You’ll find that different exchanges cater to different markets. Today, most countries have at least one cryptocurrency exchange specializing in their own currency. There are exchanges that can accept New Zealand Dollars in exchange for bitcoin, for example. Other exchanges are known for certain pairs. Bithumb, for example, has particularly strong liquidity in the ETH/KRW (South Korean Won) pair at the moment (and it’s easily the most popular cryptocurrency exchange in Korea).
The benefit of a USD wallet on Coinbase is that you can put money in that and then buy coins instantly from the wallet. If you try to buy directly with your bank account, the transaction can take about a week. A credit card doesn’t have this problem, but limits are usually lower on a credit card. TIP: I almost always deposit USD in my wallet as opposed to buying coins directly from Coinbase via my bank account when using Coinbase to buy (I do this on-the-go sometimes). You can also wire money if you need the funds to be in the wallet faster. On that note, I almost always then use GDAX to buy/sell coins when I’m on a desktop (then use Coinbase as my wallet and mobile app).
Blockfolio is an extremely powerful digital currency investment tracking app that is ideal for individuals that hold an extremely diversified portfolio. Operating diverse portfolios can often be unwieldy and, due to their cumbersome nature, require constant scrutiny and management. The Blockfolio app has been specifically designed for highly diversified investors, and streamlines the process of tracking where and when you bought and sold, as well as the value of your current holdings.
I think the simplest place to buy, sell, and store coins is Coinbase (and our tutorial below will help you get set up with that), but you can only buy, sell, and store Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash on Coinbase. If you are serious about trading cryptocurrency, you’ll need another exchange like Coinbase’s GDAX, Bittrex, Binance, or Kraken (and you’ll likely want to find a wallet to store your coins in). See a top 5 list of cryptocurrency exchanges and the Best Bitcoin Exchanges ranked (those above are my picks).
Ethereum hit the scene with the promise of using the blockchain for more than just currencies. You could build decentralized apps on top of Ethereum and even new currencies. In the summer of 2016 I decided to buy ETH at around $9. The day after I purchased Ethereum something called the DAO hack happened and the price dropped 50%. Unlike in 2011, I didn’t need the money I invested to cover any bills. I watched my Ethereum swing between $4 and $20 for about 8 months. I wondered if I could take advantage of those swings by buying when the price was low, selling when it was high, and buying back in when the price dipped again. Though I didn’t take any action on the thought, the idea lingered in my head.
Maybe one day our fiat money system will go under and be completely replaced by cryptocurrencies. We’re living in a digitalized world and the possibility of Bitcoin or any other major cryptocurrencies to replace the way we pay for the goods and services is not beyond the realms of possibility. However, as long as there are still profits to be made from Forex currency trading we encourage you to read our receipt for Forex trading success: How to Make Money Trading – 2 Keys to Success.
To stress some points made above, realize that a diverse portfolio and investment strategy will eat into gains as often as it staves off losses. The only way to make big profits most of the time is to make risky moves. If you go all in on a single coin at a given price and it goes up, that is a payday. If it goes down, your investable funds are locked into that crypto (unless you want to sell at a loss). Diverse strategies protect against this, but they will also eat into your potential gains (as it is rare for everything to go up or down at once). Know what you are looking for and know how to weight your portfolio to reflect that.
A small number of cryptocurrency pairs. It is true. You will not find any altcoins from above the top 20. However, Bitstamp offers in its turn the possibility to work with hybrid pairs including USD and other fiats. The exchange can be used as your pass into the world of altcoins as you may buy BTC or ETH here and then transfer those cryptos to other exchanges with a wider range of pairs, which do not support fiat money.
Don’t invest blindy. There are people in this world who would sell a blind person a pair of glasses if they could make money. Those same people play in the cryptocurrency markets and use every opportunity to exploit less-informed investors. They’ll tell you what to buy or claim certain coins will moon, just to increase the prices so they can exit. Due to the highly speculative nature of the cryptocurrency markets today, a good investor will always do his or her own research in order to take full responsibility for the potential investment outcome. Information coming from even the best investor is, at best, great information, but never a promise, so you can still get burned.