A detailed step by step guide including pictures
NOTE: This guide might be slightly outdated so if the pictures aren't 100% accurate, apologies in advantage.
If you’re looking to buy cryptocurrency and need a comprehensive first guide on doing so, you’ve found the right source!
Cryptocurrency is the talk everywhere I go. At work, on the bus and even walking by people on the street. So before I get into buying it, it’s important to understand that many exchanges use BTC (Bitcoin), ETH (Ethereum), or Litecoin (LTC) as a trading coin.
Think of it like this: When you buy stocks on the NASDAQ, the main currency in order to receive a stock is through paying by USD. Similar concept here but instead you’re paying BTC, ETH, or LTC in exchange for another coin. Got that?
Some other basic terms you need to understand:
Wallet Address: Basically the same as a home address — it’s a location you send, receive or hold a currency. In this guide, you will be learning how to deposit coins into an address on an exchange.
Altcoins: Basically any other coin that isn’t Bitcoin. Remember it as — alternative coin to bitcoin
There are many other terms but these are the two I will be referring to within the guide.
Ok, let’s start then!
1. How to buy BTC, LTC, or ETH
There are several ways of doing so but I will cover the online exchange method as this is most common. Other ways include meetups, in-person selling, and buying as well as bitcoin ATMs.
Note: If you already have BTC, ETH, or LTC and are just interested in buying ‘altcoins’ (alternatives to BTC) — Hop to my dot point 2.
At an Online Exchange
The most common example people use is Coinbase. Just because of its the ease of use and the ability to use a credit card or bank transfer, it’s a popular pick. Other options include Bitfinex and LocalBitcoins that I am aware of.
Once you sign up, you will be prompted an email as well as a verification process through an SMS on your phone. Simply select your country and then key in the code after.
FIRST THING — ENABLE TWO FACTOR AUTHENTICATION
I can’t stress how important this is. Surprisingly a lot of people didn’t know it even existed (I had a chat with two old work colleagues of mine and they both didn’t know what google authenticator was). Coinbase will default to SMS authentication but that is not safe anymore.
By simply doing a ‘SIM card swap scam’, a hacker can easily access your phone’s SMS if they wanted to (basically they mine or try to get as much personal info. on you as possible and then call your telephone provider and impersonate you in order to get a SIM).
Now how do we set up an authenticator?
- Click on Settings -> Security and then Enable Two-Factor Authentication. You should be prompted with a SMS check.
- You will then reach an authenticator screen
- Now, go to your phone and search for ‘Google Authenticator
- Download the app and then ‘scan’ the barcode (just hold the photo’s camera on top of it).
WHAT YOU SHOULD GET SHOULD LOOK LIKE THIS:
Now every time you log in, you will be prompted a code through this app. Simply open up the app and then input the number.
NOTE: it would be wise to save a screenshot of it and keep it safe (on say a USB that you don’t use online). If you accidentally lose your phone, it will be very annoying getting back your account.
Congratulations - you've set up your account
Click on the Buy/Sell menu and you will be taken to the below screen.
Simply upload a payment option and then input how much you want to buy and then buy your coins. I personally use Litecoin as its quicker and has less fees but many coins can only be bought using BTC currently.
Congratulation! You have just bought your first cryptocurrency (or at least using this guide).
2. Buying other coins on an exchange
As mentioned before, many exchanges use BTC, ETH, and LTC as a coin for an exchange. This section will explain how you can buy other coins that people are talking about around you (Cardano, Ripple, MIOTA, Verge, Stellar and the list goes on).
For this example, I will be using Binance (they have recently reopened registrations!) as it has a huge variety of coins as well as very low fees.
Once you register an account (Binance’s registration process is pretty straightforward to be honest), you’re ready to begin buying.
Firstly though, you must deposit BTC, LTC or ETH into your Binance account. Remember these are the main currencies to exchange for other coins.
- Go back to your Coinbase Account and click on ‘Accounts’
- Click on ‘SEND’ and you will be prompted this screen:
3. The ‘BTC’ address is essentially the wallet you will be depositing to on Binance. To get the address, go to your binance account and click on ‘deposit withdrawals’ under Funds:
4. Then click on Deposit and Copy your ‘Deposit Address’ (the bunch of letters and numbers).
5. NOW copy and paste this back to Coinbase in the recipient section and send how much you want to send over. It can take a bit so be patient but it should turn up in your Binance account which you can check under your the deposits/withdrawal tab.
So now you have BTC, LTC, or ETH to trade with — how do we start?
Go back to Binance and click on ‘Basic’ in the top left-hand corner under Exchange.
This will then take you to a screen looking like this:
Don’t be intimidated! It’s actually really easy to understand. As this is a beginner’s guide, I will be using ‘market rates’ but you can also set your own rates if you’d like. For this example, I will be using the coin ADA as a buying example.
- On the top right, you will see an ability to ‘search’. Simply click this and type ADA. You will then see that ADA is currently being traded for through BTC.
2. Click on it and you will be taken to the ‘market screen’ as shown similarly above.
3. Simply then input how much you like to buy and then click Buy ADA!
Congratulations, you just bought your first Altcoin using another currency.
However as shown in this example, ADA was only trading with BTC.
What if you only have LTC or ETH to trade with?
Simply swap it out through exchanging it on Binance (or go through an exchange to buy those coins to transfer across)
Here is a quick recap of what you need to do again:
- Setup an account on Coinbase (or a service that allows you to buy through a bank transfer, paypal OR credit card). Here is the link: Coinbase Link
- Buy your coins on Coinbase and then transfer it across to an exchange that trades in Altcoins. A popular one is Binance but I also use one called KuCoins. NOTE: As mentioned before, Binance currently only enables a certain amount of registrations daily. If you’re hungry and want to start trading, you can use KuCoin: kucoin.com — I would however still be patient and sign up to Binance when you can.
- Buy on Binance / Kucoin or another exchange through your purchased BTC, ETH or LTC!
Feel free to leave a comment for any thoughts or anything I can further add!