A Beginners Guide to Cryptocurrencies

Starting out in anything can feel a little intimidating – and in the world of cryptocurrency, beginners have a world of technical knowledge and jargon to fight through before some of the basics start making sense.

With this in mind, we've sat down as a team and considered some essential beginner's knowledge that'll help if you're hoping to make sense of cryptocurrency. From getting a wallet and working through the order process – through to making sure you're not falling foul to any scams – we'll help to keep you on the right path.

We've added some links that will take you through to articles that offer a little more advice on specific topics – but for a quick glance to get you up to speed, the following will help...

Getting a wallet

Getting a wallet

The cryptographic code-based nature of digital currencies means you need a wallet to send and receive them. Where a real-world wallet simply holds your cash and cards, a crypto wallet doesn't actually store your currency – in actual fact, they're sophisticated programs that interface with the blockchain technology that underpins Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Instead of holding actually currency – your wallet holds the keys to that currency, specifically, the public and private keys that allow you to receive and send your funds. If someone sends you 1 BTC, it doesn't drop into your wallet – instead, the blockchain understands that you're entitled to that Bitcoin – and your wallet gives you sole access to handle it as you wish.

There are different types of wallet to choose from – and our in-depth guide will help you choose the one that's right for you. Choosing a wallet is an important first step in your cryptocurrency journey; without one, you simply can't get started.

If you're stuck on which wallet to choose, read our blog post on How to choose the right wallet for you.

Securing/backing up a wallet

Securing/backing up a wallet

Different types of crypto wallet offer differing levels of security – but one thing is certain - poor handling of any kind of wallet is likely to lead to complete loss of the assets it helps you hold.

As such, you should make the security and backing up of your wallet non-negotiables when it comes to your cryptocurrency experience. That said – being able to access your currency when you need it is also important – so it sometimes makes sense to hold just small amounts of cryptocurrency in places where it's easily accessible (and therefore less secure) – but keep the majority of your assets in dedicated offline storage that's more difficult to access.

We've written a detailed guide that outlines 10 top tips for keeping your cryptocurrency portfolio safe – including one or two tips you won't see on most lists...

If you'd like to delve a little deeper into this, read our blog post on Keeping your cryptocurrency portfolio safe.

Ordering cryptocurrency

Ordering cryptocurrency

When you've decided on a wallet, you're all set to take ownership of your first cryptocurrency assets. We've handpicked 12 of the most popular coins to purchase through our simple service.

To get started, you'll need to sign up for an account with cryptomonster. We only need a few quick details – and for you to verify the email address you provide. You can sign up for our service as an individual or a company. When you're signed up, you'll be able to place orders in line with our order limits. As your requirements grow, your order limits can too – we'll just need to verify your ID and make sure your account is conducted in a way that keeps you and our customers safe.

When you're signed up and verified, you can choose the right currency for you. When you've decided, you'll just need to click the 'buy' link under your chosen coin to get going.

On the first screen in the process you'll get to decide how much of your chosen currency you'd like to purchase. There's a minimum and maximum limit that will depend on your account limits. We're a little different to a lot of other services at this stage – you'll be able to enter either an amount you'd like to spend – or an amount of your chosen cryptocurrency that you'd like to receive; each value will change the other accordingly.

If you've used other crypto services, you'll notice something different at this stage – no mention of fees. That's because the price you see includes everything. The price you pay and the cryptocurrency you receive in exchange will match these figures exactly. cryptomonster price an asset slightly above the market rate. You can read more on this below.

You'll need to fill out your wallet address here – and, when you progress to the next step, you'll see a confirmation screen that verifies all of your details. You'll need to check these before placing your order.

When your order is placed, it will enter our queuing system where a digital asset specialist will check it and accept it. When this is done, you'll be presented with a verified UK bank sort code and account number to send your payment to. We use the Faster Payments service to make sure your digital asset is secured at the price you ordered.

The digital asset specialist who's looking after your purchase will confirm receipt of your funds with the seller and progress the order. We'll let you know how things are going every step of the way.

Finally, the digital asset you've selected with be released and the blockchain will attribute your asset to your wallet address. That's it! The blockchain will now recognise your wallet as holding the assets you ordered – and you'll see the incoming transaction and balance when the blockchain updates. The speed at which the blockchain will update depends on a host of variables – which at this stage are out of our hands. Don't worry though – even if your chosen currency takes a short time, your balance will update soon.

Ordering cryptocurrency process

So, how are you able to provide this unique GBP bank to bank service?

Buying from a currency broker always attracts small charges – much in the same way that you would pay a very small commission to the Post Office if you exchanged Pounds Sterling for US Dollars before a holiday.

At cryptomonster the price of an asset is slightly above the market rate - but our prices don't simply line the pockets of people who've created an automated faceless platform to make your transaction happen. Instead, they're being used by a UK-based business to pair you with a digital asset specialist – a real person who'll thoroughly check your order to make sure you're fully protected and supported through our simple purchasing process.

cryptomonster have to take into consideration:

  • Time of vendors on the platform.
  • Technical development of the platform.
  • Our time dealing with 3rd party's and establishing relationships which ensure we can continue to operate, and allow us to provide our seamless service.
  • Research time to ensure customers are provided with correct and complete information ensuring a high quality of service.
  • Vendors capital risk & fraud risk.

Some benefits to using our platform:

  • No bank forex fees (we absorb that cost).
  • No overseas transaction charges (we absorb that cost).
  • UK bank to bank, safe and fast.
  • No funds held on the exchange itself, low customer risk.
  • No forex depreciation whilst FX is in transit.
  • UK company and professional directors with superior customer service

The result? We think we've created the most simple and transparent way to purchase the most popular cryptocurrencies – and our 5-star reviews on TrustPilot reflect that aim. We're not a faceless service that you'll forget; we're a service that's built around delivering a quick, simple and exceptionally safe experience for you.

TrustPilot

Avoid scams

The world of cryptocurrency is a prime location for scammers and fraudsters – and it's almost completely down people being unaware of how digital currencies really work – and often operating with an idea that 'too good to be true' somehow exists in the world of cryptos.

Some scams are extremely 'low tech' – i.e. advertisements that promise big returns if you send your currency to a fake investor; all the way through to complex cyber-crime, like the hacking of international exchanges – or the creation of coins that simply intended to draw investment before their creators disappear.

You should treat cryptocurrency with the same critical attitude you have for anything that relates to the cash you have in your bank account. You wouldn't give money to someone you met online with the promise they'd magically double it – nor would you put it into a bank you'd never heard of. Be careful – there are lots of people who'll say whatever's needed to get their hands on your money.

If you're unsure, consult the community. There's a wealth of support in the cryptocurrency world from real, genuine people who are sharing helpful knowledge – and remember, at cryptomonster, we're a UK based business who operate with anti-money laundering laws and strict finance industry standards at the heart of what we do.

BTC/GBP £2,925.09 0.62%
ETH/GBP £75.83 0.64%
XRP/GBP £0.2646 0.51%
XLM/GBP £0.0974 0.90%
ADA/GBP £0.0336 0.87%
ETC/GBP £3.29 0.84%
BCH/GBP £82.87 -0.01%
QTUM/GBP £1.47 1.51%
LTC/GBP £20.45 0.67%
EOS/GBP £1.69 1.75%
DASH/GBP £56.65 0.75%
ZEC/GBP £46.84 1.29%
GNO/GBP £10.20 -0.21%
PASC/GBP £0.1971 0.41%
BTC/GBP £2,925.09 0.62%
ETH/GBP £75.83 0.64%
XRP/GBP £0.2646 0.51%
XLM/GBP £0.0974 0.90%
ADA/GBP £0.0336 0.87%
ETC/GBP £3.29 0.84%
BCH/GBP £82.87 -0.01%
QTUM/GBP £1.47 1.51%
LTC/GBP £20.45 0.67%
EOS/GBP £1.69 1.75%
DASH/GBP £56.65 0.75%
ZEC/GBP £46.84 1.29%
GNO/GBP £10.20 -0.21%
PASC/GBP £0.1971 0.41%
BTC/GBP £2,925.09 0.62%
ETH/GBP £75.83 0.64%
XRP/GBP £0.2646 0.51%
XLM/GBP £0.0974 0.90%
ADA/GBP £0.0336 0.87%
ETC/GBP £3.29 0.84%
BCH/GBP £82.87 -0.01%
QTUM/GBP £1.47 1.51%
LTC/GBP £20.45 0.67%
EOS/GBP £1.69 1.75%
DASH/GBP £56.65 0.75%
ZEC/GBP £46.84 1.29%
GNO/GBP £10.20 -0.21%
PASC/GBP £0.1971 0.41%