How to buy cryptocurrencies

With the latest market swings, cryptocurrencies is back into fashion, and so a renewed interest in knowing how to buy them safely.

The purchase of cryptocurrencies can be divided into two steps: buying them and keeping them safe.

To buy them, assuming you are not a “miner” who receives commissions, the simplest way is to access a cryptocurrency exchange website. Then you just need to store your new coins in a wallet.

The wallets don’t store the “coins” themselves but the private keys that allow you to validate transactions and move the cryptocurrencies.


Buying cryptocurrencies through a website

To buy crypto through websites you simply transfer your euros (or any other fiat currency) and exchange them for cryptocurrencies, just like in exchange houses.

This is probably the simplest way to buy cryptocurrencies. The interaction is similar to the one you have with your online bank, and share similar security measures, you just need to log in with your username and password. It does not require you to have any knowledge of how cryptocurrencies work.

You can simply store your cryptocurrencies on these sites, without using an external wallet. The cryptocurrencies are stored by the site and if you lose access to the account, you have a way to unlock it. For better or worse, it is the website that manages the private keys.


What are the risks?

Website hacking – this has become less frequent as websites improve security, but it still happens.

Phishing – an attacker try to trick the user into revealing account access details.

Malicious software – this type of software on your PC/mobile phone can steal your account details.

You can however use these sites to buy crypto, and then send them to a wallet.


Best platforms/websites for buying cryptocurrencies

Binance – the largest of the crypto exchanges. In 2019 it was hacked, but it is believed that they incresed the security measures since that.

Coinbase – based in the US, Coinbase is one of the oldest and most popular “crypto exchanges”.

Kraken – Another well-known and reputable American “crypto exchange”.

Bitstamp – It initially emerged in Slovenia, but already has offices in the United Kingdom and Luxembourg. It is with the branch registered in this country that a European user can open an account.