallet recovery (while cool this method is generally not recommended due to potential for insecure key generation by inexperienced users. Hardware wallets are the preferred method for new users due to ease of use and additional security).
- Scalable - While the protocol is still being optimized for increased transaction capacity, blockchains do not scale very well, so most transaction volume is expected to occur on Layer 2 networks built on top of Bitcoin.
- Divisible - Each bitcoin can be divided down to 8 decimals, which means you don't have to worry about buying an entire bitcoin.
- Designed Money - Bitcoin was created to fit all the fundamental properties of money better than gold or fiat
Where can I buy bitcoins? Bitcoin.org
are helpful sites for beginners. You can buy or sell any amount of bitcoin (even just a few dollars worth) and there are several easy methods to purchase bitcoin with cash, credit card or bank transfer. Some of the more popular resources are below, also check out the bitcoinity exchange resources
for a larger list of options for purchases. Here
is a listing of local ATMs. If you would like your paycheck automatically converted to bitcoin use Bitwage
Bitcoins are valued at whatever market price
people are willing to pay for them in balancing act of supply vs demand. Unlike traditional markets, bitcoin markets operate 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Preev
is a useful site that that shows how much various denominations of bitcoin are worth in different currencies. Alternatively you can just Google "1 bitcoin in (your local currency)".
Securing your bitcoins
With bitcoin you can "Be your own bank"
and personally secure your bitcoins OR
you can use third party companies aka "Bitcoin banks"
which will hold the bitcoins for you.
Note: For increased security, use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) everywhere it is offered, including email!
- If you prefer to "Be your own bank" and have direct control over your coins without having to use a trusted third party, then you will need to create your own wallet and keep it secure. If you want easy and secure storage without having to learn computer security best practices, then a hardware wallet such as the Trezor, Ledger or ColdCard is recommended. Alternatively there are many software wallet options to choose from here depending on your use case.
- If you prefer to let third party "Bitcoin banks" manage your coins, try Gemini but be aware you may not be in control of your private keys in which case you would have to ask permission to access your funds and be exposed to third party risk.
2FA requires a second confirmation code to access your account making it much harder for thieves to gain access. Google Authenticator and Authy are the two most popular 2FA services, download links are below. Make sure you create backups of your 2FA codes.
Watch out for scams
As mentioned above, Bitcoin is decentralized, which by definition means there is no official website or Twitter handle or spokesperson or CEO. However, all money attracts thieves. This combination unfortunately results in scammers running official sounding names or pretending to be an authority on YouTube or social media. Many scammers throughout the years have claimed to be the inventor of Bitcoin. Websites like bitcoin(dot)com and the btc subreddit are active scams. Almost all altcoins (shitcoins) are marketed heavily with big promises but are really just designed to separate you from your bitcoin. So be careful: any resource, including all linked in this document, may in the future turn evil. Don't trust, verify. Also as they say in our community "Not your keys, not your coins".
Where can I spend bitcoins?
Check out spendabit
or bitcoin directory
for millions of merchant options. Also you can spend bitcoin anywhere visa is accepted with bitcoin debit cards such as the CashApp card
. Some other useful site are listed below.
|Store ||Product |
|Gyft ||Gift cards for hundreds of retailers including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Whole Foods, CVS, Lowes, Home Depot, iTunes, Best Buy, Sears, Kohls, eBay, GameStop, etc. |
|Spendabit, Overstock and The Bitcoin Directory ||Retail shopping with millions of results |
|ShakePay ||Generate one time use Visa cards in seconds |
|NewEgg and Dell ||For all your electronics needs |
|Bitwa.la, Coinbills, Piixpay, Bitbill.eu, Bylls, Coins.ph, Bitrefill, LivingRoomofSatoshi, Coinsfer, and more ||Bill payment |
|Menufy, Takeaway and Thuisbezorgd NL ||Takeout delivered to your door |
|Expedia, Cheapair, Destinia, Abitsky, SkyTours, the Travel category on Gyft and 9flats ||For when you need to get away |
|Cryptostorm, Mullvad, and PIA ||VPN services |
|Namecheap, Porkbun ||Domain name registration |
|Stampnik ||Discounted USPS Priority, Express, First-Class mail postage |
are helpful to find local businesses accepting bitcoins. A good resource for UK residents is at wheretospendbitcoins.co.uk
There are also lots of charities
which accept bitcoin donations.
There are several benefits to accepting bitcoin as a payment option if you are a merchant;
- 1-3% savings over credit cards or PayPal.
- No chargebacks (final settlement in 10 minutes as opposed to 3+ months).
- Accept business from a global customer base.
- Increased privacy.
- Convert 100% of the sale to the currency of your choice for deposit to your account, or choose to keep a percentage of the sale in bitcoin if you wish to begin accumulating it.
If you are interested in accepting bitcoin as a payment method, there are several options available;
Can I mine bitcoin?
Mining bitcoins can be a fun learning experience, but be aware that you will most likely operate at a loss. Newcomers are often advised to stay away from mining unless they are only interested in it as a hobby similar to folding at home
. If you want to learn more about mining you can read more here
. Still have mining questions? The crew at /BitcoinMining
would be happy to help you out.
If you want to contribute to the bitcoin network by hosting the blockchain and propagating transactions you can run a full node
using this setup guide
. If you would prefer to keep it simple there are several good options
. You can view the global node distribution here
Just like any other form of money, you can also earn bitcoins by being paid to do a job.
|Site ||Description |
|WorkingForBitcoins, Bitwage, Cryptogrind, Coinality, Bitgigs, /Jobs4Bitcoins, BitforTip, Rein Project ||Freelancing |
|Lolli ||Earn bitcoin when you shop online! |
|OpenBazaar, Purse.io, Bitify, /Bitmarket, 21 Market ||Marketplaces |
|/GirlsGoneBitcoin NSFW ||Adult services |
|A-ads, Coinzilla.io ||Advertising |
You can also earn bitcoins by participating as a market maker on JoinMarket
by allowing users to perform CoinJoin transactions with your bitcoins for a small fee (requires you to already have some bitcoins.
The following is a short
list of ongoing projects that might be worth taking a look at if you are interested in current development in the bitcoin space.
One Bitcoin is quite large (hundreds of £/$/€) so people often deal in smaller units. The most common subunits are listed below:
|Unit ||Symbol ||Value ||Info |
|bitcoin ||BTC ||1 bitcoin ||one bitcoin is equal to 100 million satoshis |
|millibitcoin ||mBTC ||1,000 per bitcoin ||used as default unit in recent Electrum wallet releases |
|bit ||bit ||1,000,000 per bitcoin ||colloquial "slang" term for microbitcoin (μBTC) |
|satoshi ||sat ||100,000,000 per bitcoin ||smallest unit in bitcoin, named after the inventor |
For example, assuming an arbitrary exchange rate of $10000 for one Bitcoin, a $10 meal would equal:
- 0.001 BTC
- 1 mBTC
- 1,000 bits
- 100k sats
For more information check out the Bitcoin units wiki
. Still have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below or stick around for our weekly Mentor Monday thread. If you decide to post a question in /Bitcoin, please use the search bar to see if it has been answered before, and remember to follow the community rules outlined on the sidebar to receive a better response. The mods are busy helping manage our community so please do not message them unless you notice problems with the functionality of the subreddit.
Note: This is a community created FAQ. If you notice anything missing from the FAQ or that requires clarification you can edit it here and it will be included in the next revision pending approval.
Welcome to the Bitcoin community and the new decentralized economy!
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