How to Build a Stock Trading Bot from Scratch
Photo by M. This is a programming tutorial aimed at teaching you how to build a trading bot for learning purposes. Any decisions, investments, or risks you take as a result of building a trading bot are your responsibility.
I cannot be held responsible for any decisions you make as a result of reading this tutorial. Remember: Bots can lose a lot of money, so you should be careful. And most times that list includes a Trading Bot.
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However, rather than giving you all the code line by line, I decided it would be best to go through all the concepts you should be familiar with to take on this project.
After all, the whole point is that you code it yourself.
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Hence, this article will go through everything you need to know and have to build a trading bot from the exchange to a simple trading strategyas well as the basic architecture, concepts, and design of a simple bot. As such, you can feel comfortable and focus on the actual programming, rather than figuring out all the setup for yourself.
Step 1: Pick a Weapon The first step in this tutorial is just selecting a language to use.
This is entirely up to you. Step 2: Pick a Battleground Want to read this story later? Save it in Journal. An often overlooked step in trading bot tutorials is the selection of the exchange. For a trading bot to work, you need to have access to an exchange where you can trade assets. This is just as important as knowing how to program.
So, for this step, you need to decide what assets you will be trading e. Regarding the asset, I would strongly suggest cryptocurrencies. Stock markets, for instance, are generally open sometime between 9AM-4PM and do not operate on weekends.
FOREX foreign currency exchange markets can go on for 24h, but are also usually closed during the weekend. Additionally, cryptocurrencies are known to be very volatile, which means that a you can lose a lot of money, but b they are a great way to learn and test trading strategies.
You must be legally allowed to trade on the exchange and the assets it offers. The exchange must have a Public API available. One cannot build a bot without an endpoint to send requests to.
With the two requirements above fulfilled, you may also wish to consider things like the fees charged by the exchange, if it is well-rated or well-known, and how good the API docs are.
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Last but not least, I would also recommend checking the daily volume of trades on the exchange. Exchanges with very low volumes tend to lag behind in price movements, as well as make it harder for limit orders to be filled more on this terminology later. Step 3: Pick a Base Photo by Harrison Broadbent If the exchange is the battleground, you need a place to ship your troops from.
And I need to stop with this stupid analogy. For testing purposes, you can obviously run the server from your own computer. However, if you want your bot to be operating constantly, your computer is definitely not a good choice.
Hence, I have two suggestions: Use a Raspberry Pi as a server Cooler Use a Cloud Provider Better I think running a bot from your Pi is a pretty cool idea, so you should try it if it also sounds build a trading robot to you.
Most large cloud service providers offer a good free tier, so you might even be able to host your bot for free.
1. Incorporate technologies of interest
Step 4: Building the Bot! Ensure that before you come to this step you have: Registered and been approved to use an exchange Enabled API usage on the exchange and have an API key Decided how you will be hosting your bot Got that?
The Simplest of Bots My goal here is to get you from zero to bot in a simple and concise way. It will not place various buy or sell orders consecutively at multiple price points.
Trading strategy, resources, and advice from someone who has done it before.
If its last operation was a sale, it will try to buy next. It will use fixed thresholds for buying and selling. A smarter bot might be able to tinker with the thresholds based on various indicators, but our bot will have its strategy and thresholds set manually. It will only trade one currency pair e. The constraints come with benefits, however.
Keeping it simple makes the bot easier to create and maintain, as well as allows us to deploy this very quickly. First, we need a variable to indicate the state the Bot is currently in.
A boolean or enum should fit this purpose well. Then we need to set our thresholds for buying and selling.
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These indicate the percentage decrease or increase in price since we last made an operation. In our case, these thresholds will be constants. If the price ever goes below the bottom green line or above the top green line we will perform a BUY operation.
This is how we profit. We sell at a higher price than build a trading robot bought. Therefore, this threshold is used to sell at a loss, but with the goal of stopping a bigger loss from happening. Then, we met our upper threshold before the lower one, meaning we sold our asset for a profit. This is how trading bots make money.
We need: The above should be self-explanatory, but you build a trading robot to make sure you are aware of what currencies the API POSTrequests ask for when doing a buy or sell operation.
Getting the currencies right is very important. The first thing we need is an infinite loop with some sleep time.
API helper functions aside, our code would end up something like this: Note: The values for the thresholds here are just arbitrary values. You should pick your own according to your own strategy.
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If the above is paired up with the helper functions and the loop function, which could also be mainwe should now have ourselves the basic pillars of a working bot. Then it does it all over again. This should be a matter of setting up a createLog function that is called at every step. Something like this: Identifying Trends The main goal of our bot should be to buy at a low price and sell at a profit. These thresholds supposedly tell us when we should sell at a loss or buy at a price increase.
The idea is that we try to identify trends that fall outside of the general strategy but may be harmful or beneficial build a trading robot us so we should act. However, the way I structured it above is quite limited. A static snapshot of a price is far from an indication of a trend.
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Luckily, without much hassle, you can make this a little more reliable. All you need to do is also keep track of more prices than just lastOpPrice. You could, for instance, keep track of price 10 or 20 iterations ago, and compare that with the current price instead of lastOpPrice. This would probably be better at identifying a trend because it checks for rapid shifts in price rather than a shift that occurred over a long period of time. However, what happens when the bot fails, for example?
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How could it determine the lastOpPrice without you checking it manually? To prevent manual work on your end, you might want to keep some sort of lightweight database to keep track of a few things, like lastOpPrice. This way, when the bot starts up, rather than using the default values, it will actually check its stored values and continue from there.
This way, you could change thresholds more easily, for example.