Beginners Guide to Cryptocurrency

When getting started in cryptocurrency things can be complicated, and quite scary if you’re new to it.

But there is no need to be stressed about what you don’t understand, you can pick up the thread at any point you want and learn.

This is why we here at unTLDR have created this free Crypto for Beginners guide. We want to help you understand what crypto is, and to feel confident when dealing with crypto.

Before we get started, I need to run you through a few key points. My name is Matt, and I write for unTLDR. What is provided here is not financial advice. I am not a Financial Advisor. I am simply sharing with you what I have learned along my journey in the interests of helping you see the pathway I have taken.

Getting Started In Crypto: Beginners Guide to Cryptocurrency

This is an emerging technology that has been developing with more frenetic pace in the past few years than many people anticipated.

So it is for this reason that you need to know more about how to use cryptocurrency safely, and prepare for what many financial analysts are anticipating to be the biggest paradigm shift in economics since the 1800s.

To provide you with some context about how big the shift is with the advent of cryptocurrency from an economic standpoint, take a little time to watch the following videos. After that, come back to these steps on getting started in crypto.

These will help frame the importance of doing things in a sustainable way. Learning more about the bigger picture as a part of this beginners guide to cryptocurrency is what I would call taking a responsible first step.

So, after watching that you no doubt now can see that we live in a very exciting time, and I want to help you understand that you are sitting on a proverbial gold mine right now.

Some key reading to help you understand just where you are in relation to the technology wave that we are seeing I would suggest includes:

  1. Who Invented Bitcoin and What is Bitcoin All About?
  2. Blockchain Explained and What Is Blockchain Set to Change?
  3. How Blockchain Applications and Technology are Shaping the World
  4. The Difference Between a Crypto Private Key and Crypto Public Key
  5. What are Digital Wallets Hardware Wallets and Paper Wallets
  6. Now You Know how to Buy Cryptocurrency

To help you get started on your crypto journey, take some time to read on through these articles and follow the process to better understand this brave new world that we are watching emerge.

Step 1 – Setting Up

Setting up your accounts is important, and you want to make sure that you use the right types of accounts and services.

An email account is going to be very important, and a secure one at that.

In the first step to getting started in crypto you will learn about encrypted email and how to ensure that your investments are protected.

Don’t underestimate how important it is to have a secure email account.

Apparently, the hack that Ian Balina had experienced on the 16th of April 2018 cost him upwards of $2.6 Million in stolen crypto.

This included a substantial amount of NCASH through what could be to some a poorly managed approach to security.

We will show you some way to avoid these types of situations in this series.

You will also learn about additional layers of protection through the use of 2 Factor Authentication with apps such as Google Authenticator, Authy, and other services.

These are critical at this stage in the development of the technology behind crypto, and they can help put some space between you and unwanted attempts from hackers on your accounts.

This is seen as the ‘Part  B’ of your first steps in crypto and cannot be emphasised enough.

SMS 2FA is not recommended for a number of reasons. SIM Swap attacks and the ability to clone SIM Cards are high on the list.

Also, it is not always a practical verification method if you are traveling internationally and do not have roaming enabled.

Step 2 – Setting Up Your Crypto Websites

The second step in the getting started in crypto guide explores setting up your crypto websites to enable you to move your fiat into crypto.

It is also worth keeping in mind that you may need to prepare yourself in advance to move your crypto back into fiat when you need to.

In the post titled ‘Investing In Bitcoin – Why You Should Have Multiple On and Off Ramps‘, we will explore the reasons for having multiple means at your disposal to move your money both on and off the blockchain.

By having a number of sites you are approved for in advance, you are able to move sideways more nimbly in the event that you need to quickly.

It would not be a nice place to find yourself in if the one and only site you use is inaccessible for some reason.

So, do yourself a favour and invest a little time in setting up a few extra accounts to avoid this situation. We will outline some of the more reliable ones in this step for you to evaluate based on your own needs.

You’ll need to complete certain identity verification steps as a part of this stage in the process.

As strange as some of them may seem, they are valid mechanisms for where we are right now.

The cost of not complying with these is either you actively choose limit how you can participate in this emerging economy in some way, or, if you bypass these somehow, you may risk the authorities or current financial institutions imposing restrictions on your accounts in some way.

Step 3 – Setting Up On Exchanges

There are different types of exchanges, the primary difference being the split between centralised and decentralised.

By setting yourself up on more than one exchange you will find that you have more flexibility to expand your portfolio into a wider range of Altcoins.

Similar to setting up on websites as on-ramps for fiat into crypto, as explored in Step 2, this step will require you to apply for accounts and be approved in advance.

During the late 2017 bull run a lot of exchanges were overloaded, and as a result, they stopped taking new members.

Many websites went down with the volume of traffic coming to them. Some took weeks (I’m not exaggerating here) to do what normally took a couple of minutes in quieter times. This resulted in severe frustration in the Crypto Community.

To avoid this happening to you in the next bull run, I would suggest that you follow this beginners guide to cryptocurrency and position yourself so you are able to respond in the way that best suits your needs when the time comes.

This would require going through the application and KYC requirements on multiple platforms in advance.

Step 4 – Protecting Your Crypto

You may be looking at making a substantial investment into crypto as a part of your portfolio, and if you are, then it would be prudent to consider the different aspects of security to protect your investment.

With cryptocurrency, you are 100% responsible for your money and the security of your portfolio.

Nothing published here is to be construed as advice or instruction, this is simply my opinion and information offered based on my learning for you to consider for your own educational purposes. That being said, there is no line bold enough that can be drawn under the heading of security.

Before you actually move any money from fiat into crypto, consider the tax implications, financial institutions reactions, and your account security.

This topic takes into account the ever-changing landscape that is the legislative world where countries are still figuring out where crypto sits in their legal and taxation framework.

Protecting your investment with the right kind of wallet is going to need to be considered.

There are many different kinds of wallets available with my personal preference being a hardware wallet such as the  Nano Ledger and the Trezor.

There are plenty of very good reasons behind using these, but the evaluation and decision at the end of the day must align with your needs and be based on your choice.

As echoed throughout this beginners guide to cryptocurrency, considering the layers of security behind the wallets you are choosing and the levels of convenience with regard to ease of use is something that should not be taken lightly.

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