If you’re like me, when I first got the cryptocurrency bug, I was overwhelmed by the concepts, technicalities, and mounds of jargon. All I really wanted was for someone to just give me some short snippets about the most important topics I needed to know. And to leave the minutiae for a later time.
Well, if that sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place. In this second part of The 2021 Guide to Cryptocurrencies, I’ll take you through two topics that are key to getting involved with the cryptocurrency and blockchain space: Why you should think hard about owning a little bitcoin and where to get started with a cryptocurrency exchange.
And in case you missed it, don’t forget to check the first part of this series. It has valuable information about what the blockchain really is, what cryptocurrency really means, and whether or not they’re right for you. It would be a good primer for this issue but isn’t necessary.
So, let’s get to it!
Should you own Bitcoin?
Short answer: Without a doubt. In fact, everyone should own a little Bitcoin (BTC). Here’s why:
First off, one of the most attractive aspects of cryptocurrencies in general – and Bitcoin in particular – is that transactions take place in peer-to-peer networks where third parties like banks are no longer needed. Instead, you deal exclusively with the person you want to do business with.
No muss, no fuss.
Another great feature is that you don’t have to trust the person you’re doing business with and vice versa. Once you decide on the terms of your transaction, the blockchain will put those terms into code. And when you and the person you’re doing business with fulfill your respective parts of the bargain – all clearly monitored by the blockchain – the deal is done.
Plus, doing business with a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin ensures the transactions are maintained and verified by a vast network of powerful computers solving complex mathematical problems using cryptography. Because everyone in the network is looking at the same list of transactions – called a distributed ledger – it’s practically impossible to cheat. That makes the network very secure.
Finally, Bitcoin is at the top of the hill when it comes to cryptocurrencies. Its recent market cap was a mind-boggling $743 billion. That’s over 2 times the size of its nearest rival Ethereum (ETH). Plus, with that kind of size, Bitcoin eclipses nearly every U.S. traded stock, except for just six! That translates to a ton of investors putting their money where their mouths are.
But don’t forget: All cryptocurrencies are wildly volatile and unpredictable, including the big market cap players like Bitcoin and Ethereum. So, if you’re going to get involved with any of them, don’t devote more than 1% to 2% of your portfolio.
Learn more: Why Everyone Should Own (A Little) Bitcoin
The Best Cryptocurrency Exchange
You’ve done your cryptocurrency homework. You’ve poured over this Guide along with a ton of other resources. You think cryptocurrency is the future and don’t want to miss out. And you’ve also decided to just devote a pinch of your portfolio to cryptocurrency.
But before you can make the leap, you need to be able to do that somewhere.
That’s why you need a good cryptocurrency exchange. And one of the best is Coinbase (COIN).
Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange where you can buy, sell, trade, or exchange a ton of cryptocurrencies. A glance at their current list shows over 80 cryptocurrencies. That’s way up from the 44 they made markets in just a couple of months ago, a positive sign. Plus, all the big names are easily traded on Coinbase, including Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Opening an account on Coinbase is a breeze. First, you’ll need standard identification documentation, an email, phone, and related information. Then you’ll need to link a payment method to fund your account. Once that’s all done, and your account is verified, you’ll be ready to buy a little crypto.
When I set up my account, I think it took me just a few minutes to get everything done.
Once you get your feet wet with your first trade, you’ll want to explore the Coinbase site. There is lots of good information there. However, I like to gravitate to the “Learn and Earn” section, where you can earn a tiny bit ($3 to $9 when I last checked) of different cryptocurrencies by learning more about them. Sure, it was a nice little giveaway, but I also found it kept my interest in learning more about good cryptocurrency investments.
Learn more: The Best Cryptocurrency Exchange
Don’t Miss What’s Coming Next
I hope you’ve gotten something out of part two of The 2021 Guide to Cryptocurrencies. If you have, my recommendation is to print out both parts, keep them handy, and refer to them often. Together they make for a nice compendium cheat sheet for cryptocurrency and blockchain. Plus, they provide solid groundwork for what’s coming next in our cryptocurrency journey. And that includes deep dives into some of the most fascinating blockchain topics out there. And, of course, there will be a slew of new cryptocurrencies that are ripe for big upside action.
So, stay tuned!
Disclosure: This contributor may own cryptocurrencies mentioned in this article. This article is the opinion of the contributor themselves. The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. This contributor is not receiving compensation (other than from INO.com) for their opinion.