Kapitall's own Emma Merrill writes about her experience getting into the world of cryptocurrencies with our "Crypto Diaries" series. Check back regularly as she explores everything coins, blockchain, and beyond.
Dear Crypto Diary,
I’m Emma, and I don’t know a thing about Crypto… yet.
Like most of us, I know (or think I know) someone who has supposedly become a millionaire from crypto mining.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a big fan of making money. Yet here I am. In the same white void of complete lack of crypto knowledge as you, eager to tunnel out. We’ll be learning together and with any luck, making money. Or hopefully at least you’ll see me make money (which I’m okay with if you are).
We’ll draw our pickaxes and descend into the chaotic labyrinth together, mining the “secrets” of millionaire investors. We’ll dodge the bullets of mercenary hackers, eager to penetrate our virtual wallets. We’ll even explore the gilded vaults of Coinbase, Bitstamp, Kraken, and Gatehub together, feeling like Harry on his first trip to Gringotts.
If the risks of cryptomining aren’t your thing (they weren’t mine either until recently) hey, no worries, just enjoy my anecdotes. But for now, let’s start the journey. Also, please note that I am not making any suggestions about where you should put your money. I’m just here to demystify the treacherous fantasy land of Cryptopia for both of us. This is my journey, do with it what you will.
Question One: Where On Earth Do I Purchase Cryptocurrencies?
Google turned up some shady looking websites (I’ve heard too many stories about fake crypto investments), so I decided to see what Fortune recommended. Okay, it seems Coinbase is one of the safest (and most user friendly) choices. Cool, I decided to check that out. Here’s what I saw:
Excellent. I know what line graphs are. Seems easy enough. They asked for some basic information, verifying I was at least 18 and such. But then they asked for my ID, which made my blood spike a little. Were they going to ask for my mother’s maiden name next? Maybe get my social security number?
I was spooked. At least Coinbase executives knew people would be panicked and provided a link with reasoning as to why IDing is necessary. Here’s what popped up:
In short, they are required by the U.S. government to ID as a “financial service” company. Okay makes sense. The rest of the setup went well. They got a picture of my ID (no I will not be providing that picture here) and the rest happened without blowing up in my face.
So far, my bank account hasn’t been bled dry and mysteriously wired to Kim Jong Un. Not a bad first start.
Yours in Investing,