Crypto related feeds.


creen Shot ChannelBreakout

We were backtesting a Channel-Breakout strategy for a customer for some time on Tradingview and later in NinjaTrader 8. The backtesting results on both platforms were very promising, specifically for lower Minute timeframes, e.g. 1min. The Channel-Breakout strategy is using Market orders for entering long and short positions; the strategy is always in a trade all the time.

The Strategy was actually losing money!

While live-trading on BitMEX via NinjaTrader 8 the chart entry and exit points still looked good, however the daily trading results in BitMEX showed a different picture; basically the strategy was losing every day a bit of the account money on BitMEX. The key factor which we were not considering were the trading fees at BitMEX. It differentiates between Taker-Fees for Market Orders and Maker-Fees for Limit Orders (fee structure explained here). The Taker-Fee is 0.075% of the traded value, so if using a higher margin value this fee increases accordingly. Using Market Orders for entering a long position and exiting the same position adds up to 0.15% of the whole trading value. In clear text, the strategy has to gain at least 0.15% to breakeven before even make a single cent. This is the critical part if using a scalping strategy for lower Minute timeframes. The strategy typically made 60-70% positive trades, which were mostly in the 0.1..0.2% effective gain area, so finally including the BitMEX fees the strategy effectively was losing money.

How to run a scalping strategy in BitMEX and not losing money?

Use Limit orders wherever possible! BitMEX pays  a Maker-Fee of 0.025% for using Limit Orders, which are contributing to make the market for BitMEX. By using Limit Orders, a strategy using this order type only could add 0.05% of the order value to its balance sheet for every trade (enter and exit).

This is unfortunately not always that simple. The Channel-Breakout strategy does not work well using a Stop-Limit Order instead of a Stop-Market Order for entering the market. The limit order gets simply executed too late – typically then, if the market has turned again and instead of being in a delayed long position the strategy should be in a short position. The solution was to use Market Orders for entering a position and pay the 0.075% fee and use Limit-Orders for existing a position if a certain profit target has been reached. So finally the strategy paid additional 0.075% for entering a position and got 0.025% back when exiting. This finally reduced the trading fees by two-third from 0.15% to 0.05% (0.075%-0.025%), which finally made the trades profitable including the gain and fees.


The strategy is using the BitMEX NinjaTrader 8 adapter for accessing the data feed. Unfortunately this adapter does not support any trading functions.

For submitting orders, we have added our own C# BitMEX Trading API, which is accessing the BitMEX REST API. This API supports the basic functions for submitting market/limit and stop orders, and has a function to request the current order status. The order status is available inside the NinjaTrader 8 strategy, similar to a “unmanaged” Ninjatrader 8 strategy. The order status has to be retrieved from BitMEX asynchronously from within the strategy, as the REST API is poll-based. This is realized as a timer callback inside the NinjaTrader 8 strategy, which pulls the status of all orders every 2seconds. The frequency for pulling the order status can be configured; clearly someone needs to pay attention to the BitMEX API rate-limit, which allows roughly 1 request in average per second.

This solution works quite nice, but it’s a good approach to implement the strategy in a way to submit orders as limit or stop-market orders ahead. Because BitMEX API is notorious for being not accessible in case of strong up or down trends, where their server seems to reach their limits.

Questions & Contact

Please contact us know if you are interested in using this API, or if you are interested in the implementation of a similar strategy.

In the past I was typically developing strategies and indicators for automated Forex and Futures trading, using Ninjatrader, Tradingview and Metatrader. But since some time I get more and more requests for trading cryptocurrencies. There are clearly a lot of tools out there for Crypto-trading, however there are in my opinion very basic, typically using Python scripts and missing all nice features you got used to, like backtesting and optimization.

Therefore I want to focus here on options which do exists to my knowledge, automatically trading Cryptocurrencies while using a sophisticated trading environment/tool. With automatically trading I mean using a bot or tool which runs a strategy 24/7 unobserved.

The options listed below are just a quick overview, for detailed description of installation and usage please shoot us an email.

Ninjatrader 8

While NinjaTrader 8 is great in automation and scripting, it does not support trading cryptocurrencies out of the box. But there are now options out there which add Cryptocurrency support to NinjaTrader 8. Clearly the advantage of this solution is the rich and complete scripting (C# .NET language support), backtesting and optimization features of NinjaTrader.

NinjaTrader 8 is free for backtesting w/o any limitation, but must be leased or bought for trading live accounts, however for the Add-Ons listed below, this requirement does not exist.

Coinbase NinjaTrader Integration

The latest NinjaTrader 8 version supports Coinbase API natively. However, it only implements the market data API; it does not allow live-trading.

BitMEX NinjaTrader Integration

Link: see here

This integration allows access to the BitMEX market data, which allows leverages Cryptocurrency trading.

Unfortunately the API only integrates market data, but does not come with trading support. So it can be leveraged for backtesting e.g. XBTUSD in NinjaTrader 8, but for live-trading someone has to look for another solution.

Poloniex, Binance, Bitfinex, Deribit, BinancePlus Add-Ons

Link: see here

The Add-Ons are typically in the $150 to $250 area. If added to NinjaTrader they allow to access market data, but also enable trading of Cryptocurrencies.

I personally use the Binance adapter for some time, and didn’t find any bigger issues. One minor issue seems to be the fact that NinjaTrader’s internal performance handler can’t deal with split order executions, where one split has the size 0; this seems to happen only at certain Crypto-exchanges.

However, these Add-Ons don’t have the official NinjaTrader blessing, so you can’t expect any support from the NinjaTrader. 

Tradingview and Autoview Chrome extension

Tradingview is a great tool in regard to charting, quick implementation of ideas, it supports a zillion of Crypto-exchanges, but lacks automation. Latter is clearly a big minus. However, even if supported the question would remain how useful it would be running a strategy 24/7 in a Chrome browser environment.

That being said, there is a Chrome extension out there, called Autoview, which uses Tradingview Pine script alerts to trigger orders. Bit disadvantage of this solution is that there is no feedback about the trades, it’s basically submitting orders blindly into the dark 

The Chrome extension costs $5 per month, or $50 per year and can be found here: Tradingview is free, but also provides subscriptions, which do enable more features.

The built-in Pine script feature allows to add own strategies and indicators. But the features of Pine are clearly limited and can hardly be compared with the scripting capability of NinjaTrader for instance.

Please shoot us an email for any detailed question about the NinjaTrader and Tradingview features and support.