It is never too late to learn.
If human beings don’t keep exercising their lips, their brains start working.
It can be very dangerous to see things from somebody else’s point of view without the proper training.
Marvin says, "If you have some money saved and you are prepared to take the risk of losing some of it then go ahead and buy some Bitcoin or Ethereum today. Their prices may drop tomorrow but if viewed as long term investments both BTC and ETH will probably reward you. But before you start experimenting with more adventurous trades, please study the STRATEGY and HAZARDS pages of this web site."
The most convenient “on ramp” for purchasing cryptocurrency depends upon the country and jurisdiction in which you are resident. This Guide focusses on services relevant to Arthur Dent’s country of origin, the UK.
If you haven't yet downloaded and installed your own cryptocurrency wallet (or perhaps you don't trust yourself to protect your private key) one of the quickest and safest ways to invest in cryptocurrency today is to download the SwissBorg app because their wealth app is arguably one of the best fiat on ramps in the crypto space. SwissBorg is available throughout Europe. It is easy to use and offers some unique features including their proprietary Smart Engine. Click our picture of a Bitcoin ATM for an invitation to join Swissborg.
If you have already installed a wallet, know how to use it and you have a UK bank account that supports internet banking fast transfers then consider using your web browser to search for Bittylicious at https://bittylicious.com/ or Coinfloor at https://coinfloor.co.uk/hodl/ on the internet and then follow the instructions on one of those web sites.
In September 2020, Gemini, a US-based cryptocurrency exchange and custodian, received FCA regulatory approval to offer its services to institutional investors in the UK.
So that you don't feel left out by this section of the Guide if you're not in Europe we suggest you look at the Kraken Exchange at https://www.kraken.com/
Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange and offers a wider range of coins than most others. Fees are competitive and a good feature in Binance is that if you have small amounts coin left over after selling, then you can periodically sweep up this "dust" into BNB. You can sign up at
https://www.binance.com/en/register?ref=21897620 but we warn you to use Binance exchange for trading only at spot market price and to not be tempted to try to beat this casino by leverage trading.
One of the most widely known and popular exchanges in many countries is Coinbase but their fees tend to be higher and the transaction and withdrawal times tend to be much slower so we don't recommend this to our UK friends.
Most newcomers to cryptocurrency will begin by buying some Bitcoin (BTC). BTC is the best known and the lowest risk. Don't worry about one single Bitcoin being valued at many thousands of pounds. Bitcoins can be split into smaller units to ease and facilitate smaller transactions so you can buy fractions of a Bitcoin. A satoshi is the smallest unit of a bitcoin, equivalent to 100 millionth of a bitcoin.
Ethereum (ETH) is the second most commonly held cryptocurrency. If you intend to speculate on even more risky coins, ETH is a good starting choice because you will find that on most exchanges you will require ETH to trade for many of the other listed coins and sometimes to pay for fees on the Ethereum network when withdrawing.
To any newcomer to cryptocurrency Marvin recommends you watch this video where bitcoin and cryptocurrency is beautifully explained in 10 minutes. Technologist and blockchain expert Andreas Antonopoulos talks about how Bitcoin will break the banks and change the world at its core. This is a keynote speech from Internetdagarna 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.
Don't be an annoying newcomer in a cryptocurrency chat room by asking dumb questions like, “Where can I buy this?” One of the first things you must learn is how to use the CoinGecko website at https://www.coingecko.com/en where you can search for any coin using its name or its ticker code to take you to a page that gives you details about that coin’s status in the market, the URL of the project team’s website, and lists the online exchanges where it can be traded and what trading pairs for that coin are supported on each exchange.
Before moving ERC20 tokens from one wallet to another on the Ethereum network or initiating a trade on the Ethereum network using, for example, the Uniswap decentralised exchange (DEX), it is advisable to check the current Gas Price (Gwei) and make sure you will have enough ETH in your wallet to cover the transaction fee. The Gas Price of each transaction varies depending upon how congested the Ethereum network is and it can sometimes be worth waiting for a quieter time.
You can check the current Gas Price here: https://www.gasnow.org
The more you get to know, the more you become aware of how much you don't know.
Marvin says, "Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so."
Before you accumulate a lot of cryptocurrency you should get a wallet in which you can safely store what you've bought because it isn't wise to leave more than you can afford to lose on an exchange.
There are many different wallets to choose from but possibly the easiest way to get started is to download and install the Exodus wallet from https://www.exodus.io/
Reasons Marvin recommends the Exodus wallet to beginners are:
1. Exodus is available on a choice of operating system platforms including Windows (Microsoft), Android (Google) and IOS (Apple).
2. Exodus has a user friendly interface that is simple and easy to use.
3. Exodus can hold many of the most popular coins and tokens in a single wallet, including BTC, ETH, XMR, DASH, DCR, SNX, ICX, LTC, LINK, RLC, ZIL, etc, etc.
4. Good technical support is available from the Exodus team.
5. The built-in exchange facility using decentralised exchanges means that you do not need to register with an online exchange or learn to use any online trading platform (unless you wish to obtain coins not supported by Exodus)
6. Exodus integrates with the Trezor hardware wallet for the added security of keeping your private keys offline. Find out more at https://trezor.io/
Many recently introduced cryptocurrencies are not yet supported by Exodus. For storage of the latest ERC20 compatible tokens Marvin recommends you install the MetaMask extension to your web browser from https://metamask.io/ and another advantage of installing MetaMask is that it will enable you to use of the UniSwap decentralised exchange at https://app.uniswap.org/#/swap
Should you wish to buy and store, for example, Polkadot (DOT), Secret (SCRT) or Cosmos (ATOM) that aren't supported by either Exodus or MetaMask then Marvin recommends the Math wallet (available as an Android and iOS application or as an extension to Google's Chrome browser). It is available from https://mathwallet.org/
When you first install and activate your wallet you will be invited to write down a list of keywords that can be used to re-generate your wallet in the event of failure or loss of your device. Never store this list of keywords electronically on your device as access to this information by a hacker would give the hacker the ability to control your wallet. This list of 12 or 24 keywords is sometimes called your private key mnemonic or may be called your recovery phrase or your list of seed words.
It is important you understand that your wallet never actually contains cryptocurrency. It holds the private cryptographic key that permits its owner to move crytocurrency from one address to another on the blockchain, and it provides you with a user interface to facilitate such moves. Your cryptocurrency is a record in a decentralized ledger maintained by the blockchain.
So if somebody else obtains your recovery phrase they can re-generate your credentials using either the same or different wallet software on another device and steal your cryptocurrency by signing a transaction to send it to a different address in the ledger. This is because the same BIP39 mnemonic words standard is employed by most wallet applications.
For your own safety please obey Zaphod's Ten Commandments.
If you chose to use an online cryptocurrency exchange to buy a coin that was not obtainable via your chosen fiat “on ramp” or through the DEX facility built in to your wallet then never leave any significant value in the exchange's wallet. Exchanges can be and have been hacked. After you have finished trading always withdraw most of your coins to an appropriate wallet on your own device for which you have control of the private key. An often heard phrase is, “Not your keys, not your crypto.” Trusting your coins to the custodianship of a centralised exchange or financial institution will defeat one of the main objectives of the bitcoin vision.
An altcoin is a digital currency other than bitcoin. Another way of describing the term "altcoin" is referring to it as an alternative protocol asset, meaning that it follows a protocol (set of rules) that's different from that of bitcoin.
"ATH" is an abbreviation of "all-time high." This term can be quite helpful to know for tracking the digital currency markets. These assets are so volatile, so keeping their ATH in mind can prove valuable. A digital currency could potentially hit several local highs before rising to a new all-time high.
The network for a digital currency reaches consensus when the network's nodes agree that a transaction took place. This agreement is crucial if the varying network participants (nodes) are to have the same information. In other words, consensus is crucial to distributed ledger systems.
Fiat currencies are currencies that have value because they are minted by a central bank. Fiat means "by decree," and these currencies have value because some central authority has decreed that they have monetary value. Examples of fiat currencies include the Euro, British Pound, US Dollar and Japanese Yen.
The fear of missing out is a powerful force in all markets, but is especially potent in a field where there’s no such thing as fundamental value. Crypto fans often cite FOMO as one of the reasons investors might buy cryptocurrencies when they’re in the midst of a rally.
Fear, uncertainty and doubt. Another term used in other investing contexts, it was adopted by the crypto community to denounce what supporters see as the intentional spread of misinformation. Skeptics see it used as a way to brush off anything negative.
This is sometimes referred to as halvening -- a planned reduction in rewards miners receive (the term is mentioned in Bitcoin’s code). Halvings happen once every four years or so -- more precisely, every 210,000 blocks of transactions. As the name suggests, each one cuts the amount of Bitcoin miners receive per block reward in half. The practice serves to maintain scarcity. In 2020, Bitcoin’s halving was followed by a steady rise in its price over the subsequent weeks.
“Hold” as misspelled by a frenzied Bitcoin trader on an online forum in 2013. It’s become the mantra of cryptocurrency believers during market routs, meant to reassure nervous traders that they should ride out any given slump because of what they see is Bitcoin’s long-run advantages. Anyone willing to stomach the volatility is thought to be hodling.
KYC stands for "know your customer." Many jurisdictions have KYC regulations, which have come to affect startups holding initial coin offerings (ICOs). These regulations require companies holding these digital token sales to verify the identity of their investors.
A "pump and dump" is a type of investment scheme where a market participant—or several—work together to inflate the price of an asset so they can sell it when its value is artificially high. This practice may be particularly pervasive when it comes to digital currencies, as traders can easily get together using Telegram groups with the goal of causing specific cryptocurrencies to rise sharply in value.
This phrase is used to describe cryptocurrency newbies who, instead of hodling, nervously panic-sell their coins in response to market jitters or negative headlines that wouldn’t faze experienced traders. Some weak hands bail out of Bitcoin in favor of so-called alt coins, cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin. There are more than 7,000 digital tokens. Many tend to take their cues from Bitcoin, oftentimes rising or falling in tandem.
In a wide range of markets, whales are investors whose holdings are so large that their every trade makes waves. It’s a term that comes with a suspicion of market manipulation. So, too with Bitcoin whales, or people who hold a lot of Bitcoin. Some estimates show just a handful control a large percentage of the market, so they have the power to move prices.