What Is Copy Trading?

Last Modified:
April 1, 2024

Copy trading is a strategy that lets you copy the trades of expert crypto traders instead of making trading decisions yourself. It’s a good entry point for beginners feeling overwhelmed by the huge learning curve when they first start out. It also helps experienced traders refine their strategies, diversify their investments, and reduce the time spent on market research by leaving the decision-making to other expert crypto traders.

How It Works

In copy trading, you choose which experts to follow based on their success and how they match your investment style. By observing the trades of experienced investors in real time, you gain insights into their preferred strategies as well as practical experience in both risk management and dealing with changes in the market.

How to Get Started

1. Choose a platform.

Your first step is choosing a trading platform. Look for one that is user-friendly, has multiple features and payment integrations, and that has a strong reputation for reliability and security.

In this guide, we will use OKX, an innovative, streamlined, and feature-rich trading platform that gives users a seamless copy trading experience.

2. Select a trader.

Once you've settled on a platform, the next move is to pick a lead trader to copy. Pay close attention to their experience, trading history, success rate, net profit and loss (PnL), the types of crypto they invest in, and the trading strategies they use. Choose a trader whose goals and risk tolerance align with your own. Many platforms offer detailed analytics which can help inform your decision.

3. Start copying.

After you've chosen a lead trader, the process becomes automated. When the trader makes a trade, the same trade is automatically executed in your account proportional to the amount you've chosen to invest. This way, you get to earn from crypto trading even while you’re still learning the ropes.

Customize your trades.

Even if the process is automated, you have the flexibility to customize your trading settings. This includes setting limits on the amount you're willing to invest in copying a particular trader, selecting specific assets you're interested in, and switching to another lead trader if your goals or the trader’s performance changes.

Advantages of Copy Trading

  • It makes trading less intimidating for beginners.
  • It offers a firsthand look at the decision-making process of seasoned traders and helps newbies develop their own trading strategy.
  • Following multiple traders can spread out risk across different strategies and markets.
  • Automating trades helps to eliminate emotional bias from trading decisions.
  • You get the flexibility to stop copying a lead trader whenever you want.

Remember, copy trading isn’t a fool-proof strategy. It comes with several challenges and considerations.

Disadvantages of Copy Trading

  • Choosing a lead trader to follow is not always easy. Success in previous trades doesn't automatically predict future success because of the volatile nature of the crypto market.
  • Overreliance on copy trading can delay the development of personal trading skills and strategies.
  • Strategies used by the trader you follow may not be a match for your objectives, risk appetite, and budget.
  • Certain platforms offering copy trading do not have a reputable track record. These exchanges may lack transparency, be prone to security breaches, or charge hidden fees. 

Remember that success in copy trading is never guaranteed. It requires careful observation, strategic decision-making, and setting realistic expectations. As with any investment strategy, it's essential to manage risks, stay informed, and be prepared to adjust to market changes.