How to invest in a cryptocurrency?

“Cryptocurrencies are so cool”, “Dude there is so much money in Bitcoins”, “Lets invest in Bitcoins, its surging through the roof!”.

The hype around Cryptocurrencies is real. With Bitcoin almost reaching 20,000USD (according to Coindesk’s price index) this last week, there are a lot of people out there interested in investing into a cryptocurrency, and earning high returns real quick. But how can one go about doing that? What platform should be used? What is needed from someone who wants to invest?

What follows is a step-by-step guide on how to start investing in cryptocurrencies. It’s a long process, so ensure you have some juice in your laptops!

Step 1: Go to a Cryptocurrency exchange platform’s website. I recommend Coinbase because they have an easy to use mobile app, a simple yet highly informative dashboard, and the flexibility to view rates in a currency of your choice!

(As an aside, I’m aware of other Cryptocurrency exchange platforms with lower transaction fees, but I am recommending Coinbase since it delivers a superior UX, and has good mobile apps on iOS/Android.)

Link — https://www.coinbase.com/join/59b9d47d24162700f0dd7391

Step 2: Sign up on the platform by filling in some basic details: Name, Email, Password. Next, it will ask you to verify your email through a personalized verification link sent to your email ID. When you click on the link, it will ask you to select your country, and to enter a valid telephone number from that region.

Step 3: ‘Two Step Verification’. It will now send you an OTP to your provided mobile number. Simply enter the OTP into the space provided, and click ‘Verify Phone Number’.

Step 4: You’re 25% there! Good job! Now you can see a Coinbase dashboard. You can view the most recent prices for Bitcoin(BTC), Bitcoin Cash(BCH), Ethereum(ETH), and Litecoin(LTC).

You can look at graphs for these for the last hour, day, week, month, year, or since the existence of respective currencies.

Moving on:

It’s time to verify your identity — click on the ‘Verify your identity’ box, and in the pop up select the ID you want to use for verification. You can choose between your passport, your driving license, or any general photo ID issued by a Coinbase recognized agency. (Read more about such agencies here: https://support.coinbase.com/customer/portal/articles/2749813)

Once you select the type of ID you want to scan, it’ll ask you if you want to upload through your Webcam, or through your mobile camera. If you select mobile camera, you will receive a SMS with an upload link on your registered mobile number; on opening the link, you’ll need to click a photo of the front and back of your ID through your phone’s camera.

Once you’ve successfully uploaded a photo ID, you’ll need to wait for Coinbase to verify your ID. It’ll take some time(took 3–4 hours for my case), so hang on, and keep checking your email!

Step 5: Go back to the ‘Complete your account’ steps to add your payment method (Note — you will not be able to add a payment method before Step 4 is complete and Coinbase has successfully verified your ID).

On clicking here, you’ll see this:

Read more about Coinbase transactional fees here: https://support.coinbase.com/customer/portal/articles/2109597-buy-sell-bank-transfer-fees

If you select Credit/Debit card, you’ll have to fill in your card details as per the norm. Once that is done, you’ll have to verify this card as well. For this, Coinbase will do two dummy transactions, and you must find those in your online transaction history. Enter the amounts received/withdrawn for these transactions in the screen shown after you enter your card details. These being dummy transactions, they will disappear from your accounts transaction history within two-three business days.

If you select Bank Account, it will require an Xfers account through your Singapore phone number. If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to head down to https://www.xfers.com/sg/ and make one of those as well.

How to make an Xfers account(only valid for those in Singapore):

  1. Open https://www.xfers.com/sg/

2. Select Personal account

3. Enter your account details: Name, Email, and Password.

4. Enter your Singapore phone number, and enter the OTP. This phone number is your Xfers account’s key id.

5. Xfers will now ask for a bunch of documents for verification.

Upload the required documents. When all your documents are uploaded, Xfers will put you in the ‘Verification queue’ and assign you a queue number. According to the size of the queue, it may take up to 5–20 business days for Xfers to verify your account identity. Keep checking your email!

6. Once your account is verified, sign into your new Xfers account, and scroll down to the ‘Manage Wallet’ side button, and choose ‘Add Bank Account’.

Fill in the details as asked.

Once you have yourself a verified payment method, you are ready to buy cryptocurrency!

Step 6: Go back to your Coinbase dashboard and click on the Buy/Sell tab on the top ribbon. Choose the currency you want to buy, and the method of payment you want to use.

Now click on that blue Buy button, and you’ll be the proud owner of a cryptocurrency!

Once you’ve made the purchase, do head on over to the Settings tab. Here, you can change your profile details, or customize preferences.

You’ll want to keep track of your investments on the fly as well, and Coinbase has a great mobile app which helps you keep track of your investments, making it easy to buy/sell cryptocurrencies wherever you are. You’ll need to log in using the credentials you signed up with, and verify yourself through an OTP. The app allows you to set a local passcode for increased security.

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I hope the above guide helps you start investing in cryptocurrencies soon. If you have any doubts, feel free to drop a note in the comments below, and I’d be happy to help. Happy investing folks!