What is Dollar Cost Averaging in Crypto? An Introduction to DCA

By Onose Enaholo
Updated 24 May 2024

Key Takeaways

  • Investing small, fixed amounts of money regularly is known as Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA). This strategy aims to reduce the impact of price swings and lower the average cost per share over time.
  • Dollar Cost Averaging is a popular and effective accumulation method that works well in traditional financial markets and cryptocurrency.
  • Dollar-Cost Averaging is attractive to novice or passive investors drawn to speculative assets like Bitcoin.
  • There are pros and cons to using the Dollar-Cost Averaging strategy.
  • One of the advantages of Dollar-Cost Averaging is that it can help mitigate the impact of price volatility and lower the average cost per share.
  • Dollar-Cost Averaging is intended to avoid making a poorly timed lump sum investment at a potentially higher price.

What is Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA)?

Dollar-cost averaging (DCA) is an investment approach used in traditional finance to minimize volatility when buying a significant financial asset or instrument block. Other names for DCA are unit cost averaging, incremental averaging, or cost average effect. Instead of investing all their available funds immediately, investors using the DCA strategy invest a fixed amount regularly. The DCA strategy aims to prepare for market downturns without risking too much capital.

What is Dollar Cost Averaging in Crypto?

Dollar-cost averaging is a strategy for making regular, smaller cryptocurrency purchases instead of investing large or irregular amounts. Even though cryptocurrency can be more volatile than stocks, using dollar-cost averaging can provide similar benefits to traditional equity trading. You will automatically invest more over time by consistently buying your preferred coins, regardless of market conditions. This allows you to increase your holdings and reduce overall costs during price dips.

How Does Dollar Cost Average Work in Crypto?

Dollar-cost averaging (DCA) is a widely used investment strategy for cryptocurrencies. Those who have purchased Bitcoin regularly over the past few years have a relatively low average purchase price. While many people see great potential in the crypto market, there’s no guarantee that DCA will continue to yield high returns. It’s essential to conduct your own research before investing. Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are relatively new innovations that could be very valuable. However, this depends on market development and increasing adoption. As an investor using the DCA method, it’s crucial to have confidence in the investment product.

Why Use Dollar Cost Averaging?

Dollar-cost averaging (DCA) is a straightforward investment strategy that appeals to many investors. To create a DCA plan, minimal effort is required, and the strategy involves placing single trades at predetermined intervals. This makes it an ideal investment option for novice traders with long-term goals. With features like recurring buys on the Kraken app, the entire process can be automated, allowing investors to “set it and forget it.” This frees up more time for other activities since periodic investments are made automatically. Additionally, dollar-cost averaging is an excellent choice for long-term investors who want to accumulate a particular asset consistently. A DCA investing strategy can generate favorable returns when used for many years.

Who Should Use Dollar Cost Averaging?

Investors of all levels can benefit from using the dollar-cost averaging investment strategy. Its advantages include the potential for a lower average cost, automated investing at regular intervals, and reduced stress when buying during volatile market periods. This strategy can be beneficial for new investors who need more experience and may need help timing purchases. Additionally, long-term investors who want to invest regularly but need more time or interest to monitor the market may also find it reliable. However, it’s not a universal solution, as it may not be appropriate for investors with a long-term outlook on steadily trending prices. Therefore, consider your investment outlook and broader market conditions before using dollar-cost averaging.

DCA Vs. Lump Sum Investing

Investing in a lump sum exposes your investment to the fluctuations of the asset’s price. However, with the help of dollar-cost averaging, you can reduce some of the risks associated with market volatility by investing at regular intervals, even during market downturns. This strategy benefits investors who want to enter a market safely and enjoy long-term price appreciation while minimizing short-term risks. Additionally, dollar-cost averaging may offer more predictable returns compared to investing a large sum of money all at once in the following scenarios:

Investing in an asset that may appreciate over time:

If an investor predicts that prices will dip but recover in the long term, they can use DCA to invest cash over the period they expect a downturn. If their prediction is accurate, they will benefit from buying assets at a lower price. If they are wrong, they will still have investments in the market as prices rise.

Mitigating risk during market volatility: 

DCA spreads investments over time, making it easier to handle price fluctuations in the market. During periods of price volatility, this approach balances out any significant gains or losses in the investor’s portfolio, gaining a little bit from price changes in all directions.

Avoiding FOMO and emotional trading: 

DCA is a systematic investing method that reduces the impact of emotional and impulsive trading. Novice investors may fall into the trap of “emotional trading,” where fear or excitement dictates their buying and selling decisions. This behavior can lead to ineffective portfolio management, such as selling during a downturn or over-investing due to the fear of missing out on exponential growth.

Special Considerations for Dollar Cost Averaging

Dollar-cost averaging is a strategy that works well when buying an investment over a specific period when prices fluctuate. However, it cannot protect investors from declining market prices. It’s based on the assumption that prices may drop at times but will ultimately rise. This strategy is unsuitable for buying individual stocks without researching a company’s details since it might lead an investor to continue buying more stock when they should stop or exit the position. It is far less risky when used to buy index funds instead of individual stocks, particularly for less-informed investors. Employing a dollar-cost averaging strategy allows investors to lower their cost basis in an investment over time, leading to fewer losses on investments that decline in price and more significant gains on investments that increase in value.

Can you Build Crypto Wealth Using Dollar Cost Averaging?

Many people underestimate the potential of dollar-cost averaging for generating profits, but this is a misconception. Using this strategy, the average purchase price doesn’t have to be based on an exchange rate average. If you invest a fixed amount at a time when prices are correct, the average purchase price can be low. Experienced investors use DCA to enter the crypto market because it’s hard to predict price tops and bottoms. This strategy helps flatten the volatility and offers a more flexible investment method. However, it can also be more emotional. To use DCA successfully, avoiding the fear of missing out (FOMO) and sticking to your plan are essential. If executed well, this lends itself to beginner investors with limited knowledge and time. Investors can, if executed properly, believe in their financial goals by following a plan and investing regularly.

What are the Drawbacks to Dollar Cost Averaging in Crypto?

Increased Trading Fees

When you use a dollar-cost averaging strategy, you may pay more in trading fees since some trading platforms charge a fee for each transaction. However, this strategy is intended for the long term, which means that as time goes on, the prices you pay may become less significant compared to the gains you could make over several years.

Smaller Profit Margins Compared to Lump Sum

A significant drawback of dollar-cost averaging is that you may miss out on a substantial gain you could have received if you had invested a lump sum when the market was down. However, to achieve big windfall profits, you must time the market correctly, which is only sometimes possible, even for professional investors. Day-to-day or even weekly fluctuations in a stock or the market as a whole are not easily predicted. On the other hand, dollar-cost averaging is a relatively safer way to benefit from significant market declines.

DCA is a Long Term Strategy and May Need to Wait for Wins

Another disadvantage of DCA is that you might buy an asset after its price increases significantly. Then the price may drop shortly afterward. However, DCA typically involves purchasing assets regularly, regardless of whether their price is stable, falling, or rising. When applied consistently, this strategy lowers your risk and may perform well over an extended period.

What are the Benefits of Dollar Cost Averaging?


With your River investment account, you can schedule your purchases at regular intervals without monitoring your investments closely. Once you set up your recurring orders, you won’t be charged any fees. This way, you can watch your investments grow with ease.

Lower Risk

Investors can reduce their risk using dollar-cost averaging, which involves buying an asset at different prices as its value fluctuates between recurring purchases. This strategy can decrease the investor’s exposure to market volatility and help keep their average cost basis closer to the current asset price if the investor doesn’t use dollar-cost averaging. In that case, they might purchase a significant amount of an asset near its price peak, which could be risky.

Passivity and Simplicity

Investing using dollar-cost averaging is a long-term strategy that doesn’t rely on buying at specific price points. This means the investor needs less attention, expertise, and analysis. Combining these qualities with automation makes it possible to grow your assets over the long term with little oversight required for your investment.

How Often Should You Invest With Dollar Cost Averaging?

The frequency of dollar-cost averaging depends on your investment goals, market expectations, and investing experience. It might be worth a try if you anticipate a fluctuating market that will eventually rise. However, using this strategy during a long-term bear market wouldn’t be wise. Consider applying a portion of each paycheck to regular purchases for long-term investing. This way, you can benefit from the power of dollar-cost averaging over time.

Dollar Cost Averaging Example

Let’s take a look at how dollar-cost averaging works with an example. Say you have $100,000 that you want to invest in Bitcoin. The price will fluctuate but ultimately stay in a good range for buying, so you want to use a DCA strategy. You can divide the $100,000 into 1000 portions of $1000 and buy $1000 worth of Bitcoin daily, regardless of the price. This way, you spread our entry over three months. 

However, if you are in a bear market and expect the trend to last for a few years, you should adjust your strategy. You can still divide the $100,000 into 1000 portions of $1000, but this time, you will buy $1000 worth of Bitcoin every week. Since there are around 52 weeks in a year, this strategy will be executed over almost two years. By doing this, you can build a long-term position during the downtrend and be ready for the uptrend without missing the train. Plus, this will help you mitigate some of the risks of buying during a downtrend.

Final Thoughts on What Dollar Cost Averaging in Crypto is

Dollar-cost averaging is a smart way to invest and reduce the impact of market volatility on your investment. The idea is to break down your investment into smaller portions and buy them regularly over time. The most significant advantage of this strategy is that it doesn’t require you to time the market, making it an excellent choice for those who want to avoid being actively involved in tracking the markets. However, some critics argue that this approach can cause investors to miss out on potential gains during a bull market. While this may be true, it’s important to remember that missing out on some gains is not the end of the world. Dollar-cost averaging can still be a convenient and effective investment strategy for many people.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the Best way to Dollar Cost Average in Crypto?
The most common way is to automate it, buying smaller amounts at regular intervals over time. For example, instead of investing $2,500 all at once, you could buy $50 worth of Bitcoin weekly for 50 weeks.
How Does Dollar Cost Averaging Make Money?
Buying smaller amounts at regular intervals lowers the risk of investing too much at the wrong time. This can help you get a better average price over time as you benefit from market dips and rises.
Is Dollar Cost Averaging in Crypto a Good Idea?
Yes, it can be a good strategy for investing in cryptocurrency. Despite its volatility, dollar-cost averaging can help you enjoy the same benefits as traditional equity traders.
What's the Best day for DCA Crypto?
The market is often busier during regular business hours and less lively in the early morning, at night, and on weekends. Cryptocurrency prices often start off low on Mondays and increase over the rest of the week.
How Long Should you do Dollar Cost Averaging?
It depends on your investment goals and strategy. You could invest a set amount each month for a year or longer, but it's essential to have a plan and be patient. In a bull market, the share price might gradually increase, so your investment could buy fewer monthly shares.

What is DCA?

By Onose Enaholo - min read
Updated 24 May 2024
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