These are what allow us to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. There are a handful of popular crypto exchanges, some of them have advantages over others. For example, some exchanges don’t allow us to deposit and withdraw using fiat currency like the U.S. dollar and euro; others aren’t available in certain countries. In this guide we will focus on two very popular exchanges, GDAX and Poloniex. GDAX gives us the ability to use our fiat currency to buy Bitcoin. Poloniex does not, but does give us a wide array of altcoins to trade. There, we’ll be using major coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum to buy the altcoins, and vice versa. Other popular exchanges such as Kraken and Bittrex offer even more coins.
If you have an account on Poloniex.com or Bittrex.com (and other crypto exchange sites) you can use their API with TabTrader to easily trade and monitor prices on your phone. It's important to me that the app connects to Poloniex and Bittrex because these exchanges have good volume. And they're pretty credible. TabTrader supports other major exchanges too :)
On cryptocurrency mining: As noted, one way to invest in cryptocurrency is via cryptocurrency mining. That is a valid way to start investing if say you love computer gaming and need a new rig and want to invest in small amounts of cryptocurrency while maybe making back some of the cost of the rig (and maybe even breaking even) but that is an entirely different subject. The average investor will want to trade USD for cryptocurrency on an exchange and avoid the complexities and investments of mining. In all cases, unless you already have a good rig with a great graphics card, you’ll need to put down USD upfront anyway.
So I decided to take a peek at github, here's what I saw 11,200 repositories for bitcoin vs 3,563 for ethereum. **for non technical folks - repositories are where developers are storing code for projects** However, you have to note that Bitcoin was released in January 2009 and Ethereum was released in July 2015. Total volume isn't the best measure, let's take a look at the languages used.
Watch out for odd Altcoins and ICOs. The market is tricky enough with the major coins, it is even trickier with odd alt coins and ICOs. Yes, sometimes you can buy these low and see insane gains. In fact, getting it right is the best bet in crypto. The problem is, almost all the odd coins down the list and ICOs will spend the majority of their life being near worthless. Then, you may see a short time span in which these coins preform well. You would think that you would be able to take profits then, but so many people do not. After that one event these can end up in the graveyard. Yeah, you could make it big on low cost alts and ICOs… but I’ve seen more than a few people lose money. Be careful bottom fishing, Bitcoin might not make you rich, but it is a way less risky bet than coins further down the list.
Cryptocurrency exchanges are websites where you can buy, sell or exchange cryptocurrencies for other digital currency or traditional currency like US dollars or Euro. For those that want to trade professionally and have access to fancy trading tools, you will likely need to use an exchange that requires you to verify your ID and open an account. If you just want to make the occasional, straightforward trade, there are also platforms that you can use that do not require an account.
I prefer to trade on decentralized exchanges. For myself, I made a choice in the form of ethnermium.сom. They have a huge number of coins. There are no minimum restrictions on trade and fees are so insignificant that you will not notice them. I also think the advantage of the easy creation of a wallet like MeW and easy integration with metamasks and a high level of security
Update 1st October 2018: The cryptocurrency market has been volatile as ever over the last 6 months. Unless you are a skilled trader, it is harder to make money in a bear market than in a bull market – and we have been in a bear market for some time now. Personally, I have stopped trading and I am now focussing on growing my portfolio passively using a cryptocurrency trading bot – you can find out more about this here. If you are new to crypto, read on!
Modes of Payment- Cryptocurrency exchanges allow you to deal in crypto through different modes of payment like Debit card, Credit card, Wire transfer, and even PayPal. However, the number of payment modes offered by different exchanges might differ. You should choose a platform that offers you multiple options for payment purposes rather than the ones having a single mode.
As well as buying crypto using fiat currency, a centralized exchange is somewhere you can store funds and exchange the likes of Bitcoin for other coins and tokens. Examples include Coinbase, Kraken and Binance. Although there is less risk that your funds will disappear if you forget a password or your private key, it’s important to go with reputable providers who have high security standards. That’s because there have been cases where millions of dollars have disappeared from these exchanges overnight through hacking.
Coinigy is an incredibly powerful tool for anyone who is serious about crypto trading. This video from their team explains exactly what it can do for you, but to put it in layman’s terms: It makes technical analysis a breeze and really simplifies the process of trading across several exchanges. It costs $15 a month and is at least worth trying out the the free 1 month trial to see how you like it.
I’m not going to go too deep into other ways you can earn money with cryptocurrencies because I don’t do them myself. At least not right now. Passive income is great. After you make an initial investment, you mostly sit back and watch the money roll in. It’s like buying a home and renting it out - there will be some maintenance issues but it’s mostly passive income.
Dollar-wise, as you can see – Litecoin’s price has increased along with Bitcoin (but less). A reminder about the majority of those quoting “Bitcoin has increased greatly, I’ll buy Litecoin”, buy Litecoin with FIAT (or by converting to Bitcoin, then to Litecoin right after – which is the same). Therefore, learning from the graph yet maintaining the same behavior, when Bitcoin’s value drops, Altcoins’ USD value will drop as well (although as a percentage it will probably be less, but it will still go down).
This learning program will make you completely self-sufficient. There will be no need for you to pay for another course or to subscribe to different trading groups and live trade rooms. There is a ton of groups and individuals out there who are selling or giving away trade signals on their sites, Twitter, forums, etc. All these signals and tips can be useless or even very harmful, if you don't know how to do your own research. For instance, a fresh tweet saying it's time to buy a certain altcoin might not only be old news. There's also a chance it was written because the author wants to actually dump the coin, and he needs people to buy and raise its value at the same time he is selling it.
EDIT: #10 Bonus (Suggested by @kerstenwirth ) — always check the ticker symbol. Ticker symbols are not universal, and may vary from exchange to exchange in rare cases. Those cases, though, can come back to bite you. For example, Bitcoin Cash trades on some exchanges as BCH, while it trades on others as BCC. BCC is also the ticker symbol for BitConnect, which was recently outted as a Ponzi Scheme. If you bought BCC under the impression was Bitcoin Cash, you would’ve lost a lot of money.