In 2009, the world of finance welcomed a new technology that would forever define its future and destiny. This technology was brought to life under the name Blockchain, developed by the shrouded Satoshi Nakamoto. For whatever reason, the founder chose to remain anonymous, where the last trace of him/her was seen only a couple of years ago, vanishing since then. Be that as it may, the impact that this great innovator had on the world continues to be seen to this very day. This is solely because at the time of the implementation of the very first digital currency, Bitcoin, many other highly ambitious developers took notice and ventured into their own blockchain endeavours. The direct result of this is seen to this very day, that being the vast abundance of crypto-related tokens and assets. Now, such developments grew to be known as altcoins, or otherwise shitcoins, simply because most of their functional bases suggested that they were all mere replicas of the real thing, the pioneer Bitcoin. Be that as it may, some still managed to climb up the ranks, where some of them now follow in tow of the pioneer crypto itself. Good examples of these typically include Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), Ripple (XRP), Monero (XMR) and Litecoin (LTC), just to name a few. With this level of innovation, people all around the world are bound to rush to the cryptocurrency frenzy. With that in mind, here is a short guide meant to assist individuals all around the world in getting started with cryptocurrency.
Guide Run Through
Before we get into the actual steps to creating actual cryptocurrency wallets, we first need to go through some things, particularly regarding those things that make the trade worth it, and the key assets that facilitate in this.
Now, digital currencies bring so much to the table, particularly things that have to do with efficiency and security, anonymity is also an added perk, where all those connected to the blockchain can surf the Internet as much as they want, leaving no trace whatsoever. The technology behind the networks operates by breaking down data items into multiple separate components. They are then multiplied and transmitted to each and every device on the network. While going through each node, the data is continuously coded and decoded, from one virtual state to the next. It is this action that makes the networks so secure, as hacking into any one device would basically mean hacking into the entire network at large. This is next to impossible for any level hacker.
The act of purchasing cryptocurrency is commonly referred to as an actual investment. This is because the purchasing of the tokens is likened to that of purchasing stocks, where the assets are vulnerable to value fluctuations on the online market. The fluctuations can either see to a rise in the value of the tokens, or a fall in the value of the tokens. To such ends, any user with crypto tokens in their possession are considered to have shares in whatever blockchain network they are using, shares that are valued by those very coins.
Enough said, we can now get to the very first step to becoming an owner of cryptocurrency. This would be to get a crypto wallet. A crypto serves to execute the same functional ideology as any other monetary storage unit – this is to keep funds in a designated area that is safe from any, and all unauthorised attempts at gaining access. The wallets operate much like modern day Bank accounts, with which the owner can make transactions as they please, provided their funds are sufficient for the task at hand. To date, there are literally thousands of active cryptocurrencies in the world. The larger part of this number is typically made up of currencies that need a specialised wallet for storage of coins. To such ends, crypto wallets are a thriving venture for any who choose to develop one.
There are many types of crypto wallets out there, where they are all eventually classified under software or hardware wallets. Needles to say, the software wallets are found in their abundance on the Internet, largely accredited to their cheaper acquiring and set up costs. A software wallet basically operates over the Internet, storing all the associated information on remote serves around the world. However, their counterparts, hardware wallets, operate much differently. They operate offline, making use of actual, physical devices that are meant to be the wallets. The funds, and their associated data are all stored offline, only accessible if the corresponding device is plugged in. That said, all of these wallets aim to accomplish the same effect, and are quite good at it.
The hardware wallets simply requires a purchase of the appropriate tool, followed by a quick set up to get it all going. The software wallet is not as straightforward. In all honesty, there are quite a number of ways in which one can acquire a crypto wallet. The most used method is facilitated by the famed exchange platforms, websites that deal in all things that have to do with the crypto market. Over the years, many online exchange platforms have come and go, but the real gems are obviously the ones that were established to stay, and have provided great service throughout ever since. They typically come with an entire crypto market overview, with live feeds of exchange rates and values on each of their circulated coins. Buying tokens from an online exchange is not complicated at all, it just requires an attentive mind.
The first stage is typical, requiring the user to register to the platform, providing fiat payment details of course. Once in, the user can simply navigate thought the panel, making their way to whichever tab or section in where purchases are made. Finding this will then lead to the next stage, requiring that the user provide the crucial parameters under which the transaction will be carried out – note that most of these platforms come with default set parameters, generalised to suite the basic needs of most users, but a option to alter these still stands nonetheless. Going through the parameters and choosing the crypto of choice will then lead to a quick confirmation stage, in which the user must validate their fiat mode of payment, as well as their subsequent purchase request. As the request is processed and executed, the transaction will reflect, after which the user will now be an owner of newly purchased crypto coins. Alternatively, these purchases can be made by exchanging one crypto with the next, something that could very much prove to be all the more beneficial in the long run. Single purpose crypto wallets are also found online, but in relatively fewer numbers.
There are hundreds of crypto exchanges and wallets out there. Here is a short ranking, by our statistics, of the best all rounder services:
This platform is quite impressive, especially if we put into consideration their chartered level of success in the world of digital finance. A team of highly skilled developers form Hong Kong are the authority behind Binance. It officially came online early 2017, effectively skyrocketing to become the largest online exchange platforms of today’s world, largest by volume. There are many benefits that come with the platform, from their easy to navigate interface, down to their general transaction efficiency, with relatively low charges. They even make use of their own native currency, the Binance Coin.
Coinbase has been around for quite a while now. Their base of operations is located in the United States of America. This platform is massive, effectively earing it a spot amount the largest exchange platforms on the Internet. They operate much like any other crypto exchange platform, facilitating in automatic and semi-automatic trade parameters. Each successful purchase is charged with a standard fee of 4% on the overall amount.
This exchange platform is also operated from the United States. Using the platform is pretty straightforward, though we felt the need for them to expand their service outreach to make it a bit more user friendly to new users altogether. Their range of supported cryptos is quite low as well, only featuring a couple dozen options.
For some time now, Bittrex has been on the road to global expansion. it goes without saying that they accomplished this feat quite smoothly. Purchases can be done with a range of payment modes and currencies, where the subsequent option list of circulating coin indicates a full capacity option pool of up to 1,300 individual coins. That said, crypto payments cannot be made directly with conventional currencies. Rather, the user would have to make actual purchases of coins such as LTC or BTC, among others. In other world, Bittrex purchases can only be made by running independent crypto trades. Once more, the platform was launched in the United States by a professional developers and analysts.
This is a Hong Kong based exchange platform, one with particular focus on western trade markets. This is seen in their in-depth analysis and trade of foreign networks, at such large volumes too. The Bitfinx user interface is very intuitive, and the operator does quite well to make if very efficient. A standard chart panel is featured on the platform, on which live value updates are displayed.
What you need to know about crypto
As clearly mentioned above, wallets can also be funded by way of crypto exchanges. Now, before we get onto the depths of crypto trade, we would like to make a run by through the basic concepts that one encounters with this trade form. The first one is of Trading Pairs. So, there are but a few major differences found between normal stock trade and crypto trade. The foremost difference is the vast level of standardisation found in crypto exchanges, where currency denominations are all made against the Bitcoin. Alternatively, they are placed against the Ethereum coin, just not as much. This is done to the convenience of traders, seeing as how all such major coins are divisible by other values. Bitcoin, for example can be divided up to 10 million times, in trade relative units. Simply put, all currencies can be traded against the BTC token, even the Fiat ones. That way, any platform that use BTC as a value in a trading pair will automatically initiate transactions against a BTC token.
Initiating a crypto trade is not all one and done. It needs a level of understanding that users can only acquire from due experience. Once that understanding is established, transactions that involve the blockchain will be executed with astonishing fluidity, one of the best traits of crypto trade. That said, one can trade crypto in either of three ways. The first of these is referred to as Limiting Trade. This allows the user to pre-set parameters of their coin, from the amount they want to sell or purchase at, to the total number of tokens that they would like. This way, the user sets automatic trade routes that facilitate in sell or purchase orders at a later time, meant to be the time when the set values match those on the crypto exchange market. The second way of making crypto trades is known as Market Trade. This method is best for instant purchases, where it is facilitated by the market itself. Simply put, market trade allows the user to purchase of sell tokens using live rates from the crypto exchange market. some may refer to it as ‘Ask’ trade, where the trade is done using the exchange rates that are ‘asked’ for by the market. The third and final method of running exchanges is known as the Stop Limit. This is yet another automatic trade route that uses parameters that are set by the user. This method, however, works by initiating the purchase or sale at a certain price, as dictated by the user. This price only acts as a limit, where the order can very much be initiated even if the price is above the set value. These are the three ways of imitating crypto trades. The overall choice of the method depends on the user, and their level of experience and understanding relative to the crypto market. From what we see, the Market Trade method is the least complicated, as most of the crucial decisions and parameters are made by the platform, while also giving the option to switch out the defaults.
With all that said, all that has to do with the establishment of cryptocurrency accounts has been covered. Now comes the ongoing management and maintenance of that coin, where the user needs to have some way to check in on their account activity, relative transactions, as well as to make sure that there are no break ins. With this comes the issue of portfolio management, where a holder of crypto coins needs to be fully aware of the relevant activity across the entire digital token ecosystem. Needless to say, navigation through the vast space of exchange platforms and digital wallets can be quite the task, tiring at any level. Out of the box thinkers may be seen to make use of pre-existing systems to manage their crypto, the likes of the Microsoft Office package applications. Admittedly, this works, but it is just not fit as some functions and operations will be limited, not to mention the labour of always having to switch windows while surfing the Internet. Fortunately, developers all around the world take heed of this and come up with specialised applications meant to facilitate in this ongoing management. These applications are designed to acts somewhat as intermediates that run the ongoing activity checks on accounts or wallets, giving the relevant feedback to the users. Without further a due, here are the most prominent portfolio management applications in the industry:
In terms of on the field experience, very few platforms can match Blockfolio, having been launched a long time ago, when crypto was still in its infancy. One can acquire the application on their mobile phone, where it is fully compatible with Android, Apple and Windows operating systems. The user will have to run manual entries of their transactions, resulting in a rather lightly set up. Once this is done, the app will track all investments made with that account. Its track record is quite impressive, having the capability to manage some 2000 different coins. The user can choose their preferred denomination, either BTC or any other conventional currency of choice. It even links with the international crypto exchange market, where the user can see the overall value of the coins in their possession. With this, the user can even choose to be given alerts whenever the prices change, or whenever there is important news regarding cryptocurrencies. However, the developers need to do a bit more in terms of correcting their user interface to make it a bit more interactive and under friendly. Also, process of manually entering transactions can be quite time costly as well.
This application was just laughed, having the capability to run automatic analysis of investments, purchases, sales, gains and losses. Likewise, the application is linked to the market rates, and can therefore calculate and present real time values of coins that the user has. The developers being Delta made it a point to make their user interface very user friendly – of course, there is only so much that one can do to make inherently complex operations better to understand. Still, this goes quite a long way, where the user can view the virtual graphs for value loss or gain. In fact, Delta statistics even allow you to view gains or losses per token, something that was impossible in the previous application. Its service base is huge, having a capacity of over 2,000 coins alongside a number of conventional currencies as well. Alerts and notifications are set per user requirement. That said, the same problem of manual transaction entry is still seen in Delta, with another issue concerning the lack of a news feed.
It would be rather reckless of us to give guide on how to get intro cryptocurrency and end it without mentioning the dangers that come with the trade. That said, crime within the blockchain is abundant, where some individuals take some of the best traits of the technology and use then for more sinister purposes. A good example of this is anonymity that is afforded to each and every user on the networks – thieves and scammers take advantage of this, where they are almost impossible to track after committing their crime. As such, one must always be prepared for the worst. Here are a few ways of betting one’s own account security:
This refers to 2 factor authentication modules, meant to allow access to the legitimate user only. This should be the very first thing to be done to any location in which tokens are stored. It works somewhat like a secondary barrier which stops entry to third party individuals even if they manage to acquire the password or pin. The authentication code is time sensitive, consisting of 6 digits. It appears each time an attempt is made to access the account.
Make use of Passwords or PINs.
These are the standard access codes that are entered by the users. An ideal password is long and complex, usually making use of multiple classes of symbols. Admittedly, it can be quite tiring to dig up and enter such passwords, but it is very worth it when it comes to account security. Those who think they may have problems choosing the right code can simply make use of code generator program, reliable ones at that.
This applies to those users who engage in activities that may see them having to transfer large sum amounts from their wallets into other platforms. The tip here is to never keep those amounts in external accounts for too long. This is because their security is heavily compromised while in there, where many online platforms are prone to disappearing overnight. It is safer to transfer the larger potions of those funds to secure wallets and accounts.
The cryptocurrency scene as a whole shows great promise of expansion, where trade rates are currently at an all time high, with consistently steep inclines. As far as we see, any conscious individual should consider picking out a crypto of choice, learning about it, and joining the digital frenzy, it’s a very lucrative investment after all. With that said, we can only conclude with a single important tip for all those who are considering to get started in cryptocurrency – Always make it a point to make investments that you are prepared to lose, making sure not to purchase stocks at times of uncertain value surges.