Hackernoon logoBeginner’s guide to Investing in Bitcoin, Altcoin and ICOs by@halim.infinity

Beginner’s guide to Investing in Bitcoin, Altcoin and ICOs

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MD Halim Hacker Noon profile picture

MD Halim

Associate Product Manager

Disclaimer: This article is not intended as investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are risky. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Always seek professional advice before making any investment.

Some background on Bitcoin and Blockchain if you are new to the world of cryptocurrencies:

  1. Basics of Bitcoin and Blockchain Protocols:
    http://www.michaelnielsen.org/ddi/how-the-bitcoin-protocol-actually-works/
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3im-TsfQ9I [a SIMPLE Video explainer]
  3. Cryptocurrency Charts and Market Cap [To check historical prices and daily traded volume]

https://coinmarketcap.com/

iOS App: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/coincap/id1074052280?mt=8

Android App https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=io.coinCap.coinCap&hl=en

Exchanges

Exchanges are places where you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies in exchange for FIAT currency such as INR/USD/CNY.

For residents of India:

Foreign Exchanges

Indicators to look for while investing in alt-coins [any currency other than bitcoin]

  1. Ideally you should invest in coins that has total Market Cap more than $100mn.
  2. Check the Daily Volume [the value of the coins being traded in 24 hours] of the coin and it should ideally be more than $1mn because coins with low volume indicates lack of interests from other buyer/sellers.
  3. Goto http://www.reddit.com and search for the coin ticker and read up what people are saying about the coin.
  4. Read about the Organization who started the coin to see if they can be trusted.
  5. Don’t get swayed by people who write that the coin price is going to jump X times in the coming months. Don’t get fooled by promises of anyone.
  6. Always remember nobody can promise a fix return on your investment.

Steps to buy Altcoins:

  1. Buy Bitcoin or ETH from any of the exchanges mentioned above.
  2. Register at https://www.poloniex.com or https://www.binance.com or https://liqui.io
  3. Go to the Deposit page of the website and note down the “Address”
  1. And then go to the Withdraw option in your exchange where you held bitcoins/ethereum and transfer it to the “address” copied from Liqui.io or Binance.
  2. Then goto the “Exchange” tab and select the currency pair you would to buy.
  1. Enter the desired price you’d like to buy at and select the No. of coins you want to buy, the corresponding price will be shown to you in total BTC and click buy.
  2. If you decide to sell the tokens at a later date, you can put up a sell order and get back your ETH/BTC.

How to invest in an ICO

Initial coin offering (ICO) is an unregulated and controversial means of crowdfunding via use of cryptocurrency, which can be a source of capital for startup companies. In an ICO a percentage of the newly issued cryptocurrency is sold to investors in exchange for legal tender or other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
Check out
https://tokendata.io to see the past performance of organisations who raised funds through ICOs.

  1. Investing in ICOs are tricky, you’ll have to do a lot of deep research about the team, the project they’ve worked on and the people backing it.
  2. You can find information about upcoming ICOs in the following websites

Steps to invest in an ICO

  1. Transfer your ETHER or BITCOIN to wallet from the exchange:
  2. The reason for this is that when you use a centralized service such as a company like Coinbase/Unocoin/Poloniex, you do not own the private keys to your bitcoin or ether address. The way the ICOs typically work, you send them your ether or bitcoin, and the smart contract immediately sends the tokens back to your address. But since you don’t have private keys in Zebpay or Liqui or Coinbase account, if you send ether or bitcoin to an ICO address from your exchange account, you’ll simply be enriching the exchange instead of getting your desired tokens.
  3. If you’re using ether, which is commonly accepted in ICOs, you can use a site like My Ether Wallet to create a new Ethereum key there and transfer your ethers on Coinbase to that wallet. Another option is Parity, which enables you to do things like invest in an ICO at an exact time — a feature that you might want to use if you believe the ICO will sell out within seconds. Once you’ve transferred your coins to a user-controlled wallet, you’ll have an ether or bitcoin address whose private key you control — and that means that you’ll be able to receive tokens there as well.
  4. The token sale will post an address where money is being collected during a certain window of time. Be very careful that the address to which you are sending coins is actually the address of the token sale. Scams trying to get people to send their ether and bitcoin elsewhere abound. In fact, yesterday, during its ICO, Coindash.io’s website got hacked, and the crooks appear to have made off with $7.9 million worth of ether simply by changing the address on the website to their own.
  5. You will receive the tokens based on your contribution.
  6. After receiving the tokens, you can transfer it to Liqui.io or Binance or EtherDelta.io to sell those tokens if you feel like and get BTC/ETH in return.

Blogs to follow (subscribe to their newsletters).

Twitter Lists of Bitcoin Influencers

Reddit Threads to Subscribe to.

Almost all top coins have their own Reddit thread, just search for it.

Medium Publications to follow:

Use Google to search for more information about a coin. Goto https://www.bitcointalk.org or Reddit and check the reviews of that particular coin to see what people are saying about it.

Coins that we’re holding onto for the long run: [DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH]

BTC: Bitcoin

ETH: Ether https://ethereum.org [I’ve been personally developing dApps on Ethereum]

NEO: Formerly Antshares https://neo.org/

SNT: Status Token https://status.im/

Short Term: 
You’ve to monitor continuously (You can buy them from Liqui.io or Binance.com or Poloniex.com after transferring your ETH or BTC from your current exchange]

LTC: Litecoin

STRAT: Stratis https://stratisplatform.com/

IOTA: https://iota.org/:

And keep checking http://www.icohunt.co for new ICO related news and information

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/icohuntdotco
Follow me on Twitter @ https://twitter.com/haliminfinity

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