Beginner’s Guide: Getting Started in the Crypto Space

Cryptocurrencies are fascinating, useful, and profitable - but complicated. New people hear about cryptocurrencies every day, but for many, the topic seems too difficult to comprehend. 

Many people would like to get involved, but don’t know where to start. They give up before even scratching the surface. Don’t be like them. Don’t miss out.

This guide was created for cryptocurrency beginners.It covers the essentials of getting started in the crypto space. Whether you want to invest in cryptocurrencies, trade them, use them, or even mine them, there are some basic steps that will help you immensely. Following our advice will help you avoid common mistakes and drastically cut your learning curve.

Keep reading to learn about protecting yourself, arming yourself with an arsenal of the best crypto tools, developing a basic strategy, educating yourself, and staying up to date. Read carefully and you’ll save hours of precious time.

  • Protect yourself.

    First things first. Cover your tracks. Hide your identity.

    This isn’t about doing anything nefarious or illegal. It’s about protecting yourself. In the crypto space, you’re dealing with people on the forefront of technology, and some of them have bad intentions. So, safeguard yourself from hackers and create a new digital identity. This step will also help you stay organized by keeping your crypto affairs separate from the rest of your life.

    Get a secure email account.

    If you want to become the perfect Cryptomaniak, you need to start with a fresh, new email address. Use this email address for all of your crypto accounts.
    Some email providers are more secure than others. Using some providers, you’re at risk of having your details fall into the wrong hands.
    Protonmail is an excellent choice because it is very secure and anonymous. It was built by CERN and MIT scientists and is touted as the world’s largest secure email service. According to Forbes, Protonmail is the only email system the NSA cannot hack. However, take great care not to lose your Protonmail password. Retrieving it is tedious and complicated, and may result in the loss of past emails.

    Gmail is another good choice. Apart from being popular and easy to use, it is very secure, especially when you have 2FA (Two Factor Authentication) activated. It protects you from phishing attacks and makes it impossible for hackers to crack your password.

    Subscribe to a VPN service.

    Another step you can take to protect yourself in the digital space is installing a VPN service. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. VPNs help hide the internet sites you visit so nobody can track your online activities.

    There are a wide variety of VPN services available on the internet. TorGuard is a respected player in this industry. They even accept Bitcoin as payment.

    Windscribe is another fantastic option. They offer a basic package which gives you 10GB of bandwidth per month for free.

    It’s wise to use a VPN service whenever you want to do crypto stuff on the internet and then turn it off when you’re going about your regular business.

    Set up 2FA.

    Security is very important in the crypto world. If you deem an account important, activate 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) on it. This makes it difficult for scammers to hack your accounts by requesting a code which can only be generated by your phone.

    Google Authenticator is quite useful for 2FAs. Just download the app and set it up with any account that’s important to you.

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    Use Secure messaging apps.

    It is also wise to use secure messaging platforms when discussing important crypto matters.

    Telegram offers heavily encrypted messages that can self-destruct. Discord, a voice and text chat application favored by gamers, is also ideal. Discord and telegram are used by most cryptocurrency teams. Other means of communication - like Email, Skype, and Facebook - are far more easily monitored, isn’t desirable in most cases.

    Download Antivirus Software.

    Obviously. Anyone using the internet on a frequent basis these days needs antivirus software. The internet is crawling with trojan horses and anyone can fall victim in a number of ways. An antivirus protects your computer against these threats.

    Avast is one good option. Although there’s a free version, you can “go pro” if you need more protection. Kaspersky is another top antivirus software, although it comes at a price.

  • Arm yourself.

    Next, you need to arm yourself with a number of tools to make your journey through the cryptoverse smoother. These tools make life easier as a Cryptomaniak. They come in handy when trading cryptos and they will help you make informed investment decisions.  

    Stay updated on the charts. CoinMarketCap, the most dominant crypto price checking website, is one of the most useful tools available. It is the go-to site for most Cryptomaniaks looking for crypto prices and market caps.

    It has a Global Chart section which updates you about the dominant coins in the market and how altcoins are faring. It lists over 1,564 coins and offers quick and easy access to their price charts, trading volume, market caps and other details.

    Consider using a portfolio tool. Blockfolio is a Bitcoin and altcoin investment portfolio management app that provides detailed price and market information for individual cryptocurrencies. Blockfolio allows you to take in all your investments at a go and decide if a coin needs to be sold because it’s bleeding your money, for example.
    You can even set alerts for when a certain coin hits a desired price, in case you want to buy or sell at that price.

    Be aware of what’s coming next. Coinscalendar and Coinmarketcal are two tools you’ll find useful in your armory. They monitor major happenings in the crypto world and have a calendar for upcoming events.

  • Strategize.

    What do you want from crypto? Why are you getting involved? Are you interested in the technology?

    Do you intend to be a crypto enthusiast, an investor, or a trader? Let these questions bounce around in your head. Find genuine answers to them.

    Map out a plan of your future actions and intentions. When you’re done, do research about what you need to do to achieve your goals.

    Understand wallets. You need to be familiar with wallets and exchanges. Wallets are digital software used to store cryptocurrencies. Each wallet is unique and possesses distinct features. Some wallets are more secure than each others.

    The most secure wallets are hardware wallets such as Ledger, which gives you full control of your private keys. You can keep large amounts of coins in them. Electrum, MyCelium are good for keeping smaller cash.

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    For Ethereum, there’s MEW (MyEthereumWallet) and Metamask. Some of these wallets support other coins, too. Always choose wallets that give you control over your private keys.

    You have to know which wallets works for you and which don’t. There are tons of reviews online about wallets. Gain experience by learning from other people’s mistakes.

    Get acquainted with exchanges. Exchanges are crypto marketplaces where people buy and sell cryptocurrencies. Every exchange supports Bitcoin and at least some other coins. Most of them offer exchanges from Bitcoin to fiat or to altcoins.

    Coinbase is probably the best exchange for purchasing Bitcoin. Since Binance offers support for a huge number of cryptocurrencies, it’s a great choice for trading altcoins.

  • Educate yourself.

    You need to have a working knowledge about the crypto world to become a true Cryptomaniak. This entails constant research and integration of information.

    If you don’t take time to educate yourself about cryptocurrencies - how they came about, how they work, why they work, etc. - you cannot Become the Perfect Cryptomaniak. You have to understand stuff like how different Bitcoin’s mode of operation is from Ethereum or ZCash’s, why you can’t send Monero to a Ripple account, etc.

    Of course, this is easier said than done. The key is to keep learning. Read wide and far. Understand the basics before taking on more complex stuff.  Get acquainted with popular words and terms used in cypto communities.

    Bookmark Cryptomaniaks! It’s your one-stop site for everything crypto and the perfect place to begin your journey. We have several courses designed to make a crypto expert out of you in a simple, yet entertaining manner.

    Join the community. Check out our Youtube Channel for user-friendly explorations of difficult topics. We’ve got great videos explaining crypto concepts in layman terms - and we’re always creating more content. Our Facebook Group is another great resource for getting in touch with fellow crypto enthusiasts and learning.

    Pay respect to “the Godfather of Bitcoin. Andreas Antonopoulos’ YouTube channel can be an enlightening source of cryptocurrency information. Andreas is a Bitcoin evangelist and crypto enthusiast. He posts fascinating videos that will open your eyes to the world of cryptocurrencies and their possibilities.

  • Be Informed. Stay Informed.

    Information is very powerful in the crypto world. It is what distinguishes a successful crypto trader or investor from an unsuccessful one. To become the perfect Cryptomaniak, you have to be informed. How can you do this?

    Keep up with the news. You don’t have to read all crypto news articles all the time; scanning headlines will usually be sufficient. Coindesk and CoinTelegraph publish news about cryptocurrencies on a daily basis.

    Coinjaw gives you the latest links and news from social media and the internet on cryptocurrencies.

    Google is another good source for crypto news. In case you’re still behind on Google, a search for “bitcoin” will give you latest news about Bitcoin, mostly from reputable traditional media.

    Learn from forums. Forums are great destinations for crypto enthusiasts. On forums like Bicointalk and Reddit, people gather to discuss issues about cryptocurrencies. People talk about the latest news and major developments and argue about how it will affect prices and the market. There is no shortage of interesting conversations on good forums. Forums are sources for the latest sentiment about cryptocurrencies and personalities in the industry.

    Follow active players in the crypto space on social media. It pays to follow top crypto evangelists, developers, traders, and CEOs on social media. These people have intimate knowledge of cryptocurrency technology and have been known to drop wisdom for their followers.

    On Twitter, you can follow Andreas Antonopoulos (@aantonop), Vitalik Buterin (@vitalikbuterin), Charlie Lee (@satoshilite), Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong), Roger Ver (@rogerkver), Jihan Wu (@jihanwu), Tyler Winklevoss (@tylerwinklevoss), Jimmy Song (@jimmysong), Peter Todd (@petertoddbtc) Tony Vays (@tonevays), Chris DeRose (@derose) and a host of others.

Posted by Andrei P.

University graduate in Computer Sciences combined with my passion for cryptos and 10+ years in management has provided a solid foundation to lead our crypto analysts & content teams.

About CryptoManiaks
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We are CryptoManiaks.  Collectively, we have over 25 years of experience in the crypto world and are all passionate about guiding people through the complex world of crypto investing.

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