Get now your copy of Bite-Size Bitcoin
- how to get started with bitcoin
- avoid scams and get to know the biggest hacks
- find out regulatory requirements
- 169 pages of packed information
Research: There are a staggering number of exchanges, so it’s important to choose one that has the features you’re looking for – whether that’s a big selection of altcoins or top-notch security
Things to identify before you choose an exchange:
- The amount you plan to trade
- What coin you want to trade
- What perks you’re looking for (rewards program, visa card, etc)
- How focused you are on security
- What country you’re in
Once you have a good idea of what you’re looking for, choosing an exchange will be much easier.
Sign up: Buying crypto is slowly but surely becoming a highly regulated process. Due to Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) legislation, it’s a safe bet to say you’ll usually need to provide proof of residence and some form of government ID. The verification process can be frustrating, but you’ll get through it eventually (keyword eventually). Verification can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 12 days, so don’t go in expecting to start trading immediately.
Security: Once you’re verified and fully set up, make sure your security is in order: if you don’t already have one, get a password manager. Always set up two-factor authentication and read the exchange security recommendations. The crypto ecosystem is famous for scams and hacks. No matter how safe the exchange you use is, if you’re not following best practices your hard earned money can disappear. Remember, crypto exchanges aren’t like banks, and transactions aren’t reversible; if your funds are stolen, it’s likely you won’t get them back.
If you’re very worried about this, it might be worth it to prioritize exchanges that have insurance and look into using cold wallets.
Funding: You made it! You’ve signed up, verified your account, locked it down and made it difficult to hack. You’re now ready to purchase crypto. Most exchanges allow you to purchase crypto via card or bank transfer, though with differing fees. Select the coins you want to purchase, and start buying.
What’s next: You’ve gotten an account and funded it – now you can really start trading and tending to your investments. Different exchanges offer different financial services. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can look into margin trading or futures. You can also diversify your portfolio by spreading your investment over several coins. Many exchanges offer perks and rewards programs, so now is a great time to look into those.
Have fun, keep informed, and invest carefully.