Understanding & Investing in Cryptocurrency Guide
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


  1. What is Cryptocurrency?
  2. How does Cryptocurrency work?
  3. Most popular Cryptocurrencies
  4. How to buy Cryptocurrency
  5. How to store Cryptocurrency
  6. Risks of Cryptocurrency investment
  7. Benefits of Cryptocurrency investment
  8. Tips for investing in Cryptocurrency

So, you've decided to explore the world of cryptocurrency but not sure where to start? Well, you've come to the right place. This guide is your ticket to understanding and investing in cryptocurrency. We'll kick off with the basics and by the end, you'll feel more confident about dipping your toes into the crypto pool. This, friend, is your go-to guide to cryptocurrency for beginners.

What is Cryptocurrency?

Let's start at the very beginning — a very good place to start, as the song goes. Cryptocurrency, in simple terms, is digital money. Think of it as your usual money, like dollars or euros, but without the physical bills and coins. Just like you use your traditional money to buy things or invest, you can do the same with cryptocurrency.

However, it's not as straightforward as trading in your dollars for digital coins. Cryptocurrency operates independently of a central bank, and uses encryption techniques to regulate the creation of monetary units and to verify the transfer of funds. This is where it gets its name — 'crypto' comes from the word cryptography, which is all about secure communication.

Here's a quick rundown of what makes cryptocurrency unique:

  • Decentralized: Unlike traditional currencies that are controlled by central banks, cryptocurrencies are decentralized. This means no single entity has control over the entire network.
  • Blockchain Technology: Cryptocurrencies use a technology called blockchain to record transactions. Think of it as a digital ledger that's updated in real-time and is accessible to anyone on the network.
  • Security: Transactions made with cryptocurrencies are secure and cannot be tampered with, thanks to the wonders of cryptography.
  • Accessibility: You can send and receive cryptocurrencies anywhere around the globe as long as you have an internet connection. It's like carrying a bank in your pocket.

Now that we've covered the basics of what cryptocurrency is, let's dive deeper into how it works. As they say, the devil is in the details, and understanding these details is the first step towards mastering cryptocurrency for beginners.

How does Cryptocurrency work?

Understanding how cryptocurrency works can seem like unraveling the mysteries of the universe. But don't worry, we're going to break it down into bite-sized pieces. Let's start with two key elements: blockchain and mining.

As we mentioned before, cryptocurrencies use a technology called blockchain. Imagine a chain where each link is a record of a transaction. These links, or blocks, are all connected and everyone on the network can see them. This transparency makes the system reliable and hard to cheat. If someone tried to mess with a block, it would be like a glaring red flag in a field of green — pretty hard to miss.

But how are these blocks created? Well, this leads us to the second key element: mining. No, it's not the kind involving hard hats and pickaxes. In the crypto world, mining is the process of verifying transactions and adding them to the blockchain. People called miners use powerful computers to solve complex mathematical problems. When they solve the problem, the transaction is verified, a new block is added to the chain, and the miner is rewarded with some cryptocurrency.

Now, let's talk about wallets and keys. To store your cryptocurrency, you'll need a digital wallet. This isn't like the wallet in your pocket — it's a software program that stores your public and private keys. Think of these keys as your email address (public key) and password (private key). You give people your public key so they can send you cryptocurrency, but you keep your private key secret. If someone else gets it, they can take all your cryptocurrency. So, remember to keep it safe!

Finally, to buy or sell cryptocurrency, you'll use a crypto exchange. This is a platform where people trade different cryptocurrencies, much like a stock exchange. You can set the price you want to buy or sell at, and when someone matches your price, the exchange completes the transaction.

And there you have it! You now know how cryptocurrency works. It might seem like a lot to take in, but remember: every expert was once a beginner. Moving on, let's take a look at some of the most popular cryptocurrencies out there.

Now that we've got a handle on how cryptocurrency works, let's check out the all-stars of the crypto world. You've probably heard of Bitcoin, but there are thousands of other cryptocurrencies out there. Here are some of the most popular ones:

  • Bitcoin (BTC): The granddaddy of all cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin was the first and is the most well-known cryptocurrency. It was created in 2009 by an anonymous person (or group of people) using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto.
  • Ethereum (ETH): Launched in 2015, Ethereum is more than just a digital currency. It also enables developers to build and deploy smart contracts and decentralized applications on its platform.
  • Ripple (XRP): Ripple is both a digital payment protocol and a cryptocurrency. It's designed to enable fast, low-cost international money transfers.
  • Litecoin (LTC): Created by Charlie Lee in 2011, Litecoin was designed to be the "silver" to Bitcoin's "gold". It's similar to Bitcoin but has a faster block generation rate and hence offers quicker transaction confirmation.
  • Cardano (ADA): Launched in 2017, Cardano has been built with a research-first driven approach and aims to be the world's financial operating system by establishing decentralized financial products.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many other exciting and innovative cryptocurrencies out there. But no matter what you decide to invest in, always remember: do your own research. Don't just jump on the bandwagon because everyone else is doing it.

Next up, we'll go through the steps on how to buy cryptocurrency. Wondering how to convert your hard-earned cash into digital coins? Stay tuned!

How to buy Cryptocurrency

So, you've decided to join the world of cryptocurrency. Welcome aboard! Buying cryptocurrency is a lot simpler than it may seem. Just follow these steps, and you'll have your first digital coins in no time:

  1. Create a digital wallet: Before you can buy any cryptocurrency, you need a place to store it. Digital wallets can hold your coins. Some popular wallet options include Coinbase, BitPay, and Mycelium. Choose a wallet that suits your needs!
  2. Join a Cryptocurrency Exchange: These are platforms where you can buy and sell your coins. Some well-known exchanges include Binance, Kraken, and Bitfinex. Each platform has its pros and cons, so make sure to pick one that aligns with your cryptocurrency goals.
  3. Buy Cryptocurrency: Once you've signed up for an exchange, you can start buying cryptocurrency! Most exchanges allow you to buy coins using traditional money, or you could trade with other cryptocurrencies.
  4. Transfer Coins to your Wallet: After purchasing, it's a good idea to move your coins to your digital wallet rather than keeping them on the exchange. It's a safer option just in case the exchange gets hacked or shuts down.

And voila! You're now a proud owner of cryptocurrency. Remember, investing in cryptocurrency can be risky, so only invest money that you can afford to lose. Now, let's talk about how to safely store your new digital assets.

How to store Cryptocurrency

Now that you own some cryptocurrency, let's make sure you keep it safe. Storing your digital coins in the right place is like choosing the best hiding spot for your secret treasure. Here are some ways you can store your cryptocurrency:

  1. Online wallets: These are wallets you can access on the internet. They're convenient because you can use them from anywhere. But remember, they're also more vulnerable to hacking.
  2. Mobile wallets: These are apps on your phone. They're perfect for everyday use, like paying for coffee in Bitcoin. Mycelium and Breadwallet are two examples of mobile wallets.
  3. Desktop wallets: Download these right onto your computer. They offer more control and security than online or mobile wallets. Exodus and Electrum are popular choices.
  4. Hardware wallets: These are physical devices, kind of like a portable bank for your cryptocurrency. They're the most secure option out there. Brands like Ledger and Trezor offer well-reviewed products.
  5. Paper wallets: As old school as it sounds, you can print your cryptographic keys on a piece of paper and store it in a safe place. It's cheap and extremely secure if handled properly, but not as convenient for everyday use.

Remember, the best storage option depends on your needs. If you're making lots of transactions, an online or mobile wallet might be best. If you're holding onto your cryptocurrency as a long-term investment, a hardware or paper wallet could be a better choice. As always, make sure to keep your wallet secure and back up your data regularly!

Risks of Cryptocurrency Investment

Investing in cryptocurrency can be like riding a rollercoaster—it's thrilling, but not without its ups and downs. Here are a few risks that you, as a beginner to cryptocurrency, should keep in mind:

  1. Price volatility: Cryptocurrency prices can change rapidly in very short time, with potential to plummet as quickly as they rise. Ever heard of the time when Bitcoin hit almost $20,000 in 2017, only to drop to around $3,000 a year later? Quite a wild ride, right?
  2. Loss of investment: Due to the volatility, it's possible to lose your entire investment if the value of the cryptocurrency you've invested in drops to zero. This is a real risk, especially with less established cryptocurrencies.
  3. Security threats: As mentioned earlier, cryptocurrencies are vulnerable to hacking. Keep in mind that transactions are irreversible—if your coins are stolen, there's no getting them back.
  4. Regulatory risks: The legal landscape for cryptocurrency is always changing. New regulations could potentially impact the value of your investment. For example, if a government decides to ban cryptocurrency, it could hurt its value.

Despite these risks, many people are still drawn to cryptocurrency for its potential high returns and the idea of being part of a new financial system. It's important, however, to only invest what you're willing to lose. Consider this the golden rule of cryptocurrency investment.

Benefits of Cryptocurrency Investment

Despite the risks we've just discussed, investing in cryptocurrency can also have its perks. Here are some benefits that might make you, a beginner, consider diving into the world of cryptocurrency:

  1. Potential for high returns: Yes, we talked about volatility as a risk, but it's also a potential advantage. The rapid changes in cryptocurrency prices can lead to high returns if you time your investments right. Remember the Bitcoin price surge in 2017 we mentioned? That gave some early investors a hefty profit.
  2. Accessibility: Cryptocurrencies are accessible to anyone with an internet connection. This makes it possible for people who do not have access to traditional banking systems or financial services to participate in the financial market.
  3. Control over your own money: When you own cryptocurrency, you have complete control over your own money. There's no need for a bank to manage transactions or hold your money. You're your own bank!
  4. Transparency: All cryptocurrency transactions are recorded on a public ledger, known as the blockchain. This means that, while your identity is kept private, the transactions you make are transparent and can be verified by others.

These benefits can make cryptocurrency an enticing investment. But remember, it's important to do your research and understand what you're getting into. That's the key to being a successful cryptocurrency investor.

Tips for Investing in Cryptocurrency

So, you're considering stepping into the world of cryptocurrency. Great! Here are some handy tips for beginners like you to help navigate this exciting, yet complex, financial landscape:

  1. Start Small: As a beginner, it's a good idea to start small. Try not to pour all your savings into cryptocurrency. Instead, start with a small amount that you're willing to lose. This gives you a chance to learn the ropes without taking on too much risk.
  2. Do Your Homework: Cryptocurrency isn't something you can dive into without any prior knowledge. Spend some time learning about different types of cryptocurrencies, how they work, and the technology behind them. This will help you make informed decisions.
  3. Use a Secure Wallet: You'll need a place to store your cryptocurrency. There are many types of wallets available, from online wallets to hardware wallets. Always choose a wallet that has a good reputation for security.
  4. Stay Updated: The world of cryptocurrency moves fast. Stay updated with the latest news and trends. Follow reliable news sources, join online forums, engage in discussions. This will help you stay ahead of the game.
  5. Be Patient: Cryptocurrency investments are not a "get rich quick" scheme. It can take time to see a return on your investment. Don't get discouraged if things don't go your way initially. Patience is key.

Remember, investing in cryptocurrency is a journey, not a destination. It may seem intimidating at first, but with time and experience, you'll get the hang of it. Happy investing!

If you found this "Understanding & Investing in Cryptocurrency Guide" blog post helpful and want to dive deeper into the world of cryptocurrency, we highly recommend checking out 'Crypto For Creators, Part 1: The Backbone Of The Digital Economy' by Tom Glendinning. This workshop will provide you with valuable insights and knowledge on how cryptocurrency can play a significant role in the digital economy, especially for creators like you.