For the past 3 years there’s been a craze and hype surrounding cryptocurrency; the story of how Bitcoin rose from a value of nothing and peaked after several years at over $39,000. It now sits comfortably at over $27,000.
But Bitcoin does not hold a full monopoly on cryptocurrencies. There are other cryptocurrencies out there waiting for people to discover them, invest in them, and then watch their values soar. These other successful cryptocurrencies you have probably never heard of, and that is simply because Bitcoin was the first of its kind to do what it did. You never hear about who came in second, third, and fourth, these other cryptocurrencies that have blossomed in the same period as Bitcoin, just not to the same degree.
One of these other successful cryptocurrencies is Ethereum, a cryptocurrency that was created and introduced in August of 2015 at a whopping value of $3 and hit its high water mark in January 2018 at over $1,300. While not the same magnitude as the increase of Bitcoin, it is certainly nothing to scoff at and should be considered a legitimate property to invest in as far as cryptocurrency goes.
Now, you might be thinking that you want to get into buying, selling, and trading cryptocurrency, specifically Ethereum which is what this buyer’s guide will focus on, but you know so little about it all that you have no idea where to start, so we will break it down and explain the components of what cryptocurrency and Ethereum are and then explain how to buy Ethereum from various marketplaces.
Step 1: Download and Install a Digital Wallet
It can not be recommended enough that you download and install a digital wallet before you begin to dive into the murky waters of crypto. A digital wallet, or crypto wallet, is used to store cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin in an offline status, meaning you will have the cryptocurrency safely stored on your computer’s hard drive, safe from hackers and crypto thieves that might be able to take advantage of cryptocurrency store in a cloud type server. The digital wallet will keep your cryptocurrency safe until you are ready to use them. Each one will have different aspects that they might focus on, like the type of security features each one has or if there is a fee to use the software, things that might sway your opinion toward which one you would rather use. We will run through a couple of the most prominent digital wallets available for download and you can decide what suits you best, but whatever you choose, it is recommended that you do choose one before we begin.
Coinbase Wallet is easily the most accessible and user friendly for beginners getting into the buying and selling of cryptocurrency. It has an interface that is integrated directly with the marketplace and exchange services that you need to buy, sell, and trade your cryptocurrency, which allows for speedy transactions. You can sign up and register for free, and you can download it onto any device that you want: PC, Mac, iOS, Androids, tablets, pretty much any device on the market right now. Coinbase Wallet offers you some insurance on your purchases as well, as an added security measure for their entire service. Coinbase Wallet, and you download and install it on your device, will allow you to go online and check out the current trends in the marketplace and have access to your own personal wallet of cryptocurrencies and are free to interact with the marketplace at will right from the program itself. You can even link your Coinbase Wallet account directly with your bank account or your debit and credit cards for ease of access when transferring money for purchases and for cashing out on what you sell or trade for. It is one of the highest recommended digital wallets out there and one I would absolutely suggest checking out as a starter wallet.
Exodus is another easy to use digital wallet for those unfamiliar with the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies. Exodus stores your digital currency offline on your hard drive, just like Coinbase Wallet, but it does not offer the same level of insurance on your purchases and transactions, so that is something to look into. But it does offer support for numerous cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum, and it is a completely free service that has built in graphing tools that help you to visualize your portfolio of cryptocurrencies and understand the trends in the marketplace that much easier by helping you to visualize the trends that you are investing in if you are someone like me who does better with visual representations of things. Exodus does not offer a two factor authentication system when registering your account with them and downloading and installing the program. This means that other digital wallets have a stronger security feature in place to protect your account from outside forces. So again, the overall security and protection measures of Exodus are being called into question, so it is up to you to decide whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages when it comes to this digital wallet. But regardless, it is one of the better digital wallets for beginners out there, so you can’t go wrong with Exodus.
Mycelium is a digital wallet that became popular because it is one of the few digital only wallets options available on mobile platforms. It is available on both iOS and Android, so no one should be neglected from being able to go to the app store and downloading this digital wallet. Mycelium offers some unique features being a mobile only digital wallet that others do not offer. Mycelium was developed to be interlinked with other, more advanced technologies that can be added as extra layers of security and protection, like being able to bounce your IP address like a VPN would across different locations around the world so no one is able to track down specifically where your purchases are made, which is a added feature that some people would find extremely useful, considering it is on a mobile device that usually has all its activity recorded wherever it goes. You can also access the online digital marketplace to buy, sell, and trade through Tor, which is an internet browser that offers total anonymity online, which doubles the amount of protection any outside thieves would have to hack through in order to gain access to your particular wallet of cryptocurrency. It is a good option for those who do not want to use their desktops for this and would rather do it on the go, whenever you have spare time to browse the marketplace.
There are a lot of other digital wallets out there that are popular and well known that you can look up and research, but these are three of the easiest to use digital wallets out there that are also extremely popular with users and have a lot of update support behind them with their respective development teams. So it is recommended you decide upon, download and install whichever you want to use and move on to selecting which digital marketplace you want to go through.
Step 2: Choose a Digital Marketplace
After choosing and registering your digital wallet, it is time to select which digital marketplace to use. Think of it like when someone would invest in the stock market – when someone invests or interacts with the market, they usually go through a stock market broker that will help to advise you in what purchases and exchanges you could make, but people like that do not exist for cryptocurrency, yet.
Instead, there are online marketplaces that act as the broker for you, and will help you to visualize and understand the trends in the marketplace and decide what would be for you to decide in. While this guide will focus on Ethereum, specifically, there are dozens to choose from.
Each one of these digital marketplaces will provide different levels of security and performance. There are some that are more reliable than others, some that have large fees associated with any type of transaction made, some are easier to understand and make choices than others, but they will all help to get the job done standing in for the broker.
Coinbase is a really good choose for a digital marketplace because it is easy to read and understand and use, and as added bonus, if you chose Coinbase Wallet as your digital wallet, the two will be interlaced together and you can access Coinbase’s digital marketplace directly from the Coinbase Wallet program. Coinbase does not offer as in depth of analysis on the trends in the marketplace as others, but it makes it easy to understand and visualize for beginners and that is why it is heralded as the easiest to use. It does have fees for every transaction made on its marketplace, but the fees are not particularly high and the site has consistently performed at a high quality level that most people do not mind the fee as they know that their purchases and exchanges are protected. You can use it on your desktop, smartphone, or tablet, and you will be on your way to purchasing your first Ethereum.
Binance is a tremendous digital marketplace as it is highly unique in nature. It collects and transmits data from several different digital marketplaces and displays all of the information in one place for you to see and decide where you will get the highest return for what is in your portfolio of cryptocurrency. The interface is a little more difficult to read than other digital marketplaces because of all of the available information that Binance provides for its users. It is not so much as an overload of information that you are overwhelmed by its presence, but it will take a little more time to fully understand what everything means which will then allow you to better understand the trends in different marketplaces and decide what is best for you. It is almost like this digital marketplace teaches you to become your own cryptocurrency broker, and after spending some time on the website learning how to read the marketplace, you can become a pretty successful crypto broker.
Bitcoin Exchange Service
Bitcoin Exchange Service is a digital marketplace that, unlike what the name might suggest, is used for the purchasing, selling, and exchanging of dozens of types of ctyptocurrencies, like Ethereum and Bitcoin and Litecoin and what not. Some people might feel more secure using a digital marketplace made by the same people that made Bitcoin, because it was the first of its kind to really tap into this new marketplace. Bitcoin Exchange Service is also a digital marketplace that will outsource and provide you with information on several different digital marketplaces and what the different trends and exchange values are on them, allowing you to make the most of your portfolio. They also offer the ability to read reviews and the history of individual marketplaces to get a better understanding of how each one operates and so you won’t end up ripped off in the end.
Step 3: Selecting a Payment Method
Once you have selected and registered onto a digital marketplace you can then begin the process of inputting your payment information in order to purchase your first Ethereum.
Depending on which digital wallet and marketplace you chose, you might be limited in what your options are for payment, but most allow you to use PayPal, or link your debit and credit cards to your account, or even directly link your bank account to the marketplace and wallet in order for quicker transactions, however, the process through which you link your bank account can be tedious and take up to 24 hours to complete, so that might be a deterrent for some.
Once you have gone into your settings and selected how you want to pay for your Ethereum, and how you’d like to get paid for anything you might earn by investing and trading, you can move on to actually purchasing some.
Step 4: Buy Ethereum
Here comes the part you have wanted all along. Almost all of the digital exchange services will provide up to date, current information on exchange rates for cash into Ethereum, or if you decide to pay in some other currency besides cash, they should have those exchange rates displayed as well. It is important to pay attention to these exchange rates in order to get the best value for your purchases and trades, because sometimes Ethereum can be a volatile investment and will fluctuate with increases and decreases in value over periods of time that can leave some people concerned for its future. But as of right now a single Ethereum is valued at over $600 with a current trend of increasing, so it is safe to say it is a semi-wise investment.
Go ahead and check out the exchange rate for whatever currency you will be exchanging for Ethereum. Unless you want to directly invest the full $600 to buy a single Ethereum, you will be buying a small fraction of one. This is how I made my first purchases, buying only a tiny fraction of both Ethereum and Litecoin. My .0038 of Ethereum is valued at $2.31, but do not let that deter you, as it does not matter how small your initial investment into Ethereum is, because as long as the value increases, your stake in the cryptocurrency increases too.
I would recommend you start small with your first purchase, just so that you can run through the steps and get the process done pat (not that it is difficult, but when it comes to money you measure twice and cut once). Depending on whichever digital exchange service or marketplace you have chose, it will be a pretty straightforward and simple procedure to buy Ethereum. Once you have signed in and loaded up your marketplace, select Ethereum to buy. You will get to type in the amount of your own money that you want to spend on Ethereum, and the digital exchange marketplace will inform you how much of a single or multiple Ethereum you will get back in return.
After that, you will select ‘Purchase’ which will take you to the payment method screen where you will select whatever payment method you prefer, then that will move forward to the confirmation page. Once you confirm your purchase or exchange, the sale will go through the marketplace’s servers and usually within ten minutes you find yourself the proud owner of the cryptocurrency Ethereum. The digital marketplace will automatically deposit your owned Ethereum into the wallet that the digital marketplace provides for you (these are not as secure as offline digital wallets because of how the cryptocurrency is stored in the cloud and not on your hard drive).
Once you have Ethereum in your wallet on the marketplace, you will then want to transfer it into your offline digital wallet you downloaded earlier for safe keeping. Depending on the digital wallet that you chose, you may or may not be charged a small fee to transfer to and from the digital wallet. After you pay the tiny fee, the Ethereum will be in your offline, secured digital wallet, where you can wait and speculate how the value of the marketplace will turn. As a healthy reminder, cryptocurrency is very similar to the stock market, so you are going to want to keep tabs, almost everyday and sometimes multiple times a day, in order to keep track of the value of your Ethereum. Buy low, sell high.
Investing in cryptocurrency like Ethereum is a fun way to try to make some extra money and, in a particularly way, gamble on the cryptocurrency that you think is going to take off. Invest wisely and you could end up riding the next crypto-wave.