NOTE BEFORE READING: I have decided to never explicitly encourage anyone to invest in cryptocurrency. Although I believe in it (from both an investment and technological standpoint) and have personally invested a great deal of time and money into this exciting new market (and have seen stellar returns), I see little to gain by encouraging people I don't know to start investing. That is a decision you should make on your own, without any nudging from people who bought in earlier.The market is extremely volatile and many weak hands will lose money if they can't handle the ups and downs. I am however ok with helping people who have already decided that crypto investing and trading is for them and falls within their spectrum of risk tolerance. If you haven't purchased any cryptocurrency yet, please do your own research and never spend money you can't afford to lose.
Ok, enjoy the article and be sure to like, comment and share!
Getting started buying and selling cryptocurrency can be overwhelming.
Wallets, exchanges, HEX codes... as if the underlying technology wasn't confusing enough, just getting started can seem difficult with all the terminology and similar-but-different programs and exchanges out there.
In this blog post, I am refining things down to just the 4 exchanges and 3 apps I think you need to know about first to have a good foundation as you start to buy and sell cryptocurrency.
Let's start with the exchanges (the apps mean nothing without coins!)
The 4 Accounts to Create (Exchanges to Join)
Cryptocurrency is bought and sold on platforms called exchanges.
There are a LOT of different exchanges and I encourage you to join as many as you can over time (as long as they are legitimate) since prices can vary greatly from one exchange to another.
Also, some coins are not supported on all exchanges and you may need to create accounts with other exchanges just to get a coin that you're interested in.
The 4 I am about to share with you however will give you plenty of options for coins and they are the most trustworthy of the exchanges I have worked with.
This is a confusing way to start I know... bear with me.
Although technically two sites, I am including them together because they are sister companies.
Here is a comparison of Coinbase and GDAX.
Here is what the Coinbase dashboard looks like on a typical desktop browser.
The mobile app has nearly all of the same functionality and doesn't make it anymore difficult to buy from your phone as it does on your computer.
Coinbase should be your buying foundation and is the logical starting point for new investors (at the time of this post).
GDAX is a platform created by Coinbase that allows users to buy, sell and trade the supported coins BTC, LTC, BCH and ETH with one another OR for fiat dollars.
Here are all of the currently supported trading pairs on GDAX
Once you create a Coinbase account, creating a GDAX account takes just a couple of minutes.
So first, visit Coinbase and create an account (click the link to the left at you'll get an additional $10 worth of BTC with your first purchase of $100 or more).
Next, download the mobile app (available on iOS and Android).
A handful of exchanges support mobile purchasing but Coinbase reigns supreme in terms of app stability, speed and user friendliness.
I have purchased over $40,000 in coins from Coinbase and most of the buys were done right from my iPhone.
Once you have a Coinbase account, you will want to head over to GDAX and create an account there.
If you have a Coinbase account already, the process is simple since they are owned by the same company.
Binance is a larger exchange that will allow you to purchase a wider variety of coins.
I recommend that you purchase BTC and/or ETH from Coinbase and then transfer the funds to Binance if you want to purchase ALT coins.
Binances supports some of my favorite coins...
- And many more.
When joining, verify that there is a "Secure" icon and label to the left of the Binance address. There are unfortunately a number of phishing scams out there that are causing people to sign up for fake accounts and lose massive amounts of money.
The link in the button below should take you to the secure site but always double check in case.
Note: At the time of writing, Binance isn't easy to join. They are approving new users in waves so you may need to check back for multiple days in a row before you can get approved. It is worth the wait so keep at it until you're in and you'll be in for good.
Here is a great video showing the process of registration.
Bittrex is an exchange similar to Binance.
It supports many of the same coins as Binance and is very similar in terms of usability and features.
As with Binance, be sure that you are visiting the actual Bittrex site and NOT a phishing scam.
The link below should take you directly to the secure site but always double check.
3 Apps to Install for New Cryptocurrency Investors
Now that you have your exchanges set up, you will want to download/install a couple of programs/apps.
1. Google 2 Factor Authenticator App
If you don't have 2FA (two factor authentication) set up on your accounts, you're playing with fire.
There are more than a few heart breaking stories of people who didn't enable 2FA and lost big time.
Setting up 2FA on your accounts will make sure that no one can access your accounts without entering a unique (and ever changing) 6 digit number.
Yes this adds a step to the log-in process but it is well worth it in the long run.
Keep in mind, some exchanges claim that they have insurance to cover losses if the entire site is hacked somehow. Most sites (like Coinbase) state that this would NOT cover someone stealing your password and draining your funds.
Here is the legalese regarding lost funds due to the compromise of user names and passwords as laid out by Coinbase in their user agreement.
All four of the accounts I mentioned above support 2FA and you should get that set up ASAP.
Note: Be careful not to delete the app ever! If you do, you will need to jump through hoops with the exchanges you set 2FA up with to get access to your accounts.
There are other authenticator apps but I trust Google full heartedly.
2. Delta Portfolio App
Having just one coin is like eating just one potato chip. It's nearly impossible.
Although you won't have dozens of individual coins initially, you will likely expand your portfolio over time, across multiple exchanges and you'll want to see what the total value of all your holdings is.
Fortunately, there are a number of great apps that let us see our total holdings and view the general health of our investments. My favorite is the Delta Portfolio app.
It has a clean user interface, supports a large number of coins and has a solid notification feature.
WARNING: Portfolio apps like Delta can be HIGHLY addictive and you may find yourself checking them all throughout the day. If you aren't going to act on the information they give you, you may not even want one. You have been warned!
3. Exodus (Digital Wallet)
When you purchase coins you should always transfer them to a secure wallet.
Keeping coins directly on exchanges is highly risky and can result in massive losses if your passwords are stolen or the exchange is hacked.
There are many digital wallets and they all support different coins.
The best, most basic wallet I can recommend is the Exodus wallet.
If you have coins that are not supported by Exodus, you will want to do some research and find wallets that do support them. Again, never keep large balances on exchanges!
WARNING: You should be EXTREMELY paranoid when it comes to choosing a wallet. Even physical wallets are able to be manipulated. Always double check to make sure that your wallet is authentic and from the actual developer and/or manufacturer.
This is a great, free digital wallet that allows you to store a number of coins. Unlike the Ledger and Trezor wallets, there are no physical components to this wallet and you can access it from any device that has the wallet installed using a password.
Interested in Learning More about Cryptocurrency Trading and Investing?
This is my private and FREE Facebook group.
It is very close knit and requires an email to join.
The admin are all highly successful investors and share insights into what is happening, what we are doing and what we think the future holds each week.