How to Buy Cryptocurrency

Want to jump straight to the answer? You can buy cryptocurrencies on eToroRobinhood, GeminiCoinbase and Voyager.

If you’ve been paying attention to the crypto scene, you may be wondering how to buy cryptocurrencies. You may also worry that it’s too complicated to get involved in cryptocurrencies, or that it’s too late to start.

The good news is, it’s neither too late nor too complicated. This is a great time to start buying cryptocurrencies and once you make your first purchase, you’ll see how simple it really can be.

How to Buy Cryptocurrencies

If you’re wondering how to buy cryptocurrency, chances are good that you’re also a little nervous about that first purchase. You aren’t alone! Everyone is nervous the first time because it’s so new, but once you’ve made that first purchase you’ll see that it’s easier than you expected it to be.

Start small. If you only purchase a few dollars worth of a particular asset, you aren’t as upset if you make a mistake as you would be if you made a mistake with hundreds of dollars. Also, keep in mind, you can buy a fraction of a coin. People sometimes think they can’t buy Bitcoin because they don’t have $40,000+ to purchase one coin. The truth is, you can buy $10 of Bitcoin if you want, and add to that amount any time you like.

  1. Choose a cryptocurrency exchange.

    Your first step in buying cryptocurrency is to choose an exchange. Coinbase, Gemini, eToro Robinhood and Webull are some of the best known and safest exchanges, but they aren’t the only ones. 

    Steer clear of exchanges that are new unless you know they are well established and trusted. If you are a complete beginner, Coinbase is always a great choice. The interface is very user-friendly and they offer over 50 altcoins for investing and trading. 

    Gemini is also excellent for beginners, while also offering features for more advanced traders. This exchange has over 40 cryptocurrencies to choose from and they have other nice perks as well, like Gemini Earn which allows you to earn up to 7.4% APY on your crypto.

    eToro has a unique program called CopyTrader that allows you to copy the transactions of successful traders and learn from them. This is an amazing way to learn the ins and outs of trading if you’re worried about trying it on your own.

    Webull and Robinhood are great because you can not only invest in cryptocurrencies, but you can purchase stocks as well. 

  2. Create an account.

    Once you’ve chosen your exchange, you’ll need to create an account. While each exchange may be set up a little differently from another, the basics are pretty much the same.

    First, go to the registration page where you will be prompted to enter your email address and a strong password. When that is done, you should receive an email with a code that must be entered on the website. This verifies your email address.

    After you are verified, you will likely be prompted to enable two-factor authentication or 2FA. This is important to add an extra layer of security to your account. After all, you don’t want someone else to access your account and take your valuable assets.

    Now you’ll need to take one more step before you are able to make your first purchase. Know Your Customer, or KYC, is a process of verifying your identification to ensure that you are who you claim to be. You’ll be asked to submit certain documentation; usually, this is a picture of your driver’s license, passport, social security card or another form of ID. Some may also require a picture of you holding your driver’s license.

    Usually, this step takes only a few minutes but sometimes you may be asked to provide additional information. Don’t let this concern you. The sooner you get them the needed information, the sooner you can make your first purchase!

  3. Fund your account.

    Now that you are verified and approved, you can fund your account. Often you need only to connect your account to your bank account. Some exchanges also allow you to use a credit card. 

    Whichever method you use, you can now deposit the amount that you feel secure starting with. It’s okay to start with small amounts until you feel comfortable. 

  4. Make your purchase.

    Now that your account has funds, you can make your first purchase. For most people, this is simply a little bit of whatever cryptocurrency they have decided to start with. Soon, however, you’ll realize that this is only the beginning.

    When you make an order to buy or sell crypto at the current market price, this is called a market order. However, if you only want to buy or sell at a specific price, this is called a limit order. There is also a stop limit order which is when a pre-determined stop price triggers the buy or sell order at the limit price.

    There are also trading pairs, such as Bitcoin/Ethereum or Bitcoin/Litecoin pairs. The first currency listed in the pair is called the “base currency”. The second currency is called the “quote currency” or “term currency”.

    Trading Bitcoin pairs means you can trade any coin that lists Bitcoin with it as the base currency. The pair indicates how much of the term currency is equal to the amount of Bitcoin listed. 

    Similarly, USD pairs use USD as the base currency and are basically a price quote of the exchange rate between the two currencies.

  5. Buy a cryptocurrency wallet (optional).

    Now that you’ve made your purchase, you’ll likely want to keep it safe in some type of wallet.

    Usually, exchanges will allow you to keep your crypto there, but this is never a wise choice unless you plan to sell or trade it immediately. This is because there is always a chance of an exchange being hacked or frozen. If this happens, you no longer have access to your assets.

Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges

get started securely through Webull’s website
Best For
Low Minimums
N/A
1 Minute Review

Webull, founded in 2017, is a mobile app-based brokerage that features commission-free stock and exchange-traded fund (ETF) trading. It’s regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Webull offers active traders technical indicators, economic calendars, ratings from research agencies, margin trading and short-selling. Webull’s trading platform is designed for intermediate and experienced traders, although beginning traders can also benefit.

Webull is widely considered one of the best Robinhood alternatives.

Best For
  • Active traders
  • Intermediate traders
Pros
  • No charges to open and maintain an account
  • No account maintenance fees or software platform fees
  • Intuitive trading platform with technical and fundamental analysis tools
Cons
  • Only offers 14 coins
get started securely through Exodus Wallet’s website
Best For
Staking Crypto + Earning Rewards
N/A
1 Minute Review

Founded in 2015, Exodus is a multiasset software wallet that removes the geek requirement and keeps design a priority to make cryptocurrency and digital assets easy for everyone. Available for desktop and mobile, Exodus allows users to secure, manage and exchange cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and more across an industry-leading 10,000-plus asset pairs from a beautiful, easy-to-use wallet. The noncustodial functionality is encrypted locally on users’ own devices, ensuring privacy, security and complete control over their wealth. Exodus is on a mission to empower half the world to exit the traditional finance system by 2030.

Best For
  • Newcomers to the cryptocurrency world
  • Ease of use
  • Trezor integration
Pros
  • Free
  • Huge selection of cryptocurrencies
  • Excellent 24/7 customer support
  • No personal info needed
Cons
  • FTX app not available on the mobile app
get started securely through SoFi’s website
Best For
Beginners
N/A
1 Minute Review

SoFi takes a modern approach to personal finance. It recently created buzz with the release of SoFi Crypto, a way to trade cryptocurrency on the app. The platform allows investors to familiarize themselves with crypto. It offers a high level of security, great customer support and an intuitive interface. However, it does have shortcomings with the number of cryptos offered and geographic restrictions.

Best For
  • Beginners
  • Centralization of your money
Pros
  • Charges low or no fees for some functions within the interface.
  • Relies on Coinbase, a very secure platform, to process transactions.
  • Presents a low barrier of entry — you only need $10 to start trading.
Cons
  • Currently only offers 28 coins.
get started securely through eToro’s website
Disclosure: eToro USA LLC; Investments are subject to market risk, including the possible loss of principal.
Best For
Copy Trading
N/A
1 Minute Review

eToro, headquartered in Cyprus, England and Israel, has provided forex products and other CFD derivatives to retail clients since 2007. A major eToro plus is its social trading operations, including OpenBook, which allows new clients to copy trade the platform’s best performers. Its social trading features are top notch, but eToro loses points for its lack of tradable currency pairs and underwhelming research and customer service features

Best For
  • U.S. based cryptocurrency traders
  • Investors looking to CopyTrade other traders
  • Simple user interface
Pros
  • Several major cryptocurrencies and altcoins
  • Expansive network of social trading features
  • Large client base for new traders to imitate
Cons
  • Only 29 coins available
Invest In Crypto securely through Gemini Crypto’s website
Best For
New Investors
N/A
1 Minute Review

Gemini is a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian that offers investors access to over 100 coins and tokens. Founded in the US, Gemini is expanding globally, in particular into Europe and Asia. Offerings include both major cryptocurrency projects like Bitcoin and Ethereum, and smaller altcoins like Orchid and 0x.

Gemini is 1 of the only brokers with multiple platform options based on skill level. New investors will love the streamlined interface of Gemini’s mobile and web apps, while advanced investors might appreciate all the tools that come with ActiveTrader. 

In addition to a host of platform choices, Gemini users also have access to insured hot wallets to store tokens without worrying about digital asset theft. Learn more about what Gemini can do for you in our review.

Best For
  • New investors looking for a simple mobile and web app
  • Day traders looking to use technical analysis tools
  • Users looking for a 1-stop-shop to buy, sell and store all of their cryptos
Pros
  • Easy and quick signups — can get started in as little as a 5 minutes
  • Multitude of platforms to accommodate traders of all skill levels
  • Hot wallets include insurance to protect your from theft and hacking attempts
Cons
  • Charges both a commission and a convenience fee for users buying and selling through the desktop or mobile app
earn free crypto securely through Coinbase’s website
Best For
Coinbase Learn
N/A
1 Minute Review

Coinbase is one of the Internet’s largest cryptocurrency trading platforms. From Bitcoin to Litecoin or Basic Attention Token to Chainlink, Coinbase makes it exceptionally simple to buy and sell major cryptocurrency pairs. 

You can even earn cryptocurrency rewards through Coinbase’s unique Coinbase Earn feature. More advanced traders will love the Coinbase Pro platform, which offers more order types and enhanced functionality.

Though Coinbase doesn’t offer the most affordable pricing or the lowest fees, its simple platform is easy enough for complete beginners to master in as little as a single trade.

Best For
  • New cryptocurrency traders
  • Cryptocurrency traders interested in major pairs
  • Cryptocurrency traders interested in a simple platform
Pros
  • Simple platform is easy to operate
  • Comprehensive mobile app mirrors desktop functionality
  • Coinbase Earn feature rewards you with crypto for learning about available coins
Cons
  • Higher fees than competitors

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is fairly well-known, but even if you’ve heard the name you may not know quite what it is. The quick answer is, Bitcoin is the world’s first widely adopted cryptocurrency. In 2008, a whitepaper was written by Satoshi Nakamoto, whose true identity is unknown, where he outlined the basic concept of Bitcoin. It is a digital currency that allows secure, peer-to-peer transactions online without the need to rely on the traditional banking system. 

It didn’t take long for this idea to explode and Bitcoin is now priced at nearly $50,000 per BTC. Considering that its original price was a fraction of a penny, it isn’t difficult to see the investment potential even today.

Investing in Bitcoin vs. Altcoins

There are some investors who feel that Bitcoin is king and they will invest in nothing else. There is nothing wrong with that, of course. However, there are thousands of other coins, called altcoins, that you should take a look at as well. 

No one can say for certain if these coins will ever overtake Bitcoin but it may not matter. Many of these coins have proven to be excellent investments and have provided outstanding returns to those who purchased them. 

There is no reason why you can’t invest in both Bitcoin and altcoins. The key is to do your research so you can determine the potential of each coin you are considering. Not every new offering is successful but those that are can do wonders for your financial security.

Cryptocurrency Market vs. Stock Market

The cryptocurrency market is not the same as the stock market, though there are some similarities that can help you understand how the crypto market works.

As a rule, stocks are issued by companies and are backed by the potential profits each company is expected to see. Cryptos, on the other hand, are issued by pretty much anyone who wants to make their own blockchain ledger.

This means it’s just a matter of mathematics to figure out the value of a stock. It’s a little more tricky to determine the value of a cryptocurrency. Value is based partly on utility and partly on other factors including those that are purely subjective. 

Stocks are sold to raise money for the company selling the stock. This money helps the company grow. Cryptocurrencies have different purposes. A blockchain project may be for games, NFTs, DeFi or any number of things.

Cryptos are also considered more volatile than stocks. If you spend time watching both, you’ll see that cryptos make great gains and stomach-turning drops that rival any amusement park ride you’ve experienced. 

What’s interesting, however, is when you look at the overall path of a cryptocurrency, you are very likely to see that ultimately, it has gone up. In fact, Bitcoin has grown more than any stock in spite of its volatility. Naturally, this doesn’t happen with every new cryptocurrency, which is why it’s important to thoroughly research any altcoin you are considering. 

What is a Cryptocurrency Exchange?

A cryptocurrency exchange is basically a digital marketplace that allows you to exchange your fiat money for the cryptocurrency you want to purchase. Some exchanges offer extra perks as well to tempt you to choose them over other exchanges. 

To be sure, there are many exchanges to choose from and the options can be a little overwhelming. Don’t feel rushed. Take some time to learn about each exchange so you can choose the one that best fits your needs and experience level.

New: MoneyLion Roar Account

MoneyLion’s Roar account is the latest in multifunctional investing. When you join MoneyLion, you gain access to a digital bank that gives you all the features you’re looking for. While you have the option to get paid before payday, take a cash advance or even build your credit with a loan, MoneyLion also allows you to invest in crypto.

With a RoarMoney account, you can invest in Bitcoin and Ethereum any time you like. Because this market is decentralized, you can continue to invest in the early hours or in the middle of the night.

When you join MoneyLion, you can also use your debit card to add round-ups to your account. Rounding up your purchases allows you to add extra cash to your crypto investment portfolio, allowing you to grow your investments whenever you like. This is similar to the “set it and forget it” style of investing that grows your savings without much hassle.

There is also a prize pool of $1 million you join after opening a crypto account. You can even invite your friends with the hope of winning a piece of the pie.

get started securely through MoneyLion’s website

Best Cryptocurrency Wallets

There are two main types of wallets. Hardware wallets and software wallets. Often people use both kinds of wallets, depending on their needs. 

If you use your cryptocurrency frequently for transactions, it may be a good idea to keep what you will use for the day in a software wallet and keep the rest in a hardware wallet. 

The choice is yours; just be sure to consider the features that are most important to you as well as the safety of your assets when you make your decisions.

Best Hardware Wallet: Ledger

Hardware wallets are by far the safest option for a cryptocurrency wallet. This is because they are not connected to the internet, so it’s impossible for hackers to access them. You can even keep your hardware wallet in a safe for an extra layer of security. 

The Ledger wallets are by far the best, giving you the safety and security of a hardware wallet with the ease of Ledger Live. Ledger Live is an app that works on your phone or computer, allowing you access to over 1800 coins and tokens that you can buy, sell, exchange and grow.

buy now securely through Ledger Hardware Wallet’s website
Best For
ERC-20 tokens
N/A
1 Minute Review

Launched in 2014, Ledger has transformed into a fast-paced, growing company developing infrastructure and security solutions for cryptocurrencies as well as blockchain applications for companies and individuals. Born in Paris, the company has since expanded to more than 130 employees in France and San Francisco.

With 1,500,000 Ledger wallets already sold in 165 countries, the company aims at securing the new disruptive class of crypto assets. Ledger has developed a distinctive operating system called BOLOS, which it integrates to a secure chip for its line of wallets. So far, Ledger takes pride in being the only market player to provide this technology.

Best For
  • ERC-20 tokens
  • All experience levels
Pros
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Supports more than 1,500 different digital assets
  • Tamper proof
  • Portable
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Bluetooth connectivity features
Cons
  • Can be quite pricey

Best Software Wallet: Metamask

Metamask is possibly the most popular software wallet for Ethereum and ER-20 tokens. It essentially creates a bridge from your Firefox, Chrome or Brave browser to the Ethereum blockchain. 

Metamask allows you to store cryptocurrency and also allows you to interact with smart contracts and decentralized applications (DApps). It’s also compatible with Ledger. Unfortunately, you can’t use it for Bitcoin.

Alternative Ways to Buy Crypto

There are some other ways to buy cryptocurrency without going through an exchange. Some people feel these are safer ways to buy, but that doesn’t necessarily make them better ways to buy.

For example, if you invest through Grayscale trust, you must pay an annual fee, so the value of the trust goes down over time. Also, Grayscale only trades when the stock markets are open. So if there is a big crash in crypto over the weekend, you are stuck until Monday.

Crypto EFTs are similar to Grayscale. Both allow you to get involved in cryptocurrency by using brokers instead of doing it yourself.  While that may sound great, you have to pay fees for this service. Additionally, you aren’t the actual owner of the cryptocurrency. You’re just a shareholder. This means you can’t make trades or benefit from decentralized finance.

You’ll have to weigh out if the costs and loss of benefits are worth the “easy” method of getting into crypto.

Should You Buy Cryptocurrency?

Should you buy cryptocurrency? Truthfully, you are the only one who can answer that question. 

Cryptocurrency is volatile and will probably be that way for quite some time. However, if you look at where it started compared to where it is now, you’ll see that it has grown tremendously. Clearly, crypto isn’t just a fad; it’s here for the long term.

If you opt to get into the world of crypto, always do thorough research and never invest more than you can afford to lose. Also, take advantage of every opportunity to learn, because crypto is ever-changing and ever-growing. You don’t want to miss anything!

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