The Ultimate 2020 Guide
How to Buy Cryptocurrency for Beginners Step-by-Step
This is the ultimate guide on how to buy cryptocurrency for beginners in 2020.
We will go step-by-step to make the process simple and easy.
Not only will you learn how to buy cryptocurrency –
You will learn everything you need to do BEFORE buying cryptocurrency.
That way all of your investments are safe and secure.
The best part?
It’s going to be a lot easier than you think!
So let’s get started…
About the Author
I remember when I first did a Google search on how to buy cryptocurrency few years ago…
It was REALLY overwhelming.
And so many different exchanges and cryptocurrencies to choose from.
Fast forward to today, and I rank #1 in Google for my videos on how to buy cryptocurrency…
Welcome to my Updated (2020) Guide on How to Buy Cryptocurrency for Beginners!
Check out the video version of this guide here, or scroll down to read the text guide.
Important Things to Understand
This guide is about how to buy cryptocurrency for beginners in 9 easy steps.
You will learn how to get started in investing in digital assets like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies safely and securely step-by-step.
I know this technology is complex and the process seems intimidating and I’m going to make this as easy as possible for you.
Before we start learning how to buy bitcoin, I want to share with you two important things you need to know before transforming some of your wealth into digital assets.
Two Important Cryptocurrency Tips Before Starting:
First, Appreciate that Cryptocurrency is New, Complex Technology
These types of investments are not like anything else you may be familiar with.
Unlike banks, credit unions, and traditional stock exchanges, there are virtually no fail safes in place to protect you if you make a mistake or don’t understand what you’re doing.
- There is no hotline you can call when you get stuck,
- There’s no corporate headquarters you can reach out to if you lose your funds,
- There are no FDIC insured banks behind these investments
This means at anytime you could lose all of your investments from hackers or user error with no recourse at all.
Cryptocurrency is cutting-edge technology.
It’s the modern day wild wild west.
So it requires some focused time and energy to wrap your head around.
Luckily for you, I’ve done a lot of the leg work to compile this step-by-step guide on how to buy cryptocurrency to ensure you receive the knowledge and understanding you need to be successful in cryptocurrency investments.
From research, keeping up with daily news, and experience with buying, selling, transferring, and storing cryptocurrency, I’ve updated this step-by-step guide to ensure you receive the knowledge and understanding you need to be successful in cryptocurrency investments.
Second, Cryptocurrency is Highly Risky – Only Invest What You Can Afford to Lose
The second thing you need to know before we go any further is the golden rule of investing:
NEVER invest more than you can afford to lose.
High risk can lead high reward and we humans have a natural tendency to want to overreach.
But you need to figure out an amount you are comfortable investing and, more importantly, an amount you can truly afford to invest –
Then you need to stick with that amount and be patient in the process.
Cryptocurrency is a lot more volatile and unpredictable than the stock market.
Unlike the 9-to-5 New York Stock Exchange, cryptocurrency is traded around the world 24/7.
So if you want to get a good night’s sleep as a crypto investor, you need to budget the amount of money you are going to invest and stick to it.
Now if you understand everything I just went through and you are completely comfortable with everything:
Let’s learn how to buy cryptocurrency!
I’ve broken this down into 9 easy steps.
And since you’re not dealing with any banks and other third party financial institutions –
This process is basically helping you set up your own personal bank to manage and protect your own personal funds.
One last quick note, it’s extremely important to pay attention to the URL’s of the websites you are accessing to ensure you are not visiting a fake site that is impersonating the real one.
To make it safer and easier for you, I’ve listed all of the links you’ll need to access in this guide for you to click on.
As we set up your accounts, make sure you click on the links provided in the guide to access the correct websites safely.
So let’s get started.
Acquiring Paper Notebooks
This may come as a surprise to you because cryptocurrency stuff is pretty high-tech –
But the first thing you need to do is get yourself some paper notebooks.
Yes, I realize some of you have never used such ancient recording techniques like a pen and paper before!
I catch a lot of flak for this step.
And I’m telling you –
it is the safest way to keep all of your information private and secure!
Paper can simply be paper, or it can be a notepad, a journal, notebook, or whatever suits your fancy.
I personally love to use these Moleskine notebooks from Amazon with grid paper.
I am a huge fan of grid paper because it helps organize information in a way that’s easy to read.
Whatever form of paper you choose, you need at least two of them, but I highly recommend three for redundancy.
Using & Storing Paper Notebooks
Use your paper notebooks to store all of your passwords, login credentials, and any other sensitive information regarding your crypto wallets and exchanges.
Never store your passwords or login data online with a password manager, on your phone, or any device connected to the internet.
You need to store all your information on paper with paper backups.
This is why I recommend buying at least two paper notebooks.
Three is much better.
Really, the more the merrier.
You should store the notebooks in separate locations to be safe because you never know if your house or office may be affected by a fire, hurricane, flooding, or any other destructive event that could compromise your paper notebook.
Consider storing one notebook in a fire-proof safe at your house and storing the other one in a safety deposit box at a bank or similar.
Remember, you are your own bank.
There are no pre-built fail safes in this technology and there are hackers everywhere trying to steal your funds.
It’s up to you to take the necessary steps to protect your investments.
Also, if you decided to buy the moleskine notebook I suggested, there is an “In case of loss, please return to” section and an “as a reward: $” line.
You should definitely fill that out.
And if your paper journal doesn’t have this available, I recommend using the first page of your paper notebook for your contact details and a reward for returning it if lost.
Think carefully and consider how much you would pay to incentivize someone who found your notebook to return it safely where it belongs.
Creating Long, Complex Passwords
You are going to need to create a lot of different long, complicated passwords when setting up your cryptocurrency investment accounts, wallets, and more.
These passwords need to be extremely strong.
So I’m going to share some tips with you on how to create secure passwords.
Hackers are not sitting around on computers trying to guess your passwords.
They use programs that automatically run through massive databases of common passwords and random combinations of characters.
To protect yourself from this:
You need to make very long passwords containing random numbers, letters, capitalization, and special characters.
- Don’t use common phrases, famous movie lines, or anything resembling a word or sentence really.
- Don’t even replace letters with numbers that look similar, like the number 1 for an i, or the number 3 for an e.
- Don’t simply spell words or sentences backwards, because that is also a very common practice.
Password cracking software take those common habits into consideration when guessing passwords.
Also, sometimes people set up websites that help randomly generate passwords for you.
Don’t use an online site that generates a password for you because you never know if the site is secretly storing the password it generated for you to use at a later time.
As much of a pain as it is, you will need to create long, complicated, random passwords for each and every account.
Never use the same password on more than one account to increase security.
Make sure you never store passwords for cryptocurrency accounts on a password manager.
Cloud-based password managers like LassPass and 1Password are vulnerable to remote attacks.
Even though those accounts are encrypted, if your master password is hacked, then you are completely exposed.
Never store passwords in your browser because those are vulnerable as well.
That’s why I recommend ONLY storing your passwords in your paper notebooks.
Remember, never rely on one single password to protect your investments.
You are your own bank, so you need to have more than one line of defense.
Here is a bonus tip:
If any accounts require a security question, treat the answers like your passwords –
Create fake, long, complex answers to security questions.
People can easily find out your mother’s maiden name and where you went to high school on websites like Facebook, so keep that in mind.
Store the fake answers to security questions in your paper notebook with everything else.
Securing Your Computer
You need to ensure that your computer is secure and free of any malware before you start setting up any of the accounts and wallets for buying cryptocurrency.
First, if you don’t already:
Require a strong password to access your computer.
So go ahead and make your first entry into your notebook –
Your brand new, super strong computer password!
Next, you need to do a full and complete malware scan of your computer.
There are a ton of free tools and services available to scan and secure your computer.
In this guide, we will walk through the scanning, cleaning, and securing process using Malwarebytes.
- On the land page, scroll down and click “Download Free.”
- The package should start downloading automatically. Once the package has been downloaded, open the setup file by double clicking on it.
- If you can’t open the file because it’s from an unidentified developer, right click on the file and select “Open.”
- When the Setup Wizard opens, click “Continue” in the bottom right to see the Malwarebytes Software License Agreement.
- Next, click “Continue” through the next couple screens.
- Next click “Agree.”
- Click “Install.” Next, if you are using a Mac, it will ask you to authorize the download with your username and password.
- When installation is complete, click “Close” to exit the Setup Wizard.
Malwarebytes should launch automatically.
- You will be asked to select the type of computer you are using: Choose either personal or work computer.
- Next, you will be taken to the dashboard. From here, click on the “Scan” tab, then click “Start Scan.”
- After the scan is complete, if you are computer is clean, great!
- If the scan found some threats, you can click on the quarantine tab to view them, and then click “Clear Quarantine” to permanently delete the threat files.
Next, you should definitely purchase the premium version of Malwarebytes to enable the malware protection functions going forward to keep your computer safe.
This free download will allow you to try Malwarebytes premium for 14 days.
If you have a PC instead of a Mac and want to take security one step further –
I recommend downloading and installing a Key Scrambler.
Key Scramblers are great tools that prevent hidden keystroke logging malware from recording your passwords to hack into your accounts by encrypting everything you type in real time.
I recommend trying out Keyscrambler by QFX; Click here to check it out: https://www.qfxsoftware.com/
Or if you have an on-screen keyboard on your computer, you can elect to ONLY type out your passwords using the on-screen keyboard.
This also prevents keystroke loggers from recording your passwords.
Securing Your Smartphone
You will not be accessing crypto-related accounts on your computer alone.
Smartphones play a huge role in security and access as well.
So you need to take steps to secure your phone.
First, if you don’t have one already, require a password to unlock your phone.
That way if it’s ever lost or stolen, there is a barrier between a potential hacker and your investments.
Make sure you log the password in your notebook for safekeeping.
Next, you need to remove your phone number from any public website and social media.
And try to NEVER publish your cell phone number or cell phone provider publicly or to people you don’t know or trust.
I know this is very difficult to do in our social media driven world, but it’s an imperative step to take to ensure the security of your investments.
Cell phone numbers are used to access a myriad of sensitive data, including banking, cryptocurrency, and the two-factor authentication applications we will be setting up later on in this guide.
Using your cell phone provider and cell phone number, hackers can conduct SIM theft.
This is where hackers steal your phone’s identity by calling your cell phone provider and requesting a new SIM card.
If they steal your cell phone’s SIM card, they can easily hack into your investment accounts and drain your funds.
So the next thing you need to do to prevent this from happening is set up a passphrase with your cell phone provider that must be disclosed before activating a new SIM card.
So get on the phone with T-mobile, Verizon, or whoever your cell phone provider is and set up a strong passphrase that must be disclosed before activating a new SIM card on your account.
Another bonus tip:
Malwarebytes has security software for mobile devices you can install to further secure your cell phone.
Click on the links for Andriod or iOS devices in below to see if it’s something you would like to use –
Creating an Encrypted Email Account
It’s time to create a brand new unique email address using a handle you’ve never used before anywhere else.
This includes your name, nicknames, or usernames you’ve used for accounts anywhere online or offline in the past.
This new email address should be used exclusively for crypto investments ONLY.
DO NOT use an email address you use already and that people know about to open up cryptocurrency accounts.
You need something completely random to use for the handle for your new email account.
And do not use the new email address for shopping or signing up for newsletters and other things.
Only use your new email address for crypto and don’t tell anyone you don’t know or trust about it.
I recommend setting up your new email account using ProtonMail or another similar email provider that prioritizes security and privacy.
I’m going to show you how to set up a brand new email account using ProtonMail.
- Click here to access ProtonMail safely and securely.
- Click “Get Your Encrypted Email Account.”
- ProtonMail offers a variety of accounts to choose from; in this guide, we are going to set up the free basic account so click, “Select Free Plan.”
- Next, choose your unique username that you’ve never used anywhere else before, generate a strong password, and register a recovery email.
- Make sure the email address you use as a recovery has a strong password as well.
- Then click “Create Account.”
- Verify that you are a human by CAPTCHA, email, text message, or by making a donation. Finally, click “Complete Setup.”
Now you can choose your display name and download ProtonMail’s mobile applications if you like.
Now you have an encrypted email account to use to set up your cryptocurrency accounts.
Two-Factor Authentication Apps
Using your newly secured cell phone, we are now going to download some two factor authentication apps.
Two factor authentication is an extra layer of security that is absolutely crucial to set up before investing in cryptocurrency.
This is how it works:
When accessing an account, after entering your super secure password, you will be required to input a code that is generated on your 2 factor authentication phone app.
These codes constantly change every 20 seconds to 30 seconds.
So no one will be able to access your accounts unless they have your cell phone at that particular moment in time.
There are two different authentication apps we will be downloading:
Google Authenticator and Authy
Some people prefer one over the other and some people use both.
I personally prefer Authy over Google Authenticator, however, some websites only allow 2 factor authentication through Google, so we will set that up as well.
First, let’s download Authy:
- Go to the app store on your phone, type in Authy, and download the Authy app.
- When it’s finished downloading, enter your cell phone number, and click okay. Next, enter your email address you created using ProtonMail and click next.
- A window will pop up that says “Get account verification via Phone call or SMS.”
- Make a selection and then enter the registration code in the space provided.
Great! Now you are able to start adding accounts.
- But first, tap on the cog icon to access the app settings.
- Next, tap on the “Security” settings.
- Enable “App protection” and set up a protection pin.
- Enter your pin and then you will be prompted to re-enter it.
- Write down this code in your paper notebooks.
- Back in the security section, enable “protect entire app” and enter your pin again. You can also enable “Touch ID Protection,” if you have that option.
Awesome, now Authy is secure.
- Tap “Cancel” in the top left corner of the screen. Then, tap on the “Accounts” icon at the bottom.
- Then tap “Authenticator backups.”
- In this section, you need to create a long, strong backups password.
Authy will store an encrypted copy of all your accounts so if you upgrade or lose your phone, you can easily restore them.
I personally have had to use this after a friend of mine accidentally dropped my phone in the ocean at the beach.
The Authy backups password feature was great and saved me a ton of time after I got a new phone.
- Create your backups password, then tap “enable backups.”
- Type out your backups password again to confirm it, then tap “okay.”
- Now write down your backups password in your paper notebooks.
- Next, tap on the “Devices” icon at the bottom.
This step is optional, but if you would like the app to be more secure, disable the “Allow multi–device” option.
That way someone can’t use any other device to use your two factor authentication besides this exact cell phone.
If you lose your phone or if it breaks, you will need to get a new one and use your backups password to recover access to your 2FA accounts.
If you leave this option enabled, then you may log in to your Authy account on any other devices.
I recommend disabling it for increased security.
Next, tap OK and then tap “Exit.”
Authy is now ready to go.
Next let’s download Google authenticator:
You will need a gmail account to complete this setup, so if you don’t have one already, create one with a unique handle you’ve never used before and a strong password.
- Go to the app store on your phone, type in Google Authenticator, and download the Google Authenticator app.
- Once it’s finished downloading, open the app and choose “Begin Setup.”
- You will see two options: “Scan barcode” and manual entry.
- Go to your internet browser and open your Google account security page using this URL: https://myaccount.google.com/security
- Next scroll down and click on the 2-Step Verification section.
- Click “Get Started.”
- Enter your gmail account password and click “Next.”
- Google will attempt to use Google prompt and send a prompt to your connected mobile devices.
- You can use Google prompt, or if your device isn’t listed, click “Choose another option,” and choose “text message or voice call” then enter your cell phone number.
- Choose to receive a text or phone call to receive a verification code.
- Enter the code you receive in the space provided and click, “Next.”
- Once the code is accepted, choose “Turn On.”
- Then, on the next page, scroll down to the Authenticator app section and click “Set up.”
- Choose the type of phone you have and click, “Next.”
- Now go back to your cell phone and select “Scan Bar Code.”
- Lift your phone to face the computer screen like you are taking a picture of the code.
- Once it’s successful, your phone will show a 6 digit code that changes every 20 seconds or so along with your gmail address.
- Now, go back to your computer and click, “Next.”
- Enter the code currently displayed on your phone before the time expires and the code changes and click “Verify.”
- Once the code is verified click, “Done.”
If you have been using your gmail account for a long time and you are not sure if it’s automatically logs into old devices you don’t use anymore, scroll down to the “Devices you trust” section and choose “revoke all.”
That way, no matter what device you are using to log into your gmail, 2-step verification will be required.
Now you have two different authenticator apps!
Most accounts work with the Authy app.
However, some accounts only work with Google authenticator.
When setting up 2 factor authentication with accounts, you must choose one authenticator over the other.
You cannot set up 2 factor authentication for the same account using both Google and Authy.
Now we are going to set up 2 factor authentication for the ProtonMail address you created in the previous step.
- Log back into your ProtonMail account.
- Next, click on “Settings” and choose the “Security” tab.
- Then click “Enable Two-Factor Authentication.”
- You can read their 2FA guide and then click “Next.”
- Open your 2FA app on your cell phone, I recommend using Authy over Google when you have the choice.
- On Authy, scroll down and click, “Add Account” then click, “Scan QR Code.”
- Allow Authy to access your camera and hold up your cell phone to face the bar code like you are taking a picture of it.
- Authy will scan the QR code account and allow you to name the account and select another logo.
- Then click “Done.”
- On ProtonMail, enter your current password and then enter the two-factor passcode that is displayed on your phone in Authy. (Watch carefully, as the code will change every 30 seconds or so.)
- Then click “Submit.”
- Next, ProtonMail will provide you with several one-time use recovery codes.
Save these codes in your paper notebooks.
If you ever lose your phone and are unable to access your authenticator app, these codes will be the only way to log into your account.
You can enter these codes instead of the 6-digit authentication code.
Note that each code can only be used once, and they must be used in the listed order, so be sure to save all the codes.
Now 2 factor authentication should be required when logging into your ProtonMail account.
If you need more support for setting up two factor authentication with ProtonMail, check out the guide at this URL.
Hardware Wallets for Storage
This is one of the most important steps to take before investing in cryptocurrency –
But most people NEVER do it.
You need to get a cold storage hardware wallet to store your cryptocurrency.
These devices cost money,
And they are worth every satoshi…
(the smallest unit of bitcoin currency!)
There are several different types of wallets out there and some wallets only support specific cryptocurrencies.
Here’s the key thing to remember:
Never EVER leave your cryptocurrency on exchanges.
It’s extremely risky and hackers are constantly trying to break into exchanges.
The safest place to store your investments is by using cold storage, hardware wallets.
These devices store the keys to your crypto offline, so it’s the safest way to store and access cryptocurrency.
You can check out my other guides about cryptocurrency wallets to learn more about them.
So, before you get started buying cryptocurrency:
Get a hardware wallet so you can store them safely after purchasing them.
Never buy a used hardware wallet.
And never buy a hardware wallet from a different source than the sites listed on this guide to ensure you are getting a clean, official device.
My personal favorite hardware wallet is the new Ledger Nano X.
I recommend buying Ledger’s backup pack –
It comes with a Ledger Nano X AND a Ledger Nano S for a backup.
Once your hardware wallets arrive, you can check out my guide about wallets and how to set them up.
Instructions on Managing Crypto
Congratulations, you are now prepared to start buying cryptocurrency safely and securely.
In my other guides, I will show you how to set up accounts with exchanges and finally how to buy, sell, transfer, and store cryptocurrency.
I recommend buying cryptocurrency from Coinbase, which is one of the safest and easiest exchanges to use for beginners.
Another exchange that lists most available coins is called Binance.
When using the Coinbase link, you will receive $10 worth of free bitcoin after you buy more than $100 worth of any cryptocurrency.
As a final step going forward, here’s something to think about with regard to using your paper notebook.
Managing cryptocurrency can be complicated and hard to do and if something were to happen to you, I’m sure there’s someone out there you would want to benefit from your investments.
In the event of incapacitation or death, your family and friends would probably have a hard time figuring out how to manage your investments by themselves.
Using your paper notebooks, record detailed notes and instructions from my videos on how to safely access, transfer, and cash in your funds if they ever needed to do so.
Try to keep it simple, but also detailed enough so no one could get stuck.
I also highly recommend that you go the extra mile and create a will, trust, or other documents that could be legally executed in the event of your death to carry out your wishes.
So, on that happy note, thank you for watching my video!
I hope you found this video helpful and easy to follow.
What other precautions do you take when managing cryptocurrency?
Do you have any additional security tips to share with us?
Leave them in the comments below.
Be safe out there.