While cryptocurrencies have a lot to offer, buying and trading them can be intimidating for beginners. There are tons of different cryptocurrencies, exchanges, and wallets. This variety can make the process of getting started overwhelming, especially for those new to the blockchain world. In this guide, the process of buying crypto will be simplified so anyone can take advantage of the incredible opportunities cryptocurrencies have to offer.
The first step is choosing an exchange to buy crypto from. Put simply, a crypto exchange is where you can buy and sell your crypto. There are tons of different exchanges, and they all have their own pros and cons. For example, Binance has low fees and a large variety of currencies, but the platform is geared towards those with experience and isn’t available in every state in the US. Coinbase is very easy to use and has high liquidity, but their fees are higher than many other exchanges. Some exchanges only have a few of the most popular coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum, while others have tons of different currencies. Take into account your needs as an investor, then choose the exchange that is best for you.
The next step is choosing and setting up a crypto wallet. Crypto wallets are used to store private keys that are necessary to access your wallet. These keys are usually a set of unique characters used to prove ownership of the currency. Because cryptocurrencies are decentralized , they aren’t held in a bank like regular money. This means that you have to make sure your cryptocurrencies are secure yourself by using a crypto wallet.
These wallets come in a few types—paper, hardware, and online. Each wallet has its own benefits and drawbacks. In paper wallets, keys are stored on a physical piece of paper and put in a safe place. This means they are incredibly safe from online hackers, but paper wallets make your assets harder to access. There’s also the possibility that you lose your paper wallet and can’t access your funds.
Hardware wallets are a step in between paper wallets and online wallets. In hardware wallets, your keys are stored in a flash drive style device and only connected to your computer when accessing them. This keeps your keys slightly less secure, but it also makes your coins easier to access.
Online wallets keep your keys stored in a program or app on the web, usually protected by two-step encryption. Online wallets make accessing your crypto as easy as possible, but they also open you up to potential security risks. Many crypto exchanges like Coinbase have their own online wallets, which makes crypto activity within their ecosystem even easier. There are other online wallets such as MetaMask that aren’t part of a specific crypto exchange. MetaMask, in particular, is an interesting online wallet because it functions as a browser plugin that makes using your crypto incredibly easy, making things like buying digital trading cards, Crypto art, NFTs, and collectibles seem effortless. Whatever wallet you choose, be sure to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each and consider your own needs.
The next step is actually getting started, which means getting funds in your exchange. This process can vary greatly depending on the exchange you use. Some exchanges like Coinbase make this process incredibly simple. Coinbase accepts traditional currencies like the US dollar. You can connect your bank account directly to the app, making the process easy. For those who want to remain anonymous or would prefer not to connect their bank account, prepaid credit cards can also be used. Other exchanges don’t accept traditional currencies and only accept cryptocurrencies. This means you may have to buy crypto first and transfer it to the exchange before you can begin trading. Once you’ve chosen how you would like to fund your purchases, it’s time to get in on the action.
Choosing what cryptocurrencies to buy, sell, and trade is the most fun (and challenging) part of crypto. There are thousands of cryptocurrencies on the market, each with its own appeal. Do you want a solid reliable coin like Bitcoin or Ethereum? Or do you want something low-risk and fun like Dogecoin? Or do you want something that’s a high risk, high reward like many of the lesser-known coins? Or do you want a little bit of everything? The decision is entirely up to you. However, choosing cryptocurrencies in a world filled with influencers, ads, misinformation, and scams can be tricky. It’s important to get your crypto information from trustworthy sources. Good information can be found all over the web through on sites like Coindesk, Coinmarketcap, and The Merkle, as well as other places like social media.
Lastly, buy your crypto and enjoy what the world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies has to offer! It’s a big world with a lot to learn, so don’t be afraid to start slow at first and grow your investments as you become more comfortable with cryptocurrencies.