The Crypto Den: This carpenter-turned-Bitcoiner is teaching others how to trade crypto
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Dave Haslop doesn’t do much carpentry these days — he’s too busy trading cryptocurrencies, running his 43,000 member Facebook group and teaching others how to trade crypto through live online paid courses called the Crypto Den.
Stockhead talked to the 32-year-old Gold Coast dad last week as part of a new series of occasional articles on the various hodlers, traders, developers and influencers that make up Australia and New Zealand’s cryptocurrency scene.
Stockhead: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the Crypto Den?
Haslop: It started in early 2017, I started sharing my trading on things like that with the community. From there, I found that a lot of people kept asking my opinion, and reaching out to me privately via messenger and asking me to help them, how to buy crypto, or how to trade it, what have you. The demand was actually quite high so I started the Crypto Den.
It’s grown since then, and I’ve been teaching people how to trade since then, mate. So that’s basically how the Crypto Den started.
I actually taught myself how to read the markets; I didn’t do a course or I didn’t go to school for it or anything like that.
I just one day saw a post about it on Facebook and I thought, ‘What’s this’ and over the course of about two years, I taught myself how to analyse and understand the markets and read it. I’ve basically been obsessed with it ever since. When we’re talking a lot about money management and economics, it’s quite intriguing.
Stockhead: How many people have been through your course?
Haslop: Well, we’ve just started the actual course, with 250 students at the moment. But before that, I would teach people privately, in one-on-one lessons … I never actually put together a full course because there was a lot of other courses available, and quite often I would direct people to other people’s courses.
And then I myself went had a look at some of the courses around there and I wasn’t very impressed. So that’s why I decided to start doing my own.
Stockhead: And you’ve been full-time trading for a while now?
Haslop: I also still work outside of trading, so it’s not my sole income.
I don’t hold coins, except for Bitcoin and Ethereum. So my method is, I trade all of the altcoins, as a means to build my Bitcoin and Ethereum holdings, and I don’t spend them. So I just hold it, and I lock it away.
If I need to buy something nice, then obviously I’ll cash some out and I’ll buy something, but I don’t use it as my weekly income.
Stockhead: What timeframes do you trade on?
Haslop: The four hour, and the daily.
Stockhead: And are you using futures (leveraged derivatives trades), or spot trades?
Haslop: Futures, yes. I’ll spot trade sometimes. I certainly use that as a way to hedge sometimes, so I’m a little bit unsure which way the market might go, then spot trading being less risky, I’ll use that as a bit of a hedge.
If the market goes the opposite direction to my spot trade, then at least I’m still growing my stack, my Ethereum or my Bitcoin holdings.
And that what’s what I try to teach people: risk management in futures, which is highly important.
Stockhead: And what platform do you use?
Haslop: I use Binance. I used to use Bitmex, and then all the stuff that happened with [Bitmex cofounder] Arthur Hayes … I’ve moved my funds over Binance. I actually quite like Binance. I like the user interface, it’s easy to use, I’ve actually come to really like it.
Stockhead: What kind of leverage do you trade at?
Haslop: I use 10 or 20x. And that’s part of my trading plan, part of my risk management. The only time I’ll really put leverage up is if a position is already in a very good profit and I want want to free up some capital. That’s the only time you’ll see me with a 50x or something crazy like that. And that’s when I’m well and truly in profit so the risk is not (high).
Stockhead: This is a personal question, feel free not to answer, but is there anything you’d like to say publicly about the size of your portfolio?
Haslop: I will never tell anyone about that.
Stockhead: Fair enough.
Haslop: I got in at Ethereum at the bottom of the market. I was quite fortunate; I wasn’t one of those people that got stuck holding coins from the 2017/2018 crash; I managed to get out pretty close to the top of the market.
And I got in at pretty close to the bottom of the market. I bought Ethereum at $80.
Stockhead: Oh my goodness. [Ether was trading for more than US$4,000 yesterday]
Haslop: Yeah, so my Ethereum is quite healthy. I won’t actually tell people how much I hold. I’ve been asked that question 1000 times, for sure. I don’t know of anyone that’s in the spotlight, like myself … I think it just opens you up to risk. To someone trying to hack your computer or your wallets. It’s more of a security measure for myself than anyone else.
Stockhead: What advice would you give to people new to the space, getting into crypto?
Haslop: The biggest advice is to stay away from the hype, and don’t listen to influencers.
That sounds ironic because I guess some people consider myself as an influencer. I don’t; I try to consider myself as an educator. I’ve got over 40,000 people in my group, and the main thing I see is people rushing into these hype coins like Doge and Safemoon and all that sort of stuff, with no idea how to even analyse a market.
The two biggest things that I would advise people is 1) don’t listen to the influencers and stay away from the hype, and 2) learn how to read the market before you invest any money, because the market doesn’t care about your feelings, and it certainly doesn’t care about your money, and too many people lose so much money, to the point where sometimes that they can hurt themselves or really get into a pretty dark place.
So, before anyone invests any money they need to learn how to analyse the markets, even if it’s just a little bit. You don’t have to be a professional trader, but just take time to understand that a little bit.
Stockhead: Do you have any kind of favourite coins that you like for long term holds?
Haslop: Bitcoin and Ethereum — there’s really no other for me.
Ethereum certainly has a market cornered for smart contracts and Bitcoin is Bitcoin. Bitcoin is never going to go anywhere, the store of value that it holds is enormous and I don’t think even come close to its true potential yet.
I think a lot of altcoins five years from now won’t even exist. There’ll be new ones, but I think at the moment there’s currently over 9,000 different coins. How much of it has utility, how much of it actually does anything?
You know that the whole Dogecoin thing at the moment, absolutely annoys the hell out of me. It does nothing, it has no use case, it’s got no value, and somehow the market cap is just continuing to go up and up. As a trader, and someone that has an understanding of economics and how the markets work, it shouldn’t be happening and that bothers me.
Stockhead: And any kind of predictions on how long this bull run will go on for and what Bitcoin will peak at?
Haslop: I’m looking at between 75 [thousand] and $85,000 for a local peak.
What I mean by that is, during this particular bull run we’ve not really seen a huge pullback yet. We haven’t seen those big 30 per cent, 40 per cent drops consistently, like we did in the last one. And I think that when we get to $75,000 to $85,000, that’s the region where I think we will see a really big pullback that will scare a lot of people in the market.
But I don’t think that’ll be the end of the bull run though. I do definitely see Bitcoin in six figures.
Stockhead: This year?
Haslop: Quite possibly, yeah, by the end of the year. Maybe it’ll depend on how big the pullback is because it might go into a bear market for six to 12 months before it decides to turn around again.
But I don’t speculate ahead of time too much.
I mean, I trade price action on a one-day timeframe so as market structure changes to the downside, I’ll trade and I’ll short, and then if I see market structure change to the upside, then I’ll change buys and I’ll long.
I just move with the market, it makes no difference to me.