• Written by

What Is Cryptocurrency and How Can I Buy It?

Illustration of the concept of cryptocurrency and how to buy it, featuring digital currency symbols like Bitcoin and Ethereum, a smartphone with a cryptocurrency wallet app, and a person making a transaction, with blockchain graphics and financial charts in the background.

Quick Answer: Whats Crypto, is it possible to buy it? 

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency secured by cryptography, operating on decentralised blockchain technology. To buy it, choose a reputable exchange, create an account, deposit funds, and purchase your desired cryptocurrency. Secure your investment in a digital wallet.

Featured Partner - Etoro

Etoro logo green
Golden badge labeled "The Investors Centre" with "Approved Platform" and "Best for Beginners" on a black background.

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more.


Cryptocurrency has become a buzzword in the financial world, but what exactly is it, and how can you get involved? This blog aims to demystify cryptocurrency, explaining what it is, how it works, and guiding you through the process of purchasing your first digital coins. Understanding cryptocurrency is essential as it continues to shape the future of finance and commerce.

What Is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a type of digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security. Unlike traditional currencies issued by governments (fiat money), cryptocurrencies operate on decentralised networks based on blockchain technology. This decentralisation means that no single entity, such as a government or bank, controls the currency.

How Cryptocurrency Works

Blockchain Technology

At the core of all cryptocurrencies is the blockchain, a distributed ledger that records all transactions across a network of computers. Each block in the chain contains a list of transactions, and once a block is completed, it is added to the chain in a linear, chronological order. This process ensures transparency and security, as altering any information on the blockchain requires changing all subsequent blocks, which is practically impossible.


Cryptocurrencies are typically decentralised, meaning they are not controlled by any central authority. This decentralisation is achieved through a network of nodes (computers) that validate and record transactions. The absence of a central authority reduces the risk of corruption and enhances security.

Cryptographic Security

Cryptocurrencies use cryptographic techniques to secure transactions and control the creation of new units. Public and private keys are essential in this system, with public keys acting as addresses for transactions and private keys being used to sign transactions, providing security and proof of ownership.

Screenshot of bitcoin trading page on eToro

Types of Cryptocurrencies


Bitcoin, created in 2009 by an anonymous person (or group) known as Satoshi Nakamoto, was the first cryptocurrency and remains the most widely recognised and valuable. Bitcoin operates on its own blockchain and serves as a digital store of value and medium of exchange.


Beyond Bitcoin, there are thousands of alternative cryptocurrencies, known as altcoins. Some notable examples include:

  1. Ethereum: Known for its smart contract functionality, allowing developers to build decentralised applications (DApps) on its blockchain.
  2. Ripple (XRP): Focuses on facilitating cross-border payments for financial institutions.
  3. Litecoin: Created as a “lighter” version of Bitcoin with faster transaction times and a different hashing algorithm.
Cartoon bitcoin symbol

Benefits of Cryptocurrency

Financial Freedom and Accessibility

Cryptocurrencies offer a new level of financial freedom and accessibility, particularly for those in regions with limited access to traditional banking systems. Anyone with an internet connection can send and receive payments globally, often with lower fees than conventional financial services.

Security and Privacy

Cryptocurrencies provide enhanced security due to their cryptographic nature. Transactions are secure and irreversible, reducing the risk of fraud. Additionally, cryptocurrencies can offer a higher degree of privacy compared to traditional financial transactions, though this varies by currency and usage.

Investment Opportunities

Cryptocurrencies present significant investment opportunities, attracting many investors due to their potential for high returns. While highly volatile, the growth of cryptocurrencies has made them an attractive addition to diversified investment portfolios.

How Can I Buy Cryptocurrency?

What Is a Cryptocurrency Exchange?

A cryptocurrency exchange is an online platform where you can buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies. Exchanges act as intermediaries between buyers and sellers, providing a secure environment for transactions. It is crucial to choose a reputable and reliable exchange to ensure the safety of your funds.

Popular Exchanges

Some of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges include:

  1. Coinbase: Known for its user-friendly interface, making it ideal for beginners.
  2. eToro: Provides a diverse selection of cryptocurrencies along with innovative social trading features, making it ideal for both beginners and advanced traders.
  3. Kraken: Known for its robust security measures and extensive range of supported cryptocurrencies.

Setting Up an Account

Registration Process

To start buying cryptocurrency, you need to set up an account on a chosen exchange. This process typically involves providing your email address, creating a password, and agreeing to the platform’s terms and conditions.

Verification Requirements

Most exchanges require you to verify your identity to comply with regulatory standards. This process, known as Know Your Customer (KYC), involves submitting personal information and documents such as a government-issued ID and proof of address. Verification can take a few hours to several days, depending on the exchange.

Depositing Funds

Funding Your Account with Fiat Currency

Once your account is set up and verified, you need to deposit funds to buy cryptocurrency. Most exchanges support deposits in fiat currencies like USD, EUR, or GBP.

Using Bank Transfers, Credit/Debit Cards, and Other Methods

You can fund your account through various methods, including:

  1. Bank Transfers: Generally lower fees but may take several days to process.
  2. Credit/Debit Cards: Instant deposits but often come with higher fees.
  3. Other Methods: Some exchanges accept PayPal, wire transfers, or cryptocurrency deposits.
Phone transferring bitcoin to another device

Buying Cryptocurrency

Selecting the Cryptocurrency to Buy

After depositing funds, you can choose the cryptocurrency you want to buy. Research and select a cryptocurrency that aligns with your investment goals and risk tolerance.

Placing an Order

There are different types of orders you can place when buying cryptocurrency:

  • Market Order: Buys the cryptocurrency at the current market price. This type of order is executed immediately.
  • Limit Order: Buys the cryptocurrency at a specified price or better. This order is only executed when the market reaches your specified price.
Investment with an arrow pointing upwards

Storing Your Cryptocurrency

Types of Wallets

After purchasing cryptocurrency, it’s crucial to store it securely. There are two main types of crypto wallets:

Hot Wallets: Online wallets connected to the internet. These are convenient for frequent transactions but are more susceptible to hacks.

Cold Wallets: Offline wallets, such as hardware wallets or paper wallets, which are more secure but less convenient for daily use.

Security Best Practices for Storing Cryptocurrency

Use Strong Passwords: Ensure your wallet and exchange accounts have strong, unique passwords.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Adds an extra layer of security to your accounts.

Backup Your Wallet: Regularly back up your wallet to protect against loss or theft.

Be Wary of Phishing Scams: Always verify the authenticity of websites and emails related to your cryptocurrency accounts.

Considerations Before Buying Cryptocurrency

Volatility and Market Fluctuations

Cryptocurrencies are known for their price volatility, which can lead to significant gains or losses. It’s essential to be aware of this risk and only invest money you can afford to lose.

Regulatory Risks 

The regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies is still evolving, and changes in regulations can impact the market. Stay informed about the legal status of cryptocurrencies in your region and any regulatory developments.

Doing Your Own Research (DYOR)

Thorough research is crucial before investing in any cryptocurrency. Understand the technology, use case, and team behind a cryptocurrency to make informed decisions.

Sources of Reliable Information

  1. Official Websites and Whitepapers: Provide detailed information about the cryptocurrency’s purpose and technology.
  2. Reputable News Sources: Stay updated with the latest news and analysis from trusted media outlets.
  3. Community Forums and Social Media: Engage with the cryptocurrency community on platforms like Reddit and Twitter for insights and updates.

Protecting Your Investment

Avoiding Scams and Frauds

The cryptocurrency space is rife with scams and fraudulent schemes. Be cautious of offers that seem too good to be true and verify the legitimacy of any investment opportunities.

Security Measures for Exchanges and Wallets

Choose exchanges and wallets with robust security features. Look for platforms that offer 2FA, insurance against hacks, and regular security audits.


Cryptocurrency represents a revolutionary shift in the financial landscape, offering new opportunities for investment and financial freedom. By understanding what cryptocurrency is and following the steps outlined in this guide, you can confidently start your journey into the world of digital currencies. Remember to conduct thorough research, understand the risks, and take necessary security measures to protect your investment.

Additional Resources

Useful Links and Further Reading

CoinMarketCap: Provides market data and information on various cryptocurrencies.

CryptoCompare: Offers tools and insights for comparing cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain Explorers: Such as Etherscan for Ethereum and Blockchain.com for Bitcoin, allowing you to track transactions and explore blockchain data.

By following this comprehensive guide, you will be well-equipped to navigate the exciting and dynamic world of cryptocurrency. Happy investing!



Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security. It operates on decentralized networks based on blockchain technology, making it secure and resistant to fraud.

Choose a reputable exchange by researching its security measures, user reviews, fees, and range of supported cryptocurrencies. Popular options include Coinbase, Binance, and eToro.

Investing in cryptocurrency carries risks such as high volatility, regulatory changes, and potential security breaches. It’s important to only invest what you can afford to lose and stay informed about market trends.

Store your cryptocurrency in a secure wallet. Hot wallets are convenient for frequent transactions but are online and less secure. Cold wallets, like hardware wallets, are offline and provide better security.

Yes, many exchanges allow you to buy cryptocurrency with a credit card. However, be aware of higher fees and potential restrictions from your card issuer. Bank transfers and other methods are also available.

Gain Access to Our #1 Recommended Crypto Platform in the UK

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more.

I'm Dom Farnell, a retail investor sharing my market experiences through blogs and articles. Though not a professional advisor, I aim to offer practical insights based on real-world experience, exploring strategies, challenges, and opportunities in investing.

Resize text-+=
Translate »