If you haven’t seen the news (or just live under a rock), you will have caught wind that cryptocurrency (especially Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin) have been going a little insane. Bitcoin alone has gone up by over 1,400% on the year at the time of me writing this post.
With all of this excitement, a lot of people are looking to get into trading cryptocurrency. I was one of those people. As I started to look into how to get started, I realized it was quite hard to find a quick and easy guide (actually, I found a great guide here!). Most places expect you to have some knowledge of different coins and marketplaces.
So I decided to document the steps I took to get started in the trading arena.
I am no means an expert or would ever claim to be. These are just the steps I have taken to trade a little bit of cryptocurrency. I would highly recommend doing your own research as well before getting started.
Step 1: Determine how much you are willing to lose.
This sounds dreadful. No ones wants to trade cryptocurrency with the expectation of losing. You are hoping for crazy high gains and tons of extra money.
It all sounds good one paper, but if there is one thing I know for sure, it’s this:
Trading any type of cryptocurrency is extremely risky. There are no guarantees for profit at all.
So I like to look at it like this: Only play with money that I am willing to lose and can afford to lose. If I would drop it in a casino and not start crying if I lost, I am at that acceptable amount.
For me, this amount was roughly $1,000 that I made from the Electroneum ICO (initial coin offering). I viewed this as house money and was willing to reinvest it into other coins.
Step 2: Set up a Coinbase account
In order to buy any type of cryptocurrency, you need to have a marketplace to purchase said coins. The one that is easiest to set up in the United States is Coinbase (here is a quickstart article on a few other Crypto Marketplaces as well).
Coinbase is a marketplace that allows you to purchase 4 different types of cryptocurrency: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin. You can purchase these coins with a bank account, debit card, or credit card. There are fees associated with buying each type of coin and those are shown to you before you complete your purchase.
If you would like to get an extra $10 for your account (once you buy or sell $100 worth), use this link:
It should look something like this:
Step 3 – Decide What Coins You Would Like To Invest In
If you are looking to solely invest in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, or Litecoin, you are ready to go. You will simply decide how much of what coin to buy and hit the “buy” button. When you are ready to sell, you just type in the amount and sell. It’s a pretty straight forward process.
If you are trading in the short term, you should be fine leaving the coins in your Coinbase account. If you are holding long term, you will want to look at some different storage devices (to hold the coins and keep them safe from any hacking attempts).
When you purchase a coin, it is held in what is called a “wallet.” A wallet is basically like a bank account that only holds that type of currency. When you own multiple types of coins, you will have multiple wallets for each currency.
If you are looking to invest in any other type of coins (also called altcoins), you will need to find another marketplace to complete the trading. Most marketplaces do not accept US dollars, so you will still need to use Coinbase to purchase a mainstream coin to transfer to another marketplace (I prefer to buy Bitcoin as it is the most widely accepted, but I will purchase other coins if they are down in price and wait until they have a higher buying power).
Step 4 – Set up a Cryptopia Account
As I was searching for a secondary marketplace (specifically to sell my Electroneum), I landed upon Cryptopia. It is a New Zealand based trading platform that has numerous coins to buy and sell.
Setting up the account was pretty straightforward and easy. I had it up and running in under 15 minutes.
You can sign up for an account here.
Once you have an account, you will need to transfer either Bitcoin or Litecoin over to the account to start trading.
You will need to go to the “deposit” tab in Cryptopia and it should look something like this:
Then you will select what coins you would like to deposit. In the example above, I would be transferring Bitcoin over.
Then you will see a screen like this. You can send me as much Bitcoin as you would like if you so place.
With that address, you will then go over to Coinbase and transfer the coins to that address. That long address would go into a box like this:
Once you transfer the coins, you should expect a transaction delay that should last roughly 1 hour (on the long end). After the transaction has been confirmed, you will see the coins in your Cryptopia account.
And now you are ready to start trading!