How To Securely Invest In Cryptocurrency – A Beginner's Guide
This post will provide a run-down on how you can enter the cryptocurrency marketplace and initiate positions in various cryptocurrencies. I realize this material may not be new to my Steemit followers, but to others just entering the space this is my recommendation to you.
Step 1 - Secure Your Computer, Cell Phone, and Email
Prior to moving any money, you first must review the security of your devices, your online presence, and the applications you operate on.
Avast has a quality product suite that you may want to consider if you suspect you are vulnerable here.
For most, cell phones are the weakest link in the chain. While this is a pigeon hole I encourage you all to pursue further on your own, here is what I suggest.
1. Lock Your Phone With Passcode
2. Do Not Store Sensitive Information (i.e. financial login credentials)
3. Set Up Remote Wipe (i.e. Lost My iPhone)
4. Avoid Third Party Apps
5. Avoid Jailbreaking Your Phone
6. Update Operating Systems
7. Do Not Use Public Wifi
8. Protect Your Phone Number
Nowadays, cell phones are a portal to nearly all of our most personal information, so being vigilant about how you use your phone will reduce your chances of falling victim to fraud.
Online Presence / Applications
For most of you here on Steem, you are well-aware that the most important information is your personal information. That is why companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, etc. are so richly valued. They have all of your information. I recommend you review your account settings and profiles at each and every online portal you interact with. Strive for the most stringent options and delete any information you would not want available to the public.
One of the most important portals to secure is your email. Make sure that your email cannot be easily accessed by anyone other than you. Enabling 2-phase authorization is a good start. You may also want to consider ditching your old email accounts (especially if you run on Yahoo, AOL, Outlook, etc.) and create a new, secure one. For this, I recommend Proton.
I also recommend that you download the Google Authenticator App to your cell phone and use this in place of SMS authentication.
Step 2 - Create A Coinbase Account
Coinbase is the best place to begin your crypto investing. Using your secure email, create an account.
Link Coinbase to your designated bank account and transfer your fiat ($USD) into your Coinbase account. This will take roughly 5 days to clear your bank.
Step 3 - Sign into GDAX
GDAX is Coinbase's exchange where you can set limit orders , whereas Coinbase itself only allows market orders.
Unless you are desperately eager to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum or Litecoin, I recommend you enter your limit orders on GDAX. Sign into GDAX using your Coinbase credentials.
Once logged into GDAX, click "Deposit" in the top-left.
Transfer USD funds from your Coinbase account into GDAX.
Define the price you are willing to buy your Bitcoin or Ethereum at, and then submit a limit order. Once the order is filled, remove the funds from the GDAX exchange back into your Coinbase wallet.
The reason I do not say buy Litecoin is because Litecoin has a limited market for purchasing other crypto assets. That is not to say that you should not invest in Litecoin itself, but rather using Litecoin to purchase other cryptos is not nearly as easy as using Bitcoin or Ethereum.
Step 3 - Create An Account at an Alt-Coin Exchange
Once you've accustomed yourself to transferring funds from your bank to Coinbase/GDAX and purchasing Bitcoin or Ethereum, (and/or Litecoin) then it is time to create an account at a cryptocurrency exchange that offers more than these 3 cryptos.
There are all sorts of exchanges, but I recommend you take a look at Bittrex or Bitfinex.
Once you've setup an account at one of these exchanges, you can transfer Bitcoin or Ethereum into your exchange wallet from your Coinbase wallet.
Note: Make sure to always check the URL of the website you are on, and the address of the generated wallet. There are scammers out there using phishing tactics to gain the login credentials and private wallet keys of crypto investors.
Executing the transfer between Coinbase and the exchange (Bittrex/Bitfinex) will require you to login to both your Coinbase account and your Bittrex/Bitfinex account simultaneously.
In order to generate your Bittrex/Bitfinex wallet address, sign into your account and then click "Wallet".
Inside your wallet area, you will have the ability to generate an address (if not already provided).
Meanwhile, in Coinbase, simply click on "Accounts" and then click "Send" next to your Bitcoin or Ethereum Wallet. You will see the following screen:
Take the wallet address (yellow highlight) from your Bittrex/Bitfinex account and copy it into your Recipient Address in your Coinbase account. Review the wallet address in its entirety and then click submit. You will have a chance to review all of the information prior to your final order.
Note: For your first transaction, only transfer a small amount to confirm everything is properly working. Once you confirm everything is working you can send more funds as you see fit.
Now that you have funded your Bittrex/Bitfinex account with Bitcoin or Ethereum, you can begin buying other crypto assets.
At this point in time, the process laid out above seems to be the safest, most appropriate way to begin investing in cryptocurrency. While there other considerations to account for, you now know the basics on how to purchase crypto.
The next area I recommend you research is wallets and how to securely store your crypto assets once you've purchased them. Trezor has hardware wallets that protect some of the better known coins, but there are others that have unique wallet situations you have to research on your own.
The good news is that this research is only a quick search away. Happy crypto investing!
DISCLAIMER : This content is for informational, educational and research purposes only. This post is not to be taken as personalized investment advice.