Review: Haasbot 2.0 Brings Automated Trading to the Next Level
Name: Haasbot 2.0
What is it: Haasbot is a sophisticated bitcoin trading bot suite designed primarily for bitcoin trading professionals, but amateur traders and hobbyists could find it useful too.
Who’s behind it: Haasbot started life as a personal project created by Stephan de Haas, but eventually the small team behind the bot decided to commercialise their product. The core team includes de Haas, lead developer and founder of Haasonline; marketing manager Phil Donsbach; developer Lander Vanhaverbeke; and support specialist Theo Goodman.
Cost: Haasbot 2.0 is available in three different pricing tiers. Haasonline uses a subscription-based model. A three-month 'Beginner' licence costs 0.22 BTC, the 'Simple' licence is priced at 0.30 BTC, while the full 'Advanced' licence costs 0.45 BTC. The company also offers 6- and 12-month licences. Payments in fiat currency are not accepted.
Product Launched: January 2015.
Summary: Haasbot 2.0 provides users with a wide range of choice, with three basic bots, all of which feature a number of different presets, as well as a range of user-customisable options. Depending on the licence, users can set up several interconnected bots capable of performing a range of different functions.
CoinDesk rating: 4.5/5
While Haasbot is a relatively familiar name in some circles, bitcoin users may not have heard of it. It is a niche software solution for bitcoin traders rather than mainstream users, a professional tool for people that know what they are doing.
In its latest incarnation, Haasbot 2.0 offers a number of new features, but the big news is the entirely reworked user interface (UI) that should improve user experience over 1.x versions.
The basic functionality remains unchanged and Haasbot 2.0 still offers three types of standard bot: Trade, Arbitrage and Maximum Order. Trade bots are supported by a range of technical analysis indicators, safeties and insurances. The 2.0 update also brings customisable Script bots and other new features.
The Advanced licence enables users to create an unlimited number of bots and use all available safeties, insurances and indicators. The Simple licence is limited to three bots from each category for a total of nine bots, while the Beginner licence supports two bots from each category, allowing the user to create a total of six bots. Beginner and Simple licences also offer a limited choice of safeties, indicators and insurances on trade bots.
The team also claims transparency and prides itself on providing support via forums and a wiki page, as well as integrating some features requested by users.
Haasbot 2.0 currently supports Bitfinex, Bitstamp, BTC-e, CEX-IO, Cryptsy, Huobi, Kraken and a few smaller exchanges. Users can track prices on one exchange while trading on another, so if they spot a trend on one particular exchange, they can gain ahead start on another exchange.
Using the service
As mentioned, Haasbot 2.0 is not aimed at mainstream bitcoin users. The target audience is people who understand the markets and trading. However, this does not mean that Haasbot 2.0 is not user-friendly and cannot be used by hobby traders. As always the caveat is, do not trade with any coins you are not prepared to lose.
With three different licence tiers, three standard bot classes and a practically countless combinations of safeties, indicators and insurances that can be assigned to individual bots, getting to grips with Haasbot 2.0 could be problematic for users who have no previous experience with trading bots.
This is one of the reasons Haasonline maintains a very comprehensive wiki, complete with detailed guides, walkthroughs and other useful resources. There’s also a support forum for user inquiries, suggestions and more. The sheer number of options also means that we could not test every scenario in any sensible timeframe. Haasbot 2.0 is a professional trading tool and we simply could not cover the full functionality.
Installation and setup
The new 2.0 update brings a complete overhaul of the UI and an all-new web server interface. The installation process is relatively straightforward and the developers recommend Google’s Chrome browser as the best platform for the Haasbot Trade Server. Once that is installed, it is just a matter of entering licence and API information and you are ready to start trading.
With Haasbot 2.0, you easily keep track of all active bots and set up various notifications, straight from your browser, using a convenient dashboard. The only downside is that mobile functionality remains limited, so if you happen to be on the road you may have a harder time managing your bots.
Creating trade bots, order bots and arbitrage bots is just as easy, it’s a one-click affair, but setting them up and tweaking all the parameters may take a while. Effectively, it all depends on what you want your bots to do – and when.
Script bots are an entirely new feature introduced with Haasbot 2.0 and they are completely customisable and programmable in C#. They do, however, require a bit more time and knowledge to set up.
The latest update also brings a new price comparison feature, along with a white server framework for more accurate and faster price tracking.
Haasbot 2.0 also comes with three new trade indicators: Elliot prediction, Fibonacci and IchiClouds, and is now available in English, German and Dutch languages.
Types of available bots
Haasbot 2.0 offers three basic bot categories, configurable out of the box.
Trade bots use a combination of indicators, safeties and insurances selected by the user to act as a buy or sell signal. The signal is cross-referenced with the current position and the trade is executed if all criteria are met. The bot will also consider the insurances created by the user, as well as safeties.
The most frequently used safeties are Dynamic Drop Loss and Static Drop Loss, which monitor prices for a sudden drop and trigger trades based on thresholds set by the user.
A wide range of indicators is available, depending on the type of licence you choose. The most popular insurance is ‘Overcome Fees’, which ensures that trades are not executed unless the profit is greater than the fee.
Order bots operate depending on a number of conditions or pre-orders. A number of conditions can be combined in a single bot to create customised bots, allowing traders to emulate support and resistance levels.
Arbitrage bots can be employed on exchanges with multiple currency pairs, allowing the trader to generate a profit through exchange rate variations. In such a scenario, the bot is configured to use a base currency and then monitors price differences related to the base currency, allowing automated low-risk transactions.
There are myriad ways to configure bots, allowing users to create very elaborate strategies, such as virtually interconnecting bots and setting up bots that can automatically take over from less profitable bots in certain scenarios. Of course, this involves significant planning, along with some level of trial and error.
'Backtesting' allows users to see how their trade bots would have performed in action over the last 3 hours to 32 weeks, using historic market data. This feature speeds up the setup and helps remove ambiguities. Backtesting can be used on trading and arbitrage bots.
Users can set various indicators to execute buys or sells, or both. Trade signals can be reversed as well. In case your strategy loses money in backtesting, you can simply reverse the indicators and proceed. Script indicators allow traders with programming skills to devise their own completely customised algorithms.
To set up an arbitrage bot, the user needs to select a base currency in which profits are to be generated. The bot works with three user-selected currency pairs, such as USD/BTC, USD/LTC and BTC/LTC. In periods of high volatility, the bot will be able to find price differences between the pairs and execute trades. The bot automatically takes fees into considerations and will not trade unless profit covers the fee.
Order bots are basically pre-programmed bots allowing users to create buy and sell orders in advance, based on price thresholds. They can also be strung together to form dependencies. Order bots can be dependent on other order bots, ensuring that the most profitable trade is executed. For example, if you have a trade bot set up to sell at $250 and another bot set up to sell at $265, the first bot won’t take action if the second bot is able to sell at a higher price.
Let the trading begin
Since we are dealing with an automated service, there is really not much to report. Everything works as advertised and the end result depends on what you decide to do with your bots.
As you can see, the CoinDesk test bot worked, but did not make a fortune for a number of reasons (limited time and unrealistic setup to name two).
Perhaps the biggest change with the Haasbot 2.0 update is the browser interface, which I found user-friendly and relatively simple to use, given the complexity of the suite. It also adds a bit more functionality, allowing users to control their bots with less effort.
It is also possible to use a VPS (virtual private server) in order to access the interface on mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets and notebooks.
The new web interface is user-friendly and looks good. It is a big improvement over Haasbot 1.x in terms of appearance and functionality.
Wide range of indicators and addition of new ones in 2.0 update, along with new features like script bots.
Haasonline tends to keep things personal and is in constant touch with users via its support forum, wiki and direct contact. Developers routinely add features and tweak the platform based on community input, so if you come up with a good idea, the team may well implement it.
While the web interface is accessible from mobile devices via VPS, support for mobile devices leaves much to be desired. The company is considering developing iOS and Android apps that would provide vital notifications and allow users to shut down bots on the go.
Haasbot 2.0 licences are not cheap. Though this is subjective – depending on how serious you are about trading and how much you are willing to invest, the licences could be either too expensive or a negligible cost considering your potential gains. Once again, this is a specialised platform and it’s not designed for inexperienced users.
There are already a few bitcoin trading bots on the market. Some are free, some offer free trial periods, while others use a subscription-based model. CoinDesk took a closer look at a number of trading bots in a feature last June.
These include Butter Bot, CryptoTrader and Acacia Trading, but it’s hard to directly compare the platforms due to a number of reasons. Be that as it may, Haasbot 2.0 tends to offer more functionality than competing solutions, but at a premium price.
Haasbot 2.0 is more than an incremental update, as it offers a number of new features, namely the all-new web interface. The platform also offers three basic types of bots, along with new script bots that can be customised.
The extensive choice of options, safeties, indicators and interactions between the bots allows traders to devise elaborate trading strategies, provided they choose to buy the Advanced licence with no limitations. The downside is the cost of the top-tier licence, but cheaper licences are available too, which means you don’t have to spend much to try the service for a limited time.
It should also be noted that Haasonline was forced to increase pricing due to the low price of bitcoin. Remember, the company does not accept fiat payments.
However, for serious traders used to trading dozens or hundreds of coins on a regular basis, the Advanced licence at 0.45 BTC for three months probably doesn’t sound like much.
Bottom line – Haasonline raised the bar with the Haasbot 2.0 update and the competition has some catching up to do.
Disclaimer: This article represents the experience of the reviewer and is not a recommendation or financial advice. Please do your own extensive research before considering investing any funds.
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