New kid on the Block?

Unless you have been living under a rock, you might be aware that the crypto scene is pretty hyped lately. While Bitcoin might have doubled this year, Ether went up 2000% and similar is the case with other coins too!

The combined market cap of cryptocurrencies went from $16 Billion to more than $100 Billion since the starting of this year. The growth doesn’t seem to slow down anytime soon. To give you an idea, the market cap of Bitcoin alone was $14 Billion in December 2016 and that of Altcoins (Coins that are not Bitcoin) was mere $2B.

As of June 2017, the market cap of Bitcoin is at $42 Billion while that of altcoins is just shy of $70 Billion. So what caused this sudden spike in interest you ask? Ethereum! Yes, this smart contract platform and tokens built on it are the talk of the town right now. From Javascript creator raising $35 Million in under 30 seconds to Bitcoin Pioneer building World’s First Trustless Asset Portfolio Platform on it, Ethereum has come very far after being released just 3 years ago. Ethereum’s market cap went from $600 Million in December 2016 to $36 Billion as of June 2017.  Additionally, the market cap of all tokens built on the Ethereum platform went over $1 Billion recently.

Ok, that might seem bubbly and groundbreaking at the same but you might be wondering where do you start in this vast cryptoverse? You are at the right place, let’s get started.

To get started, you’ll need to have a wallet. A wallet is where you would store your cryptocurrencies. Each coin will have its own wallet. There are many different wallets available over desktop, web and mobile. There are wallets in which you would own the private keys/mnemonic and the safety of the coins will be your sole responsibility while there are hosted wallets on which some specialised third party would store your coins for you.

Now that you have setup up a wallet, you would like to buy some cryptocurrencies. How do you do that? You go to some cryptocurrency exchanges and buy your first coins. It is advised not to store your on exchanges unless you are actively trading as there’s always security risk and there have been many cases of big hacks. You can also buy for cash or another mode of payment locally.

So now that you bought your coins and sent them to your private wallet, you want to check how many confirmations did your transaction receive. How do you do that? You look up your transaction id on a Block Explorer. Block explorers are tools which show details about blocks, transaction and addresses.

These are the only basic things that are required to get started. If you are looking for trading tools, it can be found here. Network stats and charts, here. Check out Cryptocurrency Rankings, Mining tools other collections.

That’s just an overview of the basics. There a lot to understand in this deep world of crypto. Here are some good reads and videos that’ll help you understand everything more easily:

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