Long gone are the days where cryptocurrencies were not considered to be a safe trading option. While the crypto market is still volatile, millions of traders are buying into crypto trading. Blockchain technology is fast gaining popularity and there are hundreds of projects of repute that are catching the eye of investors.
Where to buy altcoins?
In due course of this guide, we will explore the best platforms to buy crypto tokens and how to buy them.
Coinbase is the best cryptocurrency exchange for beginners. The crypto exchange offers the utmost security of funds and financial information, a variety of cryptocurrencies and convenience.
The crypto trading platform is available in over 100 countries at the time of writing, including the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France, Switzerland and India.
Depending on your country of residence, you can deposit and withdraw via bank transfer, debit card, credit card and PayPal.
Altcoins on offer
Coinbase offers 36 cryptocurrencies at the time of writing, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin. The crypto exchange offers detailed market data for over 3,900 cryptocurrencies.
Trading fees are on the higher side at Coinbase. Depending on the amount you are trading, the crypto exchange charges fees of 1.49-3.99% per trade.
Coinbase is one of the most secure crypto exchanges – the crypto trading platform has never faced a security mishap. The Coinbase online wallet is among the best web wallets in the crypto business.
Only 2% of user funds are stored on the platform. The rest is stored in the AES-256 encrypted form on FIPS-140 USB drives and paper backups, safe in vaults around the world.
Our Coinbase rating: 9.8/10
Much like Coinbase, Kraken is a safe platform for crypto traders. Kraken offers more cryptocurrencies than Coinbase and charges lesser trading fees. That said, Kraken isn’t the best trading platform for beginners.
Kraken is available in several countries including the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Australia, China and Switzerland. Kraken is restricted in countries like Lebanon, Sudan, Yemen, Iran and North Korea.
Kraken allows you to deposit via bank transfer (local bank, wired, SWIFT, SEPA, etc.), in-person cash (Canada only) and debit card (Canada only). The exchange supports USD, EUR, AUD, CAD, GBP, JPY and CHF fiat deposits.
Altcoins on offer
Kraken offers 50 crypto trading options at the time of writing, including Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH), Tether, Bitcoin Cash, Chainlink, Cardano, USD Coin and TRON. The crypto trading platform offers an Advanced Markets View option and a Classic Chart View option for these cryptocurrencies – ideal for experienced traders.
Kraken charges much lower fees than Coinbase – 0-0.26% depending on the amount you are buying/selling. As a buyer, you will be charged a maximum of 0.16% per trade and as a seller, you will be charged a maximum of 0.26% per trade.
Kraken is one of the safest crypto exchanges out there. The crypto trading platform offers several security features including Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), a proof-of-reserves audit and offline storage of user funds.
Kraken has never been hacked but has faced issues with handling overwhelming user traffic and cyber attacks, most notably in January 2018 when they closed for a few days to address these problems.
Our Kraken rating: 9.2/10
Bittrex is a good crypto trading platform for both beginners and advanced traders. The platform is secure and robust and offers a variety of crypto trading options. Bittrex charges lesser trading fees than Coinbase and Kraken and has never been hacked.
Bittrex is available to crypto users around the world barring users from countries like Iran, North Korea, Syria and Cuba (all countries which have economic sanctions levied against them by the US). This means that customers from the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia can register and trade at Bittrex.
If you want to make a USD deposit, wire transfer is your only option for both deposits and withdrawals. If you want to make a EUR deposit, you can deposit via international wire transfer, SEPA credit transfer, debit card and credit card. You can withdraw via international wire transfer and SEPA credit transfer.
Altcoins on offer
As is advertised on the crypto platform, Bittrex offers over 250 of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency markets. You can buy cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, Chainlink, Cardano, Lumen, Litecoin and Bitcoin SV.
Bittrex charges a maximum buyer and seller fee of 0.20% – lesser than the fees charged by both Coinbase and Kraken.
Akin to Coinbase and Kraken, Bittrex too has never faced the wrath of hackers. The crypto exchange makes use of 2FA and stores a large chunk of user funds offline (a multi-stage wallet strategy is in place).
Our Bittrex rating: 9.0/10
Other popular exchanges
There are several other popular exchanges, including Binance, Coinmama, Gemini, eToro, and KuCoin. Each of these crypto trading platforms offers a variety of crypto tokens to buy and sell, strict security measures to secure your funds and financial information, and several payment methods to deposit fiat currency/crypto.
Here are a few things you should keep in mind:
1. Binance is the most popular of the lot. The crypto platform allows you to buy crypto tokens via bank transfer, debit card, credit card and third-party payment systems like Simplex and Banxa. The crypto exchange supports over 100 altcoins.
2. Coinmama offers nine crypto tokens and charges relatively high fees.
3. Gemini offers over 40 crypto tokens, advanced trading options, and valuable resources to learn the trade.
4. eToro offers 16 crypto tokens and an interesting option to copy other investors’ trading patterns on the platform.
5. KuCoin is an advanced crypto trading platform that offers over 100 crypto trading pairs.
How can I buy altcoins?
Here is a step-by-step guide to take you through the process of buying altcoins.
1. Investment decision
The first and most crucial step in your investment journey is making the right investment decision. You have to be ABSOLUTELY sure that you want to invest in top altcoins. There are several investment options in today’s digital age that you can explore (stocks, ETFs, gold, etc.). The cryptocurrency market is volatile, and you have to be on your toes once you have invested.
If you are ready to take the plunge, read on!
2. Research and choose the best altcoin for you
Let’s face it; there are thousands of altcoins out there. While this is a good thing, it makes your investment decision even more challenging. Most first-time investors buy Bitcoin and popular altcoins like Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dash (DASH), Monero (XMR), Zcash (ZEC), Cardano (ADA), Neo (NEO), Tether (USDT) and Stellar (XLM).
Others opt to buy lesser-known crypto tokens that have huge potential. Whatever be the case, you have to conduct thorough research and choose a crypto token or a set of cryptocurrencies that best represent your investment need. It would help if you determined whether you want to invest short-term or long-term.
While researching, you have to look at the performance of a preferred altcoin over a while, the underlying blockchain project, ICO credibility (if on offer), market cap, trading volume (CoinMarketCap is a good source of information), volatility in price and future potential among other metrics.
3. Fiat money or crypto
Some traders transfer money from their bank account (via bank transfer, debit card, credit card, PayPal, etc.) to crypto exchange and buy altcoins accordingly. This is possible with cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase, Kraken, Bittrex (they introduced the feature in May 2020), and Binance.
Some crypto exchanges permit crypto-to-crypto transactions only. In such cases, you must have a crypto wallet and buy cryptocurrencies to trade them for altcoins. Buying altcoins with fiat currency (like USD, EUR, GBP, etc.) is the easiest option.
4. Choose an exchange
Choosing an exchange isn’t as easy as it may seem. There are several crypto exchanges of repute, and you should choose one which best suits your needs. Some of the best exchanges include Coinbase/Coinbase Pro, Kraken, Binance, Bittrex, Gemini, eToro, Coinmama and KuCoin.
These exchanges offer a vast variety of altcoins and come with varying security measures, transaction fees, features, liquidity, ease of usability and reliability. Choose an exchange that offers the altcoins you want to invest in, is secure, charges reasonable transaction fees, comes with ease of usability and is feature-laden.
Coinbase for example is the best crypto trading platform in terms of all-around functionality and is best for investors learning the trade.
5. Trade Bitcoin (BTC) for altcoins
Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency without a shadow of a doubt. It is a popular long-term investment option and is traded extensively. Once you have chosen an exchange, you can either deposit fiat currency into your account or trade cryptocurrencies (that you have already bought) for altcoins.
A popular strategy is to purchase Bitcoin and trade BTC for altcoins. While you gauge the potential of an altcoin or are on the lookout for viable options, investing in Bitcoin and trading BTC for altcoins makes utmost sense. Bitcoin is one for the present and future and you could end up reaping a profit on both your purchased Bitcoin and altcoins.
Trading Bitcoin for altcoins is easy as well, as all major exchanges provide support for Bitcoin.
6. Move crypto assets to your wallet
Once you have purchased crypto assets, avoid keeping them in an online exchange wallet. While the best cryptocurrency exchanges offer top-notch security, it is not safe to keep your purchased digital assets in an online wallet.
That said, another reason why Coinbase is renowned is its secure web wallet. Coinbase has never faced a security breach and is among the safest altcoin exchanges out there.
Some of the best crypto wallets include Trezor Model T, Ledger Nano X, Ledger Nano S, Trezor and KeepKey – all of these are hardware wallets. It should be noted that not all altcoins are compatible with hardware wallets.
Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X support over 1,000 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, Litecoin, Stellar, Ripple and all ERC20 tokens (with MyEtherWallet only). Trezor Model T supports over 1,000 cryptocurrencies as well and offers native support for all ERC20 tokens.
What is the best time to buy or sell altcoins?
There is no best or worst time to buy or sell altcoins. The best you can do is perform your due diligence, track the market activity of your preferred cryptocurrency/cryptocurrencies, gauge trading volumes, price volatility and invest (or sell) accordingly. NEVER anticipate the lowest price a crypto token could fall to.
If you see that the price of a cryptocurrency has fallen considerably or your research suggests that the cost of your preferred digital currency could fall in the immediate future (bearish run), go ahead and invest (if the crypto token has the potential to rise again!).
Similarly, if the price of a cryptocurrency you have invested in is on the rise, do not try to predict the highest value it could reach during a bullish run. Abide by your research and sell accordingly. You could choose to HODL (hold on to your crypto tokens) if you are investing long-term.
While news sites are a good source of information, please do not rely solely on them to make investment decisions. Whatever be the case, buy and sell Bitcoin and other popular altcoins wisely.