I am not a financial advisor. This is not financial advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile and risky. You could lose your entire investment.
This is a simple beginner’s guide for anyone wanting to start purchasing cryptocurrencies but don’t know where to start. The guide is designed so that you won’t have to use complicated exchanges to start investing in cryptos. It also teaches you the best way to keep your coins safe, in my opinion.
Keeping your coins safe is of extreme importance.
No prior knowledge of cryptocurrencies is needed. It can be overwhelming at first when you enter the market but I will break everything down in easy to follow steps for you to get you started.
Everything I mention here are tools I use myself or that I have used in the past. Many links are affiliate links, so you can click on the link if you wish or you can go directly to the home page.
These are the 3 steps:
1: Find and track your coins
2: Choose the exchange to buy from
3: Hardware wallet to store your coins for safety (optional)
1: Find and track your coins
My favourite site to track cryptocurrencies is Coingecko.To go to Coingecko, click here.
You can also use Coinmarketcap, which is the largest site for tracking cryptocurrencies, click here.
The image below shows the start page on Coingecko. It looks very similar on Coinmarketcap, so the examples work on both sites:
When you have found the coin you wish to buy on Coingecko, click on it. You can also search for any coin under the search bar at top. Let’s pick ADA for demonstration:
After you have clicked on ADA, scroll down until you see the overview tab and then click on markets next to it. Here you find all the exchanges the coin is listed on. On the right side is each pair the coin is listed against. You can also view the price, spread, volume.
2: Choose the Exchange to buy from
There are a lot of different exchanges but not all exchanges are trustworthy. If possible, I would recommend using a well-known, large exchange for any beginner.
When you’re first starting off it is also important that you choose an exchange where you can fund your account with fiat to buy your crypto, or if you wish to use a credit/debit card.
Coingecko and Coinmarketcap offers a list of exchanges that are considered trustworthy, so on Coingecko you could either click on the exchange under markets or you could go back to the startpage and press the exchanges tab on top. Press on spot.
Or click this link to go there directly.
Click here for the list of exchanges on Coinmarketcap. They differ slightly as you can see, so you can compare them between each other.
Below you have a ranking of all exchanges based on their trust score. I would recommend using an exchange with a high score, such as Binance or Coinbase.
Now that you have chosen the coin you would like to buy on the exchange of choice you just have to sign up and buy the coin. Signing up is a simple process and is pretty much the same at any exchange.
After you have signed up it can be a good idea to verify your identity. You will then in most cases be able to purchase and withdraw larger amounts of crypto from the exchange. It’s usually a copy of a passport and perhaps a recent image of yourself for verification. Sometimes it can also be proof of residency.
For safety concerns I would recommend enabling 2-step verification when you sign in. This makes it harder for a hacker to access your account. Most exchanges offer this.
These following three exchanges below are all great choices for any beginner. They are easy to use and trustworthy. I offer a simple step-by-step-guide for all the exchanges on how to purchase crypto by the easiest way possible. They also offer fiat options in order to buy crypto.
In my opinion, Coinbase is the easiest exchange to use for any beginner but the fees are relatively high and the amount of coins available is limited. For example, XRP is currently not available.
For a list of all coins available on Coinbase, click here. The exchange offers funding of your account with fiat from a bank account as well as a credit/debit card option.
If you wish to use Coinbase to buy crypto, click here to sign up, as well as a step-by-step guide on funding your account, safety precautions, purchasing crypto and sending your coins to an external wallet.
Binance offers the largest amount of coins amongst crypto exchanges. It is also a simple exchange to use and it includes more advanced trading features for the experienced trader as well.
It is also the exchange with the highest daily volume. This makes it a much recommended exchange to use. You can view all coins listed here. I would use the search function to find any specific coin.
Binance is NOT available to US customers, instead US residents can use Binance US.
Fiat options include Visa/Mastercard as well as funding from bank account.
If you wish to use Binance to buy crypto, click here to sign up, as well as a step-by-step guide on funding your account, identity verification, safety precautions, purchasing crypto and sending your coins to an external wallet.
If you want to use an exchange with a lot of trading pairs with XRP, that is also very easy to use, I would recommend Bitrue. The exchange offers easy purchase with a credit card.
It is a very simple process to use a credit card to buy crypto at Bitrue. For a list of all the coins you can buy with a Visa/mastercard credit card on Bitrue, click here. Then click on the coin and scroll down.
The exchange offers staking as well through power piggy, where you can earn passive income from your holdings. It is thus a good exchange to use when you learn more about the cryptocurrency markets.
To sign up you can click on the tweet below if you wish. It is an affiliate link to Bitrue with a good offer. Then you can click here for a step-by-step guide on purchasing crypto on Bitrue with a credit card, identity verification, safety precautions and sending your coins to an external wallet.
3: Hardware Wallets
If you now have purchased your coins I would recommend using a hardware wallet for storage. Safety concerns should be a high priority when it comes to cryptocurrencies, since a lot of people have lost their coins from being hacked.
There have been numerous cases of people holding their coins on an exchange when a hacker has gained access to their account and withdrawn their coins before the victim had time to react. It is not safe on a software wallet on your computer either since a hacker could gain access to your secret key from your laptop wallet.
In my opinion, the safest option is to store your coins on a hardware wallet. With a hardware wallet your secret key is encrypted inside the wallet and it never leaves the device. The secret key will therefore never be exposed.
You have to sign any transaction by the use of physical buttons on the device and it’s protected by a pin code that only you know.
This makes it very secure.
What I personally use is a Ledger Nano S. It is the most common hardware wallet on the market and it is the hardware wallet that support the most amount of coins. For all coins supported on a Ledger Nano S, click here. Ledger also offer other products, such as Ledger Nano X, if you’re looking for a wireless option.
You can buy a Ledger Nano S here (affiliate link) directly from Ledger. It is recommended to buy a Ledger Nano directly from the manufacturer (Ledger). Otherwise there is a risk that someone may tamper with the device if you purchase it from a third party.
There are other commonly used harware wallets as well, such as Trezor, click here (non-affiliate link). Click here for all the coins supported by Trezor. It is also a very safe hardware wallet to use, just like the Ledger Nano.
Something very important if you decide to purchase a hardware wallet is to make sure that the recovery words you write down are correctly written and that they are safely stored.
I would make several copies and double check everything. With a Ledger Nano S you write down 24 words. With these 24 words you can then recover your secret key. If you lose your Ledger Nano S you can recover your secret key on a new Ledger Nano device with the 24 words, so keep them safe.
Never ever store your recovery words on your computer. Once again, people have lost their coins from hackers gaining access to their computer.
Good luck :)