Look, here's the raw facts that you need to know:
1. All of cryptocurrency is worth about the same as McDonald's. It is not a minuscule dollar amount; however, it certainly isn't worth what some might have you believe. And that's O.K. This technology and this asset class are both in their infancy. Trust me when I say this, as someone who interacts with the crypto universe every single day: don't believe all the hype. Don't disregard the hype, but don't blindly believe everyone who tells you "[x] token is revolutionizing banking/finances/transactions." It's nonsense. Does *distributed ledger* revolutionize transactions? YES. Does shitcoin [x] revolutionize anything? Well - you can be the judge of that.
2. Bitcoin drives the entire market. There is no denying this. I am sorry if you prefer another project. Maybe one day this won't be the case. For now, it is.
3. Regulation is coming. It doesn't matter how passive or nice the CFTC and SEC sounded in their February 5th hearing. Serious regulation is on its way, the SEC sees most ICOs as unlicensed securities, and I imagine that, for the most part, ICOs are coming to an end, at least for U.S. customers.
4. There are systemic risks to distributed ledger. 51% attacks, electricity costs, regulatory risks, fraudulent companies, TETHER, predatory forks, and charlatanism. These are all serious systemic risks. Do I think they will be solved? Yes, but it will take time. The scammers MUST be flushed away before the market flourishes in a stable manner, the way that it should.
5. You CAN use hype to your advantage. Just don't get too attached. Whatever coin is being pumped right now, just make sure to dump it before everyone else does. I'm not here to moralize, just to tell you the truth. You CAN make money from many of these pump-and-dumps, you just have to dump!
6. Venture Capital, Market Makers, Hedgefunds, Mutual Funds, and Private Investing groups all receive information faster than you or I - the retail investor. There is nothing you can do about this. Many of them are *physically located in Chicago*, which means that just by the physics of the situation they receive information before you.
How do you factor in this fact?
Do not base your investment and/or trading decisions on headlines! Yes, do read the headlines. Yes, do get a feel of the market's sentiment and where the latest hype is.
But you absolutely must understand: all headlines are already baked into price. These firms get on the phone and call their investors as soon as the news hits their desk, they trade for a living, and their investors pay massive sums for news headlines prior to the general public.
Look at volume instead. I mean this - get on your trading platform, examine the 1-hour time frame, and look at the order book! They can't hide their trades from you! The order book and volume (both by time and price) are the most direct way to gauge the whale's moves. At a bare minimum, do not base your decisions solely off of headlines. Trust me, that news is already long baked in by time you hear about it.