Paper trading apps let you practice your skills without risking any of your money. A paper trading app is a trading simulator.
If you’re new to crypto trading, you should seriously consider using a paper trading app while you learn the ropes. Remember, trading is a zero-sum game. Experienced traders will quickly relieve you of your capital if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Paper trading apps can also be useful for testing a new investment strategy. You can see how it would perform in the live markets before you use it.
So, here are the best crypto paper trading apps and services.
Unfortunately, the crypto sector is not yet well enough developed to have dozens of sophisticated paper trading apps. If you’re expecting to find services like those offered by TD Ameritrade and TradeStation, you’ll be disappointed.
However, there are a few options available to you. One of those options is CryptoCompare.com. It’s a well-known site about the crypto markets. If you make an account, you can create and track a portfolio—live or paper.
CryptoCompare compare uses exchanges’ price data. Just enter the paper trade you’d like to make, and you’ll be able to see the value of your virtual account change in real-time.
Of course, you’ll need to give yourself a realistic amount of paper money to start trading with. Generally speaking, you should make the value reflect the amount of capital that you will begin live trading with as closely as possible.
It is free to make a paper portfolio on CryptoCompare.com.
Kryptono is one of the few crypto exchanges that also offers a paper trading facility. We wouldn’t recommend Kryptono for regular trading—the volume is too low—however, its paper trading feature is hard to beat.
The paper trading environment identically mirrors the main exchange. If you’re a beginner, you’ll be able to learn about some of the most common (and essential) trading tools such as stop-losses and limit buys.
When you make a crypto paper trading account on Kryptono, you will be given $100,000 of paper USDT. You can use the paper money to trade in the 40+ coins that Kryptono offers on its live exchange.
And there’s more good news—you can win prizes if your paper trading skills are up to standard. Kryptono runs monthly competitions with various rewards being handed out to the winners.
The Kryptono crypto paper trading service is free to use.
Despite the news that BitMEX is under investigation from the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), it is still the largest and most popular crypto futures exchange on the web.
And like Kryptono, it is one of the few exchanges that offers a paper trading feature. You can access it via the exchange’s testnet.
All the features that have helped to make BitMEX so popular are available on the paper account. That includes 100x leverage on Bitcoin, perpetual options contracts with no expiry date, and 50x leverage on Ethereum.
The BitMEX testnet is built on the Bitcoin testnet blockchain. As such, you’ll need to acquire some testnet Bitcoin (which has no value) from a faucet. It’s a fairly straightforward process.
Note: To learn more about the ongoing CFTC investigation, have a listen to Episode 8 of the Blocks Decoded Podcast.
CoinMarketGame is a crypto paper trading site that provides you with an initial balance of $20,000 USD to trade with.
It’s a fun way to get involved with trading; there are monthly leaderboards, and the exchange interface is easy to navigate and use.
However, you will not find some of the fancier features that you’d expect to see on a live exchange. For example, there’s no margin, no trailing losses, and the selection of coins is quite limited.
The available data for each coin is also highly simplified. Instead of endless crypto technical indicators and confusing candlestick charts, you’ll only see the coin’s name, price, 24-hour change, market cap, available supply, and total supply.
Portfolio analytic tools are equally basic. You can only track the quantity, current value, the price paid, the price sold, and the percentage change.
Our final suggestion is Niffler. Like CoinMarketGame, it’s aimed at inexperienced beginners who want to learn the basics rather than immerse themselves in a complicated exchange.
The best part about Niffler is the community. The entire site has a social media-esque feel about it. You can post articles and trading setups, comment on other people’s ideas, and participant in groups, leaderboards, and other competitions.
All the charts in Niffler are provided via TradingView’s API.
Paper Trading Risks
Before you dive in, there are a couple of things you need to watch out for.
Firstly, because you don’t have “skin in the game,” paper trading doesn’t involve as much emotion as live trading. Emotion is widely regarded as one of the most difficult aspects of live trading to overcome. Paper trading will not help you learn to manage those feelings.
Secondly, the lack of real capital means you might make decisions that would be unadvisable in live trading. For example, perhaps you’d decide to double down on a losing position; in live trading, the prudent strategy would be to sell and cut your losses.
Learn More About Trading Crypto
If you’re a beginner, there’s a lot to take onboard—it can seem like a daunting task, and it’s difficult to know where to start.
Luckily, we’ve written lots of beginner-friendly content for new traders to dig into. To learn more, make sure you read our articles on the best fundamental analysis indicators and crypto investing tips for beginners.