How to Buy Altcoins - A Users Guide (Avoid the mistakes I did!)
Cryptocurrency is one of the hottest topics on the planet now that inflation is hitting all-time high peaks (6.8% at the time of writing in the US), and people are desperately looking for ways to preserve what money that they have.
Cryptocurrency is growing at an insane rate where new projects, infrastructure, and technologies are emerging almost weekly, and it can be overwhelming to someone who hasn't been following it closely.
I jumped into crypto and altcoins a month ago, and there are so many lessons to be learned, mistakes to avoid, and I simply have to share what I know so far.
In this comprehensive article, you'll now only learn what altcoins are, setting up a wallet, keeping your stuff safe from hackers, but I'll also dive into the gaming and metaverse crypto space, and even how to read a candle chart.
No tech expertise is required for you to understand this article, crypto is still very early for 90% of the population, but that will change in a few years.
If this article helped you out massively, make sure to share it with friends and spread the knowledge, you have the social sharing bar to your left.
Alright, let's start our journey step-by-step.
Disclaimer: Everything that I share is from personal experience, and this is not to be viewed as financial advice. Investing has and always will be a risk-bearing endeavor, where you can both make money, and also lose it all. Play at your own risk.
| What are altcoins
Altcoins are simply cryptocurrencies that aren't Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is the OG (original gangster) of crypto, and currently has a market cap of over $800 billion.
Ethereum is the 2nd most popular and has a market cap of over $25 billion.
Market cap is the total market value of the cryptocurrency's circulating supply.
There are over 6,000 different altcoins in the cryptocurrency space, and new ones are popping up all the time, which inherently makes blindly investing in stuff extremely risky!
There is a term going around called a "rug pull", where scammers create a coin, get people to invest in the project with fake promises and advertising, steal the entire circulating supply, and disappear.
Time and time again, random coins appear and when the market is hot and bullish, people throw their money at anything and everything, like fucking idiots, and make the scammers rich in the process.
You never get your money back in case of a rug pull, it's gone forever so consider this your fair warning.
| Why even bother with altcoins?
There are two issues with only investing or trading in Bitcoin:
1) The useability of Bitcoin is severely limited.
2) You won't be making much money on it.
Let me explain both, first off Bitcoin in itself is pretty useless. It doesn't bring any real utility to the world except for being the first crypto to ever be created and adopted by the mainstream.
People view Bitcoin as similar to gold since there is a limited supply, but other than holding an arbitrary value, and some shops taking payment with BTC, the road pretty much ends there.
Ethereum on the other hand, an altcoin that may very soon overtake Bitcoin, has the technology and infrastructure that literally powers hundreds of different projects, Layer 2s, Rollups, Metaverse gaming, NFT’s, and so much more.
Besides the utility of Bitcoin, the main issue is profitability. Sure if "you only had" invested in BTC in 2018, you would be a millionaire, but the market today is different.
For you to double your money and make a 2x, with the BTC priced at around 48k USD, the coin literally has to go from an $800 billion market cap to $1600, and the coin landing on 100k in valuation.
Is it possible? Sure it's not off the table, but how about an altcoin valued at $1, and a market cap of only 100 mils.
You can easily 10x, 20x and in some cases even 100x your money with ICO’s (Initial Coin Offerings), this is why altcoins are so lucrative, there is tremendous room for growth.
This is exactly what I did for the altcoin GALA, which I bought at $0.098, and soon after it pumped to an insane $0.8, a nice 8x on my money which would be impossible in BTC, or it literally has to pump to $384k!
| Where to buy altcoins
So now you're interested in diving into some altcoins, great! You have two options, either through a crypto exchange or through DEX's (Decentralized Exchanges).
I believe there are clear paths to choose here, and it depends if you're an investor or a daytrader.
An investor as the name suggests buys and holds an asset for a future higher valuation.
A daytrader simply looks at short-term movement in the market and capitalizes on market swings on specific coins on a daily basis.
The downside is that the money that you keep with a broker is never really yours, they own and hold those assets for you, a big difference.
Anytime they feel like they can hold your fund for whatever bullshit reasons or rules that they make up, not really decentralized right.
If you plan on taking full control of your own assets, then you'll need to get hold of a wallet and swap coins on DEX's. This may sound complicated, but it's actually simple once you get the hang of it.
The pros obviously are that everything in your own wallet is yours, no one can tell you what to spend, where to spend it, or how to spend it.
But you'll need to be careful as to not mess up transactions, and the entire process is slower, not optimal for daytraders but great for investors.
Either way, you'll most likely need a wallet anyway to keep your funds and assets secure outside of the exchange ecosystems.
| Best crypto wallets
A crypto wallet is very simply a wallet that you store your cryptos in, and the wallets come either as hot or cold wallets.
Hot wallets are connected to the internet, usually like a Google Chrome extension installed on your browser.
The big con with a hot wallet is that it's easy for hackers to get in and empty your entire wallet, and there are countless nightmare cases where people lose thousands.
Only using a cold wallet is bulky and takes time to verify each and every transaction, but it's extremely safe as you physically have to approve transactions.
The solution? Combine the two!
Get a hot wallet, preferably MetaMask which is the "Bitcoin of wallets", create two accounts in it:
1) One account is for lower amounts of cash and fast swaps and transactions on decentralized exchanges.
2) The second is where you hold large sums of assets that you protect with added hardware security. Nothing leaves this wallet without your physical approval.
I currently use this setup with a Ledger and it works great.
| Best crypto exchanges
There are dozens of exchanges out there and aside from security, what should dictate which one you choose as your go-to exchange should be how many of your target altcoins that they support.
Right now especially in the Metaverse, Play to Earn, and DeFi categories, the ones that support the most coins for trading are:
Not all of these exchanges might be available in your country, so you may have to settle for an exchange with fewer coins, and go the DEX route to get access to the entire market.
You can check what exchanges that trade what coin on coinmarketcap. Seach up a coin you’d like to check, click market, and you’ll see the trading volumes and where they are.
Some exchanges will most often have a majority of the volume for trading. In this specific example, Uniswap being a DEX has the most volume, followed by the exchange Gate.io.
| Best altcoins
I've mentioned this slightly before, but it's paramount that you pick legit altcoins to invest your money in, or you risk a rug pull.
So how can we determine if a coin is legit?
1) Does the coin have a real use-case right now or in the very near future?
2) Is the team behind it legitimate people with a proven track record of building businesses?
3) Do they have a healthy and thriving community?
Simple questions that will take you far.
In other words, if you throw money at a MEME coin, with anonymous founders or even worse an influencer, and zero real-world utility, then you might as well throw that money in the toilet and flush it now.
| Crypto gaming
There are specific crypto categories that I'm especially bullish on, and that is crypto gaming, Metaverse, Play to Earn, and Defi.
We are rapidly moving towards a future where hanging out in metaverses, with NFT's, and playing games with friends to earn your living will be a reality.
Facebook changed its holding name to Meta, Nike and Adidas jumped into NFT, Twitter's ex CEO is building a metaverse company, so many forces are scrambling to move towards Web3 and establish dominance.
Crypto gaming will be a trillion-dollar business in the coming years, Ready Player One in reality. If you get in early, then there is infinite potential to make it big.
| Learn to read the crypto charts!
So we now know what altcoins are, you got a wallet set up, you're sold on crypto gaming, and you even picked out some great prospects that you want to throw your money at.
Hold on, avoid buying anything like a buffalo until you understand how to read a basic trading chart.
The reality is that the project might be amazing, but if you fuck up the entry on your position and FOMO in at the peak, you'll lose 50-90% of it when it dumps.
You need to know some basic TA (Technical Analysis), so you can make a proper entry, and enjoy the gains to come. But this is only possible if you:
Everyone, even your grandma knows this, yet 90% of people fuck this up anyways because we trade with emotions.
Greed, Fear, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) all contribute to retarded trades. Learn some basic TA, draw some trendlines, check historical peaks, is BTC in a bullish or bearish trend?
Get answers and you’ll know when it’s time to enter, watch the below video for some basic TA explanation.
| How to convert crypto to cash and cashing out
Exchanges make it very easy for you to whip out a credit card and buy crypto fast and easy, but how about getting your fiat money back from crypto-land?
Now that becomes a little more complicated as a lot of banks hate crypto. They hate it because you're moving funds out of the bank's control and accounts to crypto.
They usually don't support deposits and are not crypto-friendly, or at least they'll give you some kind of issues depending on your bank.
There are several workarounds to this using different exchanges and services to move money around, but honestly, I'd rather keep control of my own money in crypto.
The regular fiat currencies are being destroyed in real life through inflation and infinite money printing anyways.
And thinking about how we use regular money today, we usually have a bank with cash on it and use a credit or debit card linked to the bank to pay for rent and stuff.
How about we do the same with crypto, we use a debit card linked to a crypto account and pay for everything while staying in control of our own assets.
Crypto.com has some neat debit cards that give cash back on every purchase in CRO tokens, which you can swap for a stable coin anytime.