Investing in Cryptocurrency
Investing in cryptocurrency can seem intimidating at first, there are many websites and its not easy to figure out which ones to trust.
To invest in the big name currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin the process is very simple. You can use either CoinBase or GDAX and do a direct bank transfer into your account, we've been through this process many times and never had any issues on these particular sites. After loading up your account with the amount you want to invest, all you do is pay a small fee of .25% and invest away! If you can't wait 7-9 days for the transfer to complete, you can lock in the price of the currency at that of the day the transfer begins.
If you are interested in investing in an ICO or an alternative cryptocurrency, the process is slightly more difficult. The following two sections will focus on these two issues separately as they are very different processes.
In order to make these type of investments, you will still need to begin by signing up for an account at CoinBase. After loading up your account you will need to purchase Bitcoin and then send that bitcoin to your personal bitcoin blockchain wallet which you can create here. Alternatively, you could also just send it directly out of CoinBase and into another exchange website which lists the currency you are interested in.
Alternative Cryptocurrency Investing
In order to invest in a particular alternative currency will require a small amount of investigation to determine which exchange offers the coin you are interested in. Not all exchanges support the same currencies. Many exchanges have begun showing signs of impending collapse (see Mt. Gox collapse for precedent). Hopefully your coin will be listed on Bittrex as this is by far one of the absolute best exchanges out there right now. This is one of the few platforms that supports virtually all cryptocurrency transactions, it is a little late to add new coins sometimes, but it is by far the most trustworthy exchange.
Send bitcoin from your CoinBase account or bitcoin blockchain wallet to the exchange site you have chosen to use. Transactions can sometimes take awhile to verify so be patient. Once the money is in your Bittrex account, you are free to invest in whatever cryptocurrency you please.
Note: make sure to take proper security precautions and send any altcoins purchased on Bittrex to that particular altcoins custom wallet. It is not safe to leave them on an exchange. Bittrex is pretty trustworthy but it is still worth your time to withdraw the coins and put them in a secure wallet.
Initial Coin Offerings
An ICO raises funds to complete the construction of its blockchain and before the blockchain exists, the currency is not actually in circulation. Investing in an ICO is essentially investing in a voucher to receive a specified amount of currency at a later date when the blockchain is launched. Every currency is different so pay close attention to the founding team for instructions regarding how to invest and how to exchange your voucher for the actual currency later on.
To invest in an ICO, you will wait for instructions from the founders as to the early investment protocol. Every currency is different, though what they all have in common is a portal in which you will be instructed to send Bitcoin to. After sending bitcoin from your blockchain wallet, your account will be loaded with a voucher to receive a specified amount of currency at a later date. ICO's for currencies or assets developed on the ethereum network are much simplier. Ethereum-based ICO's are not very complex processes, all you need to do is load up ether onto myetherwallet and send it to the designated address. Follow the instructions as to how to make your currency voucher show up on myetherwallet and when the blockchain is public all you have to do is send it out of the wallet and onto an exchange!
Sometimes recently launched currencies take a day or two to hit Bittrex but usually they are very punctual and you can trade on day one.