Ah, the first day of buying crypto. To some it feels like the first day of spring training. To others, its Christmas morning. Whatever your feeling is, let’s figure out where the best places are to buy crypto.
There are a few websites popping up that allow you to exchange fiat (or cash) for crypto, but they are so new and untested, the only website I feel comfortable and reliable enough to note at this time is coinbase.com. To get an updated list and review of where else you can buy, go to altcoinatlas.com/buy. The rest of the walk-through below will focus on the coinbase interface, but this process is very similar to the other websites.
According to the Coinbase website, all digital transactions are fully insured, and cash is covered up to $250,000 (fiat). That sure makes it a little less scary. The first thing you must do is identify yourself. While the world of crypto originally started with criminal activity, crypto exchanges are required to take a bit of precautionary screening to keep the integrity of their platform. After you go through their identity process, you can use a credit card or bank account to buy crypto. Be aware, sometimes this transfer process can take from a few hours to 7 days, depending on your method of exchange and the congestion of the network.
Currently, Coinbase is only selling three coins (Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin), but have recently announced they will be including many altcoins in the near future. This is an exciting time for the crypto community as currently; the only way to attain these altcoins is through trading, not buying directly.
Once your transaction goes through, three things will be created for you. First, a wallet. This is where your coins are being stored. We will talk more about this in the next section. Inside this wallet you have a private key and a public key. These are important, so listen up.
Think of the public key as your public phone number. You are open to giving this out to anyone and everyone you want. In our situation, anytime we want to send or receive money, we use this public key. Its your fingerprint on the crypto universe.
Think of the private key as the super secret code you use to open your phone. Don’t give this out to anyone. If they know this code, they will have access to all your crypto treasure.
With any investment, the next step should be making sure you keep this coin safe, and secure. In the next section, we will discover what a wallet is, and the best practices for keeping your newfound coin safe and secure.