Brian Quinlivan

@bquinliv3

Modern Cryptocurrency Trading Groups — How the “Crypto Cartels” of the World Separate Themselves…

Legitimate Online Trading Groups are More Scarce Than You May Expect

Go ahead and Google “Crypto Trading Group” and scroll through the first page or two of results. I’ll wait…

Unless something has changed between the time of this writing and the time you are reading this, you will encounter lots of groups that claim to be THE definitive trading forum or signal group out there (despite there being literally thousands of them). A handful of these groups have actually proven to be fairly successful for their legions of followers, while many more of these groups… not so much. The dangerous implication made by many cryptocurrency trading “groups” is that there are guaranteed profits awaiting you as soon as you join their prestigious community. But the mentioning of heavy risk is nowhere to be mentioned, and any investment group that claims money will be made “guaranteed” is flat out lying unless they’re trading some good ol’ risk free bonds.

Many of these groups are “paid only” trading signal groups that charge fees in the vicinity of 0.05 to 0.1 BTC (which currently translates to $350-$700) on a per month basis or for a lifetime subscription. However, if you search hard enough, there are free alternatives out there you may uncover, such as Crypto Cartel, which offers honest advice and discussion in a tight-knit community. The group operates with the expectation that its users share an ethical compass of fairness and positive treatment toward each other. Users receive “strikes” for violating their set of rules, and can easily be removed from the Discord group entirely with frequent disruptions and diversions from the normally insightful conversations that happen.

I was blown away by the amount of deep discussion, open mindedness, and out of the box thinking that the users in this community demonstrate to have. I will elaborate more about their forum later in this article. With the Level Exchange, where users can trade automatically while away from their computers using our index funds or their own set custom allocations, we share a similar outlook on cryptocurrency and how to share information and better comprehend what is happening in the markets. This is precisely why I feel Crypto Cartel and other genuinely ethical trading groups on other platforms (such as Facebook’s Crypto Coin Trader, Cryptocurrency Investing, Blockchain Investing, Cryptogasmic Group, and Crypto Trading Signals) deserve more praise and attention in the crypto community.

Unfortunately, many wannabe crypto groups are actually deceptive black holes of zero-depth conversation with little to offer other than a means to put each other down for poor trading strategies and lack of understanding. When choosing which groups to spend your time lurking on or contributing to, there is a fine line between legitimate rational discussion versus meme-filled nothingness and lambo/moon emojis. As I have discussed in a previous article about market manipulation, these meme-filled options can be nothing more than pump and dump groups that are disguised as platforms for legitimate and insightful discussion. The success of the members in these groups greatly depends on how early they enter the positions that are suggested to them, and how accurate the organizers of these groups are.

Your “trading signal” founder, ladies and gentlemen… looks a bit different than the generic educated looking guy sporting that dashing suit and tie on that ambiguous website you got talked into joining by a friend.

As long as organizers of these groups come up with a large enough following with substantial capital, they will virtually always make a nice profit because they are the first ones to buy the pumped up coin they chose, and the first to sell it off. These selloffs by the organizers typically initiate the beginning of the fall from its peak. The vast majority of the members of these groups tend to lose money themselves as a result, and the sad thing is that they’ll often blame themselves for simply not hitting that “sell” button a second earlier. But in reality, there is nothing these users could have done differently. These scam groups are intended to use unknowing traders’ funding to pump up prices, and their ability to leave with a profit is completely irrelevant in the minds of the organizers.

According to William Suberg at CoinTelegraph, there was a total of $825 million made by trading groups through the means of market manipulation in the first half of 2018 alone. Considering the nature in which the groups made their profits, it can be argued that the practices of these groups (eg. pumping and dumping coins) were extremely unethical and harmful to the healthy growth of the crypto markets.

What we imagine crypto trading signal group headquarters and their associated investment advisors may look like.
What crypto trading signal groups probably actually look like… with even more cool and unnecessary masks.

Because of the amount of toxic groups that exist purely to steal your hard earned money, a lot of legitimate ones, such as Crypto Cartel, mistakenly get labeled as pump and dump groups and scammers.

The truth of the matter is that many of these groups pose as trading signal groups when, in fact, they are the trading signals. There is a facade behind many of these faceless online organizations that falsely resemble organizations backed by advanced research teams which monitor the up-to-the-minute fundamentals and technological advances of many of these coins currently using blockchain technology. But the truth of the matter is that most of them exist simply to gather as many crypto traders as possible, then collectively inflate the price of a typically under-the-radar coin until the organizers decide that it’s time to sell and collect profits on the price jumps they created.

Crypto Cartel and the Honest Discussion Spaces

I spoke with Joe Zabbia, the founder and one of eight staff members for the Discord group, “Crypto Cartel”. With a large following on Twitter (@joezabb), he offers insights on both his own platform and for the Crypto Cartel community to help educate them with techniques and strategies he has picked up through his years of trading experience. Our team here at Lvl.co has spoken with Joe about the community he has helped to build, and he is elated to be a key cog in such an active community. He summarizes Crypto Cartel as:

“The largest Free Crypto community with the main aim of providing educational content and a place where you can share trades and ideas with like minded people awaits you.”

With more than 17,000 members and growing every day, the Discord group certainly is a powerhouse for active, real-time cryptocurrency discussion. Although there are generic cryptocurrency Facebook groups out there with higher followings, they tend to stray away from serious topics and tend to stick to sharing article content and mainstream crypto news. In the case of Crypto Cartel, the conversation goes much deeper with talks of support lines being broken, leveraging strategies, and in-depth perspectives on signs of forming bull flags. Joe goes on to describe their group as,

“A community where everyone can interact with some of the best traders on “Crypto Twitter and the Bitmex leaderboard.”
Captain Cartel and Sir Level are part of the “good guys” in Crypto to create a more honest and unbiased platform to understand and trade cryptocurrency. Their only agendas are working to create free active communities of insightful traders who can feed of each other’s knowledge for a safe and free space to ask questions.

The group contains six distinct sections to chat, all with their own purpose and associated group of channels with discussions ranging from serious technical analysis to more lighthearted and fun:

PUBLIC CHANNELS: This group contains any discussion involving the operations of the site and general crypto discussion. The channels consist of:

  • #announcements — From competitions to AMA interviews, Crypto Cartel announces the latest here.
  • #welcome-rules — When first joining the community, this channel is a good one to visit to go over rules and guidelines for what it takes to be an accepted and valued member of the Discord group.
  • #official-reflinks — If you need a referral link for an external site and want to give back to the community that offers so much free crypto education advice, they have links for all sorts of different cryptocurrency sources. They will receive a small amount of revenue that the external site receives from signing you up!
  • #general — Anything related to the markets and the broad cryptocurrency world can be discussed publicly here.
  • #public-crypto-trading — Regarding actual trading advice, questions, and other insights you’d like to discuss, this channel discusses it all in depth.
  • #off-topic — Tired of looking at charts with manually drawn rectangles? Want to talk about your favorite childhood authors or favorite celebrities to get your mind off of the eight month bear market? Say no more.
  • #bot-spam — A quick way to get updated prices by simply saying the word “Mex”, and Bitcoin’s price on Bitmex will automatically and immediately be responded right back to you.

COMPETITION: Crypto Cartel is known for their active competitions, which measure which members from their highly competitive trading community are making the best returns off of their individual strategies.

  • #competition-discussion — Focuses on the general competition happenings.
  • #competition-updates — Anything related to lead changes, new happenings, and other aspects that alternate the competitions.
  • #competition-trades — Specific notable trades that are relevant to the competitions currently under way.

CLASSROOM: A place to freely learn about cryptocurrency trading, ranging from topics about risk vs. return, to futures trading, to heavy technical analysis.

  • #classroom — The main area to discuss topics that are currently being taught by experts (often including the moderators themselves) to new users in the cryptocurrency space. The conversations are quite engaging and often taught with humor to keep things light and not overwhelm the audience.
  • #classroom-discussion — A channel to go over aspects of cryptocurrency that were taught in #classroom, and ask follow-up questions and offer feedback to videos and material that users engaged with.
  • #newbie-questions — No such thing as a dumb question in this channel. Even the most basic questions like “how can I buy and sell on Coinbase Pro” will be taken seriously and answered without beratement.

MEMBER’S AREA: For those who have been frequent participants in Crypto Cartel discussions and have displayed a solid history of conduct, this area provides more advanced discussions that pertains to users who contribute often and have extra experience on their side:

  • #btc-charts — Looking at Bitcoin’s chart can be lonely, complicated, and incredibly uninteresting. But it gets significantly better when you can discuss it with other experts who have their own perspectives on targets, entries, and stops.
  • #btc-discussion — Whatever is happening with Bitcoin today, it will likely be covered to some extent in this channel by the opportunistic and seemingly never asleep members here.
  • #altcoin-charts — These volatile charts can be tricky to track, but here will be some very advanced looks into the price movements for any altcoin you can think of.
  • #altcoin-discussion — There are thousands upon thousands of altcoins out there, and one person can only track so many of them at a time. But when you have a few thousand members discussing the latest news on the hottest alt, you’re likely not going to miss much.
  • #traditional-markets — Even though Crypto Cartel is for discussions on crypto, there is always an opportunity to discuss stocks, equity, and bonds among other avid traders here.
  • #knowledge-base — This channel is a great way to share resources on how to simply succeed in life, find books and articles related to things you are interested in, and open up doors in crypto and other ventures.
  • #Members-Voice — Chat live with other members in this channel any time if typing on the keyboard gets a bit too tedious.

VOICE: This group contains any discussion involving the operations of the site and general crypto discussion. The channels consist of:

  • #General — For members and non-members alike, this area is to talk in real-time with other users in the Crypto Cartel community.
  • #AFK — If you’re in the midst of a good discussion, but can no longer chat on your keyboard, keep the conversation going on your mic while you’re “away from keyboard”.

OFF TOPIC: This group is for anything non-crypto or non-trading related. With like-minded members inevitably becoming friends with one another and forming relationships, this channel discusses other topics that may not be appropriate for the main channels, such as music, gaming, sports, and the gym.

There are more than a few benefits to being part of an active cryptocurrency trading group. In addition to being in touch with an active community that gives an overall look at sentiment on various coins, they can also provide you with tools needed to become a more successful trader. For those who are willing to learn, Crypto Cartel and other groups can provide a solid foundation for developing strategies and obtaining knowledge without the worry of being fed fake news for the sheer purpose of attempting to get you to line the pockets of the moderators. They can also act as a support group when times have been difficult in the crypto markets like they have been for the majority of 2018. The common goal is to spread insights about blockchain technology, and hopefully make you some money in the process if you so choose to invest in the tokens discussed.

I am not a paid member of Crypto Cartel in any form, and myself or Level was not compensated for the production of this piece. If you would like to check out Crypto Cartel’s free Discord channel, check them out here. I highly recommend that you give them a look!

I write in depth cryptocurrency analysis at Level, the passive investing tool for crypto. See what we’re doing at Lvl.co and see our other analysis at our magazine. If you love what you see, give this article 50 claps! If you hate it, show your displeasure with 49.

This article and related content is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered investment advice, and you should consult a financial advisor and do your own research and due diligence prior to making any investments. Where securities or commodities are referenced, it is only for illustrative purposes only, and does not imply any position on securities or commodities classification. To the extent that Level services are offered or discussed, those services are available only for Level whitelisted assets only.

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