Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are skyrocketing these days. Here is a quick primer to hop on the coin train. Just a word of warning, there is quite a bit of volatility over Bitcoin and other alt coins. They are popular now but may crash hard at any time and you may lose all your money. That said, you still want to learn so proceed with caution upon the knowledge attained here.
The quickest way to get started in buying bitcoin is signing up for a cryptocurrency exchange. Coinbase (use this link to get a cool $10 to start with) is one of the more popular exchanges out there supporting a variety of coins. It’s also one of the easiest to get around and the exchange Elon Musk’s Tesla used to buy $1.5 billion in bitcoin.
OK Coin is a newer exchange I’ve been using and is currently offering $50 of free bitcoin if you purchase at least $100 of crypto.
Gemini is another well known exchange and the link will get you $10 in bitcoin to get started.
You may have heard a lot of bitcoin exchanges getting hacked in some form or fashion. If you have faith in Coinbase or any other exchange you choose to not get hacked then you will be fine leaving them there. If not and you are worried any may get stolen then look into getting a physical hardware wallet from companies like Ledger or Trezor. These are two of the best wallet companies out there and have a variety of models suitable for various budgets. I personally use a Ledger Nano X.
If you’re a forgetful person who misplace things easily then I do not recommend this. You may have better luck risking a major custodian such as Coinbase to not get hacked. Just don’t be the guy who forgot his password and lost out on over $220 millions of dollars worth of bitcoin.
If you feel you may lose your physical wallet but don’t want to leave it on an exchange you could also grab a mobile software wallet like Exodus for your phone.
The original way of getting bitcoin or another coin is to mine it. In the past you could mine using any type of computer and grab a few coin along the way. These days if you attempt to use your average computer you may melt it. What you want to do is go for specific mining specific machines like a DragonX Antminer S19. A word of warning, if you want to make some serious coin these are not going to come cheap.
There are quite a few other cryptocurrencies out there that are doing quite well:
Cardano – ADA is attempting to build on BTC and ETH and reinvesting in itself.
Dogecoin – DOGE started as a joke but after Elon Musk tweeted about it, the price shot up.
Ethereum – ETH is the second most popular coin after bitcoin.
Litecoin – LTC is one of the original alt coins and nearly identical to bitcoin.
Polkadot – DOT was founded by one of the co-founders of ETH.
Stellar Lumens – XLM has a really fast network
Just make sure you do your own research on each of these and if any of them make sense to you. For instance, Dogecoin just shot up because of a tweet but it may die back down once all the hoopla is over with.