There's a lot to know when it comes to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, but a lot of people just want to know the basics - how can I buy it and what am I even meant to do with it?
In this episode, Kurt explains how to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, by purchasing from a regular exchange in your country, arranging a purchase on localbitcoins.com, buying from a decentralised exchange such as Bisq, or buying in person. He also explains the opportunities after you buy your coins - store them and hope the price goes up, trade them for other tokens to speculate or use, or use them for purchases such as Amazon gift cards - or illicit goods on the dark net.
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In most countries, cryptocurrencies are legal, and so they can be purchased through a regular, centralised exchange - which tends to be the easiest way to buy. The first thing to do is to go to your favourite search engine and type in "bitcoin exchange in" and the name of your country. For newbies, some exchanges are easier to use than others, such as CoinJar in Australia and Coinbase in the USA. However, generally the simpler exchanges will charge more for crypto.
Note: I stated in the episode that Bitcoin is illegal in Venezuela - that's incorrect. In January 2018, the government's cryptocurrency superintended announced that virtual currency is now "perfectly legal" in Venezuela.
When someone is in a country where crypto is illegal, the process becomes a little more complicated. There won't be formal, centralised exchanges, however, purchasing is still possible. Many people use Localbitcoins.com to find buyers and sellers in these countries, and now more people are using the decentralised exchange Bisq. They might also go to crypto meet-ups and find someone who is looking to sell.
So, once you get your dirty digits on some dirty digital cash, what do you do with it? You can save it for a rainy day, trade it for other coins, or spend it.
Storing your coins
For small amounts of crypto, it makes sense to just store it on an exchange, as most exchanges have withdrawal fees. Once you get to a decent amount, it's best to withdraw it, as cryptocurrency is still a new industry and exchanges have a habit of getting hacked or running exit scams - for example, Mt. Gox and Cryptsy, among many others.
One crypto wallet that holds a lot of different coins is Exodus. You can use it on your computer to keep your coins safe.
Trading for other coins
There are more than 1000 crypto projects, all with their own strengths, weaknesses and attributes - something like pokemon. Some offer the opportunity for passive income, such as Dash and NEO. Some have utility or grant privileges - for example, Steem allows you greater voting power on Steemit, DTube, DSound and related platforms.
You can have a look at all the coins that are traded on sites like coinmarketcap, coincap.io, and cryptocompare. These sites will give you some basic info about the coin, tell you the price, the official website, and which markets they're trading on.
Some coins aren't yet available on exchanges, but are being sold in initial coin offerings. By now, April 2019, ICO mania has died down, but that isn't likely to last forever. To find coins and tokens being sold for the first time, check out ICOwatchlist.com.
Spending your crypto
You can use cryptocurrency to buy household goods on sites like overstock.com, to buy plane tickets on abitsky.com, and to buy almost anything with gift cards through egifter.com and gyft.com.
Thank you for watching this episode of Cryptonomics. Remember to connect with me on all social media, and most importantly, stay grateful!
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