Ethereum: Well, the father of platform-oriented cryptocurrencies. Being a cryptocurrency, Ethereum does more to the ecosystem than almost all the others in the market. It’s Solidity program allows for excellent smart contract programming, it is also a platform where Decentralized Apps are built and deployed, and many leaders in the blockchain space, including IBM have used Ethereum’s smart contracts and platform to build and deploy applications.
Cryptocurrencies are not all the same. Some are mined while others are created all at once and slowly released into the market. Some cryptos earn a type of interest when owned and some are tokens used by innovative development networks/platforms. Other considerations like the maximum supply of a cryptocurrency, alternative uses (other than being an exchange medium), can greatly influence its future performance.
Wallets are a good example of this. Many cryptocurrency storage solutions — for example, hardware wallets like the Trezor and Ledger — are designed with maximum security in mind (with good reason!). But these aren’t meant to be used with day trading: the amount of time it takes to sign and confirm transactions from wallets can delay trades that you’re trying to perfectly time.
NOTE: Once you have Coinbase down, try moving onto GDAX. It’s, in overly simple terms, like a better version of Coinbase with lower fees. Coinbase operates both platforms, and both use the same logins. GDAX is the preferred exchange of many Bitcoin traders in the U.S. It caters to both pros and novices. After you master that, then consider exchanges like Bittrex and Binance.
Only invest what you can lose. During the recent crash in January 2018, hobby-investors got burned. Reports of frustration and losses came at the cost of broken monitors, smashed laptops, and heavy monetary losses. While the rules are in more particular order of importance, it’s safe to assume that this is the most important rule, the rule to rule the rules. As soon as your money is converted into cryptocurrency, consider it lost forever. There is absolutely no guarantee you can get it back. Losses don’t simply come from dips in the market; extraordinary factors such as hacks, bugs, and government regulation can mean you’ll never see any of your money again. If you are investing money you can’t afford to lose, you need to take a step back and re-evaluate your current financial situation, because what you’re about to do is an act of desperation. This includes: using credit cards, taking out mortgages, applying for loans, or selling everything and traveling the world (as glamorous as that sounds).