How to Invest in Digital Tokens
A Walkthrough for Newcomers
Obligatory Disclaimer: To modify a quote from Tim Ferris, “I am NOT a financial advisor, and none of this advice should be taken without speaking to a qualified professional first. Also, my results [are most likely] due to pure luck and zero skill.” Further, do not spend any funds on digital tokens than you are not willing to lose. You and you alone are responsible for any potential losses or gains. K? K.
Hey guys! Several of you have asked me, “How exactly can I get into the cryptocurrency world like you have?” Today I’m going to show you one simple way to get started, and I’ll walk you through the process step-by-step.
BEFORE YOU INVEST, please take a moment to read my article Ask These 4 Questions Before Investing in Any Cryptocurrency. I only want my readers to make investments they’re understand, would use, and believe in. Also, please know that this process is not the easiest way (that would be using a centralized exchange like Bittrex), but given the options for a beginner, this is a simple and secure way to invest, because you are in control of your holdings. Not a faceless company. Now that’s out of the way, let’s get started!
Head over to Coinbase and create an account (this link is my referral link, which we will both get a referral bonus from, should you decide to use it).
After you input your information, you’ll be asked to verify your email address. Once you do this, you’ll see the following screen. Click “Skip, I’ll do this later” at the bottom.
Once you click “Skip, I’ll do this later” you’ll be directed to your brand new dashboard. Huzzah! Click on “buy/sell” at the top, and you’ll see the following:
Click the big blue button and add your payment method of choice. Be advised that a bank transfer, while the cheapest option, takes around 2–3 business days to verify (like any payment method does), and 5 business days to process every purchase. Personally, I use my debit card, as transactions are instant.
Once you’ve added the payment method of your choice and verified it, go back to the “buy/sell” tab. It will look something like this:
Notice I’ve selected Ethereum to purchase, and I changed my payment method to the instant one. Now, you can either choose the amount of ETH you’d like to purchase by typing a number in on the right, or (this is what I do) you can just type in the cash amount you want to invest in the box on the left — the one labeled “USD.” If you’re buying $100 worth, it will look like this:
Once you’ve purchased your ETH, it will confirm within a few minutes. In the meantime, pull up Shapeshift.io in a new tab. Their homepage looks like this:
Now for our example I’ll be showing you how to purchase SNGLS, which is the token of SingularDTV, and I’ll show you how to store these tokens in MyEtherWallet. However, note that you can purchase a long list of tokens using Shapeshift.io. Just be sure the particular coin is compatible with MyEtherWallet before purchasing otherwise you’ll lose everything. More on this at the end of the post.
Back on Shapeshift, change the little grey bar from “quick” to “precise.” Then, click on the “Bitcoin” logo on the left and change it to “Ether,” and change the “Ether” logo on the right to “SingularDTV.” Once you’re finished, your page should look like this:
Hit continue, and then pull up a new tab for MyEtherWallet.
You’ll immediately be asked for a strong password. Enter it, and click “Generate Wallet.” Note that you’ll need this password regularly, so store it somewhere safe.
On the next screen, you’ll be prompted to download and save your wallet file. Please pay special attention to the red box — MyEtherWallet cannot recover ANY of your funds if you lose this file.
Once you’ve saved your Keystore File or Private Key in a secure location, the button affirming “I promise I won’t lose this ever. Continue” button will turn white, allowing you to proceed.
This screen displays your private key, and allows you to view and print your paper wallet. Make sure you store your paper wallet somewhere extremely secure in case you lose your wallet file you just downloaded. When you click “print paper wallet” you’ll see the following screen in a new tab:
After printing this off and storing it in a safe location, click the grey “Next, save your address” button. This next screen will be the one you’ll see whenever you need to log into your wallet.
To log in, either upload your Keystore File you downloaded, or copy and paste your private key. I’ll do that former, and it will look like this:
Once you type in your password, a blue “Unlock” button will appear, allowing access to your new Ether Wallet. When you scroll down on this page, you’ll see your dashboard:
Now that your MyEtherWallet is set up, copy your address, and head back over to ShapeShift. Paste your address where it says “Your SingularDTV Address (destination address).” It will look like this:
Now, go back to your Coinbase account, and click on the “Accounts” tab at the top. Your screen will look like this:
Under ETH Wallet, you should see the balance you purchased a few minutes ago. If not, give it a few more minutes to confirm. Once it appears, click on “get ethereum address.” A dialogue box will appear with your ETH address. Copy it, and go back to ShapeShift.
Paste your ETH address in the “Ether refund address” box (this is in case anything goes wrong with the transaction, preventing you from losing funds), and then enter the amount of Ether you’d like to exchange for SNGLS. For purpose of illustration, I’ll enter $100 worth of ETH, which looks like this:
Agree to the Terms, and click “Start Transaction.” Your screen will look like this:
Now, we have to actually send the funds from Coinbase to ShapeShift so that the conversion can take place. Under “Send This Amount,” copy the long string of numbers and letters under the word “To” — this is the conversion address — and go back to your Coinbase and click on “Send/Request.”
BEFORE pasting the address into the recipient box, be sure you change the wallet type from your BTC Wallet to your ETH Wallet as you see in the example above. Once you do this, paste in the ShapeShift conversion address, and select “use max” if you plan to send all the ETH you just purchased. Otherwise, type in the amount you want to send (be sure it matches the amount you entered into ShapeShift), and hit “send funds.”
After you do this, keep an eye on Shapeshift. Once the conversion is finished, the icon on the far right that says “All done!” will turn green. In a few minutes, you’ll be able to see the funds in your MyEtherWallet.
To view the funds, head back over to MyEtherWallet, and log back in, if necessary.
On your dashboard, you’ll see a button that says “Show All Tokens,” as shown below. Click it, and the list will expand.
Once the list expands, scroll down to “SNGLS” and you’ll be able to see your balance!
There you have it! You are now the proud owner of SingularDTV’s digital token. Notice that this long list you’re currently viewing is the list of supported coins on MyEtherWallet. If a particular coin is also listed on ShapeShift.io, you can repeat this entire process using that new coin instead of SNGLS (for instance, Golem is another good coin supported by both ShapeShift and MyEtherWallet).
Finally, if you’d like an easy way to keep track of your token’s value, head on over to CryptoCompare.com and set up a portfolio. They offer real-time value tracking, and great summaries of hundreds of tokens, and are the easiest way I’ve found to keep tabs on your total asset value.
Happy investing, everyone!
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ETH (and all other MyEtherWallet token) Donations welcomed at this address: 0x52F91575936bcae2E33208992F3FEDC775535c60