Scattered Coins

BUY

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Decide how much to buy

There are a few things to keep in mind when making your first bitcoin investment.

 

You can choose exactly how much to invest. Bitcoin might cost $50,000 on a given day, but it’s divisible into units as small as 0.00000001 BTC. Basically,  you can invest as little as you like — although I recommend spending more than the fees are worth, or it’s hardly worth it.

Don’t invest more than you can afford to lose. This is a risky business — the value of Bitcoin could plummet at any moment, or you could lose access to your assets (some people have lost millions this way). Use your surplus money (aka your investable money), not your rent money.

Start with a test. We don’t recommend spending the full amount you’re willing to invest in Bitcoin on your first purchase. Instead, start with a smaller amount and see how it goes.  Once you feel comfortable, you can start investing more!

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Select which wallet(s) you’ll use to store your Bitcoin

Before going ahead with your purchase, you need to know where you’ll be storing your bitcoin. There are a few options, and the “right” choice will come down to your preferences and needs. Greater security means lower convenience — which matters the most to you?

Choose between a hot wallet (virtual wallets accessed through the internet) and a hardware wallet (physical devices that contain your private key). Cold wallets are far more secure since they can’t be hacked, so they’re best for anyone holding a substantial amount of crypto.  Trezor is a great hardware wallet option for beginners. However, if you want to use a hot wallet for easy access while you get started, you can try Exodus.

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Sign up to an exchange, platform, or broker to buy your bitcoin

There are a few things to keep in mind when making your first bitcoin investment.

When you’re ready to buy Bitcoin, you’ll need to choose an exchange, platform, or broker to purchase from. Each one has different policies and features to consider —eligible countries, accepted payment methods, fees, exchange rates, buying limits, and reputation are all crucial. Most investors prefer dedicated crypto exchanges, but some go with a non-crypto-specific platform, delegate the buying process to a broker, or even use an ATM.

You might want to “test the waters” with several different options so you can get a feel for which one you prefer.  It's also good to have options in the event one of the exhcanges experience a heavy traffic day or has to undergo maintenance, in which case your ability to access your account may be delayed.  In such case, you'll be glad you have an established OTC relationship with a broker like Caleb and Brown or an account at multiple exchanges.

Exchange:  Coinbase is one of the most popular crypto exchanges, and it’s also very user-friendly, making it a good choice for beginners. 

Almost all crypto exchanges (not just Coinbase) require investors to complete a process called KYC (Know Your Customer) when they sign up, which includes proving your identity and often proof of residence. Then, all you’ll need to do is connect your payment method and place an order. But make sure your bank supports crypto purchases to avoid any nasty surprises!

Non-crypto platforms: If the idea of creating an account on a brand-new platform sounds daunting, you might prefer to turn to a familiar name. Many popular sites now support Bitcoin purchases, including CashApp and Paypal. Keep in mind, there are pros and cons of choice, such platforms may have restrictions that you may not like.

Brokers: Planning on investing more than $2,000 into Bitcoin? It might be worth enlisting a broker to handle the buying process for you, who will ensure that everything goes smoothly. Since you’ll be working directly with the broker, you can rest assured you won’t spend any more than the price they set. Caleb and Brown is a great option. You can use our link and let them know we sent you.

ATMs: A final possibility to consider is purchasing Bitcoin from an ATM (providers include Bitcoin Depot, Bitnovo, BitVending, Cryptospace, General Bytes, Genesis, Lamassu, LocalCoin, Netcoins, and Satoshiware NQ). You can find the closest ATM to you online. This might be convenient, but it may not be the best choice for you since the fees can be high. 

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Move your Bitcoin to your wallet ASAP

Exchanges (and other platforms) are just for buying and selling — once you’ve made your purchase, it’s time to move it to the wallet you chose as part of Step 2.

It’s common for exchanges and platforms to have policies that stop users from moving their crypto out immediately — for instance, Coinbase makes you wait a few days. However, CashApp may let you take your bitcoin out instantly. This is why it’s so important to do your research!

Custody (or rather, possession) of bitcoin belongs to whoever knows the private key (a string of letters and numbers that allows you to access your wallet) — lose this, and you’ll lose access to your investment forever. While you keep your bitcoin on an exchange, that platform has custody of your investment, which is why they can stop you from removing your crypto. As they say, “not your keys, not your coins.”  

Although it’s good to move your bitcoin out ASAP, don’t send everything at one time (especially if you’ve just made a huge purchase). Start with a small amount to test your ability to properly transfer your bitcoin, and then send the rest.

When you’re ready to send your bitcoin to your wallet, you’ll need to enter your public address. Like the private key, the public address is a code made up of letters and numbers, but it’s more like a bank account number than a password. While you can share your public address with others, you definitely shouldn’t disclose your private key to anyone — unless you want them to access your assets!

You will have to pay transaction fees when you send your bitcoin to a differnt wallet. 

Make sure you always send bitcoin to a bitcoin address (not an address for other cryptos).

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Secure and protect your wallet

Your bitcoin is only as safe as your wallet, so make sure you take proper precautions. There are more risks than many people realize — physical storage options can be lost or destroyed, while digital wallets are vulnerable to malware and cyber attacks.

In the Bitcoin world, you’re responsible for taking care of your investments — you can’t just give your bank a call and wait for them to sort everything out for you.

Protection measures can include enabling encryption, making regular backups, keeping your software up to date, and using the multi-signature feature. We’ll discuss this in  detail as part of Step 3.

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Store your private keys and seed phrase safely

In summary: don’t make a mistake you will regret! Your private key and seed phrase (a kind of backup password for your wallet) are for your eyes only, so don’t share them with anyone else. That includes your best friend, partner, and parents, unless of course you want them to have access to your coins.

It might be tempting to store these codes online for convenience, but this leaves them vulnerable to hacking — offline is far safer. We recommend writing them down on a piece of paper and storing them in a safe place. Some people even opt for engravings on steel for longevity. Also, resist the temptation to take pictures of these physical notes.

Want to learn more, contact us for your one-on-one appointment now