Updated: Nov 19, 2021
If you are reading this you are most likely new to the crypto space and wondering how to get started. It can be a bit overwhelming in the beginning, I started in early 2017 and I still remember how I felt. The most important thing you can do to increase your chances of success and reduce the number of mistakes you make is to educate yourself. I have been in this space for over 4 years now and I am still learning, the crypto space is constantly evolving so there is always something new to learn.
Okay, so where do you start? Besides, looking through the educational links I would recommend opening an account at a crypto exchange or at a brokerage that supports cryptocurrencies. Another option and probably the easiest way to purchase crypto is to open an account at PayPal. They don't have a huge selection and you can't transfer the crypto off of PayPal but this option could still appeal to many people.
If you do decide to open an account at a crypto exchange you will want to pick an exchange that allows you to link your bank account. Linking your bank will allow you to transfer fiat (dollars, Euros, etc.) into your account so that you can begin making purchases. I'm in the US so the first account I opened was at Coinbase, at the time I believe Coinbase was the only exchange that would allow me to link my bank. It also has a pretty simple platform that is easy to use so that also is a plus for anyone who is inexperienced. One problem I found with Coinbase is that their fees are much higher than other exchanges which is a big deal if you are doing a lot of buying, selling, or transferring.
For anyone who has never used an exchange (stocks or crypto), and wants to save on fees I would recommend either Binance or if you live in the US Binance.US. Both have "Buy Crypto" tabs that you can click on to make easy purchases. This allows you to start making purchases right away while you learn to use the trading platform. FTX.US is another exchange that I really like, for anyone not living in the US they have a global exchange that is just FTX.com. I also use Kraken quite a bit but their fees can be quite high also.
So, after opening an account at an exchange the next thing I would recommend is getting a good wallet. I use both a desktop and hardware wallet, the desktop wallet that I use can be found at Exodus.com - of all the desktop wallets I have used I have found the Exodus to be the best hands down. For maximum security, I use the Nano S hardware wallet. it seemed a little weird to use at first but after using it a couple of times together with the Ledger Live wallet manager it grows on you.
Transferring crypto is another hurdle that new crypto users must overcome. Making a transfer was probably the most stressful thing I had to learn and even now when making larger transfers I still get nervous. Being nervous though isn't necessarily a bad thing at least for me as it makes me double and triple check everything before I put the transfer through. My suggestion to get more comfortable making transfers is to take a small amount of crypto and practice transferring it between your exchange and your wallet. Keep in mind that there will be a fee for each transfer so I would use LTC (Litecoin) or another crypto that has very small transfer fees. As I write this it is very expensive to transfer ETH (Ethereum) so I definitely would not use ETH for this practice exercise. In my opinion, spending some crypto to practice making transfers is well worth it if it helps prevent an expensive mistake in the future. The bottom line is double and triple check everything before putting a transfer through, this is crypto and if you make a mistake there is no one that is going to bail you out. Everything you do in crypto is your responsibility, there is no safety net!
Following these steps should get you started in crypto but your journey will only have just begun. There is so much to learn and if you are serious about this I would encourage you to soak up as much information as you can. I would also strongly suggest that anyone planning on sticking with crypto for the long-term to learn how to read and create price charts. This will be very valuable when researching new projects to invest in as it will allow you to view past price history and aid in choosing a good entry price. This will be especially true for anyone that wants to trade cryptocurrencies. Hands down the best site in my opinion for learning how to chart and trade is Real Life Trading, reallifetrading.com.
I think that is all I have, for now, if I think of any additional tips later I will add them.