A Step-by-Step Guide to Buying Cryptocurrencies

A Quora blog entry, “How to Buy Ether?” went viral for a unique reason. Erin Chang’s answer reads: “Don’t (buy ether)! […] Diethyl-Ether is incredibly flammable, very dangerous to have in residential structures. Furthermore, it forms organic peroxides over time, which are shock-sensitive explosives.”

She should have won the sarcasm-of-the-year award and should maybe consider a career making internet memes.

While this not as complex as organic chemistry, buying cryptocurrencies like ether or bitcoin isn’t as straightforward as one might think. In fact, the process might take a few days.

Nonetheless, this guide shows you how to buy cryptocurrencies using good old USD or EUR. Before we take a closer look, why not take this opportunity to sign up for our newsletter so you can get all the best crypto hints, tips and news.

1- Create a Trader Account

Create an account on Gemini, Coinbase, Kraken, Binance, Bitpanda or Bitfinex. They all accept fiat currencies like USD. Some even accept Paypal transfers.

Coinbase is possibly the easiest option for beginners, but they charge quite a lot of fees (i.e., exchange fees, conversion fees, deposit fees and cashout fees). Traders are advised to do their research before choosing an exchange.

2- Undergo KYC or Know-Your-Customer

Verify and activate your account. You might need to upload a wide variety of documents like an official ID, SSN, bank details, activation and advance access codes. Each has different requirements, so have anything you could need at hand to make the process smoother for yourself. You might even be asked for a selfie with your debit card.

The whole verification process can take a day or two, so hang tight.

3- Deposit Funds

Follow the instructions on the exchange to deposit USD/EUR into your account. Minimum deposits are between $1 and $5 USD. Depending on your payment method (bank or wire transfer), this typically takes 3-5 business days.

4- Buy Your First Cryptocurrency

Now that you have USD in your exchange account, you can buy cryptocurrencies with it. Whether it is ether, bitcoin, Litecoin or Bitcoin Cash (don’t buy Bitcoin Cash!!), books are available to exchange fiat currencies for cryptocurrencies depending on your exchange.

5- Store Your Cryptocurrencies

The next step is to store your cryptocurrencies in a cold wallet. Storing cryptocurrencies in your exchange wallet (called a hot wallet) for an extended amount of time is risky. As a matter of fact, some exchanges, like Bitfinex, charge inactivity fees to traders who fail to “make” the market.

Think of your cold wallet as a safe method of storage – just be sure to keep your private key to yourself.

A widely accepted web wallet for ERC-20 tokens is MyEtherWallet, but the safest option is to buy a hardware wallet like Ledger Nano, Trezor or Keepkey.

Congratulations, you are officially a crypto-investor. And no, none of the links are referrals!

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Fell down the rabbit hole two years ago. Time to write about it.