HOW TO GET INVOLVED
There are two basic ways of getting involved in cryptocurrency: as a means of paying for stuff, and as an investment. But however you do it, you need to proceed with care. Cryptocurrencies exist only electronically, making them targets for a global network of sophisticated digital scammers, thieves and hackers. And as the whole idea of cryptocurrency is to offer an alternative to official money, if something goes wrong you won’t be able to run to your bank for help. If you’re still undeterred, then here’s what to do…
GET A DIGITAL WALLET
This is where you keep your currency, allowing you to send or receive payments from your computer or smartphone.
Digital wallets include security features designed to keep your currency safe.
One of the most popular and well-regarded wallets is operated by Blockchain.info in Luxembourg.
ACTIVATE THE SECURITY MEASURES
Once you’ve registered your wallet, you’ll need to secure your account to prevent the contents of your wallet being hijacked or blocked by hackers. To do this, you’ll need a unique Wallet ID and extremely strong access passwords that have to be stored offline. The two-step verification involves your mobile phone, among other features.
CONVERT YOUR CASH INTO CRYPTOCURRENCY
This involves finding a so-called broker. This is essentially a bureau de change, where instead of buying holiday money you’re buying cryptocurrency. There are many to choose from, and sites like BittyBot provide price comparisons. Making the right choice depends on many factors and can be intimidating.
BUY STUFF, OR HOARD AND HOPE
A growing number of retailers now accept cryptocurrency as payment, though the black market still offers the most opportunities. But increasingly people are viewing cryptocurrency like gold: something to be bought and kept in the hope its value goes up. The huge swings in value can, however, make investing in cryptocurrency a terrifying experience.