1Create a Coinbase account at www.coinbase.com and make a purchase for Bitcoin. Coinbase is a US based company that is the most popular for getting started with cryptocurrency investments. The purchase can be for any amount since you can buy a fraction of a Bitcoin at a time. It’s important to note that although the transaction will take place immediately, it may take several days until the funds added are reflected in your account. Another way to get cash into your account quicker is to wire US Dollars from your bank account. Once they are in your account, you can immediately buy Bitcoin. That’s it for step one.
You can also buy Ethereum from Coinbase as an alternative to Bitcoin. I did this and doubled my first investment in one week. Just be sure to buy low and sell high or hold for the long run until you’re ready to cash out.
“I did this and doubled my first investment in one week”
2This next step is one of the easiest to do, but not everyone knows about it. Sign in to your Coinbase account from GDAX.com (GDAX is owned by the same company as Coinbase). GDAX has a more techie feel to it. So it’s not as user friendly as Coinbase. However, you can transfer your US Dollars, Bitcoin, or Ethereum back and forth between the two websites instantly at no cost. Give it a try. The benefit to using GDAX is that it has lower transaction costs [or even no costs] when buying/selling your cryptocurrencies. A GDAX account is also needed for Step 3 to buy Ripple and other cryptocurrencies.
3Yes, Step 3 is to create yet another account, this time on www.bittrex.com – a Las Vegas based company for exchanging cryptocurrencies. At the time that I’m writing this post, there is a waiting list to create an account Bittrex. This is because they are trying to ensure quality of service at a time when demand is so high for the booming industry. I recommend using Bittrex since they are a United States based company. There are some other budding exchanges out there, but I recommend doing research an exchange first before using it. Once in Bittrex, you’ll likely need to verify your account (I did enhanced verification) by providing some identification. When this is complete, you can transfer Bitcoin or Ethereum funds from your GDAX account (Step 2) to your Bittrex Wallet. The first time you do this, you’ll likely need to generate a new address to receive the funds. You then use this deposit address in GDAX to send the funds. Sending Bitcoin can be a slow process – sometimes taking hours. You can check on the status of Bitcoin transfers at blockchain.info (check back if it doesn’t update right away). I recommend testing it out by sending a small percent of your funds to Bittrex first. Also, make sure that you are depositing the right currency!!! (ex: Bitcoin to Bitcoin; Ethereum to Ethereum). I made a mistake once by sending Bitcoin to a Bitcoin Cash address. These are two different currencies that are not compatible! So I likely lost the funds forever. Don’t make that same mistake. Once your funds arrive in Bittrex, you can then use them to buy Ripple and any other cryptocurrency available on the Bittrex exchange!
After buying Ripple last week, that investment has doubled in value like my Ethereum investment did. It’s important to do research on the cryptocurrencies before investing in them. Some of them are set up for success more than others. Also, watch out for “pump and dump” cryptocurrencies that people on Social Media agree to drive up the price, only to sell it all at once. If you ride that wave and don’t sell at the right time, then you’ll lose money while others profit. It’s good to search on Twitter to see what others are saying about a cryptocurrency as a last sanity check before committing.
“After buying Ripple last week, that investment has doubled in value”
*There are several Mobile Apps that are useful for tracking your investments. I use the official Coinbase app. Another useful app is Coin Stats which I use to manually track my Bittrex investments. These apps are also useful for tracking trends of cryptocurrencies on the rise: Coin Ticker, BTRX, and B-Trex.