Top Tools for Bitcoin and Altcoin Investing

Here’s a look at some of the tools that are available for bitcoin and altcoin investors. We rated each one on a score of one to five, based on five factors — whether it serves its target user well, its effectiveness, ease-of-use, its price as compared to its value, and customer service. As time goes on, we’ll be adding to this list.

The tools listed fall into the following categories:

Investor Scorecards

Product Name Description BMJ Evaluation BMJ Score
BMJ Investor Scorecard The BMJ Investor Scorecard is designed to help investors objectively evaluate ICO opportunities.
  • Target User: The scorecard is incredibly valuable for the average investor who is looking to weigh investments in the cryptocurrency space.
  • Effectiveness: The scorecard is the tool of choice for BMJ experts and analysts.
  • Ease of Use: The scorecard is designed to be easily read.
  • Price/Value: The scorecard is free.
  • Customer Service: There are abundant resources on the Bitcoin Market Journal site explaining the scorecard, as well as a video that shares our analysts’ tips for how to use it.
5.0
BMJ Early Investor Scorecard The BMJ Early Investor Scorecard is designed to help investors evaluate pre-ICO opportunities objectively.
  • Target User: The BMJ Early Investor Scorecard is valuable for the investor who is looking for early investment opportunities in the pre-ICO stage.
  • Effectiveness: The scorecard is used by BMJ analysts and experts.
  • Ease of Use: The scorecard is designed to be easily read.
  • Price/Value: The scorecard is free and provides amazing value to users.
  • Customer Service: There are abundant resources on the Bitcoin Market Journal site explaining the scorecard. Those investors with additional questions can contact the BMJ team for answers at any time.
4.6

Research

In investing, knowledge is power. Being able to “deep dive” on a prospectus before committing any capital could be the difference between bringing in a positive return on investment and taking a loss. The best research tools offer an unbiased picture of the investment in a clear and concise manner.

 

Product Name Description BMJ Evaluation BMJ Score
CoinMarketCap CoinMarketCap remains the definitive source for market capitalization and historical data for the altcoin sector. The tool inventories the trading data of every coin and token ever minted and traded. The beauty in this tool is its simplicity; it offers nothing more than what it advertises in its name. You can use the site to look at current social media feeds about the coins, explore the coins’ blockchain, download historical charts for both coin valuations and daily trading volume, and look at how the coins performed on individual markets.
  • Target User: The site is easy to navigate and use.
  • Effectiveness: The site has an API for direct porting to other applications.
  • Ease of Use: The application is relatively straightforward, although the API may need technical understanding to use.
  • Price/Value: It is free.
  • Customer Service: As a free service, it is relatively non-existent.
4.0
Bitcoin Market Journal Yes, we are reviewing and recommending ourselves. However, we must present an unbiased picture of the toolset available to the investor. Truth be told, Bitcoin Market Journal is one of the few all-in-one repositories available to the altcoin investor. On the same site, you can research frequently asked questions on altcoins, look at current and recently-concluded ICOs, examine investment trends and tools, and stay ahead of the current investing news.
  • Target User: While targeted to novice investors, the site assumes that readers have a basic literacy about altcoins. The site does offer remedial tutorials for investors new to cryptocurrency.
  • Effectiveness: The site seeks to be an one-stop resource for everything altcoin.
  • Ease of Use: The site is straightforward with simple navigation.
  • Price/Value: The site is free and it offers a free weekly newsletter as well.
  • Customer Service: The site is responsive to reader’s needs, although one-on-one assistance may be a stretch.
4.4
Coin FYI Since we last reviewed Coin FYI, the site has migrated to being a free portfolio tracker. The site will provide current and historical trading data for the assets in your altcoin portfolio for free. The site still also offer a news aggregator.
  • Target User: The site works best with users that have basic trading experience.
  • Effectiveness: The site is an aggregator service, so there is no internal reporting. The service seeks to be lightweight and easy to use.
  • Ease of Use: It may take a novice a bit of experimentation to set up the service. Since we last reviewed the service, Coin FYI has improved its documentation.
  • Price/Value: It is free.
  • Customer Service: Customer service is virtually non-existent on the service, although there is a link to contact customer service presented on the homepage.
3.8
YouTube The venerable source for those seeking self-help, YouTube’s open submission platform allows both subject matter experts and aspiring subject matter experts to share their insights and opinions on any matter, including altcoins. While the Internet has more resources on altcoins than it did when this article was originally published, YouTube–despite its faults–remain the primary resource for the casual investor.
  • Target User: YouTube has a non-existent barrier for entry. If you have a device that can play streaming videos, you’re in.
  • Effectiveness: As with any public forum, you must be able to determine if the information available is useful, truthful, and not malicious. For a new investor, this may be difficult to achieve.
  • Ease of Use: YouTube is a Google property. It uses its parent company’s search algorithm, so if you have used the Google search engine, you are already an expert on YouTube searching.
  • Price/Value: YouTube is basically free. However, for non-paying viewers, server-installed ads will be injected into the video feed, sometimes at inconvenient moments. This is part of Google’s strategy to move some users to its paid subscription services.
  • Customer Service: YouTube is a part of the Google portfolio. Google’s s customer service is better than most free services, but there have been allegations of privacy violations.
3.8
TradingView At a certain point, if you are running your own portfolio, you will need enterprise-level data access. TradingView is the definitive trading data tool for Forex, stock, and crypto assets. Allowing users to view current trading, historical performance, and oscillators data quickly not only per coin, but per market offering, the tool enables traders to quickly weigh the pros and cons of their portfolio’s position.
  • Target User: This is meant for investors that desire more control over their investing. The platform may be overwhelming for novice investors and requires some prior investing knowledge.
  • Effectiveness: The platform tracks in real-time and covers nearly every major market/coin combination currently available.
  • Ease of Use: TradingView is similiar to other trading platform dashboards. For a novice, however, the layout may be intimidating.
  • Price/Value: TradingView is basically free. However, an ad-free experience and additional features are available with the paid subscription plans.
  • Customer Service: TradingView has a detailed FAQ section. However, one-on-one assistance may be difficult to secure.
3.4

 

Portfolio Management

While it might be simple to keep track of a single altcoin wallet, it becomes a challenge when your portfolio contains multiple altcoins. It becomes even harder when your altcoins span different protocols, such as Litecoin/Ripple/Ethereum Classic.

 

Product Name Description BMJ Evaluation BMJ Score
BlockFolio BlockFolio is an iOS and Android app that allows for easy charting of over 80 exchanges and over 3,000 altcoins in more than 60 fiat currencies. With customizable news feeds, price alerts, and development alerts from altcoin leadership teams, BlockFolio is one of the top management apps available.
  • Target User: The app is suitable for all level of investor.
  • Effectiveness: The app has both in-app news aggregation and asset tracking of over 8,000 coins and tokens and 300 exchanges. BlockFolio also can connect to messaging apps, such as Slack.
  • Ease of Use: The app has a steep learning curve.
  • Price/Value: The app is free.
  • Customer Service: There have been Reddit reports of nuisance calls, inaccurate data, and missing information.
3.8
Coinbase CoinBase has changed since we first wrote this guide. While still a definitive resource for novice and professional altcoin traders, the world’s largest Bitcoin broker has made its service less useful to users that use altcoins for everyday transactions. Users have complained about long availability waits for assets purchased, high transfer fees, and limited withdrawal capabilities. Despite this, Coinbase still offers simplified wallet hosting and both casual and professional platforms for crypto purchasing/trading.
  • Target User: This app is meant for novice users. For professional users, however, the high fees may be a turnoff.
  • Effectiveness: Coinbase is one of the largest exchanges in operation due, in part, to its ease of use and inclusiveness of features.
  • Ease of Use: The app is simple to use; however, initial log-in can be challenging due to the mandated use of the mobile app. The long waiting periods for purchases and withdrawals for some customers can also be a turn-off.
  • Price/Value: It is free, although the transaction fees are higher than typical.
  • Customer Service: There are numerous reports of Coinbase accounts being seized and other customer service hiccups, including reported violations of privacy.
3.6
Trezor It is strongly advised that you do not leave inactive altcoins online. Doing so leaves these coins open to being seized or stolen. A good option to offloading your altcoin is “cold storage” or the storing of altcoin keys on a removable hard drive. One of the best “cold storage” drives comes from Trezor.
  • Target User: “Cold storage” precludes casual use. This device is designed for altcoin long-term storage.
  • Effectiveness: Trezor drives are reliable and virtually hack-proof.
  • Ease of Use: The device requires a moderate level of computer and altcoin understanding.
  • Price/Value: The Trezor One starts at 69 euros ($77.67).
  • Customer Service: Trezor has a dedicated customer service department, as well as online diagnostic tools and a wiki.
3.8
Coinigy Coinigy allows an investor to trade on more than 45 exchanges simultaneously, eliminating the need to juggle with multiple apps and portals. Coinigy also allows for simple charting with more than 75 technical indicators.
  • Target User: Novice users can find more user-friendly options elsewhere. This app is meant for professional or enterprise-level investors.
  • Effectiveness: This app is the Swiss Army knife of trading platforms. Using this app should reduce your tool desktop significantly.
  • Ease of Use: This app is meant for professional-level traders.
  • Price/Value: The app is basically free. Additional functions, such as unlimited API access and advanced orders, are available for paying customers.
  • Customer Service: Coinigy has a well-established support base and few reports of controversial behavior.
3.6
Cryptowatch logo Cryptowat.ch Cryptowat.ch offers users terminal access to cryptocurrency trading tools. For those seeking a professional-level solution to their trading, Cryptowat.ch is the best option currently available.
  • Target User: This is strictly for professional and enterprise-level investors.
  • Effectiveness: This app allows users to see everything they need to make informed trading decisions in one browser, including real-time trading, market correlations, and historical data. Paid users can get pricing updates sent directly to their phones via text.
  • Ease of Use: This app is meant for professional-level traders.
  • Price/Value: The platform is basically free. Additional features, however, such as text alerts, are only available for paying subscribers.
  • Customer Service: Cryptowat.ch has an active bug reports dropbox. One-on-one support, however, may be unavailable.
2.6

 

Exchanges

Exchanges are to traders as the gridiron is to football players; it is where you play the game. It is essential that you are able to have trust in your exchange – especially if you are taking controversial positions, such as buying short. This list is not exhaustive, but only features the most popular options.

Product Name Description BMJ Evaluation BMJ Score
Binance logo Binance If you are serious about altcoin trading, then you will cross paths with Binance. The largest crypto exchange by volume in the world, Binance is one of the few exchanges that not only permits trading of obscure or minor altcoins, but permits trades with fiat currencies.
  • Target User: Users must have some knowledge of exchange trading to use Binance.
  • Effectiveness: It is the world’s largest exchange for a reason.
  • Ease of Use: The registration/know your customer process can be difficult. The site is also in Chinese originally, so the translation may be imperfect.
  • Price/Value: The site is free. Trading fees are moderate, compared to industry standards.
  • Customer Service: The exchange’s customer service is reasonable. However, time zone and language differences may limit effective communication.
4.0
Coinbase logo Coinbase Pro Despite the problems Coinbase may have with its consumer-level platform, its professional-level exchange offers some benefits US-based traders may appreciate. The platform offers a FDIC-insured, hacker-resistant trade opportunity. Coinbase Pro does not offer the same level of trading pairs as Binance, but is more trusted among institutional and larger investors.
  • Target User: The service is intended for professional users.
  • Effectiveness: The platform offers fewer trading options than exchanges like Binance.
  • Ease of Use: If you are familiar with exchange trading, this platform should offer no surprises.
  • Price/Value: Trading fees are volume based. Small order can be expensive. Large orders, however, can have fees that are competitive.
  • Customer Service: Coinbase Pro has the same customer service as Coinbase and the service’s institutional trading desk, Coinbase Prime.
2.6
Poloniex With the support of over 80 coins and support for margin trading, Poloniex is the exchange that best mirrors traditional stock exchanges.
  • Target User: This is extremely expert-level.
  • Effectiveness: With over 80 altcoins available for trade, this exchange is exceptionally liquid. The exchange, however, is based in San Francisco, leaving it open to future altcoin regulations and denying it access to fiat currency purchases.
  • Ease of Use: If you are familiar with exchange trading, this platform should offer no surprises.
  • Price/Value: The app offers low trading fees.
  • Customer Service: Support offers 24-hour chat. However, support is currently slow.
3.0

 

Charting Tools

Trading is a speculative activity. That means that you will need to be able to guess how the market will move and when trends will end. The way many professionals do this is through charting apps, which can track both current and historical pricing patterns.

 

Product Name Description BMJ Evaluation BMJ Score
CoinTracking A dedicated altcoin charting platform, CoinTracking allows users to chart the trends of over 5,500 coins, review nine years of historical data, list trades and fees by exchange, and prepare capital gains tax declarations.
  • Target User: This is a professional-grade application, although serious amateur investors could appreciate the package.
  • Effectiveness: It allows for automatic importing from almost every exchange and online wallet.
  • Ease of Use: The use of automatic scripting helps, but there is still a learning curve.
  • Price/Value: The Pro version of the software cost 0.014 BTC per year ($164.77). The free version allows up to 200 transactions.
  • Customer Service: CoinTracking offers a solution center that offers assistance in English and German.
3.4
TradingView The most commonly-used charting platform, TradingView has support for the most popular exchanges. Designed for commodities trading, TradingView has added altcoin support.
  • Target User: This application can only be defined as professional-grade.
  • Effectiveness: It is the leader of its class for a reason.
  • Ease of Use: Um … no.
  • Price/Value: TradingView is basically free. However, an ad-free experience and additional features are available with the paid subscription plans.
  • Customer Service: TradingView has a detailed FAQ section. However, one-on-one assistance may be difficult to secure.
3.4

 

These are just some of the top tools for altcoin investing. We will update this list as other tools are rated and reviewed, so check back frequently!  If you want more information about how to invest in altcoins the smart way, be sure to subscribe to the Bitcoin Market Journal newsletter for the latest news and information on the altcoin world.

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