This cryptocurrency guide will show you how to quickly and safely get started with investing in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum or, if you wish, all three! This guide will use CoinBase to get you started with Cryptocurrency. CoinBase is a FDIC secured company located in San Francisco that also insures their Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ethereum.
Create CoinBase Account
Coinbase offers $10 of Bitcoin if you buy or sell at least $100 of either Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin or Ethereum. To get this offer you sign up using my referral link here: Create Your CoinBase Account.
You can follow the steps to register and activate your account. See the gallery below for what you should be looking at through each step.
Congratulations! You have now created your CoinBase account. The next step will be adding a source for buying cryptocurrency.
Adding Your Bank Account and/or Debit/Credit Cards
You have a few options for buying your first cryptocurrency with CoinBase. The cheapest way is to add your bank account. The fastest but much more expensive way is to add your debit or credit card. We are going to use the Bank Account method. You can read more about CoinBase costs on their Fees FAQ.
Go to your Linked Accounts tab under Settings then click on Link a New Account.
You will be prompted to choose which account you would like to link. Choose Bank Account and then following the next prompt to find and add your bank account.
If your bank is one of the ones listed, you should be able to instantly add your bank account. If not, then it will take 2-3 days to verify your bank account through two small deposits.
Now that you have your bank account added, lets make your first purchase!
Buying Your First Cryptocurrency
Head over to the Buy/Sell tab. Here you will be able to choose which coin(s) you wish to purchase. This decision is entirely up to you. All three coins are very popular and well documented across the internet.
Once you have decided, lets make our first $100 purchase so you can get your free $10 in Bitcoin. No matter what currency you choose to purchase, you will receive your $10 in Bitcoin.
For the purpose of this guide we will buy Bitcoin. The process is the same for Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ethereum. Fill out the Buy page like below, choosing your bank account you just added as the source.
Your total Bitcoin received will vary due to market prices at the time of purchase. If everything looks good simply hit Buy Bitcoin and your order will be placed.
It will take a few business days for the order to go through. You can read more about time frames for orders on CoinBase here: https://support.coinbase.com/customer/portal/articles/1392022-why-does-a-buy-take-so-long.
Once your Bitcoins have arrived they will show up in your Accounts tab. From here, you have a few options on what you can do with your coins.
- Keep coins inside CoinBase. Keeping your coins inside CoinBase has a few advantages. The biggest advantages are:
- Avoid transaction fees from moving your coins around. Bitcoin, specifically, is currently very expensive to move from one wallet to another.
- Keeping your coins on CoinBase allows you to quickly and easily sell your coins for other coins or for fiat. The cryptocurrency marketplace is very volatile. Being able to quickly liquidate your coins for fiat could make you a lot of money or prevent big losses.
- CoinBase is trusted. As long as you are not doing anything sketchy CoinBase is a very reliable source, backed by the US Government.
- Move your coins to your own private wallet. There are many wallets out there to store your coins in. Deciding what wallet to use will require your own due diligence. My personal recommendation for Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum is Exodus.io. It is a very well supported and user friendly wallet that can store all three of the coins that CoinBase currently supports.
- Move your coins to an exchange. I will go into more detail in a later article as this is a very complex area to dive into. CoinBase does offer their own exchange, GDAX, which will allow you to trade, in real time, from the coins that CoinBase supports to fiat.
Enjoy Your Coins
Congratulations you are now the owner of your choice of either Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, or Ethereum! There are many things you can do with your coins. Enjoy holding them or spending them!