Oh, the surge in popularity that is cryptocurrency. Your mom is investing in it, your car guard knows it’s rise next, heck, your dog has probably thought about buying Ethereum over Bitcoin because it seems safer.
Back in 2013 I download the bitcoin coin mining program, installed it onto my computer, and subsequently gave up because it was too complicated. What a fool I was, Last year the price per bitcoin was $700-$900, now, at the time of writing, it sits at a tasty $11275 per coin.
While yes, you can buy bitcoin and just hold onto it, that’s not where most of the cash is being made. There exist hundreds of other coins that apply the ‘blockchain’ technology to a new product, which people trade on a day to day basis.
In order to tap into these markets, you’ll first need to buy into Bitcoin or Etherum. So, If you are feeling lucky (punk?) then I’m going to give you a quick rundown as to how I got started in sunny South Africa.
Bitcoin – the first decentralized cryptocurrency running off the blockchain
Etherum – Like bitcoin Ether runs off a blockchain, except it uses smart contracts (contracts that will be executed once a variable is met)
Block Chain – series of computers powering a massive decentralized ledger which records and confirms transactions
Wallet Address – the address you need to send coins from one place to another
Whale – someone holding a vast amount of coins who can manipulate a market.
Whitepaper – the business plan of a cryptocurrency.
NB: ALWAYS USE TWO FACTOR AUTHENTICATION, THIS PREVENTS YOU FROM GETTING HACKED AND LOSING ALL YOUR PRECIOUS MONEY.
Luno is the platform that gives you access to the bitcoin and ether market from South African banks. it’s quite possibly the most popular trading platform in South Africa – probably because the app is widely supported, depending on where you set your sell and buy orders you could pay nothing for transactions fees, and you can buy straight into the ether market without having to first buy bitcoin.
Sign up with Facebook, activate two-factor authentication, Luno will give you a deposit reference number and then deposit into your account like how you would pay any other beneficiary (PS. your deposit reference number always stays the same).
Now from here, it is up to you whether or not you want to purchase Bitcoin or Ethereum. Remember, you don’t have to buy an entire coin you can buy a portion of a single coin.
For the purpose of this Article, I’m going to advocate Ethereum, mainly because the sending fees to get onto an Altcoin exchange is cheaper, and because the trading volume for ether is higher than bitcoin. This means that there is more potential for the coin to rise and drop as larger amounts of coins are being traded during a specific period.
Originally I wanted to sign up on Biterex, unfortunately, the exchange closed up their signups around the same time I first got started with cryptocurrency (early December) – so, naturally, I looked for the next best thing, which turned out to be the better option, Binance.
Bitrex has a habit of listing and delisting coins at a phenomenal rate – this is bad news because you may invest your cash in a coin which turns out to be a ‘pump and dump’. This means that a coin could rocket from a minuscule price, all the way up to 1000% and then drop to nothing. As a result, you could go into a coin with a week’s strategy, but end up losing everything in one day. This is basically a result of hype and Whales manipulating prices.
Binance is serious about what it lists, there have been trading suspensions on certain coins – but nothing has been delisted as of yet. This is good news because Binance has curated what it believes to be companies worth investing in. This means that whatever you put cash in has gone through multiple facets of regulation to ensure your cash doesn’t end up in a ‘Pump and Dump’ coin.
Registration is pretty straightforward, head on over here and enter your details. You’ll need to get google’s authenticator to active two-factor authentication so make sure you give it a search on your relevant platform
Also, Binance offers 0.050% transaction fees with every trade if you own a Binance coin. So buy one and trade to your hearts contempt without worrying about your account running drier than my love life.
Alright, now this is the most important part. You need to send cash from Luno to Binance (remember to send using ether, the sending fees are cheaper!).
Head on over to Binance and move your mouse to funds, from there, click deposit. Once you are on the deposit page you’ll be able to choose what coin you’d like to deposit. Select the coin you want to receive and you’ll get an address.
Now that you have the deposit address, hop onto LUNO and send the currency corresponding with the deposit address.
Now, don’t be alarmed if your deposit is taking time to reflect on your account. Each transaction has to be verified 30 times through the blockchain – this can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour.
Now that the cash is in your account, buy 1 BNB coin on the Binance platform at the current market price (this will give you access to the 0.050% transaction fee). Congratulations, you’ve invested in your first altcoin! The marketplace is your playground, find the coins you are interested in and invest to your heart’s content
You can lose lots of money, but you can also make lots of money. I managed to move a $99 portfolio to $250 back to $99, which sucks – but that’s just the nature of trading.
Word of advice – make sure you invest in companies that you actually have an interest in, why invest in a lemonade stand if you hate lemonade?