Personally I use Coinbase as my traditional currency to crypto starting point. They have a nice user interface, lots of security options and is mostly fast. It uses 2FA (two factor authorisation) for any funds that are to be bought, or even to be moved from your account, so even if your credentials fall into the wrong hands, all they can do is look at your millions.
These options can also be turned off, if you so wish; but it is not recommended.
Sign Up for Crypto
Your first step is to get signed up to the service. This is a relatively straightforward process, although you will need two forms of identification and a webcam / Coinbase phone app to complete the verification process. This is a legal and procedural requirement these days from their banking partners to reduce the anonymity of cryptocurrency and also to prevent money laundering. There are ways of purchasing Crytpo anonymously, but that is not the topic of this guide.
Next job is to get logged in using the password that you obviously do not use anywhere else on any other account. But you would never do something as silly as that, would you? You’d obviously also know to not use any english words, to use mixed case and have at least two symbols in the password. Especially to something that has near unlimited access to the funds in your bank, but you knew that anyway.
If you didn’t – I’d recommend that you start using RoboForm as a password manager to generate secure passwords for you and also remember them for you. Personally I’ve used this particular password manager for nearly 10 years now, and I’d never use anything else.
The next step once your credentials are verified is to pass 2FA, usually set-up to your mobile phone that you verified at the time of sign-up although other options are available.
Input the 7 digit code that arrives as a standard SMS message in my case and choose to verify.
There is also the option to not have them ask for 2FA when logging in using the current device for 30 days. I use this. For you to use this too, you must have “cookies” enabled or it will fail.
Once you’re past the bouncer on the door and your name was on the list for once; you’re presented with the super-friendly looking Dashboard. Chief interest point is the prominent graph for the 4 Currencies that they will trade with you for your hard-earned.
Recently added is Bitcoin Cash (BCH), but as at the time of writing, they aren’t trading with it just yet, but I digress.
I’m interested in Ethereum, so choose it in the 4 options at the top to display it’s price graph. As you can see, it was an eye-watering £722.
In the top right of the price graph you’ll see 6 time-base options ranging from 1H (one hour) to All Time. I’d recommend against using the 1H time-base as its just too stressful to look at. UP – DOWN – UP – DOWN – UP – DOWN. It’ll make your head spin and doesn’t paint any sense into what the price is going to do either way. You’re so “zoomed in” that least significant digit changes look like bombs going off, but once you “zoom out” a little to 1 Day or even a week, then those “massive” changes you were just looking at are now smoother than a pool-ball.
We’re almost there!
At the top of the Dashboard in the grey bar, choose “Buy/Sell” and choose Ethereum as the currency that you want to purchase, or if you’re following along and want a different currency, choose it now. This part of the process is identical for all of the available currencies anyway.
Enter your amounts and check the fee’s (again, eye-watering) and click “Buy Ethereum Instantly”, which isn’t truly instant, but is close enough.
You’ll now get one last opportunity to check everything that you’ve entered is correct and confirm the buy.
If you’re buying with a credit/debit card, it must be “3DSecure” enabled. If you aren’t sure, then if you’re presented with the Verified By <card issuer> password box then your card is enabled. But if the buy fails… it’s not. Contact your bank.
Now, the next page that appears threw me a little on my first buy. I was waiting for it to automatically move on or something, but no.
When you see this message, then – CONGRATULATIONS. You now are a proud owner of Ethereum and “being processed dot dot dot” seems to mean it’s processing… adding the ether to your wallet? I don’t know. Its a stupid message in my opinion. I waited for ages for it to do something, or maybe I was being stupid. Whatever. Go to the dashboard and marvel at your new Ethereum Balance in you Coinbase ETH wallet.