So, you’ve heard of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Neo, and now you want to have a little punt in the crypto world and see if you can make a bit of money, but where do you start? Well, that depends entirely on the route you wish to take.
Before getting heavily wrapped up in the world of cryptocurrencies and trading it is best to ask yourself if you can afford to lose any of your money. If you are extremely tight on funds and could not possibly afford to lose your investment it is best to keep your money and maybe think about attempting to mine. The reason for emphasis on not being bankrupt if your investment was lost is simple, it’s an investment, it could go completely tits up and your money is lost forever, as is the nature of trading – it’s essentially betting.
However, if you do have a little bit of money to play with your easiest course of action would be to use the amount you wish to invest (for example £50) and buy either Bitcoin, Ethereum or Litecoin from Coinbase. Setting up a coinbase account is simple enough for a monkey to find easy, once your account is setup you will be taken through the usual rigamorole when making an online purchase and then be provided with your BTC/ETH/LTC (Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin) in what is known as a wallet.
Deciding what to buy as your intial stake (BTC/ETH/LTC) is always going be a tricky decision and is one which I cannot really advise you on other than telling you to do your research before buying. Have a look at the graphs which are shown by Coinbase, which depict the value of the coin, and from there decide which of the three currencies offers best value for money at the time of purchase. Personally I always look to buy when the currency is in a dip.
Right now (as of writing this article) Litecoin is looking like a solid investment to start with. If you can time your inital entry point to when it is on a lul you should be laughing. It is the cheapest of the three currencies on Coinbase and is one that can be expected to pass the £100 in the near future according to a number a sources.
Once you have your currency in your wallet you’re ready to send it to an exchange to trade (if you want to trade that is – you can always just leave your currency in the Coinbase wallet and check its value in the future). If you do decide that you want to trade I would reccommend Bittrex as it is secure and extremely easy to use, the downside being their fees are a little more than others and they do not trade the more bespoke cryptocurrencies.
Once you have registered login to the website and navigate to the ‘Wallets’ section. When in the wallet section you will be faced with all currencies which can be handles by Bittrex. Locate the wallet for the currency you just bought at Coinbase and click the little ‘+’ button to the right of it. Upon doing so a little popup will appear with an empty bar for ‘address’ and a button that says ‘new address’. Click the button and your address will appear in the space which was blank.
Copy this address and make sure you have the right currency selected! If you try to send Eth to a BTC address you will just lose all your money so be sure to use the correct address!
Once this address is copied go to coinbase and click on the ‘accounts’ tab. There you will be able to send and recieve your funds. To send your funds click the ‘send’ button under the currency which you have bought. Upon doing so it will ask you for an address and an amount to send. Select the amount you wish to send and ensure you paste the correct address then press send.
Depending on the currency you have selected to buy it could take some time to arrive in your Bittrex wallet, dont panic, if you have done everything as explained in this post your funds will arrive!
When they arrive in your Bittrex account you’re ready to start trading. This is where the real research comes in and this guide realistically stops. If you bought Ether you will be limited to trading on the Ether market, unless you sell your Ether for Bitcoin on the Bitcoin market (first market on the page). If you bought Litecoin you will be able to sell it on either market to begin trading.
My main advice with trading is to research the project, search for any impending announcements or advancements in the projects which interest you and trade accordingly.
Mining basically allows you to acquire cryptocurrency coins through the use of your computers computing power. By connecting your computer to ‘the blockchain’ it becomes a part of the greater network attempting to solve problems which generate tokens.
Currently you can mine through your computers CPU and GPU depending on the coin which you are trying to mine. Due to the difficulty of the blocks available on the coins using GPU mined algorithems it is considerably difficult to actually get anywhere without a considerable investment and knowledge of the topic. That in mind, any casual or hobbyist miners should look to CPU mining Cryptonote currencies.
As with trading to mine a cryptocurrency you need to first have a wallet which you can mine to, you also will need to find a minable coin and decipher whether it can be mined with your equipment. Once you have decided which coin you would like to mine and acquired your wallet you need to decided which miner you want to use.
If you are literally just hearing about crypto now I would seriously reccommend using Minergate as your mining software and pool. While the company has recieved some bad press I am yet to have an issue with them and they most certainly provide the easiest route into the crypto world.
Mining in Minergate is what is known as mining within a pool (with a number of other users) you can also solo mine many currencies although that can take considerably more time to mine and is an area in which I am much less versed.
So far I personally have tried the Yam Miner, Wolf Miner and Minergate miner, and mined BCN, XMR and FCN. At the time of writing all pools state that XMR is the most profitable although it will take you a considerable amount of time before you can withdraw your funds due to the minimum threshold on pretty much all XMR pools.
I have found that mining Bytecoin (BCN) leads to the quickest turnaround from mining to trading and that Wolfs miner has been the best for me (CPU mining on OSX), resulting in the best hash rate (the speed at which your setup mines)
So there you have it, an extremely vague and probably misguided guide into crypto!