If you are going to get into buying any cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin, you will most likely have to start to venture into the exchanges.
Exchanges are where you can trade coins for other coins or traditional currencies like Dollars and Euros.
They function somewhat like the New York Stock Exchange or the NASDAQ.
Some exchanges only transact in cryptocurrencies, and these exchanges generally have lower registration requirements than exchanges that also handle fiat currencies. In the past, it was possible to open an account at a crypto-only exchange while providing no more personal information than an email address. Those days are largely over, as regulation looms on the horizon.
Exchanges are applying KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) standards to be more responsible and to prepare for coming government regulations.
Exchanges that do transact in fiat currencies as well as cryptos, generally have greater documentation requirements. Because they also transact in Dollars and Euros, for example, they must also follow the local laws as a traditional money-exchanging business. So, it might take a little longer and be a little more involved setting up an account than with some crypto-only exchanges.
Since there is greater government and industry scrutiny these days, it is an acceptable inconvenience.
Coinbase is the exchange that we are recommending as our first point of contact with Bitcoin.
Coinbase acts less like an exchange and more like a traditional bank. It has a separate dedicated exchange called GDAX. Because Coinbase transacts in traditional fiat currencies like Dollars and Euros, they have more comprehensive sign-up requirements.
Purchases and withdrawals in Coinbase can take a few days, which can also make it feel more like a traditional bank.
Coinbase enjoys extensive backing from well-known venture capitalists and is based in the US which has better consumer protection laws that many other countries. For these reasons, Coinbase makes a good point of entry to the crypto markets.
For several years, you could only exchange for Bitcoin in Coinbase but, recently they have added support for Ethereum and Litecoin. If you want access to all those other coins out there, however, you will have to venture beyond Coinbase and open an account at an exchange that lists more coins. Binance is our first choice, but there are dozens of others around the world.
Written by The Crypto.IQ Team
Charlie Shrem is a Bitcoin pioneer. A social economist. A digital currency trader who has made millions. His work in this field is legendary. In 2011, at the dawn of the crypto era, he founded BitInstant, the first and largest Bitcoin company.
In 2013, he founded the Bitcoin Foundation and serve as its Vice Chairman. Since then, Charlie has advised more than a dozen digital currency companies, launched and managed numerous partnerships between crypto and non-crypto companies, and is the go-to guy for some of the world’s wealthiest entrepreneurs. In short, he is the ultimate insider at the epicenter of the crypto universe. Charlie holds a BS in Finance and Economics from City University of New York and studied at Florence University of the Arts.
Charlie Shrem isn’t the only legendary trader on the CryptoIQ team. Randall Oser founded TRK Group in 1999 leading the company as its Head Trader until its sale to E*Trade in 2003. He grew TRK to 150 employees while deploying over $100 Million in trading capital. He trained dozens of Wall Street traders on not only how to make millions of dollars but more importantly how to preserve their newfound wealth.
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