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Where, What and How: Everything You Should Know About Buying Your First Cryptocurrency

August 29, 2018 |

Where, What and How: Everything You Should Know About Buying Your First Cryptocurrency

If you already own bitcoin, this article’s not for you – though you’d probably have appreciated it when you were first starting out. This one goes out to anyone who’s yet to dip a toe into the world of cryptocurrency, but is seriously considering it. Over the course of this guide, you’ll discover the best ways to buy cryptocurrency, what to buy, where to buy it, and where to store it.

Also read: Coinbase: 42% of World’s Best Universities Offer Crypto Courses

It’s Never Too Late to Buy Your First Bitcoin

As the adage goes, the best time to get into bitcoin was eight years ago and the next best time is today. With one bitcoin divisible to 100 million places, there’s more than enough to go around, enabling first-time buyers to acquire as much or as little as they please. And don’t feel you’re obliged to buy bitcoin either – there’s a whole world of cryptocurrency out there, including coins with specific features such as maximizing privacy.

Bitcoin Cash
The Bitcoin.com wallet

Some people purchase cryptocurrency for investment purposes, others to facilitate private online purchases, others use crypto as a sort of savings account, and others as a hedge against inflation that is devaluing their national country. There’s no ‘right’ reason to buy cryptocurrency; even if you’re simply curious about the technology underpinning it, purchasing a small amount of crypto is the best way to understand it.

Depending on where you live and who you associate with, you’ll hear a lot about certain cryptocurrencies in particular. In developing nations such as Venezuela and Nigeria, for instance, Dash seems to be unusually popular. Many Asian countries are big on ripple (XRP) and ethereum (ETH). Here are Bitcoin.com, we’re fond of bitcoin cash (BCH), which is cheap and fast to send, but we also enable people to purchase bitcoin core (BTC) and offer a popular mobile wallet that supports both.

What to Know Before You Buy

While it is no one’s place to tell you what to buy, there are some coins you should probably avoid as a first purchase. Be wary of any cryptocurrency you’ve been recommended that’s ‘certain’ to go up in price or that promises a ‘guaranteed return’. Just because a friend made spectacular profits off a particular coin doesn’t mean you should follow their example – in fact, it’s often a sign that you should steer clear.

If you are pondering dipping a toe into the waters of cryptocurrency – a move that is likely to be followed by full immersion – you’re hopefully doing so for reasons other than to ‘get rich quick’. While it is likely that certain crypto assets will appreciate in value significantly over the coming years, others will stagnate or may even die off altogether. For every chart looking like this:

Where, What and How: Everything You Should Know About Buying Your First Cryptocurrency

There are five that look like this:

Where, What and How: Everything You Should Know About Buying Your First Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies are still relatively new, and as such can be volatile. As a general rule, the smaller the market cap of the coin (i.e the price per coin multiplied by its total circulating supply), the higher the volatility. This is because small market cap coins have much lower liquidity, meaning that even a modest buy or sell order can alter its price, and have a smaller community of users. Bitcoin, on the other hand, can be regarded as the gold standard of cryptocurrency, having been there from the start and boasting millions of users.

Where to Buy Cryptocurrency

Coinbase Seeks Online Merchant Crypto Adoption by the MillionsAside from pondering what to buy, there’s the small matter of where to buy. Here at Bitcoin.com, it’s possible to buy bitcoin cash and bitcoin core using your credit card, but we appreciate that option won’t be for everyone. If you don’t have a credit card, or are looking to acquire other crypto assets, there’s a range of options at your disposal. Localbitcoins.com is an extremely popular peer-to-peer marketplace where you can buy bitcoin core (BTC) and there’s also its counterpart, Localbitcoincash.org. These sites will enable you to purchase cryptocurrency via methods such as bank transfer, Paypal, or in person using cash. Alternatively, you can buy cryptocurrency from an exchange such as Coinbase, or via apps such as Circle (US) and Wirex (Europe), but you will be required to submit identification documents before you can make your first purchase.

Bitcoin Cash

To ensure you’re not being overcharged, check Coinmarketcap or our own Satoshi Pulse for the latest prices on all major cryptocurrencies. Alternatively, if you’re buying BTC, BCH, or ETH, simply type the name into Google alongside your native fiat currency for instant price data. Note that when purchasing from a site like Localbitcoins.com, you may be charged a premium of 5-7% over the market price. Similarly, credit card purchases incur a fee. Aside from a handful of countries where access to cryptocurrency is limited, you should not be paying more than a few percentage above market price at most, however.

Where to Store Your Cryptocurrency

When you purchase cryptocurrency from one of the aforementioned platforms, it will be credited to your built-in wallet associated with that account. With Localbitcoins.com, for instance, you’ll see something like this:

Where, What and How: Everything You Should Know About Buying Your First Cryptocurrency

You could simply leave your cryptocurrency in your wallet until you eventually decide to sell it, but that’s not recommended. For one thing, until you start to use it – sending a little to friends and family; purchasing goods and services – you can’t begin to appreciate the value and versatility of cryptocurrency. And for another thing, using the built-in wallet provided by the likes of Coinbase or Circle is unwise because if your account should get compromised – or the entire platform suffer a major hack – you could lose all your funds.

Ledger Nano hardware wallet

One of the best things about cryptocurrency is that unlike money stored in a bank account it is yours and yours only once it’s stored in a wallet that you hold the private key to, whereupon no one, be it friend or foe, financial provider or government agency, can freeze or seize it. With close to 3 million downloads, the Bitcoin.com wallet is a popular choice for storing bitcoin cash and bitcoin core. Other popular mobile wallets that grant you full custody of your crypto assets include Edge and BRD. If you’re intending to hold onto your cryptocurrency for a long time, and won’t be needing to access it frequently, you may prefer to use a hardware wallet.

There’s a lot more to learn about cryptocurrency and our Getting Started page will link you to further resources. If you intend to acquire cryptocurrency, don’t invest more than you can afford to lose and do your own research before taking the plunge. Then, once suitably informed, go ahead and make your first purchase. Once you’ve got skin in the game – or rather coins in your wallet – you’ll begin to appreciate the power of cryptocurrency.

What advice would you give to someone purchasing cryptocurrency for the first time? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Where, What and How: Everything You Should Know About Buying Your First Cryptocurrency appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

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This Week in Bitcoin: Everything Has a Price

February 26, 2018 |

This Week in Bitcoin: Everything Has a Price

In crypto, as in life, everything comes with a price. You want free tokens airdropped to your wallet? Prepare to answer a bunch of questions and follow a bunch of social channels for the pleasure. You want cheap bitcoin transactions? Then the price you must pay is forgoing the network for all but essential transactions. We’ll be covering that contradiction in terms – plus a whole lot more – This Week in Bitcoin.

Also read: Hacker Returns 20,000 ETH to Coindash

The Cryptoverse Never Sleeps

From bullish to bearish and cheerful to sad, a typical week in the crypto space encompasses it all. The stories coming from South Korea this week were decidedly mixed. The nation’s cryptocurrency exchanges have certainly been doing well; revenue is up 88x in just a year. That story was tempered, however, by the sad news of a cryptocurrency regulator found dead in his home, with stress believed to be an attributing cause.

If there is one overarching theme to the past week, however, it’s been the fact that transaction fees are ridiculously cheap. We’re talking just over 1 satoshi per byte cheap. Some bitcoiners have been celebrating, but this cheer should be tempered with a dose of realism, for there’s a reason why fees are so low: people have simply stopped spending bitcoin, whose daily transaction volume has dropped significantly over the last two months.

Algorithms Rule Everything Around Us

Censorship can take many forms. There are outright bans, and then there’s the Facebook approach which is not to censor posts per se, but rather to render them effectively invisible so that no one sees them on their timeline. A recent change to Facebook’s algorithm has caused brand pages to all but disappear from followers’ feeds. What has this got to do with crypto? Well, if you want to keep seeing posts of pages you ‘like’ – including news.Bitcoin.com – here’s what you have to do. The price for continuing to use Facebook is having the news you like buried beneath the baby photos you have to pretend to like.

This Week in Bitcoin: Everything Has a Price

Living Life on the Edge

This Week in Bitcoin: Everything Has a PriceMulti-asset wallet Edge went live this week, and it’s one of the most eagerly anticipated cryptocurrency apps in a long time. One of the cool things about the app, which is available on iOS and Android, is that it stores bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, and ERC20 tokens. And because there’s Shapeshift integration, it’s easy to swap between supported currencies. Like any new app, there are still a few bugs to be squished, and some Android users have reported issues with getting Edge wallet to run properly on their devices. Speaking of apps, Robinhood has now begun rolling out its crypto trading feature. Interest has been extremely high, but it will be interesting to see whether this transitions into actual usage on a scale that can give Coinbase a run for its money.

From the practical to the crazy, and the first of this week’s weird stories involves “Zen Master” Steven Seagal who’s gone from being a pugnacious action star to the brand ambassador for an extremely dubious cryptocurrency called Bitcoiin with two I’s. Nothing about this story makes much sense. Then again, neither does the story about people now tokenizing themselves, but apparently that’s now a thing.

A Law Unto Themselves

One of the most commented stories from the past seven days concerns a California man who was arrested for selling just shy of 10 BTC. For this innocuous act he’s been hit with a money laundering charge. ICE – the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency – were responsible for the man’s arrest and subsequent indictment. You would expect regulatory agencies to be suspicious of bitcoin, but not institutional investors. That’s exactly how dinosaurs such as commodities trader Dennis Gartman feel about bitcoin however. Thankfully not everyone from his generation is as negative about all things crypto. Tim Draper put it best when asked if he would consider selling his bitcoin for fiat, replying “Why would I sell the future for the past?”

The Oil Backed Crypto That’s Backed by Nothing

We’ve written a lot about the Petro over the last few months, and this week was no different as Venezuela finally got round to offloading it via a pre-sale. Trying to separate the facts from the government hype are never easy though, and thus Maduro’s claim to have sold hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of tokens should be taken with a shovel of salt. It’s also been pointed out that this supposedly oil-backed crypto is in fact backed by the monetary value of a barrel of oil…in bolivars. In other words, the petro is backed by a big fat nothing. Oh, and at the last minute it’s switched from the ethereum blockchain to NEM. Allegedly.

This Week in Bitcoin: Everything Has a Price

And Finally…

We resisted writing about IOTA this week, though suffice to say they’re still threatening to sue everything and everyone for having the temerity not to accede to their worldview. IOTA, with its ‘free’ transactions, is another proof that everything has a price, which in this case includes missing coins, constant threats, black-listing, doxing, and litigation. Last time we checked in, Charles Hoskinson was offering to fund any security researchers who wind up sued by IOTA.

Finally, a word on the price of buying into that hot ICO you were shilled a ref link to: statistically speaking, there’s a 46% chance the project will be dead in the water by this time next year. Just saying. Catch all the rest of this week’s top stories, broken down into bite-size chunks, on the This Week in Bitcoin podcast with your vivacious host Matt Aaron.

What was your favorite story from this week in bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post This Week in Bitcoin: Everything Has a Price appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

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