Investing in the best ICOs: A simple guide
Cointelligence is presenting you a concise step-by-step guide to help you invest in the best ICO projects. We will walk you through how to spot the most promising ICO projects, doing your due diligence, purchasing the tokens, and finally selling your purchased tokens for profit. It is worth mentioning that ICO tokens represent a highly volatile form of investment assets, so trade safely and never invest an amount that exceeds what you can afford to lose.
Startups have raised around $5.6 billion via ICOs during 2017, according to a recent report published by Business Insider. In 2018, the market witnessed a huge boom in projects and startups raising capital via issuing their own cryptocurrencies. While the total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies is currently valued around $254 billion, in 2017 it exceeded $600 billion. This attracted the attention of thousands of traders from all parts of the globe and brought many new investors to the ICO market. Throughout this simple guide, we will help you understand what ICOs are and how to determine which are the best ICOs for you, should you choose to invest.
What exactly is an ICO?
An Initial Coin Offering (ICO) represents a means of seed funding and crowdfunding through the issuance of a brand new cryptocurrency or cryptographic token. These tokens, issued mainly via Ethereum’s blockchain, are sold to investors in order to raise capital for a particular startup or project.
There are currently more than 1,500 coins are traded on cryptocurrency exchanges. Not all cryptocurrencies or ICO tokens are issued on new blockchains. In fact, most of them are created using other well-established blockchains. Many ICO crowdsales rely on creating ERC-20 tokens that function on Ethereum’s blockchain.
Benefits of ICO crowdfunding
ICOs enable projects to bypass the conventional means fundraising, such as seeking loans from banks and funds from venture capitalists. Such traditional funding usually requires a large amount of time, as well as a large number of personnel and other resources. Via an ICO, anyone can advertise their project to a large community of potential investors. Anyone can be an investor and choose to purchase the project’s tokens in order to fund it. Often, this means that the investor can enjoy high returns in a relatively short period of time when the ICO’s tokens are listed on cryptocurrency exchanges for trading.
Huge profit potential:
The price of many cryptocurrencies has skyrocketed, rising from cents to dollars in only a few months. Due to this, many investors are eager to invest in the next booming ICO coin. Even though some ICO coins have no real technical potential, the large number of speculators and investors stepping in to bet on high returns. This has boosted prices astronomically during 2017.
The following steps will help you to understand the steps required to invest in an ICO.
Step 1 – Researching upcoming ICO coin lists
It is critical for any investor to thoroughly research upcoming ICO crowdsales. There are several websites that list upcoming, ongoing, and completed ICO projects. Sometimes, it is quite profitable to invest in ongoing ICOs, so keep an eye on those too. Cointelligence offers one of the best portals for monitoring Initial Coin Offerings’ sites. Whitelist ICOs are ICOs that require investors to register prior to the launch of the crowdsale to be able to buy the ICO’s token. Whitelist ICOs are potentially more profitable than ICOs that don’t involve a whitelist.
There are other websites and portals that list upcoming, ongoing, and even completed ICOs. Some of these sites offer valuable ICO statistics. These sites include:
- Cointelligence’s ICO List
- Coin Schedule
- ICO Ratings
- ICO List
- ICO Watchlist
- Top ICO List
Apart from ICO listing websites, there are other online communities that offer valuable information regarding various ICO tokens. These include:
- Various subreddits on Reddit including r/cryptocurrency r/ethtrader r/ico and r/icocrypto
- Bitcointalk Forum’s announcement section
- Specialized channels on Slack, e.g. Coinfund
Step 2: Exercising Due Diligence
It is important for any investor to thoroughly research the token’s features in order to ascertain whether the ICO represents a potentially profitable business opportunity. There are numerous key points that have to be considered to properly assess the potential of an ICO project. The following questions are key questions that will allow any investor to begin to vet an ICO:
- Does the project clearly present a solution to a current problem?
- Does the project’s team offer a reasonable roadmap?
- If the ICO involves a new blockchain, does the coin’s blockchain protocol represent a clone of another altcoin?
- Is the ICO’s whitepaper properly written? Is it technically sound? Does it include any grammatical errors? Does it include any false or inaccurate technical data?
- Any investor can answer these questions even if they don’t have any technical background by researching the technical specifications on Github, Bitcointalk.org, and Reddit.
You can also check reviews and analyses written by others to verify the potential of a specific ICO. High-quality ICO reviews can be found on:
- Crush Crypto: A website specializing in the analysis of ICOs through thorough fundamental analysis.
- Reddit: Certain subreddits include ICO reviews presented by experienced redditors, such as r/Cryptocurrency, r/ico, r/icocrypto, and r/ethtrader.
Step 3: Buying an ICO’s tokens/coins
Creating an account on a cryptocurrency exchange:
After you have completed your research, you may decide to purchase the token or coin of an ICO. At this time, you should open an account on a cryptocurrency exchange so that you will be able to convert your fiat currency into one of the two main cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH). Coinbase, Kraken, Bitfinex, Bitstamp, and Binance are a few of the best exchanges one can use to buy bitcoin or ethereum.
Creating your cryptocurrency wallet to take part in the ICO:
It is critical that you have your own crypto wallet, as taking part in an ICO and buying the ICO’s tokens requires you to transfer BTC or ETH from your personal crypto wallet. It is also necessary for receiving tokens from crypto airdrops. Your exchange account (e.g. Coinbase/Bitfinex/Kraken) is different from your crypto wallet. On crypto exchanges, you do not have any control over your coins’ private keys. Moreover, if you send the funds from an exchange’s wallet, you won’t actually receive the ICO tokens. This is because the transfer originated from the exchange’s wallet and technically you do not own any wallets on the exchange. Blockchain.info offers a wallet that is a user-friendly and safe to use with your bitcoin, ethereum, and bitcoin cash.
It is recommended to use ETH as the base cryptocurrency for participating in ICOs, as many ICO coins are compliant with the Ethereum token standard, known as ERC-20. The most convenient wallet is MyEtherWallet (MEW), which can also be used to store Ethereum-based tokens after the ICO is over and the tokens are freely tradable on cryptocurrency exchanges.
Purchasing tokens from the ICO’s website:
Each ICO project has an official website where you can purchase their tokens or coins and store them. Usually, these coins are stored only for the period of the ICO. Occasionally, the coins are stored for a period of time following the completion of the ICO. You will be able to find detailed instructions on the project’s official website regarding how to participate in the ICO’s token or coin sale.
Almost every ICO project sets up official communication channels via services such as Telegram, Discord, Slack, and Whatsapp. You can find answers to any questions that you might have by joining the ICO’s official communication channels.
Selling your tokens:
There are various strategies adopted by traders participating in ICOs. Some speculate over ICO tokens, i.e. they purchase and sell them after a predefined period of time or after the price reaches a specific target. Speculating over tokens is referred to as ‘token flipping’. Given the fact that the volatility of ICO tokens is extremely high, token flipping represents an extremely risky trading strategy.
Others are long-term holders. This group includes traders who believe in the long-term prospect of the project and intend to hold their tokens for years. Practically speaking, ICOs were meant to be a means for funding a project and distributing its ownership among holders of the ICO’s tokens.
There are also short-term holders, including those who hold the tokens for weeks or months, and then sell them when a target price is reached.
After an ICO is completed, the tokens are listed on cryptocurrency exchanges for trading. If you didn’t manage to participate in the ICO itself, you can still purchase its tokens on exchanges where they are listed for free trading.
There are numerous cryptocurrency exchanges that list ICO tokens and coins. Some are more secure than others. Some exchanges have been hacked during the past couple of years, while others have been shut down after their owners stole traders’ coins in exit scams. The following exchanges are recommended for being more secure than others:
IMPORTANT NOTE: No matter how safe or legitimate an exchange might seem, never use it as a wallet to store your coins or tokens. Always remember that when your coins are on an exchange’s platform, you don’t own their private keys. As such, you technically don’t have control over your coins.
In the end, we can never stress enough how volatile ICO tokens can be. It is important to always trade wisely and never invest more than the amount you can afford to lose. Follow the charts and the news closely. Stay in touch with other members of the cryptocurrency community so that you can benefit from the opinions of others. Try to anticipate price movements before they occur.
Cointelligence wishes you the best of luck in all your future investing endeavors.
Publish your ICO on Cointelligence to attract new investors today
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Cointelligence?
Cointelligence was founded in 2017 to bridge the information gap in the crypto economy. It creates relevant tools for investors, namely an impartial and accurate ICO list and rating system. Cointelligence is a market maker focused on bringing the blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies to the masses through the use of fundamental economics, real-time market data, technical analysis, and great industry coverage.
Cointelligence is dedicated to creating a platform that is honest and trustworthy. In order to help users view the market as a whole, our team of writers use their knowledge of the market from all angles to create relevant, informational articles and guides that analyze the cryptocurrency ecosystem and explain it to our audience.
What is the main goal of Cointelligence?
Cointelligence strives to open the blockchain and crypto industry to the masses in an open, transparent, and fair manner.
How do we exercise due diligence at Cointelligence?
At Cointelligence, we exercise due diligence by treating every single token as a research subject in its own right. Our research team collects data on each and every token, coin, ICO, and organization in order to obtain the most profound and authentic data in the cryptocurrency market. This data is then passed to our team of crypto experts, who review our research team’s findings from a wider scope. Using both the research and the review of said research, each ICO is given an impartial and objective rating and risk score. This analysis is then presented to our website’s users.
Who are the people behind Cointelligence?
Our entire team can be found HERE.
General Questions About the Industry
What is cryptocurrency?
A cryptocurrency is a digital asset which is used as a medium of exchange. Cryptocurrencies utilize powerful cryptography algorithms to promote the security of financial transactions on a peer-to-peer basis, control the mining or the minting of additional currency units, and verify successful completion of transfer of digital assets. Cryptocurrencies represent a unique form of digital currency, alternative currency, or virtual currency. Cryptocurrencies enjoy distributed, or decentralized, control. This is in direct contrast to centralized digital currencies and central banking financial models. The decentralized nature of a cryptocurrency relies on the distributed ledger technology, typically a blockchain, that represents a record keeping system. This system secures the identities of users in a pseudo-anonymous form, their owned cryptocurrency balances, and all executed authentic transactions that took place among users of the network.
What is a blockchain?
A blockchain is a special form of an ever growing list of records, known as ‘blocks’, which are linked together using cryptography algorithms. Public (permissionless) blockchains are utilized by cryptocurrencies. Data stored onto the blocks of public blockchains can be accessed by anyone. Private (permissioned) blockchains are utilized by businesses and rely on an access control layer to determine who can access data stored on the blocks of their private blockchain.
On any blockchain, each block includes cryptographic hash of the proceeding block. Data is recorded permanently onto a blockchain and cannot be modified. When used as a distributed, or public ledger, a blockchain is usually managed by a peer-to peer network of nodes (computers or servers) that communicate with each other via a unique inter-node communication protocol. As new blocks are generated and validated, they are broadcast to all nodes across the network. These nodes then keep a record of all information stored on the blockchain.
What makes cryptocurrency blockchains so special ?
Cryptocurrency blockchains have certain characteristics that make them special:
- Borderless – there is no distinction between any country.
- Decentralized – there is no central point of control, such as a central bank authority or government.
- Immutable – you cannot censor, freeze, or cancel transactions.
What is a token?
A token is a type of cryptocurrency that represents a particular asset or utility. Such an asset can reside on top of another blockchain. Tokens can represent any interchangeable and tradeable asset.
What is an altcoin?
“Altcoin” is an abbreviation for “alternative cryptocurrency coins” and refers to any coin other than bitcoin. Altcoins are usually referred to simply as “coins.”
What is an ICO?
An Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is a means of seed funding and crowdfunding used to raise capital for a startup or other project through the issuance of a new cryptocurrency or cryptographic token. These new cryptocurrencies or cryptographic tokens are issued via blockchain technology. Not all cryptocurrencies or ICO tokens are issued on new blockchains, as most of them are created using other well-established blockchains, such as that of Ethereum.
What are smart contracts?
Smart contracts are digital, self-executing contracts that contain the terms of the agreement between the buyer and the seller in the contract’s code. Smart contracts are kept inside a distributed, decentralized blockchain network which makes them transparent, traceable, and irreversible.
What are exchanges?
An exchange is a platform on which one cryptocurrency can be bought or sold for a specific, ever-updating price. The price is determined by free market rules (i.e. supply and demand). An exchange is also used in order to convert fiat money, such as USD or EUR, into cryptocurrency. There are currently thousands of coins traded over numerous exchanges. Altcoins are mostly traded via Bitcoin or Ethereum. In other words, users have to first purchase Bitcoin or Ethereum to be able to buy most altcoins. To exchange altcoins to fiat currencies, traders will usually have to sell them first to Bitcoin or Ethereum, before being able to exchange them for fiat money.
What is a whitepaper?
A whitepaper is an in-depth report that a blockchain-based project, such as an ICO, produces to present necessary information about the project to others. A whitepaper should include the origin of the project and the vision that leads it, the product and how will it be used, market and competitor analyses for the project’s field, and the team that created the project. The whitepaper should include information about the technical details, terms, usage of the tokens or coins of the blockchain-based project or ICO. Investors rely on whitepapers to evaluate various blockchain-based projects and identify which projects may be potentially profitable.
What is ROI?
ROI is an abbreviation for “Return On Investment”. It is a measurement used to express the investment’s profitability.
General Questions About Cointelligence’s ICO List
How can an ICO get published to this list?
Regular listing: In order to include your ICO on our list, please fill out the form found HERE. Every ICO that enters our system is thoroughly vetted. This process is completed by Cointelligence’s research team. During this process, our research team gathers all of the information regarding the ICO and validates it.
Premium listing: Cointelligence offers a premium package for ICOs. This package includes the following:
- Diverting more user traffic toward the ICO’s site by appearing higher on our ICO list and having more features on the ICO profile page.
- Getting researched and evaluated faster.
In order to purchase this package, please contact us at info@Cointelligence.com
IMPORTANT NOTE: Purchasing a premium package will never affect the rating that an ICO receives.
How can the information on an ICO profile be changed or updated?
If there are any changes or updates to be done, please send an email to our research team at info@Cointelligence.com. Please keep in mind that Cointelligence presents only valid data and that changes will be made only after our research team validates the proposed.
How can an ICO be removed from the list?
In order to remove an ICO, please contact us at info@Cointelligence.com and specify the reason for your request, as well as a proof that the removal is being requested by all members of the ICO’s team.
Where is it possible to buy an ICO’s token?
Cointelligence is not an exchange platform. Tokens can be bought via the ICO’s official website.
How do I choose an ICO to invest in?
There are many factors to consider when making a decision to invest in an ICO. Luckily, we have written an entire guide regarding this matter. You can find this guide HERE.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this website is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice. You should consult with an attorney, financial advisor, or other professional to determine what may be best for your individual needs.
General Questions About Cointelligence’s Rating System
How does your rating system work?
You can find a detailed explanation of our rating system HERE.
What is the meaning of an ICO profile score?
An ICO’s profile score represents the informed opinion of our rating board, based on their research. It is not a guarantee of the success or failure of the project, merely an analysis of all the available facts.
What is the meaning of the risk score?
The Cointelligence risk score is not an indicator for the project’s quality, but rather it is an indicator of the probability that the project will or will not be realized. You can read more about the risk score HERE.
Who rates the ICOs?
Our team of crypto experts rate each ICO. Each expert is a long-standing and well-regarded member of the crypto community. In order to help ensure that our ratings stay impartial and objective, we do not disclose the the identities of our experts.
If you would like to apply to be a crypto expert on our team, please contact us at info@Cointelligence.com.
Can an ICO pay for a better rating?
How can an ICO ask for a re-evaluation or an update of their ICO score?
Please contact our research team at info@Cointelligence.com in order to be re-evaluated. Keep in mind that a score will change only if the ICO has improved its quality in the different fields listed in the rating system. The score is a reflection of the state of the ICO and in order to improve it, the ICO must improve as well.
Frauds and Scams
What are the actions Cointelligence takes in order to protect users from fraudulent ICOs?
At Cointelligence, we follow our own proprietary method focused on deeply researching the ICOs documents, team, and vision. Our method consists of:
- Website and Whitepaper – We go through an ICO’s website and whitepaper, making sure the ICO has both items and that they include the information regarding the ICO’s vision as well as method of realization. During our research we look for warning signs that may indicate a fraudulent ICO, such as plagiarism, an illogical concept, no long-term plan, or use cases that do not align with the main idea.
- Data validation – We make sure the data on the site, in the whitepaper, in social media posts, and in online publications is accurate, original and valid. We also look for a wide range of warning signs, including:
- Fake pictures of team members
- Unrealistic or unchanging values (e.g. amount raised, timers, bonuses, and sale stage)
- Fake wallet address or email address
- Censored, closed, or minimal responses from the ICO’s team to the public’s questions on social media and online forums
- Falsely claiming to be traded on main exchanges
- Having a non-existing smart contract (e.g. on Etherscan for Ethereum-based tokens) or an open-source project that has empty repositories, or no repositories, on GitHub
- Team authenticity – A real ICO must have a team of employees with active social media accounts that details the team members’ experience in past projects. The team must also be willing to perform a KYC process with us. The biggest warning sign here is an ICO with an anonymous team that have no other sign of existence. It is very important that teams are researched in order to learn about their past experience, recommendations they hold in the crypto community, and examples of their work on their social media accounts. Red flags are raised when advisors have irrelevant professional backgrounds or when investors who invest very small amounts of money appear on the main page of the ICO’s website.
- Economically Reasonable – We make sure that the financial model of the ICO is reasonable and logical. Here, we look for the following warning signs:
- Disproportionate distribution of tokens, mining, or earnings that lean toward the development and management teams
- No hard cap, a very large difference between the soft cap and the hard cap, or no refund guarantee
- A promise of success or other guarantee as a part of the ICO
How can I learn more to protect myself from investing in a scam ICO?
There is a lot you can do to protect yourself from scam ICOs. Read more about what you should look out for in the article we published HERE.
How can I report a scam?
If you believe a certain ICO to be a scam, please contact our research team at info@Cointelligence.com.
How Cryptocurrency Regulation Can Affect The Price
Often referred to as the ‘Wild West’ for traders and investors, cryptocurrency markets are continuing to make their name in the world of trading. While some believe that cryptocurrencies are a fad which is not set to last, others have a strong belief that cryptocurrencies are in fact the future of currency. As a result of their increasing popularity, many people are turning to global cryptocurrency trade platforms to trade and invest in cryptocurrencies. However, a number of countries around the world are looking at implementing some form of regulation against these platforms and cryptocurrencies as a whole, with China already banning all access to trading platforms and Japan integrating regulations after recognising Bitcoin as a viable form of currency in 2017. Here, we’re taking a closer look at how cryptocurrency regulation is likely to impact price fluctuations in the market and what the key factors are.
Mere talks regarding cryptocurrency regulations at this year’s G20 summit led many traders to become concerned over whether or not the talks would lead to massive price drops. Cryptocurrencies are already exceptionally volatile and we’ve already seen the impact of what leading political and financial figures can have on the price. For example, when a key figure from the Bank of England and FSB stated that crypto assets do not “pose risks” to the world’s economy, Bitcoin was driven up by $1000. However, the future of cryptocurrencies and their role in wider society is still under much debate, and with G20 not finalising any rules or regulations thus far, traders and investors will be looking closely at what governments are discussing over the course of the next 12 months. Any positive signs could see Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies spike, whereas negative conversations regarding strict regulations or even an entire ban on cryptocurrencies could result in a major drop in price.
Could Regulation Stabilise Cryptocurrencies?
While the whole concept of cryptocurrencies is to remain entirely decentralised and out of the control of a single entity, some investors and experts believe that some form of regulation could actually help to stabilise the market. Regulation requires an oversight, and if countries follow in Japan’s footsteps, who have put in place a number of self-regulatory bodies not related to the government whatsoever, more people could begin to trust cryptocurrencies further. If more people are trusting cryptocurrencies, then it is highly likely that more people are going to invest in the digital assets. If this occurs, we could see the price begin to be driven upwards sparking yet another bubble – which hopefully will not burst this time.
The Future For Cryptocurrencies
Despite the increased attention given to cryptocurrencies from regulatory bodies around the world, the future still remains hazy as to how and when cryptocurrencies will become regulated. The market grew significantly in a wholly unregulated market as a result of their design, but with an increasing number of hacks and security breaches, regulations may need to be put into place in order to stabilise the volatile market. The industry remains in its infancy, and even despite some of the main currencies’ almost dangerous prices wings, the cryptocurrencies have managed to correct themselves.
As ICOs remain a key concern for many regulators, we could see the focus remain on those instead of cryptocurrencies as a whole for the time being. 2018 will be an important measurement into how regulations are likely to impact the price and the market as a whole, with Japan having already implemented a number of regulations, and with Europe, South Africa and South Korea not being far behind.
Buying your first bitcoins – A simple guide
The popularity of bitcoin, and cryptocurrency in general, has skyrocketed during the past couple of years. The soaring demand for cryptocurrencies has driven their total market capitalization to the moon, exceeding $300 billion at the time of writing this blog post. Even though many people might be tempted to buy bitcoin, the apparent complexity of the process of coin buying and storing renders some reluctant to test new waters.
In this blog post we will present you with a simple guide that will walk you through the process of buying some bitcoin and storing it in your very own wallet.
Creating an online bitcoin wallet:
Before you buy bitcoin, you have to set up the wallet which you will use to store your purchased coins. A wallet in the bitcoin ecosystem is similar to a bank account. Your bitcoin wallet is what you will use to receive, send, and store your coins. There are two forms of bitcoin wallets: software wallets (bitcoin core or desktop qt wallets) and online wallets. Software wallets are inarguably more secure than online wallets. However, using software wallets can be rather hard especially for newbies, who might completely lose their stored bitcoins if they fail to properly store their private keys. As such, for the purpose of this guide, we will show you how to setup an online wallet from blockchain.info.
Blockchain.info is by far the best and most secure online bitcoin wallet provider. With Blockchain.info, you have full control over your coins’ private keys which are never stored on the service’s online server. You can use your wallet to store, send, and receive not only bitcoin, but also ethereum and bitcoin cash.
To create your wallet, follow these simple steps:
- Go to Blockchain.info website and click on the “GET A FREE WALLET” button on the top right corner of the homepage.
2. On the signup page, enter your email and password. Don’t use words or phrases, because these would make it easy for hackers to crack your password. It is highly recommended to use long, randomly generated passwords that include letters, numbers, and special characters. There are many online services that can generate random passwords for you. I recommend using Random.org for generating your password. Generate a password with a minimum of 20 characters, and save it in a safe place. Remember that if you lose your password, you may lose access to all coins stored in your wallet. After entering your password, and re-entering it in the “Confirm Password” box, press the “Continue” button.
3. Right after you press the “Continue” button, you will be logged in automatically to your wallet’s homepage, as shown on the below screenshot.
4. After signing up, you will receive an email from blockchain.info. You have to verify your email by clicking the “YES, THIS IS MY EMAIL” button as shown on the below screenshot. The email will also include your unique wallet identifier, or your wallet ID, which you will use to log in to your wallet. Store your wallet ID in a safe place and don’t share it with anyone.
5. You have successfully now created your wallet. Now, let’s sign out and re-login to make sure that everything is working fine. Press the “SIGN OUT” button on the top right corner of the page. You will be prompted with a window that will present you with your backup recovery phrase which you will use to recover your account if you ever lose your password. The backup recovery phrase is composed of 12 words. Write it down or print it and keep it in a safe place.
6. After writing down your backup recovery phrase, press the “Final Step” button. You will be prompted with a window asking you to enter four random words from your backup recovery phrase as shown on the below screenshot.
Enter the requested words and press “Finish”. A “You have backed up your recovery phrase” message will show up. Press the “Close” button as shown on the below screenshot.
7. Now, press the “SIGN OUT” button again. The login page will appear. Now, enter your Wallet ID and password and press the “LOG IN” button, as shown on the below screenshot.
8. After logging in, your wallet’s Dashboard will show up. You’re now ready to receive bitcoin. To identify your wallet’s bitcoin address, press on bitcoin’s icon on the column on the left side of the page. On the page that shows up, press the button marked “Request” on the top, as shown on the below screenshot.
9. A window will appear displaying your bitcoin address as shown on the below screenshot. You can press the “COPY” button to copy your bitcoin address and then save it in order to use it to receive bitcoin. You can also use the “View QR Code” button to display your bitcoin address’s QR code and use it for simplicity.
You have successfully setup your bitcoin wallet and you’re ready to buy your first crypto.
Buying bitcoin via Coinbase:
Now, we will use Coinbase to buy bitcoin. Coinbase is one of the world’s most popular and secure cryptocurrency exchanges, where you can buy bitcoin using credit/debit cards and bank wire transfers.
1. Go to Coinbase.com and press the “Sign up” button. You will be prompted with a signup form, with two account types: “Individual” and “Business”. Choose the “Individual” account type, and fill in your first name, last name, e-mail, and password as shown on the below screenshot. Use Random.org to generate a random password like you did with your wallet’s password to make it hard to crack, too. After filling in all the details, press the “CREATE ACCOUNT” button.
2. A window will show up asking you to verify your email, as shown on the below screenshot. Go to your inbox, and open the “Verify your email address” message sent to you from Coinbase and press the “Verify Email Address” button.
3. After successfully verifying your email address, login to your account using your email and created password. When you sign in for the first time, you will be asked to link your mobile phone to your account, as shown on the below screenshot.
4. After entering your mobile number, an SMS will be sent to your phone including a special code. Enter the code and press the “Submit” button as shown below.
5. Now, click the “Add Payment Method” button at the top of the page, and then on the payment method selector choose “Credit/Debit Card”. When doing so, you will be asked to complete a photo ID verification process which usually takes no more than 24-48 hours. Next, you will be prompted with the card verification screen, where you will have to enter your credit/debit card information including name, address (it should match the card’s billing address), and CVV code. Coinbase will ask to make two pending charges to your card. Accept the two charges, and then log in to your card’s online account and write down the exact amounts of the two charges made, and then enter those amounts into the appropriate boxes on the card verification window. Now, you have successfully added your card and you will see a window marked “Credit/Debit Card Added” with a button that says “Buy Digital Currency”.
6. Now, you can buy bitcoin with your debit/credit card. Press “Buy Digital Currency” and you will be prompted with a window as shown on the below screenshot. Enter the amount of bitcoin you wish to buy, or enter the equivalent amount in USD. On the below example, we bought $100 worth of bitcoin, which equals 0.01479509 BTC at the current bitcoin price ($6,759). Then, press the “Buy Bitcoin Instantly” button.
7. The amount of bitcoin you purchased will instantly appear in your bitcoin wallet. You can now move it to your Blockchain.info wallet by pressing the “Accounts” button on the top menu, then clicking the “Send” button under your “BTC Wallet”. You will be prompted with a window to enter the amount you want to send and the address you want to send the funds to. Double check that you have correctly entered your blockchain.info address and the amount you want to send before clicking the “Send Funds” button, confirming the transaction’s details and completing the sending process.
Within a few minutes, your bitcoin funds will show up on your Blockchain.info’s wallet along with the number of confirmations it received.
This was a simple guide to help you buy bitcoin, to start exploring the world of cryptocurrencies.
(Cointelligence’s disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies represent a very risky investment, so always trade cautiously and never invest more than what you can afford to lose)