Disclaimer: I am not a financial adviser and take no responsibility for any losses incurred by investing in crypto currencies. These markets are very volatile and may cause massive gains/losses in a very short time. Only invest money that you are willing to lose.
Due to a large number of questions received regarding how to get involved with crypto currencies, I have decided to compile a guide (with some video links) that can be used to get people started.
First off if you are unsure what crypto currencies are, or are confused by the blockchain I suggest watching the following video.
If any of you are still unsure about the potential of crypto currencies, the following video featuring some big names in the financial world may help increase your curiosity.
Crypto Potential Video
Having watched these videos, if you are convinced that you would like to get involved in this market here are some easy steps to get you started.
STEP 1: LOCATE YOUR SMARTPHONE.
STEP 2: GO TO THE APP STORE AND DOWNLOAD COINBASE.
Coinbase is a crypto currency exchange (based on the GDAX market) which allows you to buy 3 major crypto currencies; Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.
Coinbase will allow you to purchase your first coins using standard payment methods such as credit cards, However, knowing most of my audience is likely based in Canada, while you can buy these coins on Coinbase, at this time they do not support selling in Canada. Thus if you plan on selling these coins right away, rather than buying and holding them for the future, look into a Canadian exchange such as QuadrigaCX. QuadrigaCX is a bit less user friendly, but if you plan on selling in the near future, it is worth the research.
However this is not a guide on QuadrigaCX, this is a guide for the sole purpose of getting involved in the simplest way possible.
STEP 3: CREATE A COINBASE ACCOUNT .
Coinbase, being one of the more secure exchanges, will require you to provide a valid email and mobile phone number used to verify the account. enter the SMS verification code and verify your account using the link that will be sent to the email provided.
STEP 4: SET UP A PAYMENT METHOD.
in order to set up credit card payment on coinbase, you will need to enter your credit card information. Once entered Coinbase will pre-authorize 2 small payments of about 1$ each. These payments will not actually be charged to your credit card, but are used as another verification method in order to ensure you are the owner of the credit card provided.
Log on to your online banking and look for the 2 approximately 1$ charges from Coinbase. Enter these values on the Coinbase app and you are off to the races.
STEP 5: UNDERSTAND THE SERVICE FEES.
Coinbase WILL charge you a small service fee each time you buy coins.
STEP 6 (OPTIONAL): SET UP A MORE SECURE WALLET ON YOUR HOME COMPUTER/LAPTOP.
If you are concerned about the security of your investment, download a wallet such as the Exodus wallet on your home computer. These wallets are a better way to store large amounts of crypto currencies as they will allow you to be in control of your private key (the equivalent of a bank pin or email password). Also there are more safety features such as a randomly generated phrase that can be used to restore your wallet should your computer ever crash. Both your private Key and phrase should be kept secret and in a safe place.
Once Exodus is set up you can transfer your coins from Coinbase using the Coinbase website and providing the recieve code that you can obtain from your exodus wallet based on the coin being transfered (ie. your Bitcoin address is different from your Ethereum address)
Exodus will also give you access to a few more alternative crypto currencies such as Dogecoin and Dash if you wish to invest in those. You can convert between different currencies directly in the exodus wallet, however unlike Coinbase you cannot purchase directly using payment methods such as credit cards.
STEP 7: SIT BACK, DRINK SOME BEER AND WATCH THE MARKET GO CRAZY. YOUR INVESTMENT MAY GO UP, IT MAY GO DOWN, BUT IN THE LONG RUN AT LEAST YOU NOW OWN SOME BITCOIN.
If you have any question feel free to post them in the comment section below, That way I can answer once rather than replying to everyone. I hope this post was helpful!