Tools I used to start investing in Cryptocurrencies

There are safer ways to store money.

Recently I’ve been investing in cryptocurrencies for the first time. Finding the rights tools hasn’t been easy, so I wrote this little guide. I hope you’ll find it helpful!

1. Buying main coins

First I needed Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH) to start investing since they are necessary to buy almost all other coins.

Only a few websites allow people to buy these coins with EUR or USD. Most of them take weeks to confirm a new account. The two fastest (and secure) options I found: Coinbase and Coinhouse.

Coinbase is the easiest to use. ID verification to confirm my account took a few hours. I was able to buy coins instantly, but only up to €750 using my credit card. Wire transfers (for larger amounts) take more than 7 days to arrive on the account, far from ideal.

I used Coinhouse to invest larger amounts as I didn’t want to wait a week, fearing that coin prices would go up. I was able to buy larger amounts instantly and directly with my credit card. Only bad thing: they took a 10% transaction fee (vs 4% for Coinbase).

Other options that seemed safe and cheap but I never got approved on them: Kraken, Gemini, Bitstamp, CoinMama.

2. Buying other coins

Once I got ETH, I wanted to trade some for more risky and high-reward coins. I found out that the main used coin exchange, Bittrex, was not reliable at all. So I used Binance instead and it has been great so far.

I made a deposit of ETH into my Binance account, and exchanged this amount against promising coins.

3. Tracking my investments

I downloaded Blockfolio on my iPhone to track my crypto investments. It’s very useful as my coins are spread out across several places. I also added coins I didn’t invest in to have an overview of the different markets, and set up alerts to buy more coins if rates go down.

Snapshot of my portfolio in Blockfolio

4. Storing my coins

Letting coins on websites is not that secure. So I transferred my ETH into a wallet that I created on MyEtherWallet. I stored the encrypted files on my computer, on a external hard drive and on a piece of paper that I keep somewhere safe.

Enter a password to create a new wallet. Never lose this password!

I let the other coins I bought on Binance directly there though, as the sums are not huge, most of them don’t have a proper wallet, and to avoid too many transfer fees.

5. Knowing what to buy

I made rookie mistakes and then found some cool ressources to avoid them:

  • CoinMarketCap: The market cap tells way more about a coin than its price. For example Cardano (ADA) seemed cheap at $0.5, but its market cap was already huge in comparison to other similar coins, and it went down just afterwards.
  • r/cryptocurrency: the main news. I found out about Icon (ICX) there, checked that the project was solid, invested in it, and then its price went double in 2 days when its details became available on CoinMarketCap.
  • Altcoins subreddits (ICX, ADA, NEO…). I check them to understand why to believe or not in a coin, and what are the upcoming events that may affect prices.
  • Youtube channels: DataDash, CryptoBobby, Coinmastery, IvanOnTech.
  • Crypto-traders Twitter accounts: Ian Balina, Ohheymatty, McAfee (“Coins of the day” are sponsored, don’t invest long-term in them).
  • CoinMonsta that gathers all Twitter news.
  • Checking all kind of info on a specific coin (official website & twitter, news…) before buying some!

This is my little experience after a few weeks investing money in crypto. My goal is not to become a crypto-trader, but I’m glad to have a part of my savings in cryptocurrencies as I’m sure they will improve and meet more needs in the future.

Please let me know if you found other useful tools in the comments, and leave some claps if you liked this article. Thank you!

Thanks to Tchret, Emre, Nadja, Baptiste and Olivier who helped me during my first steps.