So, you know nothing about crypto currencies but you want to buy yourself some IOTA? Well then keep reading!
This guide is designed to show you the in’s and outs of everything you’ll need to get started, and also has valuable advice and information from someone that’s been in IOTA since it first hit the exchanges earlier this year.
But first, rule #1 of cryptos — DON’T PUT ANY MONEY INTO CRYPTOS THAT YOU AREN’T WILLING TO LOSE 100% OF. This is honestly true of any investment, but for cryptos especially due to their unforgiving and volatile nature. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started
*NOTE* Currently IOTA withdrawals through Binance are disabled due to network congestion. This isn’t the first time that an exchange has had to do this, but service is supposed to be restored in the near future.
The Short and Sweet
If you already do have some experience with cryptos (hell, maybe you even have some ETH or BTC already), then you can use the quick-start guide below. *NOTE: All exchange links included in this guide are referral links to the respective exchanges.*
- Register for Coinbase (if you aren’t already)
- Purchase ETH/BTC (I recommend using ETH because of lower transaction fees, if this doesn’t make sense to you, more below)
- Register for Binance
- Transfer ETH to Binance
- Buy IOTA with ETH
So wait… what’s going on?
If the above didn’t make sense to you don’t worry, below I’ve broken out each step, and provided pretty pictures and explanations of what’s going on. It may seem long, but honestly if the steps above didn’t compute for you, you’ll need this level of detail to not get completely screwed over.
Coinbase is a very trustworthy exchange, and is hands down the most simple way to buy Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Litecoin. What’s more, you also have access to GDAX, which opens the doors to more advanced trading options like limit orders (not covered in this guide).
Start by Registering for your account at Coinbase (this lovely link will give both me and you $10 of BTC after you deposit $100, cool huh?). Make sure you pick a strong password, and I strongly recommend turning on 2 factor authentication — you are putting money in this after all.
That actually brings up a side rant, which is this. Cryptos are VERY unforgiving to the naive, which makes it ironic that I’m making a “for dummies” guide. While this will get you started, I highly recommend immersing yourself in this culture and doing as much research as you can before going crazy.
After confirming your email, you can move on to adding a payment method! You have a few different options here, and it depends on how quickly you want to purchase your IOTA. See screenshot below for the buttons to click
You can link your bank account directly to Coinbase for easy purchasing, but there’s a catch. Any purchases via your bank account take a few days to process, and during that time Coinbase holds your crypto in limbo until the funds clear. Your purchase price is locked in, but you won’t be able to transfer it out of Coinbase. The tl;dr of this is if you want to buy IOTA as soon as possible, the Bank Account method isn’t for you.
Linking your credit or debit card is a good alternative if you want access to your ETH straight away, but some people don’t necessarily feel comfortable with this option. For those folks, you can wire transfer money into your account, and purchase once those funds clear.
Buy ETH, not BTC
Why not buy BTC? At the time of writing this, ETH transactions are faster, and cheaper than BTC transactions. There’s loads of resources available that explain more about how the BTC and ETH blockchain differ, and the benefits of each one available on Google. I was tempted to include a lmgtfy link, but decided that might be a little too dickish… My recommendation is to read up on the ethereum and bitcoin subreddits for full details on this.
With Coinbase, you have the option to either type the USD amount you’d like to purchase, or the ETH amount. The other side will auto-fill with the converted amount after you type in a value.
Again, if you purchase via bank withdrawal, there is a wait time which will delay your ability to transfer ETH to an exchange with IOTA.
Now that you’ve got your shiny new Ethereum, you need to register for an exchange that supports IOTA. I use Binance for this since Bitfinex closed their doors to US customers, and I won’t be covering Bitfinex in this guide.
You can register for Binance by going to this link Binance, and clicking Register in the top right corner. Same rules as Coinbase here — choose a strong password and turn on 2 factor authentication. After confirming your email and logging in, you can transfer your ETH from Coinbase to Binance.
Transferring your Ethereum
This is probably the most confusing part for “crypto outsiders”, but also where the benefits of cryptocurrencies make themselves known. Essentially, each crypto currency is stored in a “wallet”, and each wallet has an “address”. You can send between wallets by using your addresses. Binance and Coinbase maintain wallets for your account, so transferring between them is as simple as giving Coinbase your Binance ETH wallet address!
You can find your Binance ETH wallet address by logging in, and clicking Funds > Deposits Withdrawals. Locate ETH in the list, and click the Deposit button to bring up your ETH wallet address. Copy this, and open up your Coinbase account
In your Coinbase account, click the Accounts tab, and select your ETH Wallet. If you followed the instructions earlier, there should be some ETH in there (if not, your Send button will be greyed out like mine).
This opens up the send dialogue, where you can paste your Binance ETH wallet address. I highly recommend pressing “ctrl/cmd + f”, and pasting your address in the find field on both Coinbase and Binance. I’ve read of malware that changes crypto addresses in the clipboard to steal your money.
After confirming your address matches and the amount you want to send, click Send.
Now the waiting game begins. Crypto currencies must have a certain number of confirmations before they’re available on an exchange. Again, this isn’t a guide to cryptos, if this doesn’t make sense to you Google is your friend. You can open your Binance account and click Funds > History, and you should see a Pending transfer after a few minutes. Generally transfers only take a few minutes to get enough confirmations, but sometimes the network can be slower for whatever reason.
Buy Your IOTA
If you’re reading this section, it sounds like your Ethereum made it safe and sound to your Binance wallet — HOORAY!
Start by logging in to your Binance account, and then hover over Exchange and click Advanced. I know it seems counter intuitive.. but I find the Advanced view is actually less cluttered and easier to navigate. If not the case for you, the Binance support docs are your friend ;).
I’ve numbered the main sections of the Advanced view below in the image below, and you’ll find brief descriptions of each section. Note that this isn’t a guide on how to reach charts, graphs, order books, etc… There is a WEALTH of info on all of this in both the Binance support docs, and Investopedia.com (literally the website that allowed some of my colleagues passed their finance degree tests). If you’re planning on getting deeper into cryptos, you’re going to have to learn to self-educate a bit!
1. Trading Graph
This graph shows you the recent price history for a given period. In the top left, you can adjust the period that each candlestick represents, and also add technical indicators. Here’s a good tutorial on how to read candlestick charts for those who have no idea what’s going on.
2. Order Book + Recent Order Fills
This shows open orders on the left, and recent fills on the right. In the middle, you see the current price!
3. Your Orders
You can use this area to see your order history, open orders, and trade history. This is also where you can cancel Open Orders that haven’t filled yet.
4. Place Orders
This section is where the meat of your trading is done. We’ll be covering Market Orders in this tutorial (again, this is a guide to buy as fast + easy as possible). If you want more info on Limit orders and Stop Loss, check out Investopedia.
Ok for real this time — Buy your IOTA
Start by making sure you have the right trading pair selected. For our tutorial, we want IOTA/ETH.
You can navigate there by clicking on the trading pair that’s to the left of Account, which expands the selection box. Select ETH, and then scroll or search for IOTA/ETH (you can see I’ve favorited this pair so it’s always at the top for me). Click that, and your view will update to show the graph.
Once updated, go to the order box (box 4), and select Market for order type.
The last thing to do is type how much IOTA you want! You can use the 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% buttons to pre-fill amounts based on the market price and the amount of ETH in your account if you suck at math ;). Once the amount is set, click Buy! And that’s it, you just bought your first IOTA!
It doesn’t stop here though
There’s still a lot you can do, and this guide only scratches the surface. I’d recommend downloading the IOTA wallet, and generating a seed for it. DO NOT USE A SEED GENERATOR PROGRAM, as many scam sites have popped up. If you’re code savvy, you can generate a cryptographically secure seed using your command line.
For more information on where to download the IOTA wallet and generate a seed in your command line, see my most recent article!
Although it should be obvious — I am not a fiduciary, nor am I a financial advisor. I am not responsible for any losses incurred.