How to Buy Cryptocurrency Coins
(Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and more)
A new gold rush is taking place right now with the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies, the digital currency model that is turning people into millionaires daily. Names like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple are in the mouth of more and more people, as they reach new levels of success.
After the 2008 economic crisis, people all over the world started to lose trust in the banking industry and made them look for alternatives to a centralized system. That’s when Bitcoin was created, and quickly became a revolution all on its own, building a new industry and taking the number one spot, a position it still holds to this day.
The bold people that chose to invest in these little digital coins, that were worth pennies at the moment, must be thrilled right now. Bitcoin was worth only $0.0001 when it first launched, and it is now worth thousands of dollars, and it’s the number one cryptocurrency in the market. This could be considered the definition of a good investment.
Looking at the success Bitcoin experience, not much time passed until other cryptocurrencies started to appear. Most of the earlier ones derived from Bitcoin’s protocol, but as new discoveries were made, more unique and improved cryptos started to appear, targeting Bitcoin’s problems (and there are quite a few).
The Blockchain and Smart Contracts
Even though Bitcoin is the oldest and, by far, the most popular cryptocurrency, there are hundreds of other cryptos on the market, targeted at many different services. There’s Ethereum, for example, a cryptocurrency that had impressive gains this year, being the first one to be backed by corporations like Microsoft and Samsung. The reason for this is that Ethereum doesn’t only offer blockchain-based transactions, but actually goes further and decentralizes the use of code and programming, kind of like a decentralized internet. This technology, called “smart contracts”, opens the door for many different uses to the blockchain system, and big corporations are already implementing it.
Smart contracts are now being implemented in some other cryptos and offers the opportunity to build apps, automatize transactions and shipping, and basically any action that can be coded, all in a decentralized system. Some examples are Counterparty, Stellar, Lisk, Monax, and even Bitcoin has joined the smart contract party.
The Rise of Cryptocurrency
Like Bitcoin, Ethereum also has its own token, called the Ether. Ethereum experienced one of the fastest and biggest gains during this year, one Ether being worth only $12 earlier this year, and now it’s worth hundreds of dollars and has a market cap of billions. Ethereum’s exponential growth has made people think it will dethrone Bitcoin sometime this year, taking its place as the most valuable cryptocurrency based on the market capitalization (multiplication of the total number of coins and the price per coin).
But as successful as it is, and as much potential as it has, Ethereum isn’t the only competition Bitcoin faces, although it’s definitely the biggest contender for the next number one crypto. There are currently hundreds of cryptocurrencies on the market, some of which are exact copies of Bitcoin and don’t offer anything new, and some have unique twists and innovations that improve on the Bitcoin protocol in some way or another.
Even though Bitcoin is the number one, it can be said that this is due to its status as the pioneer, the very first cryptocurrency to be successful, so therefore its the one most people know. In a completely new world like the cryptocurrency world that most people aren’t familiar with, there’s a lack of knowledge and trust, especially when it comes to money. But the truth is Bitcoin is still a rudimentary system, and this is because it was the first one. Today, there are hundreds of cryptos that solve the problems that Bitcoin has in a variety of ways, plus they offer services other than just being a transaction system.
Buying Your First Coin
Something that has stopped cryptocurrencies from stepping into the mainstream, is the fact that it is extremely confusing and difficult for the regular user, one that isn’t familiar with this new type of technology and how it works, to handle the platforms. When investing in cryptocurrencies, instead of shares you get digital coins. Some experts state that these tokens represent a better investment than a paper bill, because they support a cause in a way, the cause being to decentralize finance institutions (and other institutions as well).
To invest in a cryptocurrency, you first need to familiarize yourself with how they work, starting with the most popular ones, then you can choose your preferred one. Now it’s time to choose an exchange, which are websites that help with buying, selling, and trading cryptocurrencies.
For people in Europe, there are a variety of options that are suitable for buying the most popular cryptos, for example, Plus500, AvaTrade, and Markets.com. All you have to do is create an account and verify it, then add your preferred payment method, like credit or debit cards, bank accounts, etc. There will be a full list of all the options of where to buy Ethereum. If you don’t already own any cryptocurrency, you need to use an exchange to buy your coins with fiat money. In Europe, there’s a variety of exchanges that will most likely accept any currency.
Like we said in the beginning, cryptos haven’t exactly entered the mainstream because they are not very user-friendly, so some research may need to be done in order to understand each platform correctly.
As this world evolves more and more, the process becomes more accessible and easy to use. Having a completely accessible platform may be the last step cryptos have to take in order for them to eradicate banks and become the new norm.
Risk Warning: Investing in a digital currency is just like any other investment, involving the risk of loss at all times. For this reason, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau warns that cryptocurrencies involve “significant risk” to their users.