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Have I Missed The Boat? – Best Ways To Purchase Cryptocurrency (#GotBitcoin?)

Cryptocurrencies are undoubtedly one of the hottest topics in both finance and technology right now. Many proponents of the drastically new monetary products believe that decentralized finance is the future and one day we’ll all be using Bitcoin, Litecoin, or some other purely digital asset. Have I Missed The Boat? – Best Ways To Purchase Cryptocurrency (#GotBitcoin?)

Haven’t I Missed The Boat?

If this is the long game for cryptocurrency in general, then we are at an incredibly early stage in the digital asset story. The entire market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is minuscule in comparison to other assets.

The value of all US stocks, for example, was estimated at $30 trillion in January of last year. Meanwhile, gold, which Bitcoin is often likened to, has a global market capitalization of $7.55 trillion. By contrast, Bitcoin market capitalization is just $148 billion and the rest of the cryptocurrency industry accounts for $72 billion.

Many Bitcoin commentators believe that thanks to its unique properties, it will serve a similar role as gold in the future. Add its carefully calculated supply and mining difficulty adjustments, and you will see that Bitcoin can become a perfect store of value. Upon the next halving (May 2020), Bitcoin’s release will fall in line with that of gold’s supply. While at the following halving, in 2024, its constant supply will drop to much lower than that of gold. This will be the first time in human history that a digital asset represents a harder form of money than precious metal.  

It’s this ever-restricting supply that causes analysts to come up with the seemingly insane price predictions.

Willy Woo, a popular on-chain metrics analyst, believes that following the next halving, Bitcoin will attain a market capitalization of around $1 trillion. If Woo’s predictions come true, it would mean that Bitcoin is going to hit $58,000 in the next few years.

Of course, other cryptocurrencies have potential too. There are thousands of different digital currencies today. Some are associated with distributed computing platforms, while others are optimized for fast, and cheap transactions.

Which Digital Asset To Buy?

Only you can ultimately decide which cryptocurrency to buy. This article isn’t intended to persuade you one way or the other. The important thing is to do some research on blockchain technology and digital currency. Do this before you set your heart on some unknown digital currency that seems to promise the world.

You should also consider learning about the current financial system and its shortcomings. This will allow you to see which assets seem to address those shortcomings more effectively. Ultimately, for your investment in cryptocurrency to pay off, you need to find the coin or token useful in some way.

Where To Buy Your First Cryptocurrency

Once you’ve decided which cryptocurrency you want to buy, you then need to buy it, of course. This is a relatively straightforward process for very popular digital currencies — Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), etc.

However, the process is a little bit more involved for other digital currencies. The first part of this short guide will explain how to buy one of the popular digital currencies. The second part will tell how to exchange it for a more obscure token or coin, should you decide that’s where you want to invest.

Friend

Buying Bitcoin (or any cryptocurrency for that matter) is easiest when done peer-to-peer. You just need a friend willing to sell you the digital asset you want to buy. If you’re lucky enough to have one, just ask them to sell you some BTC, LTC, ETH, or whatever, download a suitable wallet and arrange the transaction.

Give your public address and the amount of fiat currency (dollars, euros, pounds, etc.) you want to spend to your acquaintance and they will transfer over your first crypto coins.

The sheer convenience of this method is great. However, not everyone knows a friend that can sell cryptocurrencies.

Peer-to-Peer Marketplace

Peer-to-peer marketplaces are another way for people to get hold of some Bitcoin or other popular cryptocurrency. On sites like Paxful and LocalBitcoins, you will find various advertisements for buyers and sellers. Their rates will vary massively, as well as the accepted methods of payments. Some people will allow you to even buy cryptocurrency with Amazon gift vouchers! However, traditional means of payment are much more common.

Peer-to-peer marketplaces are great because users don’t need to submit lots of identification documents. However, sellers can charge more of a premium than you might find at other trading venues.

Note: If you are planning to arrange a crypto-for-cash exchange in person, you should be very careful.

There have been numerous cases of Bitcoin buyers or sellers being ambushed and robbed when attempting to trade in person.

Brokerage or Exchange Platform

Another good option to buy cryptocurrency is from a brokerage service, or from a fiat-to-cryptocurrency exchange.

These are round-the-clock venues that ensure easy access to digital assets. Most brokerages and fiat-to-crypto exchanges will support a reasonable range of digital currencies. For example, CEX.IO users can buy Bitcoin or one of the 14 other digital coins in one of four national currencies. The joint exchange/brokerage accepts deposits by either Swift, ACH, or VISA and MasterCard.

Exchange platforms are really user-friendly, but they do charge fees.

Typically, the more convenient the payment method is to use, the larger the fees. For example, VISA and MasterCard deposits at CEX.IO come with a 2.99% fee, while bank transfers are free.

Although they are undoubtedly convenient, exchange platforms can be expensive. What’s more, you need to go through identity verification to make a purchase.

This way, exchanges prevent money laundering and other fraudulent activities from happening on the platform.

Buying Other Digital Assets

As mentioned, fiat-friendly exchange platforms often do not support many different types of cryptocurrencies. If you want to take up a position in a more obscure project, you will likely need to first buy Bitcoin, and send it to the trading venue supporting the smaller cryptocurrency.

However, you should first check which exchanges support trading versus the smaller cryptocurrency and find out which asset it trades against. This is usually either Bitcoin or Ether. Once you know that, you know which cryptocurrency you will need to buy to make the trade.

Conclusion: Protect Your Own Wealth

Once you’ve bought your first cryptocurrency, it’s very important that you withdraw it from the platform you bought it from.

Without doing so, if the exchange wallet was to be hacked, you would run the risk of losing all your funds. Such hacks happen very often.

Make sure that you download an appropriate wallet for the coins you have just bought. It should be open-source and give the user, and only the user, access to the private key. If you’re struggling, search for recommendations on a forum such as Reddit

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