Are you interested in the new world of Bitcoin, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency etc. but have no idea where to start? Here is a quick guide to getting setup to trade your first coins like Bitcoin, or one of the Altcoins like Ripple.
First things first you need to convert some of your fiat money into one of the blockchain coins to begin trading or simply investing. The easiest way to get started is with Coinbase, they allow you to link your bank account or Credit Card to convert dollars into Bitcoin or a few other coins that you will then transfer to an Exchange to start trading. To get signed up with Coinbase simply visit the Coinbase website here. (If you sign up using this link you will receive $10 in Bitcoin for free just for signing up)
Once signed up follow the steps to verify your identity (for tax purposes) setup your bank account, and setup your 2FA (2 Factor Authentication) to keep your account secure. After that is complete you are ready to buy your first “coin” or part of a coin at least. The great thing about crypto is you can purchase only a portion of a coin unlike stocks. At the time of writing Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin are all instantly available on Coinbase; if you are just looking to put a bit of money into any of these coins you do not need to go any further.
Simply click on “Buy/Sell” in the menu, choose your coin and amount you want to purchase and hit Buy. You are now the proud owner of some cryptocurrency. Do know I am not a financial advisor, so invest carefully and read about each of these coins to choose what makes sense for you. If you want more information about any of the coins listed on Coinbase click on the coin below to be taken to their site.
Ok so now you own some Bitcoin or Ethereum etc., but you want to start investigating other coins not available on Coinbase. That is where the Cryptocurrency Exchanges come in; in this quick guide I will only cover a few of them best for people just getting started but there are 50+ exchanges all with different pros and cons.
Lets start simple buy getting you get setup on one of the most popular exchanges, Binance. Binance offers a large selection of crypto, and is pretty easy to use for a beginner. Sign up for Binance here.
Once signed up, and getting your 2FA enabled you can begin by transferring some crypto from Coinbase to Binance to begin trading. Binance offers several coins to trade with including Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). To transfer funds over the blockchain (the technology and ledger behind all of these cryptos) you need to go to “Fund” and click on “Deposits and Withdraws”. Choose the coin in which you want to transfer funds to Binance with from Coinbase. (I recommend BTC or ETH and be sure you bought that same coin in Coinbase as you have to transfer from the exact same type of coin) Then click “Deposit” this will present you with your Wallet Address, copy it.
Then go over to Coinbase and choose “accounts” from the menu. Chose the coin you want and hit “send”. This will present you with the box to enter the wallet address you just copied from Binance. Paste it in and submit, this will start the process of moving the coins from Coinbase to Binance. Depending on what type of coin you chose and the blockchain network load it will take between 10min to an hour for the coins to move. Once the coins are available in your Binance Exchange you can begin trading. Chose the exchange pair for the type of coin you transferred (BTC, ETH etc.) then begin trading.
Be sure to start researching all of these coins before you make a purchase, find ones you are comfortable with, or like the technology, their concept, their partnerships with different enterprises etc. There are a ton of articles on how to use Binance and each of these coins available on the web; learn, have some fun, maybe make a few bucks. Welcome to the Crypto World!
Are you looking to expand your horizons or trade some of the lesser known and newer coins? Lets sign you up for another exchange, this one is called Cryptopia. This exchange focuses on some of the lower cost, newer coins but also has many of the top players. You can easily sign up for Cryptopia here.
The process of moving some coins to Cryptopia is very similar to Binance, but do know Cryptopia does mainly offer only BTC for trading. You can either move some BTC from your Coinbase account or maybe you had some good luck and have some extra BTC in Binance. Simple copy your Cryptopia BTC wallet address found by clicking the “B” in the corner and choosing “Deposit” choose BTC and get your address to copy. Then go to either Coinbase or Binance and paste it in the Send or Withdraw box to send it.
There are several other exchanges you can sign up for, but right now most are not taking new customers due to the crazy demand Cryptocurrency has created in the last few months. I will update this post in the future as soon as other exchanges start accepting new clients.
UPDATE: (Jan. 12th)
If you are looking for another exchange that started to accept new clients HitBTC is a great option as well. You can sign up for HitBTC here.
The one thing I cannot stress enough is to be careful, enable all the security features on the exchanges and do not keep large sums of coin on you Exchange wallets; move your coins off the exchanges to a hardware wallet or computer wallet.
UPDATED: June 2018