How to Protect Yourself

Trading bitcoin can be extremely profitable if you do it safely.

Remember the basics

  • Learn as much as possible before you invest.
  • Never invest more than you are willing to lose.
  • If you invest borrowed money ("margin", "leverage", "gearing"), you can lose more than your initial investment.

After you have those down

  • Carefully check and regularly monitor the reputation of any exchange where you decide to do business.
  • Make sure all software on your system gets automatic updates.
  • Spread your risk over different exchanges.
  • Use limit orders.
  • Start with small transactions.
  • Never give all your capital to a single exchange.
  • If you need to buy or sell a large amount, do it in parallel at different exchanges.
  • If you must use a single exchange for a large amount, do it in smaller increments.
  • Before you send or receive a large amount, always move a small amount first using all the same data. If things don't go perfectly, everyone will be calmer.
  • Leave as little as you can on deposit at any exchange.
  • Use escrow for larger amounts.
  • Don't trade derivatives.
  • Don't trade with borrowed money.
  • Keep it simple. More complexity means more risk.