TradingView is a free multi-platform charting service and social network for traders and investors. It allows its users to monitor the price charts of hundreds of various assets — including cryptocurrencies — and share and discuss their ideas about the markets.
The platform offers a vast, customizable set of technical indicators — a crucial component of technical analysis that can provide traders with the highly sought-after degree of price predictability on the volatile crypto markets.
What Is TradingView?
Positioning itself as a sort of a one-stop trading platform, TradingView combines real-time charts, technical indicators, cross-platform alerts, and a social network; all of these are available via its web interface, dedicated desktop app, or mobile and tablet applications. It leverages these and many other features to create an environment that is supposed to help users make deeply informed trading and investment decisions.
The social aspect is integrated into the price charts. When you bring up a chart for any particular cryptocurrency or stock, you can see a news feed on TradingView, relevant to that asset, and public chat rooms designed for that asset’s community.
Most of the tools on TradingView are highly customizable — as can be exemplified by Pine Script, the platform’s own user-friendly scripting language that can be used to create new technical indicators from scratch.
This focus on customizability extends beyond the indicators, as most of what you’ll see on the platform — from time scales and price alerts to the color of the chart candlesticks — can be tailored to the specific requirements of regular traders, seasoned professionals, and everyone in between.
One downside here is that the available range of features depends on your subscription level. Besides the somewhat limited free version, TradingView offers three types of monthly subscriptions ranging in price from $14.95 to $59.95, each of which comes with an increasing number of benefits.
The platform is still vastly more affordable than some of its competition, such as the Bloomberg Terminal that costs $24,000 per year, but — perhaps counterintuitively — this low barrier to entry, too, can be a downside in the context of TradingView’s social network component. With over 30 million monthly visitors, the trading ideas that get shared on the platform run the gamut from brilliant to abysmal. It is mostly up to each user to discern which is which.
TradingView Charts Feature
Let’s look at the chart for the BTCUSD pair on TradingView and see what it offers.
At their most basic, TradingView charts provide a high-level overview of an asset’s performance over a particular time period: the default timescales range from five years to one second.
Users can see open, high, low, and close (OHLC) data for each candlestick on the selected timescale, the current bid and ask prices and the spread value, countdown towards the next chart update, among other data. Thoroughly conventional as far as price charting services go, it is the extensive and highly configurable selection of tools that sets apart TradingView’s charts feature.
Tools Offered by TradingView
If you take another look at our chart, you will see four highlighted toolbars:
Let’s take a closer look at what each of these toolbars that are offered to a TradingView user:
- The leftmost toolset includes the whole set of technical indicators that can be plotted on the chart, from the simplest trend lines up to the complex Fibonacci retracements and ratios. Besides price prediction instruments, this toolbar offers various options for marking the chart: icons, highlighters, etc. All these can help individual users make more informed trading decisions for themselves or visualize their thoughts about the market to share them with the TradingView community at large.
- The top toolbar offers the ability to switch chart types (i.e., from candles to a line) and various overlays. You can use the latter to compare a given asset’s performance to other assets (for example, BTCUSD vs. ETHUSD) or apply complex indicator scripts by selecting them from either TradingView’s default library or the public library, comprised of other users’ scripts.
- The bottom panel is dedicated to trading the selected asset. Users have the option of paper trading — simulated real-time trades with hypothetical money to test out strategies in a real-life environment but at no risk — or direct trading through the verified user-reviewed brokers. This panel also offers the option of backtesting trading strategies.
- Finally, the rightmost panel represents the social network part of TradingView’s platform. Here, you will find news relevant to the selected asset, hotlists of assets, the public and private chat rooms, your personalized watchlist, other users’ ideas and streams, and more.
Chart Settings Option in TradingView
In addition to the numerous extra settings, the chart itself can be configured by right-clicking on it and selecting the “settings” option:
- The symbol panel can be used to manipulate the chart’s look by changing its colors or adding/removing various price lines.
- The information displayed in the status line (right below the top toolbar in the default chart window) can be used to manage OHLC data, buy and sell buttons (which double as bid and ask price trackers), indicator titles, indicator values, symbol (ticker), and background.
- The scales panel is used to manage the details of price data displayed on the right side of the chart.
- The appearance tab governs the look of the background grid of the price chart and other minor visual elements.
- The trading panel allows you to customize how you trade the asset if you open an account with a broker.
- The events tab can be used to display or hide dividends, splits, earnings, and earnings breaks.
Trend Line and Pitchfork Features on TradingView
Now let’s see how the use of technical indicators is actually implemented on TradingView by charting a simple trend line:
- Pick the trend line tool from the leftmost toolbar.
- We recommend turning on the Magnet Mode, which makes your indicators automatically snap to the nearest candlestick elements.
- Then you just connect the highest points on an otherwise descending chart (peaks) or, conversely, the lowest points in an uptrend (troughs), depending on whether you are trying to locate a support or resistance line. In our case, we have highlighted a support line, from which the price tends to bounce off upwards. It is a helpful indicator when you’re trying to identify the best time to buy an asset.
By double-clicking on the indicator that you’ve charted, you can bring up its settings menu, which allows you to further customize your tool’s shape, color, and more:
Here is another example, Andrews’ Pitchfork, a more complex three-point indicator:
- Select the pitchfork tool from the leftmost toolbar.
- Place the first point at the start of an up or downtrend.
- Place the second point at the reaction-high point of your trend.
- Place the third point at the reaction-low point of the trend.
The resultant pitchfork-like shape provides a trader with indications of the general direction of the trend and its support and resistance lines. It is important to keep in mind that correctly placing all three points of a pitchfork requires a good deal of experience. In general, indicator-based price predictions work best when supported by multiple different technical indicators — so don’t just rely on one tool in your analysis.
Types of Markets on TradingView
TradingView offers data on multiple types of markets:
- Cryptocurrencies: more than 700 including BTC, ETH, BNB, and others, sortable by market cap, volume, and more.
- Forex: major, minor, and exotic currencies.
- Stocks: both the United States and other countries’ markets. The U.S. stock market data is sourced from the Cboe BZX exchange instead of direct NASDAQ or NYSE data. This sometimes leads to minor discrepancies in price data between TradingView and the actual markets, especially on very small timescales, but the trade-off is that Cboe’s data is available for free.
- Market indices: S&P 500, NASDAQ Composite, DJIA, and other market indices from the U.S. and abroad.
- Futures: commodity, currency, precious metal, and other futures.
- Bonds: government bonds from major countries around the globe.
Detailed, sortable screeners are available for the cryptocurrency, forex, and stock markets that provide users with market sentiment info, in addition to hard performance data.
Live Stream Your Trade With TradingView
As a part of its community component, TradingView offers a live streaming service — in beta stage, as of July 2021. Just like Twitch, users can sign up to become a streamer and share their technical analysis and educational and other types of content in live video format.
The service comes with a live chat feature so that viewers can discuss the ideas with each other and with the content creator. After a stream ends, the video is saved by the platform and is available on-demand to those who couldn’t attend the live presentation.
TradingView Ideas Feature
The Ideas feature is a key element in TradingView’s social environment. It is a community-generated feed of price predictions, market analysis, educational and informative content, memes, and more. The posts are usually made in the image/video + text format.
Any user on the platform can post their ideas onto the feed, sortable by asset types, themes, hashtags, etc. Users can like, comment and share others’ ideas and follow their favorite traders.
As mentioned before, the amount of ideas generated on TradingView’s platform is huge: over a thousand a day. There is a reputation system based, among other factors, on the number of likes, comments, and followers attracted by your ideas, as well as a hand-picked feed curated by TradingView’s editors.
However, fundamentally the ideas remain largely unfiltered, meaning that it is the final responsibility of every user to see which ideas and content creators work for them and which don’t.
Ultimately, TradingView is a simple enough platform for a complete novice. At the same time, its highly configurable nature allows users to tailor it to their growing requirements as their trading skill increases over time — up to writing their own custom technical indicators. Its basic version is free to use, and the availability of paper trading allows anyone to try it with no risk.
Some users may find the lack of direct trades and the need to work through a broker disadvantageous when it comes to the actual trading. That downside is somewhat offset by the platform’s cross-platform availability and a vast selection of assets and tools.
The integrated social network will help newbies learn the ropes of trading and technical analysis; however, they should be careful about filtering out potential bad advice.