How to Buy Cryptocurrencies

Getting started on a cryptocurrency exchange.

6 minute read

The Cryptocurrency Market

The Cryptocurrency market has grown from $16 billion to $600 billion dollars in the last year, and some people have become very, very rich along the way. Taking your first steps into trading cryptocurrencies can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. This article will walk you through how to buy cryptocurrencies on an exchange like Binance.

Step 1 - Purchase Litecoin on Coinbase

Most cryptocurrency exchanges don’t let you trade for dollars, and none of them take credit cards. Instead, most cryptocurrencies are bought and sold using Bitcoin, though some exchanges also have markets that will let you buy using Ethereum or Litecoin. That means that before you can buy anything on a cryptocurrency exchange you’ll need to puchase one of those to use as funds and move them to the exchange.

You can purchase Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum on Coinbase using a credit card with a minimum amount of hassle. Coinbase is a Silicon Valley based company that’s been around since 2012 and has a great reputation.

We strongly recommend you purchase Litecoin on Coinbase to send to the exchange. Litecoin is faster than Bitcoin and the fees to transfer Litecoin to the exchange are much, much lower than if you use Bitcoin. Sending $100 of Bitcoin will cost you $30 in transfer fees, but sending $100 worth of Litecoin will cost you around 6 cents.

Buying Litecoin at Coinbase Buy Litecoin at Coinbase.

Step 2 - Send Litecoin to Binance

Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world and regularly processes over $3 billion in trades per day. We recommend it because it has a good user-interface, great up-time, and is responsive to customer support issues, which isn’t something you can’t say about all other cryptocurrency exchanges.

After you’ve registered you’ll need to send your funds from Coinbase to Binance. On the Binance website, click on Funds, then Deposits Withdrawals. It will bring up a list of every coin traded on Binance. Type LTC into the search bar, and then click Deposit on the right hand side. This will generate a Litecoin Deposit Address for you, which you’ll need to use on the Coinbase site.

Generating a Litecoin deposit address on Binance Generating a Litecoin deposit address on Binance.

On the Coinbase website click on Accounts, then scroll down to your LTC Wallet and click the Send button. In the Recipient field, paste the deposit address you got from Binance. Put in the Amount you want to send, then finally click Continue.

Sending Litecoin from Coinbase to Binance Sending Litecoin from Coinbase to Binance.

After you’ve confirmed the transaction with Coinbase, your Litecoin will be sent to Binance. It can take between 10 to 20 minutes for the Litecoin to become available on Binance.

Step 3 - Sell Litecoin for Bitcoin

Since most cryptocurrencies are sold for Bitcoin, you’ll need to convert your Litecoin into Bitcoin before you can buy anything. But before we sell your Litecoin, let’s take a moment to discuss what’s actually about to happen. You’ll be creating what is called a Sell Order. A Sell Order means you’re telling the exchange how much Litecoin you want to sell and at what price. But you’re not selling to the exchange. Instead, Binance will match your Sell order with someone else’s Buy Order, which is how much Litecoin someone else wants to buy at a certain price of Bitcoin.

On the Binance website, click on Exchange, then Basic. You’ll end up at one of the Binance exchanges. On the right hand side of the screen, under Favorites, type in LTC and then click on the LTC/BTC pair that comes up. You’ll be taken to the Litecoin / Bitcoin market.

The Binance LTC / BTC Market The Binance LTC / BTC Market.

There’s a lot going on in this screen, so let’s break it down. On the left side are the Buy and Sell orders that other traders have placed. The current price of a cryptocurrency is the price at which the last Buy and Sell order were matched. On the bottom right side is the Trade History, which is a list of the most recent trades, which can give you an idea if the price is going up or down.

In the middle of the screen is a line chart showing the price of Litecoin over the last few minutes. Below that is a bar chart which shows the volume - how much Litecoin was bought or sold every minute. If the bar is red, then the price went down over that minute, and if the bar is green then the price went up over that minute.

Finally, in the middle of the screen below the charts is where you’ll place your Sell Order for Litecoin. The Price should be set for you automatically by Binance, and the was the last price that was paid. You can raise or lower your price if you’d like, or refresh the screen to reset the price to the latest. Below that enter the Amount of Litecoin that you want to sell. If you want to sell all of your Litecoin, click the 100% button. Binance will automatically update the Total. When you’re ready, click Sell LTC.

If you want, you can make it simpler by changing the type of order you’re submitting. Instead of a Limit order, which lets you set the price, click on the Market tab. Now you just have to enter the Amount of Litecoin that you want to sell, and Binance will sell your Litecoin for the best current price automatically.

After you click Sell LTC, you’ll see a little popup that says Succeeded, which is how you’ll know it worked.

Congratulations, you just made your first cryptocurrency trade!

Step 4 - Buy Cryptocurrency with Bitcoin

Now that you’ve got Bitcoin on Binance, you’re ready to buy the whichever cryptocurrency you’re interested in. In this example we’ll purchase Ripple. You’ll need to know the symbol of the currency you want to buy, which in the case of Ripple is XRP. If you don’t know the symbol you can find it on Coin Market Cap. Type the symbol of the cryptocurrency into the search box in the top right of Binance, and click on the market you want.

The Binance Ripple / Bitcoin Market The Binance Ripple / Bitcoin Market.

The screen will look very similar to the LTC / BTC market, but now in the top left it says XRP / BTC, meaning we’re at the Ripple / Bitcoin market. You’ll place your Buy Order the same way you placed your Litecoin Sell Order in Step 3. You can do a Limit Order or and set your price, or a Market Order to get the best current price. When ready, click Buy XRP.

After your order is complete, you can head back to the Deposit Withdrawal screen, type in the name of the cryptocurrency you just bought, and verify it’s in your account.

Verifying Funds on Binance Verifying Funds on Binance.

If you don’t see your funds there, your order may not have been filled yet. To check, select Orders then Open Orders at the top of the Binance screen. If your order is still open it will be listed there. You can close an open order and retry at a different price, or just wait until your order is closed.

And that’s it, you’re done! There are many, many cryptocurrencies out there, so be sure you do your research before you buy. You can find out about coins here on Bitcoin Beginner by reading articles about them. And be sure you only invest what you can stand to lose - cryptocurrency prices are incredibly volatile!