Cryptocurrency Trading: How To Buy, Where To Store and Where To Trade

Part One – Cryptocurrency Trading: How To Buy, Where To Store and Where To Trade

The cryptocurrency market is experiencing what is undoubtedly one of the best years it has ever had. People obviously want in so I’m writing guide about cryptocurrency trading. 

Part two is now available and touches on buy walls, sell walls and order book trading.

Just in the last seven months, Ethereum has seen surges from $10 per coin to an all time high of over $420 per coin. It has experienced such explosive growth that it is on track to surpassing Bitcoin’s market cap by the end of the year according to experts. The developers have implemented impressive measures that allow just about anybody with basic coding skills to launch their own cryptocurrency on the backbone of their blockchain technology. Even Bitcoin has hit an all time high of over $3,000 and is on track to reaching new heights.

Ethereum’s founder, Vitalik Buterin, has even visited with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss potential for a national currency based on blockchain technology. Needless to say, cryptocurrencies are making a huge splash on the world stage and with more attention comes more investors; new investors at that. The question is, how do new investors get started trading cryptocurrency?

Purchasing cryptocurrency

The first step towards becoming a cryptocurrency trader is to find a good, reputable exchange. There are tons of exchanges currently on the market, but there are very keen differences between them and how quickly you’ll be able to move your currency. To get your first cryptocurrency, you need to find an exchange that will allow you to trade fiat (USD, CAD, EUR, GBP, etc.) for coins.


cryptocurrency trading on coinbase

Coinbase is arguably the largest and fastest exchange to trade your fiat for crypto. It has a simple and quick verification process. You don’t have to wait very long to be able to swap out your hard earned bucks for crypto. Once verified, you can purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin with either a debit/credit card or a bank transfer. For debit and credit card purchases, you can instantly get your coins. However, you’ll be subject to low limits on your account of $200-$500.

For bank transfers, the limits are much higher. In fact, you can easily purchase thousands of dollars worth of coins. However, bank transfers take 7 days to complete and your crypto won’t be available until the transfer is finished. Don’t worry, though. We all know how wildly cryptocurrency valuations can vary and the exchange rate you lock in the bank transfer at is the exchange rate it will remain when the coins are deposited into your account.

CAUTION: Recently during huge price swings in Bitcoin and Ethereum, Coinbase has experienced interruptions that prevented traders from cashing out and cashing in. This is likely the result of stress on their infrastructure due to high volumes of traffic. For being the largest exchange, they have some serious upgrading to do to be able to handle those one-off moments of crypto pandemonium.


cryptocurrency trading on kraken

Kraken is another favorite of mine to use. They are secure and only offer the best and most stable coins on the market. They’re focused on protecting the end user and have very advanced trading capabilities. If you’re interested in swapping out your fiat for crypto, they can do that for you. You just link a bank account and verify your identity with your drivers license, address and more. For beginners, I’d say Kraken is a very safe bet to get into crypto.

CAUTION: While they don’t have the same outage issues Coinbase has during price swings, they are incredibly slow to get verification. Tiers 1 and 2 of verification can generally be completed within a few days. However, Tier 3 can take months. I mostly attribute this to slow customer support. You need higher levels of verification to be able to initiate a bank transfer. This exchange does not accept credit or debit cards. It really is a great exchange, but verification can be a nightmare.


cryptocurrency trading on changelly

Changelly isn’t my first choice when it comes to purchasing cryptocurrency with fiat, but it is an easy option. It’s also the expensive option. Right now, USD and EUR rates are running about 60% above other markets. If you’re trying to get quick crypto, generate a wallet for the desired cryptocurrency and load up the MasterCard. You’re in business.

Choosing a wallet

When it comes to choosing a wallet to store your coins, you should be very careful about what you choose. It’s important to choose reputable, established wallets to ensure your coins aren’t lost as a result of hacking or mishandling by the company storing them. Be careful where you store your money. It’s also important to note that you should have some space freed up on your hard drive and a stable internet connection for desktop-based wallets. Your computer will need to synchronize the entire blockchain of your chosen coin before it can be used. Below we’ll go over the most popular cryptocurrencies and their wallet options.


For Bitcoin, the developers have made it pretty easy to discover reputable wallets. With wallets like Electrum, Bitcoin Core, Mycelium and more, you aren’t in any real danger of losing your Bitcoins. You even have the ability to store Bitcoins on your smart phone, although I personally wouldn’t do so. At least not in large quantities and not without a wallet backup. Click here to see a list of recommended wallets straight from Bitcoin’s official website.


Ethereum has a variety of wallets available for users to store their ether. On the official Ethereum website, the foundation suggests using their proprietary wallet downloadable on the Ethereum website. It can be downloaded to OS X, Windows and Linux operating systems. There are also several third-party options for Ethereum storage. If you aren’t wanting to spend the time synchronizing the entire Ethereum blockchain, you can use MyEtherWallet. It has a range of functionality with sending and receiving, initiating smart contracts and a lot of new cryptocurrency companies that hold their ICO (initial coin offering, much like a stock market IPO) recommend using MyEtherWallet.


If you intend to actually store any alt-coins you have instead of day trading them on exchanges like most people, you’ll need to visit the company website behind that specific coin for wallet options. Nowadays, a lot of coins are being launched on Ethereum’s blockchain and thus coins like Monero, Golem and more can actually be stored in your Ethereum wallet.

Trading on exchanges

It is extremely common for cryptocurrency users to trade Ethereum, Bitcoin and even smaller alt-coins on cryptocurrency exchanges. Cryptocurrencies lack strong government regulation from the SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) and it’s no secret that, with many alt-coins surging in price by sometimes factors of ten in a single day, people will be flocking to to crypto-markets to earn a bit of money. Day trading is very common and even often encouraged in the current cryptocurrency environment. Pattern day trading, a practice that is illegal with stock market trading, is completely legal in crypto trading due to lack of government oversight. So you want to day trade coins and see if you can catch that next 10x wave. You’ll need an exchange with a lot of alt-coin options to do that.


In my opinion, Bittrex is the best exchange for high risk traders (and perfect for low risk traders). Right now, more than $115,000,000 worth of currency is moved every day through the exchange. This means that for the high volume coins on the site, it is very easy to both off-load and purchase large amounts of crypto.

There are a wide variety of coins listed on the site and when a new coin is starting to gain real traction, Bittrex is typically the first exchange they make it to. This makes it possible to purchase those coins more cheaply when they get that first the Bittrex-boost prior to getting listed in front of more eyes on larger exchanges like Poloniex, Bitifinex or Kraken.

On Bittrex, all alt-coins are purchased with either Ethereum or Bitcoin. You cannot deposit USD or any other fiat currency into your Bittrex wallet. You simply generate your BTC or ETH wallet on the exchange and deposit your funds into it. From there, you will have access to all other currencies listed on their market.


Poloniex is a great exchange for cryptocurrency traders looking for a safe place to trade their coins. They list a wide variety of alt-coins much like Bittrex, but not nearly as many. They have a very thorough vetting process before new coins get listed on their exchange in order to avoid the so-called memecoins/shitcoins and your regular pump and dump schemes. They have a genuine interest in protecting traders from themselves and to be honest, most of us can use a bit of protection from ourselves with this type of investment.

They are much larger than Bittrex with a daily volume of more than $250,000,000. The user interface is much more user-friendly and aesthetically appealing and much like Bittrex, they don’t allow USD or fiat deposits. You’ll need to deposit one of their listed coins.

Other exchanges

There are tons of other exchanges for you to move your crypto around. It’s just a matter of selecting one that fits your needs and investing strategy. Kraken and Bitifinex are great exchanges, but I haven’t used Bitifinex personally and we already pretty much covered Kraken. Click here to see a list of more exchanges and their volume.


I hope I’ve given readers the necessary tools to get started with cryptocurrency ownership, storage and trading. I’ve been trading crypto since 2014 and I’ve had a lot of fun doing it. That’s not to say it doesn’t come with it’s drawbacks. Simply put, to successfully day trade cryptocurrencies, you need to be watching the markets all day long. You need to have strong knowledge of order books and strong intuition about trader sentiment regarding your coins. You need to be able to notice when whales are artificially moving the markets. And you need to have hands of motherfucking iron. It’s too often that people panic at a 10-15% dip in price and sell only to have the price surge back positive a few hours later. It’s mostly whales shaking out weak hands.

I plan to keep posting guides on how to make smart investments in cryptocurrency markets. If you’re interested in knowing when I post, you can follow me on Twitter at @brettcwestbrook or email me at You can also join our Slack channel called Crypto Central where we meme about crypto all day long (it’s also very resourceful, hit me up for an invitation).

I put a lot of time into this article and if you found it helpful and of high quality, feel free to tip me at the following addresses.

ETH: 0xd451a2fcc9ccb3143d50743bdee102ba6e294389


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