Step 1. Choose any reputable exchange service on the market (Coinbase, Gemini, CEX, Binance, etc.) that would allow you trade the cryptocurrency of your choice. Coinbase is probably the most popular exchange platform, but it also has a significant drawback such as high transaction fees for any fiat currency. If you are looking for an exchange with lower charges, consider using BitStamp or CEX.
Step 2. Create an account. After choosing an exchange, you have to sign up and verify it by providing all the necessary documents (ID, the proof of your address, etc.). This is important for preventing different types of fraudulent activities. The verification procedure may take up to a week.
The majority of exchanges require verification because they have to comply with AML regulations. If you do not want to reveal your identity, you may consider using the exchanges that put an emphasis on anonymity (Localbitcoins, Wall of Coins, etc.).
Bitquick, for example, allows anonymous transactions that do not exceed $400. Localbitcoins, on the other hand, does not have verification requirements at all. Of course, this is a huge advantage for individuals who do not what to reveal their personal information to a third party that may be subjected to a data breach.
Some exchanges may routinely close their registration due to a high demand. There has recently been a trend of selling fully verified accounts on eBay and other platforms, because people who are willing to trade crypto simply are not able to sign in. Of course, it is just another red flag – the seller may easily get his account back.
Step 3. Choose a trading pair. There may be crypto-to-crypto and fiat-to-crypto trading pairs. The particular number of available trading pairs depends on the exchange. Your choice of a particular exchange may depend on the niche cryptocurrency that you want to buy.
Step 4. Withdraw your money. No matter what exchange you choose, do not forget to withdraw all your money to a cold wallet after completing the transaction. Mt. Gox’s shutdown proves that even the most prominent exchanges may not recover from a big hacking attack.