Totally New to Cryptocurrencies? Here Are The Top 5 Things You Should Do.

in #tutorial4 years ago (edited)


Since the rate of newbies coming into the cryptosphere is at a historical high on my side, I've taken some time to write this so I won't have to repeat myself over and over again. That said, I've never once tried to charge my friends anything even after spending hours walking them through some tutorials and analysis of the technology. Some say that I should start doing so.. but for now I would like to keep it that way. The beauty of blockchain technology is that it reduces our need for a trusted third party to a minimum and represents the first time that we can truly begin to own records of our identity and asset. So in my opinion, it's best to understand the technology, and subsequently, do-it-yourself.

1. Learn to do-it-yourself

I know there are plenty of cryptocurrency-related service providers that take hold of your funds, mining rigs, and sometimes, passwords. As usual, try to avoid such things especially in an unregulated market. It's all too easy to get scammed. Plus, consider there's a single point-of-failure in these setups. Blockchain technology is here to minimise our dependency on any middleman, providing us with the best security if we take the steps to be responsible over our assets. Unless absolutely necessary and unless you're willing to bear some risks for the sake of convenience, try to AVOID the following:-

  • Mining services. Most of the times, I'm pretty sure folks providing such services are trustworthy. But again, you'll never know what can happen placing trust in somebody else for the long-term. Money has the ability to cause people to make bad short-term decisions more often that we can admit anyway. So avoid getting someone else to handle and house your mining rigs. I'd more likely to trust if a close friend doing it instead of someone on social media trying to sell me the service. Regardless, it's best to learn and do-it-yourself.

  • Centralised exchanges like Coinbase, Bittrex, Bitfinex, etc. I still use these exchanges every once in a while, but only for quick trades and in small amounts. Why avoid this? Access to your funds can easily be compromised by hackers and interventionists. I've not experienced any hack on exchanges before and I intend to stay away from being involved in such a possibility.

  • Third party wallets. If you don't hold the private key to your cryptocurrency wallets, you don't really own your coin. The good thing about third party wallets is that you're able to retrieve your password if you forgot or misplaced it. The bad thing about it is well, everything else. It's not very safe to hand someone else keys to your house is it?

2. Use these wallets

Here I'm going to present what I think are easy-to-use, secure, and important wallets for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Steem. Everyone will have a different recommendation to this, but I prefer web-interfaces to wallets for beginners so here's my suggestion:-

  • Use for Bitcoin. It's easy to use and get into right away before finding your favourite Bitcoin wallet. I don't like installing executable files for wallets so I think the wallet on is a happy medium for usability and security. Just sign up, do a bit of reading, and follow the security steps. Be sure to backup your private key / phrase. Try completing level 1 and level 2 measures shown in the security center.

  • Use for Ethereum. Same reasoning as my Bitcoin wallet recommendation. As usual, follow the steps too and backup your private key. There are plenty of coins in the market that are Ethereum based so this wallet is pretty handy if you're into acquiring the many different kinds of tokens out there. Do your research if such coins are compatible though. For myetherwallet, click on the eye icon on your wallet once you've created it. Enter your password, and download the keystore file (private keys) and print paper wallet. Keep them safe.

  • Use for the Steem cryptocurrency. There are many more ways to get a Steem account, but the reason why I recommend is that it provides you with a Steem wallet and social platform to earn cryptocurrency as well. Steem's permissions key system is a little bit more sophisticated but worth it - read it here. Also, shifting part of your social feed to Steemit might be a good move as it has plenty of people talking about cryptos, unlike other places at the moment. Just check it out ;)

Be sure to double check if you can access your wallets before sending any funds to them. Feel free to explore other kinds of wallets once you're starting to feel comfortable and looking for better measures like hardware and paper wallets. There are plenty of other different wallets for other kinds of cryptocurrencies out there besides Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Steem, but I've kept it short here for the sake of brevity to providing you the best exposure to the market. As always, do your research on wallet compatibility and all. Most importantly, be the one that owns the private keys to your wallets!

3. Use 2-Factor Authentication in everything.

To secure your online accounts especially for email services and cryptocurrency exchanges, enable 2-Factor Authentication in the settings. Usually it'll prompt you to use the Google Authenticator app. Speaking from experience, you should use Authy instead. Yes, it can be used in place of Google Authenticator, and it works way better since it backs up your seed keys.

4. Use a password manager.

It's best to use different and complex passwords for all of your online accounts. It's the best way to secure yourself and isolate any account breaches. For that, use any one of these password managers here to store and fill-up your passwords easily. But of course, you'd have to be careful to secure your main password of passwords at all costs, although your account will most likely be safe anyway if you have 2-Factor Authentication activated for all of your online accounts. On a side note, it's best to avoid using your mobile phone for anything related to such sensitive passwords, and clear your clipboard as soon as possible if you happen to be doing the copy and paste thing for your passwords.

5. Learn to use Coinmarketcap

So you have some Bitcoin, Ether, and perhaps some Steem sometime soon from the exchanges in point #1, and want to explore the rest of the coins. Coinmarketcap, is in my opinion the best way to do that. Every coin can be clicked on and there will be links to relevant materials, including the markets the coin is traded on and its social feeds. Of course, do your own research properly when looking into these things. Don't take everything you read on the Internet to be true. Personally, I make it a point to study at least one coin per week.

The most important metric for comparison is probably market capitalisation, or network value. This is the thing people talk about when they're saying Facebook is worth $500 Billion. Same applies to the cryptocurrencies (or decentralised organisations or quite simply, communities). Other important information is circulating supply, and total supply. Cryptocurrencies are great because the supply is known and transparent, unlike traditional resources like gold, in which total supply is an unknown, and hence a difficult way to determine the level of scarcity and subsequently, value.


I've compiled a list of Youtube videos in a playlist for cryptocurrency newbies. Might be outdated and all, but this is a list that I'll try to update and expand from time to time. Check it out here:

Closing words

For those of you that are scratching your heads over my emphasis on private keys and all, it's okay to rely on the likes of Coinbase for convenience until you've taken the time to understand the importance of securing your own passwords without a third party that might compromise your funds. In any case, it's a give and take with trusted third parties and it'll be up to your own taste in security and risk-appetite.

Anyway, I'm going to start funnelling my contacts that are interested in experiencing cryptocurrencies into this post, hence this little beginner's guide for total newbies. I might refine it over time, but so far this seems to be working well 90% of the time, at least in-person. I've also purposefully avoided pictures and lengthy explanations to encourage readers to check out the applications and websites I've mentioned. Go through their instructions and suggestions with care. For those that are not new in the space, what do you think are the best ways to get someone new into understanding the game and doing it for themselves?

Follow me @kevinwong


Thank you Kevin, this is amazing article! After Lisbon I was so inspired and started practice a bit or crypto currency trading ! It is going really well! Hope you all well! Merry Christmas!!!Can't wait to catch up next year!!

Hey thank you @ivargereiko hope the trading has been doing well? Always curious about people’s choice in coins - what’s your favourite so far other than steem?

Nice Idea @kevinwong of publishing this to stop having to explain the basic things all over again to different people, in my case, sometimes to the same people.. I felt inspired by this initiative and might start using some of my articles for this purpose.

I wrote one regarding the use of Crypto Currencies as a Store of Value, but it is not too well educated, if you feel like adding something to it or changing, please let me know.

Bitshares decentralized exchange is the future!

2FA that uses SMS or voice calls proved to be vulnerable in many occasions, recently one of the crypto currency youtubers announced his wallet got hacked and lost 110 BTC.
he claimed hackers simply called the phone company and asked for an additional SIM card, then proceeded to request a 2FA reset and the rest and the rest of story...

Yes avoid those. Most telecom providers now only accept thumbprints where I'm from so it's pretty safe in that sense. Or call the telco company to port lock.

Great Post, Kevin
So does AUTHY use SMS or voice calls? I have been trying to decide whether to use that one or google authenticator.

I use google authenticator, pretty safe from my end

Thank you for this introductory overview! Slowly but surely (I hope) I'm getting more comfortable with the crypto-currencies world.

upvoted & resteemed by @edward.maesen

Hey thanks for dropping by @edward.maesen, feel free to ask anything at all :) have fun!

Thanks for this article. I will do the 2 factorAuth. I Never looked at what it does so thanks for the heads up. When trading crypto which currency to you deposit your fiat into, bitcoin fees seem very high if you are depositing a small amount

yes it is high, which is why i prefer steem much more. hopefully the market becomes more rational over time :)

Not so nicehash got me ;( Claymore is taking over to heat my house now ;)

I had a terrible experience with nicehash which sucked up my funds with little to no returns. Some bug apparently. Never again!

After hearing all the bad news about nicehash I wanted to get my coins out of minergate. Surprise surprise I am having issues with withdraw. They have failed twice now and been trying to reach to support. Though for noob miners like myself who rely on a easy to use interface to mine.

Awsome info for people that are new to Crypto :)

I'm about 2 weeks in and I have been learning to do things my self. It makes it easier when I get enthusiastic about something and I just sponge up as much as I can as I go along and learn. I have watched courses and videos where I grab my note pad and write things down. It helps me process what I'm taking in which is re triggered when I read my notes again. An enjoyable experience l had was mining 100 Bytecoins overnight. Setting up a Bytecoin wallet and transferring the balance from the miner to the wallet. I have a dedicated stationary book for all my passwords, keys, reset passes.

Haha glad to know that. Learning is always fun :) Where are you currently getting your information/tutorials from?

Excellent post as always Kevin... I would add cold wallet as well but maybe not for beginners 😊

Thanks @mariandavp :) Yeah that's gonna be another layer of complexity.. let them figure out later.. can't believe i'm becoming the receptionist for the crypto corporation :P

Excellent post, Kevin! I'll be referring people here as well. :)

I agree with everything here, but still use Google Authenticator because Authy backups might decrease security by a small amount, but it's probably negligible. When my last phone died, it wasn't too terrible to re-verify with the various google auth services I didn't have recovery codes for.

Web wallets we can trust are a good starting point for new users. This year I started using a Ledger Nano S, and I'm really enjoying that as well, and is a good choice for those who plan to store more than they'd want on a web wallet.

I love that you added the "Introduction to the Internet of Money" video. So good.

Oh yeah the re-verification was quick enough. I wish there's a hardwallet that can house all kinds of coins other than Bitcoin / Eth!

The Ledger Nano S does support quite a few coins. I've been happy with it.

I wonder if it's ever possible for a totally universal wallet.. hmm

A lot of good advice. Kudos for you. One doubt, why do you recommend when it is a hot wallet collecting private key?

I use the Exodus wallet.It has been good for me being I am new and just starting in the crypto world. I have got some friends on a discord channel that help me when I need it. This is a wild ride and it can be fun. When transferring crypto around just be sure to get everything right before you push the final button or it will be a loss, as I learned it the hard way.

Yeah double check everything.. or triple! glad that it has been an exciting journey :)

What do you recomment for steem / steem dollar trading? Is the in-place system (not the market) fair?
I tried to convert my sbd to steem to power up but then i wanted to cancel since the sbd value was high and wanted to withdraw some for the holidays.

You can't cancel it and after 3 days i think the value i got was pretty low:

Fill convert request: 20.000 SBD for 11.655 STEEM

Don't use the convert function. Use the market buy/sell function with the internal market.

my only question that i find really hard and a drug to answer is what exchanges do you suggest cause coin base,bittrex maybe be of the most known ones but with many problems. do you have any other trustworthy? anyway your posts was very informative and easy to understand for the newbies something that i think it's difficult to achieve, really good job!

All centralised exchanges are not very trustworthy lol. I do use Bittrex and Bitfinex every once in awhile..

thanks for the info,most of people i have asked the same question agree on bittrex too

Saw this yesterday but came back to save this and say thanks for the good timely reminder. I have a couple of the things mentioned but I need to go up to 80/90%

Yup better safe than sorry :)

Yes, good advice.

I was thinking of using cold storage/keep key, but heard that coinbase was now more secure with the vault feature. That said, I shared your post with the missus, my financial adviser (and the one who alerted me to Steemit) and she concurred that we need to move money out of Bittrex...

with 2FA, losing our mobile phones is a real security threat. I mean you can essentially lose your fiat and cryptocurrencies. Better safeguard your phones like your life depends on it. :D

It's easy to wipe out the phone with the right applications :)

Hey this is a wonderful post! I even learned a thing or two and there's much more to explore! This is something that everyone should check out. Thanks for taking the time to put it together. Easy to understand with tons of info and tidbits! I've been looking into bittrex myself as of late. Great post! Very much enjoyed and saved!

All you list I am basically learned to do. I just have not created a blockchain wallet and ether wallet. Do not have that much crypto to get one made I think. We are talking about small single dollars here. Coinmarketcap is basically my homepage. Steemit is always up when I have computer on.

oh well

I thought you would never mention Coinbase

Yes, for starters, its good but only a few dollars should be kept there

can bet you there are some people keeping millions in there.. lol.

Nice post! I have a question @kevinwong, you said to avoid centralized exchanges like coinbase, bitfinex, etc. Do you just mean for holding your funds or for buying crypto as well? If you avoid using exchanges to buy crypto, how do you buy them then?


I mentioned that I still use them but not for long. There are decentralised exchanges as well, but the trading volumes are abysmal.

nice post my friend, you give some awesome suggestions to crypto
beginners and i like to add one more thing, if someone is using private wallets to save cryptos then don't tell your password and keys to any one and also save your keys in usb or cd disk and then save these products and much better option is that use online cloud storage to save your all important keys and passwords for both online and offline wallets and same strategy applies to steemit as well, thanks for sharing very nice information with us, Stay blessed

This will be the crypto bible for many new comers and it's an awesome collection of information and tips. Is exodus considered third party wallet or what are some examples of a third party wallet ?

I'm using exodus for a while now, and yes, you can export your private keys. I would say it is pretty safe to use their wallet.

Still haven't really looked into exodus so can't speak about it. Safe to say if you can't export private keys then it's likely to be under third party care.

Thanks ! It bugs me that they don't have 2-Factor Authentication though ..

It is a desktop wallet, in my opinion there is no need for 2FA. If someone want to sign into your account from another PC, they will need to know your "12 word phrase", so you should keep it on a safe place, Kevin gave some good advice.

I just read recently that someone used exodus and that it was emptied. He had it opened and someone started taking over the desktop while he was not there and sent out all the money

Okay thanks for telling me :) I forgot the whole idea of this post was to answer all questions at once haha and here I am asking more question lol

This information is invaluable. The idea of stressing the importance of private keys cannot be overdone. It is the central to all that occurs in the crypto world.

Whoever controls the key, owns the wallet. It really is that simple.

You are really showing newer people a great starting point. A key is not like a password and that is what I thought when I got here. I admit I am not as cautious with my passwords as I should be. Do this with keys, and there is no lost key are screwed.

Crypto-virgin here! Thanks for the valuable advice, I'm reading it tonight after work! :)

These are really great points.
I fell victim to a scam mining website called Sierra hash that just closed a few days ago..!!!

I have vowed to stay away from mining stuff again.
I also use wallet and recommend to the news guys I bring here from Uganda..

I am always refreshing coinmarketcap website hehehe.

Sorry to hear about the mining incident. Personally, I've been reducing mining for a while now. Can't stand the noise and the suffering the machine is going through haha.

Coinmarketcap is always on during breakfast here :) well these days anyway.

I have 3 websites that have to be opened all the time...

  • steemit
  • Coinmarketcap
  • Bitcoin (Google search news every hour..!!)

Really insightful for newcomers. Like it how you covered the entire spectrum for a crypto investor:

  1. Investing - Exchanges and mining.
  2. Storage - Wallets
  3. Security - 2FA and password managers
  4. Eyeing sites like CMC. (I'd personally also recommend the slack/telegram/reddit channels/groups/forums for each and every coin that you invest in or just like)

Thanks man . btw I find most of the channels being a waste of time mostly.. nice for a chat though

How can Mr. Wong be so right? This post is spot on, especially the advice to manage passwords. I am so sick over a lost wallet- been almost a year now. If I had better storage of my passwords it wouldn’t have happened. Great post from start to end. ⭐️✨

Hardware wallet for the win. Great convenience and top security.

@kevinwong Even though I have a little bit of knowledge in respect to crypto - this was still an exceptionally informative and useful article. Thank you!

No problem @jaynie, hope it helped!

It did indeed. :)

yeah nice work kevin. valuable information. i also started an account for 'content creators' coming over from youtube at @teamvideo if it's ok to give that a little love here. cheers bro.

Very very nice post!
Thanks for these basics.
I am grateful that there are people ( @mariandavp being one of them) that share all the info with us, the newer users of steemit and of cryptocurrencies world.

Ahh, our hero @kevinwong with some really important tips for crypto-newbs like myself!! Thanks mate!!

there are no heroes in this crypto mmorpg, only villains.. np, glad if it helps!

Well said @kevinwong. When I came to the steemit couldn't find good person for learn more this platform. But this time your post really helpful for me how to use steem blockchain system. Anyways you told us from your article, always be secure from internet hackers. I have seen before more hackers and come to my account also those days. Example my one of gmail account hacked already. So I learned more security steps and do the needful for secured my accounts in online. Appreciated work kevin, you anytime advice use password manager form here.

We try to find more profitable cryptocurrency module from coinmarketcap. here`s seems top level crptos with market capitalization and indicating graphs. Its easy to find. But always movement rise up and dip. Past 02 months I find bitcoin currency more. I trusted It's great advantage. Yup...I'm excited it was true. I found trend always.. I remember you told last post Ripple currency module. I was check out. Ripple came top market cap list when i search.
No need to say any words. Already you have entered here. Finally told you absolutely more valuable guidance to us.

A very useful article for me and other Steemians as newbie to the world of crypto. Technology is changing rapidly, sometimes too tired to follow the development of technology, especially for me who has not made trading in krypto as the main job. But anyway, I think we should follow it quietly from behind so as not to be left behind. Thanks a lot @kevinwong.

Very good advice Kevin. Resteemed :-)

Like anything addictive you have to try it first to get hooked. In the begining when you buy or trade small amounts of crypto I think convenience is as important as safety, it's strange spending a lot of time securing stuff you don't appreciate it's value.

oh well, coinbase are adding more altcoins.. so glad bcap's investment portfolio has coinbase..

Thanks for this. There is a lot of newbies that are totaly confused about this things. I'm one of them, still in learning process. If I can recommend something...use coinmarketCAL for news about upcoming cypto events.

That was really insightful, in addition to to the great wallets you listed, check out - great wallet with a built-in shapeshift and a beautiful UI.

I heard it's closed source so i haven't been looking at it lol

Kevin you forgot to add a paragraph re coinbase, do you not think that it is important for new converts to register with coinbase as a matter of course?

I've mentioned it in the post, but nope I don't think it's important. I'd rather tell the difference between a private wallet and a 3rd party wallet right away

Thank you for this article! Just bought some ripple today :)

Why XRP by the way? It's one of the only top coins that I don't trust and never own..

XRP is rising, and I doubled my investment. I would like to hear your thoughts on why you don't trust XRP.

Oh i guess philosophical difference. I'm here for decentralisation. XRP is soemwhat a centralised arrangement , not really a cryptocurrency.

@kevinwong very good advice, well articulated for someone like me who is trying to learn and understand cryptocurrency. I am not into economics and business line but it is very interesting to learn how cryptocurrencies work.

Thanks for that information.
Gone through these steps
Helpful for newbies

Very well written and timely. On a broader scope, the two things I would advise anyone who is new to crypto to do are: 1. Buy. 2. Hold.

those are some great tips for newbie's to cryptocurrency because I remember how hard it was to do the right things when i begon with it. very valuable!

Well these are the usefull tips you are completely explain here i love to be a follower of you to learn and get updates related to the cryto for ever nice shating

Nice and discriptive guide. Noob friendly...... I like it.

Great article for anyone who has a interest in the market. Good job

Woww thats so great and it so helfull for us..thanks for shearing.. @kevinwong

This is definitely a must read for anyone just starting in the crypto world, I wish I had read something like this when I first got into crypto

this post will be so useful to newbies. thank you

It certainly is! I'm a newbie when it comes to cryptocurrency. I shall refer people to this post from my blog.

Thx, this was good! Concerning 1, I just did this post on handling ethereum based cryptos:

Would you - or anyone I guess - mind having a look and answer where you can? I really don't want loose anything from improper post-purchase handling, so a reply from someone who knows the proper answers would be great. Thx.

Especially the 2 factor authentication is very important to protect your cryptos, most people forget this and it cost them their coins

Great Post... Clear and to the point! followed :)

Thanks for sharing very good information. resteem your post.

Nice information thanks for sharing such kind of information.
I am new at steemit.i liked your post.

Thanks for the great advice ... especially for beginners it will be very useful to follow such simple rules ... Now crypto currencies are becoming more populous each day, and people need to know how to protect their investments

Congratulations @kevinwong, this post is the forth most rewarded post (based on pending payouts) in the last 12 hours written by a Superhero or Legend account holder (accounts hold greater than 100 Mega Vests). The total number of posts by Superhero and Legend account holders during this period was 45 and the total pending payments to posts in these categories was $1845.95. To see the full list of highest paid posts across all accounts categories, click here.

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Nice article... and inspired of you...

This is really informative
I learnt quite a handful on details yet i am no newbie

great tutorial for newbies, even I am new this too. And still I am learning. Your post helps a lot and thank you @evinwong

after a few minutes on our posts

Thanks for sharing @kevinwong

Very informative article

Real important tutorials to the newbies. I saved ur article for more future studying.

Good information. It will take reading it again to help soak it all in, but at least it's out there and available to learn.

Resteemed. Great job

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@bitcoinbarometer wishes a pleasant and profitable day!

Follow me and I will follow you. I post poems and model photographs. 😉

very informative - I am doing some of these things already ... others, I need to get on board with. Thanks for sharing... I enjoyed reading it - it's good that there are posts like this to help us out. Keep at it!

good advice

That's a great tutorial of Cryptocurrency thanks my friend posted a another great post @kevinwong 👍👍

Thanks for these tips and points definitely everyone should follow them :)

protection of account is a must now a days as the hacking attempts are on a great rise .. thanks for sharing this article :)

Definitely need this kind of info to learn more.
Thank you @kevinwong!

having lost several bitcoin due poor decision making i believe point number one to be of utmost importance!

Learn full tropics, so many things I learn here. Thanks a lot.

Hey thanks so much for the information, these are definitely the right answers to be providing, I guess the good news for me is that I have been asking these very questions, and so once again thanks for assembling it all in one place.
My best...

That's a nice & comprehensive guide. Newbies should read this post!

Overall I think you broke it down pretty well. Any tips for the more intermidiate newbs like myself? Hahahaha

Really very usefull post.. Thanks.

Thanks for the tips on password managers!

Thank you Kevin, I never enabled 2fa auth, I´m too lazy and I will face the consequences one day hahaha

Great info right here resteeming so more people will read. Thanks. 🐓🐓

Thanks Kevin, so I've finally taken the plunge! This has definitely made it sooooo much clearer for a newbie like me! Now I've gone Steem, gotta get onboard Bitcoin and the rest!

@kevingwong - this is a really good post for beginnners to crypto. In fact I've been using most of what you've suggested above. While I have a bit of cryptos in Bittrex , Binance and other exchanges, I want to move them to paper wallets asap.

I prefer paper wallets since I can use it at no cost and easily store it. I'm not thinking of buying a nano ledger also though it doesn't support all cryptos, it supports most of the big ones.

Thanks a lot for sharing this. It's really helpful

Thanks for this post and breaking it down to an understandable level for us noobs. I'll have to come back again and again to get it all down.
Mucho appreciated!

I am always inspire of you Kevin good luck have a nice job

after a few minutes on our posts

This is awesome. I found that the trading fees were extremely high. Do you have recommendations for cheaper trading platform or strategies of reducing fees?

Binance is one of the best :)

I am new into this and still so confused

Love this! Please check my account also. Thank you in advance!😍😘💕✈️💙

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