Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have become all the rage of late. Well, to be completely honest, all the rage for quite some time for those in the know. Considering what happened in the bull run of 2017, I suspect when price action kicks off again, those on the outside will begin to swarm in once again and we will see things that we forgot those of us in this space thought the relentless time that is the bear are all too well versed with due to our experiential exposure.
I first got into the cryptocurrency scene quite literally at the top of the mountain. I suspect there are others out there in the same boat, and for those that maybe had a little better timing, let me tell you there is nothing quite as overwhelming to jump in head first at the top that is on it’s way down even though you have no idea that it is not still going up. Walking into this space where everyone is on fire with the FOMO and pumped up on the 1000x bug, it gets super crazy, and sometimes with all the hype, we forget to take care of the basics that safeguard our crypto space being. In this piece then, whether you be an old timer, seasoned, or a newbie, I hope that I can give you some tips on how to stay safe no matter what the future brings.
Image Source: Weiss Ratings Ranks XRP, EOS, Bitcoin As Top Cryptocurrency Projects
People who know I’m into crypto always ask me about the best place to invest in bitcoin. My answer is always the same – the bottom! Seriously though, I find many new comers especially, really have no idea about the best place to purchase bitcoin. For a new comer into the space it is a very legit question – its not just like you can roll on down to the local convenience store and grab yourself some crypto, well not quite yet anyway. Having went through the learning curve process myself, there are a number of things to keep in mind when looking to buy bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, especially for the beginner that has very little crypto sphere exposure. I’m hopeful then that this article will give at least some people some hints on the best place to purchase bitcoin and other crypto currencies as well as what to do with them once you have done so.
Likely the biggest concern people have revolving around bitcoin and other crypto currencies is the question of safety. For me at least, I remember when I first got into the space I really didn’t want to trust anyone. That said, I was very interested in the idea of crypto and wanted as best I could to find a safe place to purchase bitcoin. Knowing nothing I decided to research a reputable exchange that would allow me to get some money into the market and purchase bitcoin, as surely an exchange in connection with an institutional bank must surely be the safest place to buy crypto. I realize that this last comment may very well be met with some critical pushback, but please do bear in mind, for many of us when we first got into the space we had not really developed the passion for the technology or the incentive for the freedom as such – because lets face it – the majority of people that have jumped into this space have done it for purely selfish and speculative reasons. I could be wrong on this and I accept that, but I think personally for the average Joe, the more time spent in the space equates directly to the greater designation for contributing through use to a better world through trust less transparent transactions. Thats not to say that ‘once a speculator, always a speculator mindset doesn’t exist, but rather I think that those that actually embrace the space have a greater potential for seeing both the intrinsic and non intrinsic value over time of what a world accepting of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies actually has to offer. In terms of value and future potential, please do note that this only this authors opinion and not meant to either speak for the space or opinions of people in the space as a whole or act as any sort of financial advice – for I am not a financial advisor but rather just here to ponder what has been rummaging around in the depths of my philosophical mind and hopefully lay upon the dear reader some cautions and warnings should they choose upon their own due diligence and merits to explore any of these ideas further.
So then, to continue on, as luck would have it, shortly after I began considering and decided to ponder whether I should buy btc, I received a message from a good friend of mine asking if I wanted to accompany him to a crypto introductory meeting which seemed likely one of the best place to learn cryptocurrency in’s and out’s at the time that I could fathom. Although I was skeptical of the merits of this so called revolutionary system I did quite enjoy myself and can honestly say I learned quite a bit and met some really cool people, in the end having just met them and not really trusting anyone due to overt cautiousness, I decided the best place for me to get crypto was still the government sanctioned exchange mostly due to it seeming far less risky and safer to purchase bitcoin, ethereum, and a few other currencies. That said, personalized origin stories aside and having been in the space of such rapid innovation and change for some time now, limitations back then have been improved upon allowing new people interested in getting involved and trying their hand at this whole crypto thing with a whole new plethora of potential entry points that in some cases were not even thought of never mind available way back then.
All things considered, for those of you thinking that the safe place to purchase bitcoin is still the fiat exchange route I completely understand and won’t as many in the space may try to sway your decision for the simple reason that I honestly do believe that this is a journey one must travel in their own way to become comfortable with jumping into something so new. Regarding this then, essentially what you need to do to determine which exchange is best for you is to make sure that you do the research. Depending upon the jurisdiction in which you reside, the options for exchanges accepting fiat will be different. I suggest that if this is the route that you choose that you go with a trusted exchange available in your jurisdiction and do a little research on customer satisfaction and whether the general sentiment of the exchange is scammy or not. I would also suggest for those of you that choose to go this route that you are very carful and select an exchange that is compliant with all the governmental regulations that exist where you reside. The reason for this is primarily because I have seen quite a few exchanges in my jurisdiction pull the plug on services here due to not completing the necessary steps to become registered. Although I highly recommend you leave very little cash on exchanges no matter which you decide to use, I have seen people lose their trading money because they had funds tied up in orders waiting to go through and did not realize that the exchange would cease operations in their state or country. In addition, although not always the case per se, but usually the exchange fiat compliant gateways operation with all the t’s crossed and i’s dotted are far less likely to close down operations or exit scam their users. Common exchanges people seem to trust with their fiat deposits include but are not limited to Binance Jersey, Coinbase, BitFlyer, Bitstamp, and eToro.
If its strictly Bitcoin you are after, then you should be covered with a fiat pairing on almost every exchange that allows you to deposit fiat. For those interested in other coins, it really will depend upon the exchange – and to be quite frank, as time goes on, more and more exchanges are allowing fiat to alt coin pairings, so much so that I suspect anything that I will write here will be outdated very shortly. In terms of straight up bitcoin however, although there are better exchanges in my personal opinion than others, all I should say here is simply this is your hard earned money and crypto is a risky game with the potential for very high reward but also the potential to lose absolutely everything – so please do check out the reviews on these exchanges and choose your fiat gateway in this manner wisely. The last thing you want to do is trust an exchange that has zero track record and is hyped as the next greatest thing. I’m sure these exchanges are out there, but I would say especially when just getting used to the idea of bitcoin and other cryptos, the best place to invest in bitcoin with fiat is somewhere that has proven itself to be compliant and the greater community believes to be somewhat safe.
For those that may not have access to either the traditional fiat gateway, another way to get your hands on some bitcoin and other crypto currencies is to go the OTC (over the counter) route. It’s very probable that many major cities around the world have some kind of network available where people can buy and sell OTC cryptocurrencies. Of these, likely the most prominent which I suspect many people have heard of is Local Bitcoins.
Again, living in a country that does not have English as its first language, this is something I have very little experience with. Regardless, I absolutely love this concept and think that it really does hit the heart of what Satoshi had in mind when he created this system. Although many people swear that going the OTC route is by far not only a great option to purchase bitcoin, but in addition also the best place to sell btc and other crypto currencies, I would however caution anyone who does decide to look into this to be aware that there are a few bad actors in the that may try to take advantage of people new to the space. At the very least make sure that you double check the rate of the bitcoin or other currency against the fiat that you are paying with and never take the word of the seller at face value. I would also say that if it is your first time doing such a trade that you if at all possible take along a trusted friend or other person that has some knowledge of cryptocurrency markets and wallets to help make sure that you do not get taken advantage of. As I previously mentioned, this was exactly the reason that I chose the bank exchange route my first time entering into the space, as I was not really sure about anything and did not know where to even look for the t’s and i’s never mind where to begin to cross them.
One more thing you may very well want to check out is the recent boom in Bitcoin ATM’s popping up in various cities around the world. Although I have not ever had the chance to use one the process looks pretty easy provided you have some local currency and private wallet available. It is also possible to purchase other currencies such as Ethereum and Litecoin with some of these ATM’s and even specific ATM’s targeting only other currencies stating to become prominent in some of the more populated crypto friendly parts of the globe. In the future I suspect there will be a lot more of these as bitcoin and other crypto currencies become increasingly accepted and used throughout mainstream society.
It is important to understand that when dealing with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that you are operating in a decentralized environment whereby it is the responsibility of the individual to protect the keys to their funds. Please remember that in order to keep your digital assets sage that you must familiarize yourself with the workings of wallets as well keep your private keys backed up offline in a safe location. When it comes to wallets there are many options available for bitcoin, some of which tailor exclusively to bitcoin and others which allow the user to hold multiple assets within one wallet. In addition, always remember the best place to get a bitcoin wallet or multi currency wallet is the official website of the project – one that will in almost every case link you to the main github page allowing you to verify the validity via signatures and commits. In regards to straight up bitcoin wallets, likely the most popular are the desktop Electrum and Bitcoin Core versions.
Electrum is a lightweight secure python based bitcoin wallet allowing users to customize things such as addresses, transaction fees, and so a number of other things. Downloads in Python, Linux, Windows, OSX, and Android are presently available.
“Bitcoin Core is an open source project which maintains and releases Bitcoin client software called “Bitcoin Core”. It is a direct descendant of the original Bitcoin software client released by Satoshi Nakamoto after he published the famous Bitcoin whitepaper [consisting] of both “full-node” software for fully validating the blockchain as well as a bitcoin wallet.” Downloads available in Windows, OSX, and Linux.
For more on the in’s and out’s of bitcoin trading and wallets in particular, please check out All You Need to Know About Bitcoin as well as the wallet section below for other non exclusive bitcoin wallets that can be used to store your btc.
Best place to learn cryptocurrency
Learning about cryptocurrency is a very easy thing for someone looking to gather information on specific projects, coins, news, and trading, especially in a bull market. That said I caution you to stick to trusted sources as there are a lot of people out there ‘teaching’ that are merely purporting their own agendas. Personally I recommend following a variety of print and video media and fact checking that which you learn from others vigorously by yourself. This will allow some degree of FOMO and FUD prevention in that you will hopefully in time be able to decipher the good projects from the bad and shilled and make intelligent decisions for your trades and investments. Rather than give you specific sources on this, I will give you a brief breakdown of my weekly research tactics in an effort to give you a general breakdown of how I go about finding out information on various ongoings in the space.
Being a working man, I try to do as much information gathering in transit as possible. This both passes the time during travel and cuts down on the free time I need to spend keeping up with the fast paced crypto space. Usually on days when I am driving I listen to news recap videos of what is going on in the news and with the markets. Some very unbiased videos that generally have good information that I can catalogue for further research are TRYBE TV, The Gentlemen of Crypto, FUD TV, Crypto Zombie, and Nuggets News. One of the reason I like these videos is they are big proponents of informational education and try to keep coin recommendations to a minimum while at the same time bringing forth some easy listening allowing one to keep up with the space. In terms of TA I often listen to Krowns Crypto Cave and Working2005. That is not to say that there are not other great sources that one can listen to out there, as there most surely are – but rather these are the ones that I choose to listen to in the background when commuting. I think it goes without saying that none of these people should be relied upon for making decisions regarding investments and trading – and oddly enough maybe one of the reasons I like them is I think I have heard almost all of them at some point say ‘don’t ever listen to anyone on the Internet that tells you what to do with your money, not even me!’ The reality is it’s really your money and your decision what to do with it – and this is why I like these channels. At least for me I have never felt the need to get into a project or a trade based upon what these people were saying. I mean of course they talk about what is going on in the news and markets, but unlike others these people it seems operate with the notion of caution as opposed to many out there that seem to operate on a completely different level promoting FOMO or FUD seemingly to help themselves more than the viewers that trust them. Regardless, even though I do like to listen and respect all these people for bringing some kind of education to the front that I feel benefits the community as a whole, I never invest in or trade anything that they may be stating without doing my due diligence and fact checking it all myself, and in a very complete and critical way.
Provided I actually have time to sit down and actually read up on news in the space and a variety of projects on Coin Telegraph, Trybe.one, Medium, and occasionally Steemit. Much like in the previous video case, I use these sources more as a jumping off source for things that catch my interest. From there, I then usually find information direct from the project website and often join a telegram and twitter channel so I can monitor and learn a little more. These feeds are good as they will often give direct links to the project website where I can read more from the actual project itself and usually find a link to the official white paper.
Best Place to purchase cryptocurrency with credit card
CoinSwitch allows users to swap over 300 other crypto currencies and fiat. This exchange is more of a gateway to swap just about every pairing imaginable utilizing the exchanges listed above and others they are partnered with. Think of it more along the lines of utilizing bookings.com or cheapflights.com whereby CoinSwitch acts as a 3rd party finding the best real time rate to get into or out of the coins and pairings you choose.
Although I don’t personally use credit cards to purchase cryptocurrencies, at this time purchasing a variety of cryptocurrency is possible with Visa and Mastercard on CoinSwitch. First, choose the crypto you want to purchase and then enter the amount of USD dollar value you want to spend. This will bring you to a list of exchanges offering that pairing whereby you can choose the one with the best price. Next, follow the prompt and enter your personal wallet address for the coin you want to buy. Finally, input your credit card details and wait for the payment to be received and your account to be credited. Once again though, this is something that I have never personally tried and have no experience with. Maybe if someone out there has tried this they could drop a comment below and let us know how it all went. For a more detailed description of this process please see here the official CoinSwitch process page here.
A couple other options I recently became aware of where you can use a credit card to purchase bitcoin are CEX.io and Coinmama. On CEX.io accounts can be funded with credit card using Pounds, US dollars, Euros, and Russian Rubles to purchase bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Coinmama allows credit card payments of both Bitcoin and Ethereum. Again though, I’m not really a fan of using credit cards to fund my accounts and I do not use any of those currencies in my everyday life, so I have no experience with them personally. Anyone who has please feel free to drop a comment below and let both the readers and myself know your experiences and thoughts on CEX as I’m sure others would love to hear your honest review.
Best place to trade cryptocurrency:
There are so many exchanges that can be used to trade cryptocurrency that it would be impossible to list them all. In addition, there are a lot of exchanges that are questionable in their practices or have been hacked. That is not to say that there are not a lot of stand up exchanges, as there are, but rather, just be carful where you decide to trade your crypto. In addition, as with all things, there are a number of variables to consider beyond safety such as liquidity, crypto and trade pairings offered, and where you are actually based. Personally then, the following are exchanges that I have personally used or feel somewhat comfortable with in terms of safety. Please note however, that I am not a financial advisor and with all things crypto cannot guarantee that they will always remain as they are today.
Hands down, at least for me, the best place to trade cryptocurrency is Binance. Although as of recent this exchange has come under some critism because of their new launch pad, in terms of trading cryptocurrency, I still think it is king of the block. Not only does Binance offer a ton of coins and a good number of trading pairs, but in terms of transparency and troubleshooting issues they really do a top notch job.
Likely my second favorite exchange to trade cryptocurrency is Kucoin. As some of you may recall from my article How to Buy NEO, some of the projects I am most interested in are those based on the NEO chain. It was because of this that I first made my way over to and started to trade on here. In addition, just as Binance has the BNB token, Ku Coin has the KCS (KuCoin Shares) which allows their users to receive the benefit of reduced trading fees and enjoy some exchange fee profit dividends for holding this coin on their platform.
Another exchange that I use on a regular basis is Huobi Global. Like Binance and KuCoin, Huboi Global has a lot of trading pairs and liquidity. Another nice thing about registering with a Huobi account it it allows those with the urge to have a say on which coins get listed provided they are holders of Huobi token. In addition, for those wishing to trade beyond the scope of normal straight up token for token, Huobi also offers the ability to do margin trading on the platform. Having said that, if you are not familiar with the terminology, process, and rules regarding margin trading I highly suggest you steer clear until you have done some study as it can be very risky, especially for beginners.
Chainrift exchange is also another of my recent favorites. Beyond being quite a nice exchange to use, Chainrift offers some interesting pairings that not a lot of other exchanges do, especially regarding EOS based token pairings such as Telos, Worbli, Peos, and RAM. Bitcoin pairings on some other cryptocurrencies is also offered which makes it rather convenient as well. In addition, although Chainrift does not at present have their own exchange coin, because they have a database of all users they are still able to airdrop coins occasionally to their active users.
Other popular exchanges that seem to have won public sentiment and crowd favor depending upon where one is trading from that you might want to check out are Bitterex, CoinEx, Bittrex, OkEx, Poloniex, Kraken, Gemini, Coin Gekko, and Coss.io. Although I don’t have experience with all of these exchanges personally, all of them seem to be pretty well established and have relatively strong user bases offering decent liquidity.
For those of you that may be unaware, the major difference between centralized and decentralized exchanges is that unlike the above centralized exchanges, when using a decentralized exchange you remain in control of your private keys. In other words, in order to use an exchange like Binance or KuCoin, the first step would be to transfer your bitcoin or other cryptocurrency into the exchange. Although this is the way that it is done for the majority of traders, there runs the risk of losing funds due to and exchange hack, exit scams, or even making a mistake during the transfer by depositing to the wrong coin address or forgetting a required memo. By using a decentralized exchange I believe these risks are limited in that your crypto is always under the private keys you have access to and the potential for human error in transferring funds is greatly reduced.
IDEX is a decentralized exchange for trading Ethereum (ERC-20) tokens. IDEX combines the speed of centralization with the security of blockchain settlement. Trade tokens direct from your Ethereum wallet without ever having to send them to an exchange.
Waves decentralized exchange offers trading leaving you in full control of your keys. No third parties and no withdrawal limits. Available access includes desktop, laptop, iOS and Android devices.
“Although StellarX might feel a lot like a DEX, because you’re trading from your own wallet and all your actions are settled on-chain, StellarX isn’t an exchange of any kind,.. but essentially a GUI—a really nice one—for the publicly-accessible Stellar trading environment… StellarX is a third-party client built on top of Stellar’s open marketplace”
Newdex touts itself as the ‘worlds largest EOS based decentralized exchange’. With so many EOS project pairings and easily integrated with many of the well known mobile EOS wallets (Lynx, Meet One, Token Pocket) as well as having a website with a secure Scatter log-in, it’s easily one of the most popular and secure decentralized exchanges around.
One of the most promising projects coming out of the space is the rebranding of the NEON exchange NEX to the compliant crypto decentralized NASH Exchange later this spring. Although not operational at present, pre-registration is available with a few added benefits for those who choose to do so. If your interested in this (and you should be), please see the post I wrote about this earlier here or simply go direct to the website to read about it and register here.
Best place to keep cryptocurrency:
Hardware wallets: Ledger Nano Wallets are hardware wallet that allows you to store and keep your crypto private keys offline and safe. Always be sure to purchase your Ledger Nano wallet direct and NOT from a third party via Amazon, Rakuten, E-Bay to ensure greatest security. Find out more information about the Ledger Nano S and the more recent Ledger Nano X here. Another popular choice when it come to hardware wallets is Trezor. Both these products are constantly improving and updating their products to not only improve security, but also support, interoperability, and overall user experience.
EOS: One of the nice things about EOS and it’s sister chains is that all keys can be stored securely in Scatter. Scatter essentially is a desktop client that allows users to sign transactions with various dapps on the EOS network while keeping private keys safely behind the Scatter wallet. One of the great things about EOS actually is that all EOS accounts can be configured with both an owner and an active key pair. By only having your active key input into scatter and keeping your owner key offline, users can have an added layer of protection ‘just in case’ their active key is compromised in that the owner key stored offline and not compromised can be used to change the compromised active key if need be. In addition, the EOS ecosystem also boasts a number of great mobile wallets allowing quick transfers and integrated interaction with a number of the top dapps as well as other features like access to DEX’s. The most popular of these mobile wallets at present seem to be Lynx, Meet .one, and Token Pocket.
Ethereum: With so many projects running on the Ethereum network, sometimes dealing with all the contracts can become a little much. When first getting into Ethereum the go too sources for keeping ETH and ERC20 tokens were the desktop Mist wallet, MyEtherWallet, and MetaMask. To be completely frank, I personally do not use MyEtherWallet or MetaMask anymore as I find there are better Ethereum wallets out there that do not seem nearly as complicated or risky when it comes to adding contracts and phishing attempts targeting web wallets and browser extensions. Personally when it comes to Ethereum based wallets the best in my opinion are Eidoo, Exodus, Enjin, and Trust wallets. It should also be noted that although all these wallets started out as Ethereum based wallets most have evolved to accept other chain currencies such as Bitcoin, EOS, and NEO as well. That said, please do beware of sending non Ethereum based currencies to these wallets as the address will be different from the ETH address you would normally use and you will lose your funds if the address is not correct. A good rule of thumb is to always double check the deposit address from wherever you are sending it to ensure that you have the right sequencing. In other words if the deposit address from where you are sending the coin does not begin with 0x then the tokens will be lost in transaction when sent to a 0x address.
NEO: When it comes to NEO likely the best wallets are either the Neon desktop wallet, the NEO Trackerweb wallet, or the 03 Wallet for desktop and mobile. That said there are plenty of other options available, some of which I previously outlined in my previous article How to Buy NEO. If you are interested in NEO or other wallet options beyond what is listed above please do check it out.
Cardano: Having just released the Daedalus wallet I have not had much of a chance to play with it yet. Having said that, Cardano (ADA) is one coin that really does not have that much wallet support beyond the scope of its own project wallets so if you are big into Cardano this may be well worth checking out.
Should you be interested in greater specifics or more on different kinds of wallets and wallet projects to store and keep your crypto safe, please check out The Best Cryptocurrency Wallets.
Until next time, enjoy and stay safe! Your trybalist in creative arms, Jimmy D
- Interested in more guides on TRYBE.ONE regarding blockchain and cryptocurrencies? Also be sure to check out How to Get Bitcoins, Where to Trade Cryptocurrency, Best Places for Trading Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies, How to Trade Bitcoin: A Not So Brief Overtly Technical Overview, How To Buy EOS, How to Buy NEO, How to Buy TRON Coin, Is Cardano a Good Investment? Where to Buy Cardano -Pricepoint?, All You Need to Know About Bitcoin, and What is Ethereum and What is it Used for?
- Please note: Although I have to the best of my ability done my due diligence in researching this piece, I am not a financial advisor and assume no responsibility for any losses incurred on the readers part for any investments or products supported obtained from this post. Please understand that it is the readers responsibility to look after and maintain their own finances and perform all due diligence on their own part for their personal and financial well being and safety and not rely on myself or others in this space to keep them safe.
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Jimmy D is a verified member of CryptoPilots, a community devoted to Quality Content in Crypto. Find me also on TRYBE.ONE, Minds.com, PublishOx, Twitter, Jimmy D Presents Facebook Group, and Murmur (kansaikrypto).