Crypto Trading Bots: Where to run an altcoin trading bot?
Like it or not, you might need to get a private server to run your trading bot.
Crypto trading bots are very good for swing trading, scalping and for arbitrage trading.
- Normal arbitrage: A trading bot can be set up with API keys from multiple exchanges and can actually do arbitrage for you.
- Altcoin arbitrage: Set up an algo to track mispricing on Poloniex between several spot markets - say, ETHBTC vs ETHUSDT vs ETHXMR.
- Liquidity gaps: You can also detect thin orderbooks and automatically send orders when one side gets thinner. This way you provide liquidity to the market.
For instance, right now for instance it looks like buying altcoins on Poloniex and selling on BitTrex or HitBTC (for bitcoin) might be a way to go. There might be a reason for this situation - maybe one of the exchanges has slow or expensive withdrawals. That happens. One good example would be long-term strange pricing at the BTC and altcoin spot exchange BTC-e given their limited and pricey withdrawals. Another might be higher prices of BTC on Japanese exchanges where foreigners have to pay a BTC tax. In those cases an apparent arbitrage opportunity exists for a long time because the costs of moving the cryptocurrencies out is priced in. Nonetheless if you find a real opportunity that nobody is arbitraging at the moment, a good, configurable crypto trading bot will do the mundane work of arbitrage for you.
But such a bot has a disadvantage: It will probably have a heavy user interface and it will need a lot of RAM.
If you are on a Mac or Linux machine, don’t expect to run a trading bot in a virtual box unless you have a super duper machine. Consider the specifications for Haasbot, the oldest trading bot for cryptocurrencies.
Requirements to run the Windows HaasBot:
- Dual-core processor (1,6GHz and up), better quad-core
- Minimum 2 GB free RAM
- Stable internet connection (minimum 1 megabit download)
Since virtual machines consume a lot of resources, if you only have one working computer and will want to keep the bot running, there is probably no way to do that on a laptop that you use daily.
Either use a desktop computer or rent a VPS.
Cheap Windows VPS?
That’s right, you will need Windows for HaasBot. The drawback of Windows, other than that it’s Windows which is awful enough, is that you pay for license. That needs to be priced in when you rent Windows VPS, meaning you get same performance for higher price compared to a Linux VPS.
Another drawback is that most server owners don’t like anything automatic running on their server. Websites are fine but bots can do anything, and who has time to check if your bot is malicious or not. That is roughly the point you will get after reading TOS of Windows VPS providers.
So, is it actually doable?
After spending a lot of time on LowEndBox, filtering out places that have strict TOS or look shady (meaning they might not have proper Windows license), I got these two Windows VPS providers:
RockHoster Windows VPS - “Premium” plan has KVM virtualized 2 core 40 GB + 2048 MB RAM with Windows 2012 Server. That would make the bare minimum for HaasBot. With annual billing it costs 13.33 USD/month which is good. The RAM might be too low though, and for 4GB RAM the price climbs up to 24 USD per month.
CheapWindowsVPS has similar plans as Rockhoster above for some 20 USD monthly and above.
CloudieWeb Windows VPS - 2 core, 48GB, 2048 MB RAM for 16.5 USD monthly in cloud with annual plan. Try a coupon CYBERWEEK to get a discount.
Both support bitcoin payments and both should have full Windows license, unlike Ramnode where you can have a Windows VPS but for the license you are fully responsible.
If you thought about running a VirtualBox or Wine on a Linux VPS you should forget it, it’s against the rules of every VPS provider.
With Haasbot there is a Linux version too though, albeit obsolete. You can ask for it in the support section of your account.
You can try and install it on some cloud hosting which is billed per hour. If it works fine, go and get a cheaper Linux bot-friendly VPS with annual billing.
Cloud billed hourly:
DigitalOcean - Get first 10 USD free with this referral link. You will surely be OK with the 40-bucks-a-month plan but with an empty Linux droplet you can try and stretch it with the cheaper 20-dollar one. Remember to watch the expenses though, you only get first 10 USD for free and if you are not a company, Digital Ocean will add up tax to the default hourly pricing.
Vultr has the same pricing as Digital Ocean. However with Vultr you can can whole month of 40-dollar cloud VPS for free with their free trial. Click here to get 50 USD free credit. Vultr also does Windows in cloud but you see they are quite expensive:
Classic Linux VPS:
HostUs Linux VPS - 2 core, 3GB RAM with Windows 7 Pro and annual billing the cost is 25 USD per month. That’s the safest choice.
RockHoster Linux VPS - 3 core, 2048 MB RAM, 70 GB disk and unlimited bandwidth for about 10 USD monthly with annual billing.
CloudieWeb Linux VPS - 2 core, 2048 MB RAM for 16.5 USD monthly in cloud with annual plan. You should be able to apply a coupon CYBERWEEK to get a discount.
All of them accept bitcoin payments and have no mention about BTC trading bots in their TOS.