What is RaiBlocks & How to Buy it: The Complete Guide for Crypto-dummies
We’ve recently seen a massive price appreciation in RaiBlocks (XRB), and with the recent announcement that Binance will be adding them to their exchange, many new cryptocurrency traders are wondering what the best way is to pick some up.
This guide will show you the in’s and outs of everything you’ll need to buy your first XRB, and also has a wealth of tips and tricks from a seasoned crypto investor.
As always, rule #1 of cryptos — DON’T PUT ANY MONEY INTO CRYPTOS THAT YOU AREN’T WILLING TO LOSE 100% OF. This is honestly true of any investment, but for cryptos especially due to their unforgiving and volatile nature. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started
The Short and Sweet
If you already do have some experience with cryptos (hell, maybe you even have some ETH or BTC already), then you can use the quick-start guide below to skip all of the details and advice. *NOTE: All exchange links included in this guide are referral links to the respective exchanges.*
- Register for Coinbase (if you aren’t already)
- Purchase ETH or BTC (I recommend using ETH because of lower transaction fees)
- Register for KuCoin
- Transfer ETH to KuCoin
- Buy XRB with ETH
If you’d like a more in-depth explanation (pretty pictures included), you can continue reading below. It may seem like a long journey, but it’s important to be thorough in crypto-land so you don’t get completely screwed over.
An Introduction to RaiBlocks
I think it’s important to understand at least the very basics of what you’re purchasing, so this and all future articles will include a short introduction to get you started.
RaiBlocks is intended to be an entirely new currency, much like Bitcoin, but it has several differences and advantages over the existing blockchain technologies.
Traditionally, a blockchain is a single file line of blocks that all contain transactions. This line starts from a “genesis block” and new blocks are added one at a time after that first block. A blockchain can record transactions that take place on the network, but the individual balances of wallets isn’t directly stored on the blockchain. To get around this, blockchain coins (like Bitcoin) must reference previous transactions in the chain to ensure that an address can’t send the same Bitcoins twice (most people call this double-spending).
RaiBlocks is taking an entirely different approach to this with a concept they call the Block Lattice. With this system, every account holder maintains their own private blockchain with each block holding a single transaction in it. This collection of accounts and individual blockchains is called the Ledger. This means that each transaction requires two parts, a Send and Receive Address.
When User A receives funds from User B, User A generates a Receive Address on their blockchain, and User B generates a Spend Address directed at User A’s account.
This system may seem familiar if you know about IOTA and the Tangle, and for good reason. Both of these system are called Directed Acyclic Graphs. Similar to IOTA, RaiBlocks has no miners, no transaction fees, and near instant transactions. However, it differs from IOTA in the sense that it’s designed for person to person transactions, where as IOTA is primarily designed for micro payments between machines. Additionally, the foundation of RaiBlocks is essentially a lot of small blockchains, so it’s not as unproven as IOTA. If you want to dive deeper into how RaiBlocks works you can start with their whitepaper, but Google is also your friend :D. If you want to know more about IOTA, click here to read my purchasing guide!
Now that all that’s out of the way, let’s get back to buying.
Coinbase is a very trustworthy exchange, and is hands down the most simple way to buy Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and more recently Bitcoin Cash (BCH). What’s more, you also have access to GDAX, which opens the doors to more advanced trading options like limit and stop orders (not covered in this guide).
Start by Registering for your account here (this lovely link will give both me and you $10 of BTC after you deposit $100, cool huh?). Make sure you pick a strong password, and I highly recommend turning on 2 factor authentication — this is your hard earned cash after all
That actually brings up a side rant, which is this: Cryptos are very unforgiving to the inexperienced, which makes it ironic that I’m making a “for dummies” guide. While this will get you started, I recommend immersing yourself in this culture and doing as much research as you can before YOLOing too hard.
After confirming your email, you can move on to adding a payment method! You have a few different options here, and it depends on how quickly you want to purchase your XRB. See screenshot below for the buttons to click
Bank Account: You can link a bank account directly to Coinbase for easy purchasing, but there’s a catch. Any purchases via your bank account take a few days to process, and during that time Coinbase holds your crypto in limbo until the funds clear. Your purchase price is locked in, but you won’t be able to transfer it out of Coinbase. The tl;dr of this is if you want to buy XRB as soon as possible, the Bank Account method isn’t for you.
Linking your credit or debit card is a good alternative if you want access to your ETH straight away, but some people don’t necessarily feel comfortable with this option. For those folks, you can wire transfer money into your account, and purchase once those funds clear.
Buy ETH, not BTC
Why not buy BTC? At the time of writing this, ETH transactions are faster, and cheaper than BTC transactions. There’s loads of resources available that explain more about how the BTC and ETH blockchain differ, and the benefits of each one available on Google. (I almost included a lmgtfy link, but decided that might be a little too dickish…) I recommend reading up on the Ethereum and Bitcoin subreddits for full details on this.
With Coinbase, you have the option to either type the USD amount you’d like to purchase, or the ETH amount. The other side will auto-fill with the converted amount after you type in a value.
Just to reiterate, if you purchase via bank withdrawal, there is a wait time which will delay your ability to transfer ETH to an exchange with XRB.
Now that you’ve got your shiny new Ethereum, you need to register for an exchange that supports XRB. KuCoin just recently added XRB to their exchange, but there are a few other exchanges that also list them (you can see all of them here https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/raiblocks/#markets). This guide will show you how to navigate around KuCoin specifically, but the buying process is essentially the same on any other exchange.
You can register for KuCoin by going here (referral), and clicking Sign Up in the top right corner. Same rules as Coinbase here — choose a strong password and turn on Two Factor Authentication. After confirming your email and logging in, you can transfer your ETH from Coinbase to KuCoin.
Transferring your Ethereum
This is probably the most confusing part for “crypto outsiders”, but also where the benefits of cryptocurrencies make themselves known. Essentially, each crypto currency is stored in a “wallet”, and each wallet has an “address”. You can send between wallets by using your addresses. KuCoin and Coinbase maintain wallets for your account, so transferring between them is as simple as giving Coinbase your KuCoin ETH wallet address!
You can find your KuCoin ETH wallet address by logging in, and clicking on Assets in the top navigation bar. Then click on Deposit, and select ETH from the list (note, there is also a ETF that has a similar symbol. DO NOT send ETH funds to that address as they will likely be lost). This will load your KuCoin Ethereum address. Copy this, and then open up your Coinbase account.
In your Coinbase account, click the Accounts tab, and select your ETH Wallet. If you followed the instructions earlier, there should be some ETH in there (if not, your Send button will be greyed out like mine).
This opens up the send dialogue, where you can paste your KuCoin ETH wallet address. I highly recommend using the find feature in your browser ( usually “ctrl/cmd + f”), and pasting your address in the find field. Do this on both Coinbase and KuCoin to confirm that the pasted addresses match each other. I’ve read of malware that detects and changes addresses in your clipboard to steal your funds.
After confirming your address matches and the amount you want to send, click Send.
Now the waiting game begins. Crypto currencies must have a certain number of confirmations before they’re available on an exchange. Again, this isn’t a guide to cryptos, if this doesn’t make sense to you Google is your friend. The Deposit page for Ethereum has a Deposit records section, and you should see a Pending transfer after a few minutes. Generally transfers only take a few minutes to get enough confirmations, but sometimes the network can be slower for a variety of reasons (thanks CryptoKitties).
Buy Your RaiBlocks
If you’re reading this section, it sounds like your Ethereum made it safe and sound to your KuCoin wallet — HOORAY!
Start by logging in to your KuCoin account, and then click on Markets. This shows you a list of all the active trading pairs on KuCoin. Select the ETH column, and click the XRB/ETH trading pair to open up the exchange view.
I’ve numbered the main sections of the Advanced view in the image below, and you’ll find brief descriptions of each section. Note that this isn’t a guide on how to reach charts, graphs, order books, etc… There is a WEALTH of info on all of this in both the KuCoin support docs, and Investopedia.com (literally the website that helped some of my colleagues pass their finance degree tests). If you’re planning on getting deeper into cryptos, you’re going to have to learn to self-educate a bit!
1. Trading Graph
This graph shows you the recent price history for a given period. In the top left, you can adjust the period that each candlestick represents, and also add technical indicators. Here’s a good tutorial on how to read candlestick charts for those who have no idea what’s going on.
2. Order Book + Recent Order Fills
This shows open orders on the left, and recent fills on the right. In the middle, you see the current price!
3. Your Orders
You can use this area to see your order history, open orders, and trade history. This is also where you can cancel Open Orders that haven’t filled yet.
4. Place Orders
This section is where the meat of your trading is done. As you can see mine is blocked until a 2FA key is entered. KuCoin only has limit orders, so I’ll detail how to use them for this guide
Ok for real this time — Buy your XRB
Double check that you have the right trading pair selected. For our tutorial, we want XRB/ETH.
Your trading pair is shown in the top left of the screen, and you can hover over it to see the various options. Click the ETH section to show the ETH pairs, and select the XRB/ETH pair. This will update your graph if you didn’t already have it open.
Once updated, go to the order box (box 4), and enter your 2FA code to unlock the trading area. KuCoin lets you set the desired price, and the amount that you’d like to buy. You can click the link next to “Best price” to auto fill the next available price to buy at, or you can set a different price to try to get a better rate. Be careful with setting your own price if you don’t know what you’re doing though, as you could accidentally end up paying more than the current market price!
After you decide on a price, all you need to do is type how much XRB you want! You can use the slider to use a ratio of your current ETH to pre-fill amounts based on the market price and the amount of ETH in your account if you suck at math ;). Once the amount is set, click Buy! And that’s it, you just bought your first XRB!
Although it should be obvious — I am not a fiduciary, nor am I a financial advisor. I am not responsible for any losses incurred.