It doesn’t seem that cryptocurrency will be just a flash in the pan type thing because it is not just the currency aspect that makes them so appealing.
The technology, the innovation, and the long reach and implications that these will have on the way we do things.
From business, to finance, to shopping, the technology that accompanies these new forms of currency are expected to be as popular, if not more popular than the currency themselves.
But for now, let us stick to the basics, should you get involved in cryptocurrency, and if yes, how to get started with cryptocurrency?
With so much information out there on the subject, it can be a tad confusing, so helpfully, we have condensed it all into one article for you. You are welcome. Let us read on to find out more!
Invest, Or Spend?
So, when it comes to getting involved in cryptocurrency, there are a couple of different reasons that may motivate you.
Firstly, you may be interested in buying coins to invest and to hold in the long term, hoping that they will grow in value and offer a healthy return.
Alternatively, you may wish to purchase coins to effect transactions in exchange for goods and services, or even to trade with other coins.
Most cryptocurrency fans tend to do a bit of both.
They invest a percentage of their money into different coins to hold in the long term, and they create a portfolio of investments which they will monitor to maximise the value and profit available to them.
With the remaining percentage of their available funds, they will purchase popular coins such as Litecoin, Bitcoin, and Ethereum, and will use them to effect transactions and to pay for goods, products, services or more.
You can decide to do either of these things, but if you want our advice, we recommend doing it a little bit of both.
To Trade Or Not To Trade?
When you buy or sell a cryptocurrency, you are actively taking ownership of the coin itself.
These purchases are affected via a cryptocurrency exchange, and you will also have to choose a cryptocurrency wallet to securely and safely store your cryptocurrency.
If you are trading in cryptocurrencies, then things are a little different.
When you spread your bets or even straight trade your cryptocurrency, you are speculating on whether the market that you choose will rise, or fall, when you are trading in cryptocurrencies, you never actually have direct ownership of the currency that you are trading.
Trading is excellent fun, and when done well, you can be set to make yourself a hearty profit. It is quick and easy to open an account, and you can usually be trading within five minutes.
It does require that you keep your finger on the pulse of the cryptocurrency industry such as reading the news and monitoring trends and a whole variety of charts.
To understand the substantial difference, read our article on The Difference Between Investing and Trading Cryptocurrency.
Investing In Crypto
If you decide that investing in cryptocurrencies is something you want to try, you are going to need to find yourself an exchange where you can purchase your coins.
There are two types of exchanges, those where you can purchase your cryptocurrency with fiat currency, and those where you need to hold a currency such as Bitcoin already, to be able to buy other types of coins.
Investing is also a long-term undertaking. Cryptocurrency fluctuates in value rapidly, and if you want to make a profit, you have to prepare yourself for a long wait.
For more information, read our guide on How To Choose Cryptocurrency To Invest.
Exchange Fiat Currency To Cryptocurrency
As mentioned before – there are different ways of getting your hand on cryptocurrency. If you’re at the very beginning of your journey, one of the most accessible options is to exchange fiat currency (Dollars, Euro, etc.) into crypto. Here are some of the most reputable exchanges where you can do it:
An Austrian based exchange, BitPanda has been around since October 2014 and is regarded as one of the best, particularly for EU-based clients.
It is an entirely automated platform which prides itself on its fast service, and super-quick transaction times making it an appealing option. It was designed to be a solution to the issue of it being somewhat difficult to acquire Bitcoin within the EU, and since its inception, it has gone on to build a sterling reputation.
Now the rate of exchange is a little higher than some other exchanges out there, but that is the price that you pay for the convenience of being able to buy your coins with credit cards, Skrill and SEPA transfer.
All in all, including fees, you are looking at a surcharge of around 3% on your transactions, which could be a lot worse!
Read more in ou BitPanda Review.
This is one of the largest social trading and multi-asset brokerages in the world. eToro is international as well. It has offices in Cyprus, Israel and the United Kingdom.
Founded in 2006, it started life as a forex trading platform, but as the years marched on, it grew to support cryptocurrency as well. Its social aspect is one of its most significant selling points as clients can observe and copy other traders, a nice touch which allows less experienced traders to learn from those with a lot more experience.
It is highly commended for its easy to use an app as well as the web interface, and it is quick and easy to get started.
At the moment, you cannot buy cryptocurrency through eToro yet, but soon the platform will introduce an in-built exchange and wallet, making it the perfect all-rounder for cryptocurrency.
Read more in our eToro Review.
This exchange is one of the worlds leading regarding commodities, and it gives you the chance to buy and sell a range of assets including fiat and cryptocurrencies.
You can purchase your crypto-coins with fiat currency as well which makes it easy for those that are just starting out.
CEX.io was started in London back in 2013, and they pride themselves on their 24/7 customer service, a high level of user and funds security, and a wide range of different assets that are available to trade.
Trade commissions are very low, between 0% and 0.2% and you can trade with Bitcoin, Ether, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Zcash, and Bitcoin Gold.
When it comes to security, they are one of the best, and they are registered with FinCEN (USA) and possess several security certificates as well as having stringent AML and KYC procedures for all of its clients.
Exchange Cryptocurrency To Cryptocurrency
If however, you already have some Bitcoin stashed, or you would prefer to purchase Bitcoin and then use it to trade with other cryptocurrencies, then these cryptocurrency- cryptocurrency exchanges are most definitely worth a look.
This is usually the next step, after you dip your toes into cryptocurrency world, but these are the exchanges you should be using if you decide to go for trading:
This is one of the fastest growing exchanges in the world. Launched in 2017, it has grown at an incredible rate and managed to acquire a pretty good reputation in the process.
Binance has also become a crypto-community latest sensation due to a large number of available coins.
It is available in multiple languages, it offers a very user-friendly interface, and it also provides super high-speed processing of orders, which is very convenient. You can only trade cryptocurrencies on it though, and all payments must be effected in cryptocurrency, not fiat currency.
One of the great things about it is that they are always adding new coins and it is one of the first to offer coins after a successful ICO, something a lot of the other exchanges are a bit slow to pick up.
Read more in our Binance Review.
This exchange offers to trade in Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum, as well as offering margin and leveraged trading.
Since it started in 2014, Bitfinex has become the worlds largest Bitcoin trading platform, accounting for 10% of cryptocurrency exchange trading.
While it has had a few security slipups along the way, it is, on the whole, an excellent option for those looking to move into the world of cryptocurrency to cryptocurrency trading.
Comparing to Binance, however, Bitfinex leaves a lot to wish for. Especially when it comes to security features.
You can read more in our Bitfinex Review.
The Best Cryptocurrency Wallets
Of course, when you are not trading, you need to have somewhere safe and secure to keep your cryptocurrencies, and this is when you need to start thinking about wallets.
One of the rules any cryptocurrency trader lives by is… NOT to ever keep your cryptocurrency funds on an exchange!
If you do so, you don’t have ownership of your coins, and you’re leaving them in the hands of the exchange. This is why you need a reliable wallet:
Ledger Nano S
The Ledger Nano S is an entry-price hardware wallet.
It is one of the most secure options as it does not stay connected to the internet, and it has its screen meaning that even if it is plugged into a computer that is infected with malware, it retains its full security.
Ledger is currently priced at €94.80 (including shipping) and shows an enormous potential for storing multiple altcoins in the future.
Read more in our Ledger Nano S review.
This is also a hardware wallet and while it is a bit pricier than the Ledger Nano S, it does pretty much the same things.
Personally, we don’t like the design of the TREZOR too much, and we think for the price tag that is attached to it, more could have been done to make it a little classier looking, but it still does the job.
Comparing to Ledger, however, TREZOR doesn’t have such a modern approach. Hence it’s more appealing to cryptocurrency fans who value anonymity more than anything.
Read more in our TREZOR review.
While hardware wallets are by far the most secure, they are not the best when it comes to convenience.
If you need a wallet that you can access quickly and efficiently, then a multi-cryptocurrency app-based wallet such as Exodus could be a good option for you.
Secure and with Shapeshift built into it as a standard, Exodus is excellent for those who need a wallet that is safe, yet easily accessible for those that need convenient access to their funds.
Created by one of the founders of Ethereum in 2014, the Jaxx wallet is available for iOS, Android, Windows and Mac, amongst others.
It supports all the leading cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Dash, Zcash and more.
It is ranked as one of the most secure app-based wallets around, and it offers users a sleek interface that is both easy to use and quick to get to grips with.
Avoid These Mistakes
The thing with dabbling with cryptocurrency is that it is a somewhat unchartered territory.
No one knows where the market will go, and no one knows what will happen tomorrow, let alone next week.
This makes investing in cryptocurrency, or even trading in it, rather risky. That said, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give it a go.
If you do decide to try your luck, be sure never to borrow money for your new venture and never, ever invest more money than you can afford to lose.
It is always wise to set yourself some limits regarding what you will put in, and what you are prepared to lose. While it can be tempting to put all you have into it, this is not a particularly wise decision.
Security And Safety
Always do your research on an exchange, trading platform, or wallet before you hand over your payment details or any of your assets.
There are plenty of reviews and communities out there that will be able to give you the lowdown on all the big names, and from there you can see which are the safest bets.
While nothing is secure in the world of the internet, doing a bit of research beforehand can help prevent you from getting stung.
Once you choose an exchange and wallet that seem like a good match, do some background check and look out for potential security breaches and hack.
If you haven’t already done so or were umming and ahhing about whether to or not, then now is the time to get involved with cryptocurrency.
With markets how they are, it is a time where you can easily access the market and work towards building a diverse and valuable portfolio.
It is an exciting world, more so than Forex, and with new coins coming out every day, and technology advancing at an impressive pace, there really is no excuse for not learning on how to get started with cryptocurrency and to give it a go!
Before you get started with cryptocurrency, research these three things, and you will be good to go:
- Pick your coin (Bitcoin or Ethereum).
- Choose a reliable cryptocurrency exchange (eToro).
- Invest in a secure cryptocurrency wallet (Ledger Nano S).