How to buy Cryptocurrencies (in 3 steps)

Step One: Get a Wallet

In order to hold Bitcoins you need a wallet. Not a wallet in the traditional physical sense, but a digital version. Just as the coins it will hold are also non physical. The wallet consists of 2 cryptographic “keys”. The “public” key is the address where you hold your coins, and where you can deposit coins to, and withdraw coins from. The “Private” key is the password you need to make transactions to an from the wallet. In the U.S., the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) requires you to verify your identity when you open a digital wallet. There are actually 2 kinds of wallets: software and hardware wallets. Software wallets are mobile aplications. These allow quick and easy access to your coins. But these digital wallets are not really secure enough for storing larger amounts of coins. Coinbase is the biggest software wallet in the U.S. It’s connected directly to an exchange, so you can also buy and sell your coins with them. Hardware wallets store your keys offline in a device, and are considered to be the more secure alternative to a software wallet.

Step Two: FIAT to Crypto

Next you purchase your first Bitcoin using traditional currency (FIAT). This can take a couple of days. You connect your bank account to your wallet and deposit your money into the account. So you need FIAT and a bank account to start trading crypto.

You go to an “exchange” to buy the actual Bitcoins to put on your wallet. A Bitcoin exchange is an online marketplace where you can trade bitcoin for traditional currencies, say BTC for USD. There are many exchanges to choose from. Each exchange has different coin pairs, fees, rates and reliability. In my experience Coinbase is perfect for beginners that want to exchange their fiat money for cryptocurrency.

Coinbase only offers five cryptocurrencies:

  1. Bitcoin
  2. Bitcoin Cash
  3. Ethereum
  4. Litecoin
  5. Ethereum Classic

Coinbase is considered to be the most popular exchange. The exchange has one of the best reputations.

Step Three: Crypto to Crypto


When you continue to actively trade many kind of cryptocurrencies, you need an exchange with a wide variety of coin pairs. Binance is in my experience a very reliable exchange for active traders and supports a wide range of cryptocurrencies.

One of the advantages of Binance is that they charge a flat rate of 0.1 percent for trades. But there are many exchanges to choose from. You can experiment  with different exchanges to find out what works best for you.

Go to Coinbase to buy your (first) Bitcoins:

(I am not a Coinbase affiliate)

Go to Binance exchange and start trading

(I am not a Binance affiliate)

I use Tradingview for charting and Technical Analysis.
Are you new to Tradingview?

The interface can be a bit intimidating at first.
So I have made an interface cheatsheet for you
(with my most used functions)

(I am also not a Tradingview affiliate)