So What’s All The Buzz?
Bitcoins? Ethereum? Words that were barely mentioned last year (2016) by most of the major financial news sites such Forbes, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, Nasdaq, financial sections of the New York Times and Washington Post, etc. This year they’re all reporting it constantly. The meteoric rise of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin which was up more than 180% this year. And even more impressive was Ethereum which was up by 2000%! Most analysts believe this is just the beginning of what they see as the financial opportunity of a lifetime.
This site has been receiving tremendous number of requests from our readers for a ‘how to’ on getting into this lucrative crytocurrency market. Here’s our humble attempt to provide an easy ‘how to’ guide for buying your first bitcoin. Hope it helps! 👍
#1) First, Find an Exchange
The first step is to find an exchange that will accept your fiat currency (USD/EUR/GBP…) with a transfer method that is available to you. There are several such exchanges, some regulated some not, all over the world and it is highly advised that you check for yourself which one you trust with your money. Two of the most popular and convenient-to-use options that you can look into are Coinbase and localbitcoins.com.
COINBASE – Simply Put, The Easiest To Set Up & Use
Whether you’re purchasing bitcoins, ethereum, or litecoins, pretty much everyone who buys and sells crypto coins online on a regular basis will tell you that Coinbase is the most convenient and ‘easy to setup and use’ option available. Currently there are over 8 million users from over 30 countries that utilize the service, including the US, Canada, most of Europe, Australia, Singapore, etc. And that number is still exploding. Payment methods such as credit card, debit card, and bank transfers (ACH) are available. Purchases made via credit/debit cards are usually instantaneous, while bank tranfers (ACH) could take anywhere from 3 to 5 days. Once a purchase goes thru, the coins are deposited into your online wallet at Coinbase. Visit their site for more details..
Localbitcoins.com – The Next Best Thing
Another option is to buy bitcoins with cash using Localbitcoins.com. Depending on the seller/provider, the options vary from a direct person-to-person exchange or making cash deposits at a local bank branch that the seller specifies. Sellers all have customer reviews and ratings so can check to see which seller you feel comfortable working with. Payment methods such as cash, Neteller, Webmoney, Skrill, Moneybookers, PayPal, Western Union and more are available.Like Coinbase, you’ll have an online wallet thru your account that you’d open at Localbitcoins. Visit Localbitcoins.com
#2) Next, Get an Offline Wallet As Your Main Storage & Backup
Security: Online vs Offline Wallets:
Although you’ll have an online wallet at exchanges such as Coinbase and Localbitcoins, most people prefer to download and store most of their coins to an offline wallet. The reason being that online exchanges have had their share of hacker break-ins in the past. (Mt Gox and Bitfinex for example, were hacked a few years back and most of the coins in these exchanges vanished.). So most bitcoiners feel it’s best not to have all their coins sitting at an online exchange for too long. Just in case something like a ‘Mt Gox’ were to occur again.
Accesibility: Online vs Offline Wallets:
Online wallets that are under exchanges can also have access issues from time to time. Even trusted online exchanges such as Coinbase have had serious ‘growing pains’ this year in trying to keep up with the growing demand for bitcoins. This created a order ‘bottleneck’ which briefly crashed the site, making it inaccessible for a short while. And this has happened a few times.). So it’s another reason why it makes sense to set up an offline wallet that you have complete access to 100%.
Types of Offline Wallets:
Software Wallet (Desktop or Mobile):
You can easily download the software from trusted sites such as Blockchain.info. For your mobile phone, you can download Blockchain’s Bitcoin Wallet for iOS or Bitcoin Wallet for Android. Making transactions via mobile is a snap. These are all free btw. (You should always click on the option to encrypt your wallet once installed. This is very easy to do. It’s just an option you’ll see on your wallet’s control panel.).
This is hands down the best way to go about storing your bitcoins long term. It is definitely the most secure way to keep it. If, heaven forbid, a hacker ever broke into your PC looking for bitcoins, it could mean adios to your coins. But this becomes impossible with a dedicated hardware crypto wallet. The 3 most popular options for this are Ledger Nano, TREZOR, and KeepKey. The size of a hardware wallet is pretty small. Usually the size of a USB thumb drive or flash drive.
Ledger supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, Dogecoin, Zcash, Dash, Ripple, Stratis, Komodo
KeepKey supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Dash and Namecoin.
TREZOR supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, Ethereum Classic and ZCash.
Hope This Helps! 👍
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