When Success Is Unlikely, Here’s Why You Try, Anyway

This is why I never lose.

Back in 2020, I made good money day trading bitcoin. And before you take to Twitter to curse my name, let me ground this in reality by saying it wasn’t as glamorous as it sounds. Sure, I grew my account 43% on my best month. But the daily routine? Despicable. I’m surprised I’m not dead. Or mentally incapacitated.

I’d wake up at 9 in the morning, check the charts, and scout some positions. My trades last anywhere from 20 minutes to 16 hours, depending on the chart and the opportunities. That’s a relatively short timeframe. So I always have to be on my feet. By 11, I’d typically have some positions. And I’d manage and scout new ones until 6, which is gym time. By 8, I’d be back. Charting would continue, plus more position management. I’d usually take some quick scalps in this active period, too. And my shenanigans would stretch to about 2AM. And then, I’d go to sleep.

“That’s not too bad,” you’re thinking. “What’s he complaining about?” But wait: There’s more. The problem I had with this routine is the sleep. Namely, I barely got any. You see, due to the nature of my trading strategy, I need to be online checking things quite regularly. Which is a problem when you’re asleep. After all, you can’t check anything if you’re sleeping.

Any regular guy would close all his positions before bed, and just pick it up in the morning. But not me. I’m no regular guy. You don’t get to 43% per month by being a regular guy. You have to become a psycho.

I’d usually sleep for an hour at 2AM, then wake up around 3AM to check positions. Then, it’d be another two hours of sleep, followed by a second wake-up. This would usually be to close positions. I’d rarely enter new ones in this session. Then, a last hour or so of sleep before I do it all over again the next day.

In case you haven’t been counting, that’s just over four hours of sleep per night. And it’s not even four continuous hours. Best part is I did this for about three months straight.

Until one day, I decided to take a break and go to dinner with a friend. Inevitably, trading came up as a topic of conversation. It’s hard for it not to, when you’re talking to an active trader. And being the super-straight guy he is, he said, “Why are you working so hard? Why don’t you just get a computer to do all this?”

Before I could rebut, I felt something kick me in the behind. Why didn’t I just get computers to do this? Holy macaroni, he had a point. There was no reason for me to wait around reading lines and pushing buttons. My strategies weren’t, and still aren’t, super advanced. It’s just processing and responding to data. A computer could easily do that. Plus, with my heavy background in computer science, I had all the tools I needed.

But there was just one problem: Building profitable cryptocurrency trading bots sounds like something you shouldn’t even attempt. It’s probably one of the hardest applications of computer science a 21-year-old could possibly undertake. What made me think I could pull it off? If it was possible, why wasn’t anyone else doing it? How would I even start? So many questions, so many unfavorable answers. There was little reason to believe this venture had potential.

But I did it anyway because of this: It doesn’t matter if I make it. Because the journey itself will be glorious. Picture this headline: “Malaysian College Dropout Sells Kidney on the Black Market After Trading Bot Catastrophe.” Has a nice ring to it. Imagine wrecking your entire life by doing something so ridiculous yet so cool. Now that’s a story I’d love to have, even without the happy ending. And that’s why I’ve already won.

P.S. My trading bot platform will be available in a public pre-sale soon. Secure your seat early for the official launch slated for mid 2021!

Writing code that burns cash (trading bots). <mika@myika.co>

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store