This post is continually being updated.
I've been getting asked quite a bit about how to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and other 'alt' coins.
And after my short rant on Facebook about people trying to take advantage of friends and family by putting them through sales funnels and webinars on "How to Buy Bitcoin and Make a Shit-Ton of Money", I decided to put together a short list of resources.
To be clear...
**This post is NOT about**:
- Recommending that you invest any money into cryptocurrencies, ICOs, or token sales
- Helping you get rich quick
- Suggesting that you invest in an ICO or token sale
- Recommending specific currencies or "coins" to buy into
Please, do your own homework. Investing time and money into something just because there's a lot of loud noise surrounding the topic, does not mean that it is best for you.
Twitter. Follow reputable experts in this space. To name a few:
Reddit. Reddit communities are often excited about the topic that the subreddit focuses on (if you're unfamiliar, a subreddit is identified by the text after the /r/ in the URL - for example, reddit.com/r/bitcoin is a subreddit about Bitcoin). There can be great information found within these subreddits, but be careful of buying into the 'hype' posts about all-time highs (ATH), 'just HODL (meaning, keep holding and don't sell)', buying, and/or selling. I caution to browse these subreddits for the most informative posts only, which are usually stickied at the top and highlighted green:
If, after doing your own research and coming to your own conclusion, that you'd like to get involved, here's how to get started (finish reading the entire post first):
How to Buy BTC (Bitcoin), ETH (Ethereum), and LTC (Litecoin):
Coinbase - this is the easiest way to get started. Go to coinbase.com (referral link) to sign up and begin your verification process. They will walk you through the steps of what is needed to verify your account, such as confirming your address, bank account, email address, and phone number. This may take a few days mainly due to bank verification.
Once you are verified on Coinbase and get your feet wet, you can move over to their trading platform, GDAX. It uses the same login as Coinbase but the fees are much lower. I recommend getting comfortable on Coinbase first.
How to Buy 'alt' Coins:
You'll need to use another exchange such as Bitstamp, Binance, or Bittrex. There are others as well. I personally prefer Binance (referral link) or Bitstamp. Whichever you sign up for, follow their onboarding steps to get setup properly.
Note that these exchanges require you to trade using BTC (sometimes ETH & LTC are available to trade), so you'll want to be set up on Coinbase/GDAX first.
From there, you can use your Coinbase/GDAX account to transfer BTC to your wallet on the other exchange. Once the BTC transfer is verified and deposited to your wallet, you can use that BTC to purchase alt coins.
Look out for scams and phishing sites. This can be avoided by entering the direct URL of the site you wish to visit. For example, if you want to login to your Coinbase account, it's best that you type in coinbase.com in your browser. Doing a search for Coinbase on a search engine may display ad links that may not be representative of the actual site you trust. At first glance, the site may look legit, but it's actually an attempt to steal your information.
Always enable 2FA (two-factor authentication). Use an app such as Google Authenticator (Android) (Apple) or Authy to generate unique codes for you each time you log in, buy, or sell. Although added security measures may seem cumbersome, they are certainly worth-while.
It should go without saying, but don't ever share passwords or security codes from an authenticator app with anyone, not even support teams from exchanges, and use strong & unique passwords for your accounts.
If there is anything else that you'd like me to cover or add to, please comment below.