I began my adventure in the world of cryptocurrency in 2017 during an amazing bull market. At the time, you could have thrown money into any cloud mining platform and cryptocurrency and come away with stunning gains. I can still remember the thrill of the first purchase I made of Bitcoin and Ethereum on Coinbase.
The bear market of 2018 has shaken up the crypto world, and is a huge opportunity for new entrants. The market cap of the crypo-world has fallen from $750 billion to $500 billion. Massive exchanges like Binance offer newcomers the ability to participate in cryptocurrency, but how to start?
First, a word of caution. Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency markets are not a get rich scheme. Cryptocurrency is a deflationary, decentralized technology that solves a problem. The blockchain is technological advancement that functions as a ledger and a way to record and encode information onto the coin. A coin is not analogous to a stock, rather it is an asset like a commodity, as it is a product and not a unit of a company.
Coinbase offers an easy way for beginners to purchase Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash. Sign up online and download the App and link to your bank account. Once you have done this, transfer the coins to a wallet. Coinbase is an exchange and you do not want to store coins on an exchange. To avoid the high fees of transferring Bitcoin, consider purchasing Litecoin or Ethereum.
Choose a Wallet
Coinomi is my wallet of choice. It’s an open source product that allows you to store your coins safely and exchange them using Shapeshifter and Changelly. Do not store your coins on an exchange, as Coinomi’s security is superior.
Binance, Bittrex, Hitbtc and Kucoin are examples of exchanges that are commonly used to change one coin to another. Transfer your coins from Coinomi or Coinbase into these exchanges.
Hashflare and Genesis Mining are the most widely used cloud mining services. Always use a mining profitability calculator to see if the mining contracts you are purchasing will be profitable. If you choose to mine, you are making a bet on the long term appreciation of the coin.
Coins to consider owning
After the bear market of January, a lot is on sale. Consider creating a cryptocurrency portfolio containing BTC, LTC, ETH, XRP, STEEM, ETC, BNB as the “blue chips” and keep your eye on upcoming ICOs using ICObench and the Reddit forum.