Actually, cryptos come in two flavors; currencies and tokens. Currencies, like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero, Doge, Bitcoin Cash and their brethren, are intended to be used just like any other form of money. The other aspect of cryptos are the Tokens. These are not meant to be used as money. Instead, tokens are unique investment opportunities, similar to Wall St. stocks; each representing a portion of a crypto company, project and idea.
The first thing you need when entering the cryptosphere is a wallet. As most people start with Bitcoin; you'll want that wallet first. Blockchain.io is an excellent, secure wallet for beginners. BitPay offers a wallet app that is just as easy to use. Both Blockchain and Bitpay offer multiple currency wallets. Blockchain provides BTC, ETH and BCH; while BitPay offers BTC and BCH. So, with one or both of these you're ready to proceed.
To actually get into trading, you'll need a bit of currency. While the larger, centralized exchanges are popular; I prefer to stick to the original use of cryptos and remain as decentralized as possible; following crypto rule #1 - We Never, Ever, For Any Reason, Place Our Crypto onto a Platform That Takes Control Of Our Money Out Of Our Hands. Keeping that rule in mind; smaller, direct exchanges like ShapeShift and Changelly are my preferred method of obtaining and trading cryptocurrencies (and some tokens).
Once you have your first few pieces of Bitcoin, you're ready to start trading. Now, the Tokens are the intended target in Crypto Trading. As most tokens are built upon the ETH network (taking advantage of the ETH Smart Contract system) you'll want to get a solid, secure ETH setup. The gold standard is MyEtherWallet. This is where you get your own dedicated ETH wallet (using your Blockchain.io wallet as backup). Once you have this, open Chrome and get the MetaMask Plugin; giving you a secure app to connect to your MyEtherWallet for flawless use.
Now that you're all set for a wallet; let's visit the marketplace. My favorite token trading platform is EtherDelta. This is where you'll find tokens representing many crypto projects. Once you sign up there, simply connect your MyEtherWallet to your profile (a huge reason why you use Blockchain and MetaMask wallets as backups; so you're only placing as much ETH onto EtherDelta as needed for minor gas fees and your purchase at hand).
Now you're all set. But WAIT!!!! Don't just jump in until you know what you want to buy.
AmaZix is one of my favorite Crypto Promotional companies. They are staffed with some of the finest minds in the industry. So, it's usually a good bet that, whoever they're promoting, is going to show potential. But, as with anything financial, you've got to do your own work here.
Let's say your passion is football. Well, there's a rather interesting, user-interactive football crypto project called eFL. Or, you are simply passionate about cryptos becoming mainstream. So, you'd want a project that merges crypto and fiat (traditional cash). SALTLending and BANKEX are two of my favorites. Maybe the TV show "Wisdom of the Crowd" got you hyped about Artificial Intelligence. Well, SharpeCapital is a project you should check out.
Regardless of your passion; when you find a crypto project/token that interests you; it's time to do your homework. So, you read the project website, Reddit threads, and BitCoinTalk ANN thread. You use Google to look up terms you don't understand. And really get to know the source material. Then you read the White Paper (or Abstract) of the project. This document tells you EVERYTHING about a crypto project. From the technicalities of the code, the intent of the inventors, how to use a token, the team members; everything.
Once you've read and researched all of that, you're still interested. So, you jump back onto EtherDelta and buy 1, 10, 100 or 10,000 of the token you've chosen.
Most new project tokens start out at thousands of tokens for mere pennies. So, at very little cost; you just supported a project you believe will succeed. But, that price doesn't make you any profit. To see those profits you do what we in the cryptosphere call HODL; which stands for Hold On for Dear Life.
Oh, one last bit of advice before you embark on this journey. The crypto market is still relatively new. We have seen huge swings in the values of the main currencies over the past few months (Q4 2017- Q1 2018). If you're going to join in the fun you'll have to understand that those swings are mere growth pains as the fiat world, as well as the governments, is adjusting to the idea and technicalities of crypto being integrated into society. While crypto will one day become a payment option at your local corner store; we haven't quite reached that point yet. So, if the price dips overnight; HODL away and wait; the value WILL return to that level; and above.
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