Investing in the cryptocurrency market space can be a bit daunting for a traditional investor, as investing directly in cryptocurrency (CC) requires the use of new tools and the adoption of some new concepts. So, if you decide to put your fingers in this market, you will want to have a very good idea of what to do and what to expect.
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Buying and selling CC requires you to choose an exchange that deals with the products you want to buy and sell, whether it is Bitcoin, Litecoin or any of over 1300 other tokens in the game. In previous editions, we have briefly described the products and services available on several exchanges, in order to give you an idea of the different offers. There are many exchanges to choose from and they all do things their own way. Look for things that are important to you, for example:
– Deposit policies, methods and costs of each method
– Withdrawal policies and costs
– What fiat currencies do they use for deposits and payouts
– Products they deal with, such as crypto coins, gold, silver, etc.
– Transaction costs
– where is this stock exchange? (USA / UK / South Korea / Japan …)
Be prepared for the Exchange setup procedure to be detailed and time consuming, as exchanges generally want to know a lot about you. This is similar to opening a new bank account, because stock exchanges are brokers of valuables and want to make sure that you are what you stand for and that you are a person you trust. It seems that “trust” is earned over time, because stock exchanges usually allow only small amounts of investment to begin with.
Your Exchange will keep your CCs in storage for you. Many offer “cold storage” which simply means keeping your coins “offline” until you indicate that you want to do something with them. There is a lot of news about Exchange hacking and a lot of coins stolen. Imagine that your coins are on something like a bank account on the stock exchange, but remember that your coins are only digital and that all blockchain transactions are non-refundable. Unlike your bank, these exchanges do not have deposit insurance, so keep in mind that hackers are always out there trying to get their crypto coins and steal them. Stock exchanges generally offer password-protected accounts, and many offer two-factor authorization schemes – something to seriously consider to protect your account from hackers.
Since hackers like to rob stock exchanges and your account, we always recommend that you use a digital wallet for your coins. It is relatively easy to move coins between your Exchange account and your wallet. Be sure to choose a wallet that holds all the coins you want to buy and sell. Your wallet is also a device you use to “spend” your coins at merchants who accept CC for payment. The two types of wallets are “hot” and “cold”. Hot wallets are very easy to use, but leave your coins exposed to the Internet, but only on your computer, not on an Exchange server. Cold wallets use offline storage media, such as specialized hardware memory sticks and simple printouts. Using a cold wallet makes transactions more complicated, but they are the most secure.
Your wallet contains a “private” key that authorizes all transactions you want to initiate. You also have a “public” key that is shared online so that all users can identify your account when they are involved in a transaction with you. Once hackers get your private key, they can move your coins wherever they want, and that’s irreversible.
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Despite all the challenges and wild volatility, we are convinced that underlying blockchain technology is changing the game and will revolutionize the way transactions are conducted in the future.