Skip to main content

Risk Management Basics for Crypto Beginners: Starting Smart

17 Apr, 2024 7 min read
Risk Management Basics for Crypto Beginners: Starting Smart

The emergence and development of blockchain technology have opened up the high-reward and high-risk realm of cryptocurrencies for investors and traders. While the potential for significant returns is undeniable, this path comes with uncertainties and pitfalls, making cryptocurrency risky, especially for newcomers. This article aims to clarify the complexities of crypto risk management for beginners, providing a guide to making informed decisions in this volatile market.

Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing. — Warren Buffett

Understanding risk management

Risk management is a systematic process of identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks to minimise the negative impact they may have. It involves a series of steps aimed at understanding the potential threats or uncertainties, evaluating their chances and potential consequences, and implementing strategies to either avoid, reduce, or accept the risks.

In the context of cryptocurrency trading and investing, risk management encompasses techniques and practices designed to protect assets from volatility, uncertainty and other risks inherent in the cryptocurrency market.

The concept of risk/reward ratio

The risk/reward ratio is a fundamental concept in investing that compares the potential profit of a trade or investment to the potential loss. It's calculated by dividing the expected return of an investment by the amount of risk undertaken to achieve that return. Essentially, it quantifies the relationship between the amount of risk taken and the potential reward gained.

The risk/reward ratio plays a crucial role in crypto traders' and investors' decision-making.

Cryptocurrencies are notorious for their price fluctuations, which can be rapid and unpredictable. This volatility presents both opportunities and risks for investors.

Successful crypto trading and investing require striking a balance between risk and reward. While higher-risk crypto assets may offer the potential for greater returns, they also carry a higher probability of loss. Traders and investors must carefully consider their risk tolerance, investment objectives, and time horizon when assessing the risk/reward ratio of a particular trade or investment opportunity.

Identifying cryptocurrency risks

In the crypto market, risk assessment is even more important than in traditional finance. There are quite a few risks associated with cryptocurrency trading and investing. The main ones are:

  • Volatility. Cryptocurrencies are known for their extreme price volatility. Prices can fluctuate dramatically within short periods, leading to substantial gains or losses for investors. This makes crypto assets inherently risky.
  • Regulatory risks. Regulatory uncertainty is a significant risk factor in the cryptocurrency market. Changes in regulations or government policies regarding cryptocurrencies can impact their legality, usage, and value.
  • Security risks. Cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets are vulnerable to hacking, fraud, and theft. Cybersecurity threats pose a risk to the safety of investors' funds.
  • Market manipulation. The cryptocurrency market is relatively young and less regulated compared to traditional financial markets, which makes it susceptible to manipulation. Pump-and-dump schemes, spoofing, and other fraudulent activities can artificially inflate or deflate prices.

Market manipulation

Start Trading

  • Liquidity risks. Some cryptocurrencies may have low liquidity, which means there is not enough trading volume to buy or sell large amounts without significantly impacting the price. This lack of liquidity can lead to slippage and difficulty in executing trades at desired prices.
  • Operational risks. Errors or disruptions in the operation of cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets, or trading platforms can result in loss of funds or trading opportunities for users.
  • Market risks. Cryptocurrency prices can be influenced by market sentiment, speculation, and macroeconomic factors. Economic downturns, geopolitical events, and changes in investor sentiment can all impact the value of cryptocurrencies.

By conducting thorough due diligence, these risks can be successfully identified and mitigated.

Basic risk management strategies in crypto trading and investing

There are several basic risk management strategies in cryptocurrency trading and investing. They complement each other and, individually, are not sufficient for effective risk management.

Diversification: Not putting all your eggs in one basket

Diversification is an important strategy in risk management, reducing the impact of volatility by spreading investments across different assets. If you spread your investments across different assets, you will have less risk of losing all your money because if one type of asset loses value, other types of assets can help offset those losses.

In the cryptocurrency world, this is often interpreted as investing in a mixture of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Solana and other coins. However, it's not that simple. You've probably already noticed how much crypto coin and token prices correlate with each other. And if you buy 10 or 20 randomly chosen different coins, it doesn't mean you have a balanced portfolio. Therefore, cryptocurrencies in an investment portfolio should have as low a correlation as possible.

One option is to balance the portfolio by asset capitalisation. And the proportion of coins with high capitalisation, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, should prevail. Another way to diversify your crypto portfolio is to spread your assets across different categories such as currencies (Bitcoin, Litecoin), smart contract platforms (Ethereum, Cardano), DeFi (Avalanche, Aave), anonymous currencies (Monero, Zcash), data storage (Storj, Filecoin), etc.

Furthermore, it's better to consider diversifying your portfolio across different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and cryptocurrencies. It's also worth noting that it's not a good idea to get too carried away with diversification, as it can significantly reduce profitability.


Trade Bitcoin

Setting stop loss and take profit points

Stop loss orders are an essential risk management tool when trading crypto. A stop loss is a pending order to automatically buy or sell once the asset reaches a certain price. It's designed to limit a trader's loss on a position. Setting a stop loss order helps automate trading decisions, ensuring that emotions like fear or greed do not affect risk management.

Position sizing

Position sizing determines how much of a particular asset to buy or sell based on your risk tolerance and total investment capital. Effective position sizing minimises the risk of significant damage from any single trade. The key is to only risk a small percentage of your portfolio on any given trade, often recommended between 1% and 5%.

Creating a personalised risk management plan

There is no one-size-fits-all risk management plan. Everyone has to create their own one, tailored to their unique circumstances.

Assessing your risk tolerance

Understanding your risk tolerance involves evaluating how much financial risk you can afford to take. Consider your financial situation, investment timeframe, and emotional capacity to handle losses. Tools such as risk tolerance questionnaires can help identify your profile as conservative, moderate, or aggressive.

Key factors influencing risk tolerance:

  • Age and investment timeline. Younger investors might tolerate higher risks, aiming for higher returns over a longer period.
  • Financial health. More stable income sources allow for higher risk tolerance.
  • Investment experience and knowledge. Experienced investors may handle high-risk markets better.

Setting clear goals

Setting clear investment goals is critical to aligning your portfolio with your expectations and financial needs. Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Investment goals can be short-term, such as accumulating a specific amount for a near-future expense, or long-term, such as building a retirement fund. Ensure that your goals reflect your risk tolerance and that you are prepared to adjust your expectations based on market realities.

Monitoring and reassessing your strategies

Regular review of both your strategy and portfolio is necessary to ensure that they continue to meet your risk requirements and objectives. Market conditions change, as do your personal circumstances.

Schedule weekly or monthly reviews of your investment performance. Compare your portfolio's performance against your goals and benchmarks. Rebalance your portfolio as needed to maintain your desired risk level.

Adapt your plan in response to personal life changes (such as a new job, retirement, or changes in financial status) and external market shifts. Flexibility can help mitigate losses and capitalise on new opportunities.

Common pitfalls and how to avoid them

Beginners and experienced traders alike can easily fall into common traps that not only erode profits but can also discourage continued investment. Recognising and avoiding these pitfalls is vital for sustaining long-term success in this market.


Start Trading

Lack of emotional discipline

Emotional discipline, or the lack thereof, can greatly influence trading decisions. In the volatile crypto market, price swings can prompt emotional responses such as fear or greed, leading traders to make irrational decisions.

To avoid this, develop and stick to a trading plan that includes predefined rules for entering and exiting trades, which helps remove emotion from the equation. Practice mindfulness and stress-reduction techniques to maintain a clear head while trading. You can read more about the psychology of trading in our dedicated article.


Overtrading occurs when traders make an excessive number of trades in an attempt to capitalise on market movements or after they have suffered significant losses and are trying to recover their money. This can lead to exhaustion, burnout and poor trading decisions made in haste. To prevent overtrading, exercise self-awareness and follow your trading strategy. If you have experienced serious losses from a trade, don't try to "get even" immediately. Take a break.

Underestimating security risks

With frequent hacks and security breaches, neglecting proper security measures can lead to significant financial losses in the crypto space. There are many rules and practices of crypto security. You can read about them in our dedicated article.

Additional tips for success

In addition to risk management strategies, there are some rules and tips that shouldn't be ignored. Here are some of them:

  1. Do your research. Before investing in any cryptocurrency, make sure to conduct thorough research and understand the project, technology, and potential risks involved. Knowledge is power in the world of crypto trading.
  2. Start small. As a beginner, it's advisable to start with a small investment and gradually increase your exposure as you gain more experience and confidence in the market. This allows you to learn about the market dynamics without exposing yourself to significant financial risk.
  3. Stay updated. The crypto market is fast-paced and constantly evolving. Stay informed about market trends and developments to make informed decisions and adjust your risk management strategies accordingly.
  4. Keep learning. The crypto space is continually developing, and continuous learning is key to keeping up. Take crypto trading courses and read books about cryptocurrency and financial markets. Experiment with different trading and investment strategies on demo accounts. Seek mentorship or advice from experienced traders and investors.


Risk management is an essential aspect of successful crypto trading and investing. By following the basics of risk management outlined in this guide, you can start smart, protect your investments, and navigate the volatile nature of the crypto market.

Register Now

Exchange BTC

Mining icon
Want Bitcoin for free?

Try our Bitcoin Cloud Miner and get additional crypto rewards based on your trading volume. It's immediately available upon registration.

Start mining

Mining icon
Want Bitcoin for free?

Try our Bitcoin Cloud Miner and get additional crypto rewards based on your trading volume. It's immediately available upon registration.

Start mining

Change (24h)

Сайт та всі послуги StormGain доступні також українською мовою.