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Everything you need to know about litecoin

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What is Litecoin?

One of the top five cryptocurrencies by market cap in December 2017, Litecoin (LTC) is well worth looking into. Litecoin is an open-source, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that was first introduced in October 2011. Created by former Google developer Charlie Lee, it’s a fork of the Bitcoin Core client. The mining of litecoin features an algorithm called Scrypt, which is generally seen as more accessible for new miners since ASICs are not required.

Litecoin was one of the first cryptocurrencies to adopt Segregated Witness (SegWit), an implemented soft fork change. This is intended to solve the blockchain size limitation problem that has reduced the transaction speed of Bitcoin. Litecoin also took part in the very first Lightning Network transaction, which is a proposed solution to the scalability problem faced by Bitcoin.

Litecoin’s use of the Lightning Network has led it to explore atomic swaps. This would allow for a decentralized exchange of cryptocurrencies without the need for third-party exchanges which charge fees. While this is still a work in progress, there have already been some successful atomic swaps.

In terms of the price of litecoin, it has seen a huge rise in 2017, much like many of the biggest cryptocurrencies. It was in December 2017 that the price of litecoin rose from $88 at the start of the month to well over $300 just two weeks later. The value of litecoin has grown significantly and, at the time of writing, its market cap is close to $20 billion.

How is it different from Bitcoin?

Often referred to as the silver to Bitcoin’s gold, Litecoin is identical to Bitcoin in many respects. While it was inspired by Bitcoin, Litecoin does have some technical differences and improvements. In particular, Litecoin aims to be faster and lighter than Bitcoin. Litecoin’s blockchain features a 2.5-minute block generation time, as compared to that of Bitcoin which is 10 minutes. The faster block time of Litecoin means quicker confirmations and transactions. Another advantage of Litecoin over Bitcoin is that it has very low fees.

Buying and selling

Litecoin is one of the oldest cryptocurrencies, having been introduced back in 2011. One of the top five cryptocurrencies by market cap, it’s available on many cryptocurrency exchanges. As of December 2017, you can buy and sell litecoin on numerous exchanges, including GDAX, Bitfinex, OKEx, Bithumb, Binance, Bittrex, Coinbase, Poloniex, Bitstamp, and Kraken. These are among the biggest exchanges in terms of Litecoin trading volume. There are also plenty of smaller cryptocurrency exchanges on which you can buy litecoin.

When it comes to buying litecoin, you have the option of doing so with fiat currency, such as USD and EUR, on various exchanges. You can also buy and trade litecoin for other cryptocurrencies, in many cases. In particular, ShapeShift allows you to swap many different cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ethereum, and monero for litecoin. What’s more, no registration is required and the litecoin is sent straight to your wallet. Changelly works much the same but does require registration.

Be sure to find out if cryptocurrency is legal where you’re located before you make a litecoin trade. Cryptocurrency is something of a grey area in many countries, with little to no regulation in most cases. You’re probably keen to know where to buy litecoin! Here is a guide to help you buy and sell litecoin in specific countries and regions:

USA: One of the quickest and easiest ways to buy litecoin online in the US is via Coinbase. With it, you can pay by debit or credit card and receive litecoin almost instantly. However, the fees on Coinbase are higher than many other cryptocurrency exchanges. Alternatively, there are several exchanges with an LTC/USD pair, including GDAX, Bitfinex, and Bitstamp. Being able to trade litecoin to USD, and back, is very convenient.

Canada: While you can use exchanges, such as Coinbase, to buy litecoin online if you’re in Canada, you won’t be able to withdraw in CAD. For this reason, it’s worth taking a look at QuadrigaCX which is the best litecoin exchange in Canada. This cryptocurrency exchange has an LTC/CAD pair. One of the real advantages of this exchanges is that they accept a wide range of payment methods.

UK: While there are a few cryptocurrency exchanges with an LTC/GBP pair, they’re smaller and less established. One that does have good reviews is Bittylicious (don’t let the name put you off). Alternatively, you can always use Coinbase, which makes it easy to buy and sell litecoin . However, you’d need to send your funds elsewhere in order to convert litecoin to GBP.

Australia: The best litecoin exchange for those of you located in Australia is BTC Markets, which is an Australian cryptocurrency exchange. This is the only viable LTC/AUD option available to you at this time. Otherwise, it’s worth trying Coinbase, as verification is usually quick and easy and the exchange is known for being user-friendly.

Europe: If you’re in Europe and wondering where to buy litecoin , then the most convenient cryptocurrency exchanges for you are GDAX, Bitstamp, and Kraken. These exchanges all have the LTC/EUR pair. Kraken is particularly easy in terms of the initial account verification, but it has been very unreliable as of late. Coinbase is another popular option to consider for its ease of use.

Storing Litecoin

Storing options

Once you’ve purchased your litecoin , you’ll want a safe place to store it. If you’re trading litecoin on a regular basis, you’ll want to keep some on your cryptocurrency exchange of choice. However, it’s worth knowing that this is not the safest place for storing your litecoin . Exchanges can be hacked, suffer downtime, or shut down completely. While such events are unlikely, it’s better to be safe than sorry. At the very least, ensure that you have a secure password and that you use the other security measures available to you such as Two-factor Authentication.

A litecoin wallet is typically safer than a cryptocurrency exchange. There are several types of wallets available, including mobile and desktop wallets. We’ll take you through each of these, recommending the very best litecoin wallets for each category.

Wallet options

  • Desktop: A desktop wallet is as simple as it sounds. You download the wallet to the desktop of your PC or Mac. One of the very best is the Electrum Litecoin wallet which, while not particularly attractive, is simple and secure.
  • Hardware: While a desktop wallet is quite safe, it’s still vulnerable to hacks or viruses. A hardware wallet is even safer since it’s an offline device. The Ledger Nano S and Trezor Wallet are both able to hold litecoin.
  • Mobile: While not solely a litecoin wallet, Jaxx is a great mobile wallet option. It’s a popular multi-currency wallet and allows you to control your funds on the go. It’s available on iOS, Android, and even has a desktop version.
  • Web/Online: A web wallet isn’t the most secure, since the private keys are typically kept by a third party. Regardless, LiteVault does offer a comparatively secure litecoin web wallet that is well worth considering if you are keen on the convenience of an online wallet.
  • Paper: A litecoin paper wallet is a great way to give litecoin as a gift. Keep in mind however that paper is prone to wear and tear. LiteAddress is one of the most obvious options if you do want a wallet that is completely offline, offering greater security.

Buying stuff

Thanks to its fast transaction speeds and low fees, the litecoin currency is a much more practical cryptocurrency than bitcoin, when it comes to everyday spending. Cryptocurrency is still in its very early stages, but adoption is growing at a rapid rate. As of December 2017, here are a few of the businesses that accept litecoin as payment:

  • Cryptopet: Cryptopet is a cryptocurrency pet store accepting litecoin and several other cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin.
  • Cheapair: Established in 1989, Cheapair allows you to buy affordable airline tickets with litecoin.
  • Bitify: Bitify is a marketplace and auction site on which you can buy a wide range of items with litecoin and bitcoin.
  • Sean’s Outpost: A charitable organization providing meals and shelter to homeless people in Florida, Sean’s Outpost accepts litecoin by way of donation.
  • Re/Max: Re/Max is a London-based real estate agency which lets people buy and rent with litecoin as well as bitcoin.

 

Litecoin Mining

Mining

How it works

Litecoin mining involves specialized computers which are used to solve mathematical puzzles. If a miner is successful in doing this, they are then rewarded with new litecoin. This is how the currency is created. Those who mine litecoin also help to secure the network by verifying transactions. Litecoin uses a different proof-of-work algorithm than Bitcoin, which means ASICs (powerful computers specifically designed for mining) are few and far between and very expensive.

Unlike bitcoin, you can mine litecoin with a graphics card. Mining for litecoin is a costly process, in terms of time and energy. What’s more, the mining algorithms become increasingly difficult over time, in order to ensure a more steady distribution of the litecoin currency. Many miners join mining pools which allow you to pool your processing power with other miners in order to mine blocks at a more rapid rate. The downside of this is that you have to share the reward. However, going solo means there’s no guarantee you’ll be rewarded. A mining pool is seen as a safer bet.

How to set up

  1. Before you start mining litecoin , you’ll need a wallet to store any litecoin you earn. Take a look at our ‘Wallet options’ section for more information.
  2. Next, you’ll also need to build, or purchase, a mining computer. It should have multiple graphics cards in order to have a greater chance of being profitable over time. Such computers produce a lot of heat so be sure to also install a sufficient cooling system. You could buy an ASIC Scrypt miner, but keep in mind that these are expensive.
  3. Once you have your equipment, you’ll want to join a litecoin mining pool, of which there are many. Be sure to link your wallet to your mining pool account in order to collect your earnings.
  4. Create a worker in your mining pool. This represents the work you do when mining and the process of creating a worker can vary by mining pool. It’s possible to create multiple workers if you have more than one mining rig.
  5. Now it’s time to download a mining program. There are several available. One of the most popular is cgminer. Once the mining program is installed, you’re good to go!

Mining Pools

When choosing a litecoin mining pool, it’s important to consider factors such as the size of the pool, the reward type offered, and the fees charged. Here are two of the main litecoin mining pools:

  • Litecoinpool: Litecoinpool has been around since 2011 and is by far the most popular litecoin mining pool. It is fee-free and features instant payouts.
  • NiceHash: A multi-mining pool formed in 2014, NiceHash is another good option. However, there’s a 3% fee. Additionally, the pool was hacked in December 2017.

Calculate Mining Profitability

It’s a good idea considering the cost of litecoin mining. There’s not only the cost of equipment to consider, but also the electricity consumed. That’s why so many mining pools are located in China where electricity is cheaper. Take a look online and you’ll find there are plenty of mining profitability calculators. There you can input the cost of your equipment, hash rate, power consumption, and the current price of litecoin. The calculator will help you work out how long it will take to break even and eventually profit.

Litecoin Ecommerce

E-commerce

It’s now possible to accept litecoin for payments in your physical or online store. In fact, you can accept a wide range of cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin. It’s certainly worth weighing the benefits of accepting litecoin versus bitcoin, as well as whether you want to accept one or the other, or even both!

How to accept litecoin payments

Litecoin is particularly ideal for payments, thanks to the fast transactions and low fees involved. If you’re a developer, you can accept litecoin payments by integrating litecoin into your website or application.

If you’re a merchant, litecoin can be integrated into your website through an e-commerce service for merchants, such as CoinGate, GoCoin, or CoinPayments.

E-commerce services for merchants

There are multiple e-commerce services for merchants that allow you to accept litecoin payments for your online store. Let’s take a look at the most popular:

  1. CoinGate: With CoinGate, you can accept litecoin and dozens of different altcoins. CoinGate claims to offer the best market rate with no hidden fees.
  2. GoCoin: GoCoin prides themselves on making litecoin integration quick and easy. Integration is possible with a number of different plugins.
  3. CoinPayments: CoinPayments is an integrated payment gateway for not only litecoin , but for dozens of other cryptocurrencies as well.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

On YavinAug 16, 2018

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:

  1. Borderless – there is no distinction between any country.
  2. Decentralized –  there is no central point of control, such as a central bank authority or government.
  3. 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?

No! Never!

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Keep Reading

How Cryptocurrency Regulation Can Affect The Price

Alex WarshawskyJul 22, 2018

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.

G20 Discussions

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.

Keep Reading

Buying your first bitcoins – A simple guide

Tamer SameehJun 25, 2018

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:

  1. 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)

 

 

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