Disclaimer: This post doesn’t contain any advice. It’s for information only.

Crypto can be daunting for beginners. It certainly was for me back in 2017 when I started to invest in this new exciting technology. In today’s post I’m going to be focusing on exchanges. I will break them down so that you know how to start in crypto. I will also be looking at 5 exchanges that are easy to use and ideal for beginners.

An exchange is an online platform that allows you to buy, store and send your crypto from one place to another. See below for a little step-by-step guide:

  1. You open an account and verify your account using the simple to follow steps
  2. You make sure your account has all security measures e.g. 2FA
  3. You deposit fiat currency from your bank into your exchange account e.g. £100
  4. You swap your fiat currency to crypto e.g. pounds to bitcoin
  5. Your BTC will automatically be held in your exchange wallet and this is where it is stored
  6. You can send your BTC to someone else or somewhere else e.g to someone for payment or you can send it to a cold offline wallet

There are other things you can do on exchanges like trading or staking to earn interest. If I was a beginner, I would just focus on setting an exchange up and buying a small amount of crypto. It can be difficult to get your head around so just maybe focus on baby steps initially.

Right, we’ve got some basic info to get started, now we need to decide on a suitable exchange. I’m going to cover 5 exchanges that I feel are ideal for beginners.

Some exchanges to consider

Coinbase

  • It is very easy to use as a beginner. Even when I didn’t understand crypto, I was able to buy and store crypto easily
  • Enhanced security features like keeping a large number of client funds in cold wallets (more secure than being held on exchange
  • Another security future is that Coinbase has insurance in-place. If you got hacked, and had crypto stolen from your wallet, the insurance would cover it up to a certain value
  • Available in 100 countries so you can pretty much use Coinbase anywhere in the world
  • Free user education is a big plus for me as it helps beginners to learn about crypto. The education section is ideal for beginners
  • A bonus with the education is that you can earn while you learn

Binance

  • Easy sign-up process
  • Lowest transaction fees of any major exchange which is big plus
  • Free deposits so it doesn’t cost you any money to deposit your fiat currency
  • A large range or cryptos to choose from
  • It offers crypto savings accounts where you can earn high interest. I have used Binance to stake crypto tokens with a number of crypto tokens
  • For ease of use it’s probably been my favourite exchange to date

Neg> is that it’s had some issue with regulation in the UK

eToro

  • Authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority)
  • Wide range of payment methods
  • Instantly deposit funds with a UK debit/credit card
  • No deposit fees
  • Professionally managed smart portfolio that gives you access to a diversified basket of digital assets

Crypto.com

  • Crypto earn feature where you can earn interest on a large number of cryptocurrencies
  • Card purchases are free for 1st 30 days
  • Free crypto wallet app
  • Non-custodial wallet app
  • Dedicated university section aimed at beginners looking to learn about crypto

FTX

  • Insurance fund an policy losses from hacks and exploits
  • Liquidation engine guarantees liquidity
  • Security features like 2FA and cold wallet storage
  • Access to different markets like stocks and forex

Neg> No live chat support for any issues that customers may encounter

Find out what works for you

For me, it’s not overly important which one you decide to use. The important thing is that you use at least one and start your crypto journey. I genuinely believe that crypto has a massive part to play in the future of money and pretty much everything we do. The sooner you start you crypto journey and learn all about it, the better.

You might find one and just stick with that. Or you might be like me and end up using several exchanges. Over the last few years, I’ve used 8 exchanges. Just try and take a balanced approach. Like anything, there are pros and cons to all exchanges. I’ve mentioned a few of the pros above to the 5 exchanges.

Even though Binance is my personal favourite exchange, a negative is the issues it has had with regulation in the UK. It hasn’t always ticked all the boxes for the FCA for example. Looking at FTX, there is no live chat support for any issues customers may encounter.

Coinbase is one of the most popular and widely used (globally). What I like about coinbase is that it is very easy to use. Another big bonus is that the education section is very good. Maybe have a look at an exchange like this one and learn all about crypto before you deposit any money.

A few tips to finish with …

Have an open mind and learn all about crypto with the help of an exchange. You can go on and learn about crypto on these exchanges as I’ve touched on.

Only invest a small amount when you are first starting out and stick to a plan. I invest long-term. My strategy is long-term buy and hold with property, index investing and crypto. I started with about 1% of my net worth into crypto and I’ve got to about 10% after a few years. Just don’t dive in and put your life savings into a volatile asset class.

Maybe start off with a focus on Bitcoin and Ethereum and dollar cost average into them. You can move onto other cryptos as your knowledge increases.

Spend maybe a bit of time each week getting used to the exchange you have started with. It might seem daunting at first but it soon becomes second nature after a few short weeks.

Tell friends and family what you’re up to and maybe you will find someone with a common interest in crypto. Then you can bounce off each other and help each other to learn about crypto.

Very important to stay safe. Take security very seriously as the safety of your crypto is down to you. When you set up your exchange take the time to add all the available security features like 2FA.

And enjoy learning about crypto. The more I’ve got into crypto, it has improved my financial literacy. It has led me to fully understand the history of money and things like inflation.

My genuine belief is that if you are financially literate, you can invest with skill. And if you invest with skill, you can invest your way to financial freedom. Anyway, I’m starting to waffle. Go and choose an exchange and start learning about crypto.

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