Cryptocurrency Investing: How to Buy Altcoins

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Here is your step by step guide to buying Altcoins. I will go through what exchange accounts you will need, ways to get money on, how to transfer Bitcoin between exchanges, and finally how to buy the Altcoin(s) you’re interested in.

Step 1: Create your exchange accounts

Click the links below and go through the process of creating an account on all four exchanges. They should each take less than a minute and you generally won’t be required to submit any verification unless you plan to transfer more than 2 BTC per day.

Coinbase – This is how you will make your initial purchase of Bitcoin (BTC). If you already have BTC or plan to buy Bitcoin from a friend, you don’t necessarily need Coinbase, since they currently only offer Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. However, using this link will get you a free $10 in BTC after making your first purchase or sale of at least $100 worth of cryptocurrency on their platform.

Binance – This exchange recently became the most popular altcoin trading platform and has around 100 cryptocurrencies available to buy and sell. They are always adding more coins and have the lowest fees of any top exchange at 0.10%.

KuCoin – This exchange offers a good amount of cryptocurrencies including some lesser know coins that aren’t offered on any other top exchange. They also have a very user-friendly interface and incredibly low fees at 0.10%.

Cryptopia – This exchange offers a lot of coins along with quite a few that aren’t offered on Binance or KuCoin. Their software is a not very user-friendly, but there is a good reason for having an account on at least three exchanges. I like to say, “We don’t use Cryptopia because we want to, we use it because we have to,” referring to the fact that they may well be the only exchange that we can get to that is offering the coin we want to buy.

You may be asking “Why do I need to open so many accounts?”

There are a few reasons people open more than just couple accounts.

  1. It reduces the counterparty risk. Exchanges frequently go through maintenance and having multiple accounts means you won’t ever be on the sideline while watching that coin you just decided to buy skyrocket.
  2. The four exchanges above have a bit of overlap as far as coins offered. This is good because by keeping your cryptocurrency spread out across all of them, you can choose to purchase your coins on whichever exchange has the lowest price at the time. The same goes for selling – you could choose to sell on the exchange with the highest price.
  3. There are certain coins that are offered on only a few exchanges, so the more exchanges you have accounts with, the more coins you will be able to trade.

I included the four most popular exchanges, however, if you want an extensive list of exchanges that our staff uses you can go to our Exchanges page.

Step 2: Buying Bitcoin

After you’ve created accounts on the four exchanges above, you need to acquire Bitcoin. If you already have Bitcoin, you can skip to Step 3.

The easiest option is to use Coinbase because no major exchanges allow you to buy cryptocurrency with fiat currency (USD, CAD, EUR, etc.). Therefore, to buy your altcoins you will need to transfer Bitcoin to Binance, KuCoin, and Cryptopia since everything is denominated in BTC on those sites. If that doesn’t make sense just yet, it will by the time you finish reading this post.

On Coinbase, you will be able to transfer cash on to buy Bitcoin via your bank account or credit/debit card. Typical weekly limits are $5000 for bank transfers and $750 for credit/debit, but you can apply to increase these limits.

Once you have Bitcoin, or can get Bitcoin, the next step is to transfer it over to the exchanges that have the altcoins you want (Binance, KuCoin, Cryptopia, etc.).

NOTE: Cryptocurrency purchases on Coinbase typically take 3-8 business days to clear, so you will have to wait until your purchase clears before you can transfer it over to the exchanges. This occurs because Coinbase is waiting to receive the funds from your bank.

Step 3: Transferring Bitcoin to the exchanges

This process will be almost identical for all three exchanges.

To get Bitcoin onto Binance follow these steps:

  1. At the top of Binance, hover your mouse over “Funds” in the upper right and click “Deposits Withdrawals”.
  2. Find the line for BTC/Bitcoin and click Deposit. You will be given an address that looks something like this: 1DvbxmHKZQV6YxP14dM6CyZczhkaqFhqQ3. NOTE: Yours will be different and will be the address that you will use to deposit BTC into your Binance account – it is also known as your public key. This key is not secret and is fine to share with others. For example, if you are paying a friend in cash for Bitcoin, you will give them this key so they can send the Bitcoin to your wallet on Binance.
  3. If you are transferring from Coinbase, you will open the Coinbase client, click “Accounts”, then under “BTC Wallet” click “Send”. In the box that says “Recipient” you will enter the address (public key) that you got from Binance above: remember it’s in the form of something like this, 1DvbxmHKZQV6YxP14dM6CyZczhkaqFhqQ3. Finally, enter how much you want to send and click continue. The funds should show up in your Binance account within about 30 minutes unless there are network delays which happen to Bitcoin every once in a while.
  4. If you are having a friend send you Bitcoin or transferring from elsewhere, the process is the same. You will use your public key address as the wallet address to send funds to.

To get Bitcoin onto KuCoin follow these similar steps:

  1. At the top of KuCoin, click “Assets”.
  2. Find the line for Bitcoin/BTC and click “Deposit”. You will be taken to a screen that says -“Your Bitcoin wallet address:  1KvZiUXppmfpECbaR3qs1m3VxoyzkiZWmT”. NOTE: Yours will be different and will be the address that you will use to deposit BTC into your KuCoin account – it is also known as your public key. This key is not secret and is fine to share with others. For example, if you are paying a friend in cash for Bitcoin, you will give them this key so they can send the Bitcoin to your wallet on KuCoin.
  3. If you are transferring from Coinbase, you will open the Coinbase client, click “Accounts”, then under “BTC Wallet” click “Send”. In the box that says “Recipient” you will enter the address (public key) that you got from KuCoin above: remember it’s in the form of something like this, 1KvZiUXppmfpECbaR3qs1m3VxoyzkiZWmT. Finally, enter how much you want to send and click continue. The funds should show up in your KuCoin account within about 30 minutes unless there are network delays which happen to Bitcoin every once in a while.
  4. If you are having a friend send you Bitcoin or transferring from elsewhere, the process is the same. You will use your public key address as the wallet address to send funds to.

To get Bitcoin onto Cryptopia follow these similar steps:

  1. At the top right of Cryptopia, hover over the Bitcoin symbol (“B”), then click “Deposit”.
  2. On the Deposit screen, type BTC and click Bitcoin, then click “Next”.
  3. You will be given you Cryptopia Deposit Address, something like this: 1GkUYTk6yb9KUtVx55VWPyTheKtLVBxpij. Once you have copied the deposit address, you can click “DONE”. NOTE: Yours will be different and will be the address that you will use to deposit BTC into your Cryptopia account – it is also known as your public key. This key is not secret and is fine to share with others. For example, if you are paying a friend in cash for Bitcoin, you will give them this key so they can send the Bitcoin to your wallet on Cryptopia.
  4. If you are transferring from Coinbase, you will open the Coinbase client, click “Accounts”, then under “BTC Wallet” click “Send”. In the box that says “Recipient” you will enter the address (public key) that you got from Cryptopia above: remember it’s in the form of something like this, 1GkUYTk6yb9KUtVx55VWPyTheKtLVBxpij. Finally, enter how much you want to send and click continue. The funds should show up in your Cryptopia account within about 30 minutes unless there are network delays which happen to Bitcoin every once in a while.
  5. If you are having a friend send you Bitcoin or transferring from elsewhere, the process is the same. You will use your public key address as the wallet address to send funds to.

Final Note for Step 3: We went through the process of transferring Bitcoin into your wallet on Binance, KuCoin, and Cryptopia. You could also transfer other cryptocurrencies in the exact same way.

Step 4: Buying the Altcoin(s) you want on each exchange

Now that you have Bitcoin in your wallet on each exchange, you are finally ready to buy the Altcoin(s) you have learned about or been guided towards. Just like “Step 3”, buying Altcoins on each exchange is almost exactly the same.

As I mentioned above, all top exchanges (Binance, KuCoin, and Cryptopia) don’t work in fiat or cash denominations. Everything is denominated in Bitcoin. So when you go to buy an Altcoin, for example, Litecoin (LTC), you will be paying in Bitcoin (BTC). So rather than buying 1 LTC for say $300, you will instead be buying 1 LTC for say .015318 BTC. This is why you had to get BTC into your wallet on each exchange, rather than cash like USD or EUR.

To buy Altcoins on Binance, go to the homepage (click the Binance logo in the upper left). Search for the Altcoin you want, for example, LTC for Litecoin. Click the row LTC/BTC. For an immediate purchase, you can select “Market”, then type in the amount of LTC you want to buy, and finally, click buy LTC. If you would rather set your target price and risk not having an immediate purchase (or no purchase at all if the price keeps going up), you can use the “Limit” tab and set the price you would like to pay (as said earlier, this price is denominated in BTC).

To buy Altcoins on KuCoin, go to the homepage (click the KuCoin logo in the upper left), next click “Markets”. On the “Markets” page, search for the Altcoin you want, for example, LTC for Litecoin. Click the row LTC/BTC. For an immediate purchase, click the blue underlined “Best Price BTC”. Then type in the amount of LTC you want to buy, and finally, “Buy”. If you would rather set your target price and risk not having an immediate purchase (or no purchase at all if the price keeps going up), you can type in the price you would like to pay (as said earlier, this price is denominated in BTC) in the top box.

To buy Altcoins on Cryptopia, go to the homepage (click the Cryptopia logo in the upper left), next click “Exchange”. On the “Exchange” page, search for the Altcoin you want, for example, LTC for Litecoin and click the row LTC. Type in the amount of LTC you want to buy. For an immediate purchase, enter the “Last Price” (located in upper right) or an amount slightly higher in the “Price” box. If the price of LTC is going up rapidly, you may have to reenter the value in the “Price” box at a higher value a few times.

Disclosure

This process can be a bit complicated the first time for a cryptocurrency newcomer. If you are unsure about any step, please join our Facebook Group to ask questions. You can also send us a message via our Facebook Page or Contact Us Page and we will get back to you as soon as possible. This is not investment advice and we will not be held liable for any money lost during your process of transferring, buying, and/or selling cryptocurrencies.