Is coinbase a GOOD way of buying bitcoin?

Coinbase Ethereum Classic tokens sent to Trust wallet

We are fast approaching 2019 and Bitcoin recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. Despite this, there are very few low-cost ways to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Let’s start by saying that for now, the best way is to purchase crypto from a trusted friend. They should be able to help you set up a suitable wallet and transfer the tokens at your agreed price.

If you don’t have a friend that’s clued up on crypto or they are looking to HODL their CDAs (Cryptographic Digital Assets) then what do you do?

  • Buy Bitcoin at an ATM
  • Buy Bitcoin with Paypal funds
  • Buy Crypto on Coinbase with a bank transfer or debit / credit card
  • Check out LocalBitcoins.com

We don’t recommend using ATM’s at this current time. They are convenient if you have one in your area, but the costs are worse than old school, fiat transactions. Hopefully in time the fees will come down but for us ATM’s are a last resort route to owning crypto. There are ways of buying Bitcoin with Paypal but the systems we have tested cost more than using an ATM. Around 20% in costs and unless you have no way of spending your Paypal funds its another route best avoided.

We have never used LocalBitcoins.com so we will leave our review of what they offer to a later article. Ultimately most owners of crypto are going to use an exchange to trade between the thousands of different tokens. There are hundreds of exchanges, ranging from low volume niche markets to multi-billion dollar global enterprises.

Coinbase Exchange

One very well known exchange is Coinbase and it’s one we recommend to people new to the blockchain. Coinbase can be used from a PC or a smartphone but we prefer the Trust wallet for mobile use. This URL is a referral link and anyone purchasing a $100 or more of cryptocurrencies will receive an extra $10 from Coinbase. The referral link also helps us to fund this site. The exchange accepts funds via bank transfers and credit / debit cards but many credit card providers block purchases of CDAs. In Europe, a SEPA transfer to their nominated account costs just €3 and takes 2 or 3 working days.

Once your funds have been credited to your Coinbase account you should purchase a token such as Ethereum Classic (ETC) and then transfer the tokens to your Trust Wallet. Trust wallet is about to add Bitcoin support to their iOS and Android wallet but for now our suggestion is to buy ETC on the exchange. Once you have transferred the ETC to your Trust wallet your smartphone should show something like the image at the top of this article. Costs for using Coinbase in Europe, excluding the UK, are quite reasonable:

Costs of using Coinbase are broadly similar across the globe but some countries, like Australia, Canada and Singapore don’t have the bank transfer account funding option. Funding your account from a UK bank account is free and withdrawals cost £1. Trust wallet is preferred to the Coinbase wallet as it accomodates all the major blockchains including Ethereum, Tron, ICON, Wanchain and Callisto etc. We will publish a follow-up article on some of the major exchanges but for this exercise, we just used Coinbase as an easy route to your first CDA purchase.

Android Acinq Eclair Bitcoin Lightning Network Wallet

Android Acinq Eclair Bitcoin Lightning Network Wallet

We have previously covered the Trust and Saturn cryptocurrency wallets for handling BitUnits, but this article will cover the Eclair lightning network wallet.

Watch how the Eclair wallet is used at Brisbane airport to buy a coffee in the video below. More and more merchants are adopting the lightning network for “micropayments” with some not accepting any other form of payment. This makes it important for you to have a basic understanding of how to set up the Elcair wallet.

We are not going to go into great detail about the lightning network but what we will say is that it is likely to become more important than the Bitcoin blockchain network. The lightning network (LN) is a second layer network primarily used to prevent the Bitcoin blockchain getting to an unmanageable size. Today it’s around 200 GB, and that is duplicated across thousands of full nodes around the world.

As crypto payments become more and more popular, we are going to use a “temporary” record for most of the transactions. This temporary network is much faster and cheaper than the full Bitcoin blockchain network. It can take several hours for a Bitcoin transaction to be confirmed whereas a lightning network transaction is processed within seconds.

If you go into a coffee shop to buy an Espresso, the shop owner can’t wait hours to decide if you have enough Satoshis to pay for the drink. So you need a wallet which works with the lightning network. For Android users, we recommend the Eclair wallet by Acinq.Eclair lightning network wallet

The screenshot above is my Eclair wallet paying a 2 cent invoice which I raised via the Zap desktop lightning wallet. Taking a closer look at the wallet and ignoring the actual payment we see a wallet balance of $25.71 with $13.04 in Bitcoin and $12.67 allocated to the lightning network.Eclair lightning network wallet balances

Eclair Lightning Network Wallet

The Eclair wallet can be used as a regular Bitcoin wallet, but there are far better wallets available if you are not using the lightning network. Currently, you can fund channels on the lighting network with a minimum of 0.001 BTC and a maximum of just under 0.043 BTC. With BTC trading around $6,300, that’s $6.30 to $270. So if your local coffee shop has adopted the lightning network you might open a channel for $6.30 (0.001 BTC). The $12.67 shown in my wallet for lightning channels was two channels, each with 0.001 BTC. With some merchants, you might have to open a channel directly with them but as the network expands an open channel with a major node should allow you to pay most merchants.

With Eclair the process is to send an on-chain (regular Bitcoin blockchain transaction) balance of BTC to the address shown in your wallet. Remembering it will need to be at least 0.001 BTC after network costs, so perhaps 0.0011 BTC. When you add a channel with Eclair it asks if you want the on-chain transfer to be completed fast (approx 20 minutes), medium (2 hours) or slow (12 hours). The network fees will be higher the faster you want it processing but note the quickest is 20 minutes. This means you should be funding the channels ahead of spending the Bitcoin you allocate to the channel.

If you open a 0.001 BTC channel directly with the coffee shop and use the Elcair wallet to pay for your $3.00 Espresso, you will still have $3.30 for the next time you visit. However you are not paying for your coffees in advance, you are simply putting funds on one side “in the fast lane” for when you need them. You can close a channel in Eclair whenever you want by selecting the channel in the Lightning Channels tab.

Closing a channel in Eclair

As shown in the screenshot above, you will be asked to confirm the channel closure but only select force-close if the merchant’s node is shown as offline. If you force-close a channel, you will have to wait for 144 blocks to be added to the Bitcoin blockchain before the funds become usable on-chain. With each block taking about 10 minutes it means a 24-hour wait whereas a regular channel close will normally be completed within one hour.

We will be covering some great things you can buy with your Eclair lightning network wallet in future articles so be sure to have at least one channel adequately funded.

Ethereum ETC Faucet

Ethereum ETC faucet

Today we are going to cover the Ethereum ETC faucet.

To be able to move BitUnits from one address on the Ethereum Classic network you will require a tiny amount of ETC. The is equivalent to “gas” used on the Ethereum network.

Many owners on BitUnits start with the user-friendly Trust wallet which was recently taken over by Binance. However, if you want to trade your BitUnits on the Saturn network decentralized exchange (DEX) you will need to:

buy bitcoin with your credit card

It can be quite frustrating for owners of UNITS that don’t have any ETC as it effectively leaves them dead in the water. The easiest way to obtain ETC is to ask a “crypto” savvy friend to send you some. 0.0003 ETC is all that is required, and in fiat terms, this is less than one cent.

If you don’t know anyone that could send you a small amount of Ethereum Classic ETC you could buy or trade with changelly. The big positive with changelly is that they allow you to buy cryptocurrencies with your credit card. Many banks have blocked crypto purchases with credit cards as they know it speeds up crypto adoption by the masses and will ultimately bring about the demise of the old school fiat financial institutions. Click the changelly image to the left (above if you are on mobile) or use this link to set up an account with changelly.

Another way to obtain ETC is via a faucet and in theory, they are ideal as they provide small amounts of many cryptocurrencies, for free.

The Best Ethereum ETC Faucet

We spent several days testing out various faucets and we think we have found the best one. To keep our site free of ads you will find that some of our articles are partly concealed by a paywall. This is one such article and to read the rest of the article you will need to make a nominal payment as indicated below. For Android users, we recommend the Eclair wallet to make Lightning Network payments or Spark if you are running your own node.

Please pay just 0.00001 BTC (approx 4 cents) to continue reading this article.

Click to pay with the low cost, high-speed Lightning Network

Import Private Key from MEW or Saturn Into Trust Wallet

Use your private key to import tokens into Trust wallet

Access to cryptocurrency tokens, like BitUnits, on the Ethereum Classic (ETC) blockchain, is made available with public and private key cryptography. As the name suggests the public key can be made available to anyone as it works as a pair with the private key to secure your assets.

If you are already familiar with MyEtherWallet (MEW) or the Saturn wallet you might want to “transfer” your crypto tokens into the user-friendly Trust wallet. Wallets don’t actually hold tokens but they provide a facility to control access to the tokens on the blockchain. So the transfer is passing authority from one wallet to another, rather than the actual tokens. You will need your private key from MEW or Saturn to give this authority to the Trust Wallet. Below are the steps you need to complete in the Trust Wallet.

Import Private Key from MyEtherWallet or Saturn Into Trust

We have provided links to the Trust Wallet website in a previous article and this, in turn, gives the links to install the app on your iPhone or Android phone. Once you have installed the app it will bring up the following screens. Select IMPORT WALLET and on the next screen select the Ethereum Classic network.

 Import Private Key from MEW or Saturn Into Trust WalletEthereum Classic network tokens

You will then be shown a screen containing four tabs marked as PHRASE, KEYSTORE JSON, PRIVATE KEY and ADDRESS. For security purposes the app prevents screenshots being taken at this stage so we can’t provide an image here. Click the PRIVATE KEY tab and you can paste in your private key or use the QR code scanner. Now click the IMPORT button and your phone will now have authority to transfer tokens via the blockchain.

Never ever make your private key available to third parties as this will give them access to your tokens and once they move the tokens to their address it will be impossible for you to recover them. If you have any technical questions you can contact the Trust wallet team in their Telegram group which currently has close to 10,000 members.

Setting up the Trust Digital Wallet to HODL BitUnits

Trust Digital Wallet and BitUnits Club

The Trust digital wallet allows you to control access to digital assets like BitUnits and Ether but do beware that the tokens are stored on the blockchain, not on your smartphone. BitUnits are ERC223 compliant tokens which use the Ethereum Classic (ETC) blockchain network whereas Ether uses the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain. We recommend the Trust digital wallet for the following reasons:

  • Available for Android and iOS devices
  • Has the financial backing of the digital exchange giant, Binance
  • Audited as a secure digital wallet
  • Ease of use

Installing the Trust Digital Wallet

Links for Android and iOS are available at trustwalletapp.com, and they also provide direct access to the Android apk for users that aren’t able to use Google Play. Wherever possible use Google Play as their servers are generally more secure than developer sites.

When you have set up your wallet but before you have received your first BitUnits it will look something like the first image below and once configured, and you have received BitUnits it should look similar to the second image.

 Trust digital wallet before it is configured for BitUnits  Trust digital wallet after it is configured for BitUnits

When you first install the app, you will be asked to create a new wallet, and you will be provided with 12 very important words. These words are known as your seed phrase and allow you to restore your wallet to another smartphone. For security reasons, the app prevents you from taking a screenshot of the actual seed phrase process, so the blurred image below is a photo (not a screenshot) of the seed phrase for my wallet.

Trust digital wallet backup and restore phrase

 

The 12-word seed is shown as the “Backup Phrase” in the screenshot, but it should be more accurately be called the “Restore Phrase” as that is the purpose of the seed phrase. You need to store a copy of your seed phrase in a secure location, and many crypto enthusiasts suggest etching it into metal as paper degrades over the HODL years.

 

Do not let anyone have access to your seed phrase as that would give them control of your digital tokens on the blockchain. Once you have been through the validation process to confirm you have recorded the phrase the screen will show you have zero tokens on the Ethereum blockchain (ETH).

 

We now need to add Ethereum Classic (ETC) tokens including BitUnits. This is done by selecting the + at the top right of the screen. You will see a selection of different tokens that you can control via the Trust digital wallet. ETC is below ETH and UNITS (the ticker for BitUnits) is further down the list. NOTE: BitUnits will only appear in the list of available tokens if you have already sent your ETC address for a BitUnits airdrop, or similar, and had the BitUnits sent to your address.

The two screenshots below show the tokens, and you move the slider to the right for ETC and UNITS for control to be given to the wallet.

   Add Ethereum Classic blockchain tokens to the Trust digital wallet Add BitUnits tokens to the Trust digital wallet

Now let’s get some token for the wallet by clicking the BitUnits row to reveal a screen with a SEND and RECEIVE button. You will not be able to send any BitUnits at this stage as you don’t have any, so click RECEIVE. You will be shown a QR code and a button labeled COPY WALLET ADDRESS. If you click this button, it will copy your address to the clipboard, and you can then send this to the BitUnits sender via email, SMS or posting it in Telegram, Twitter or Facebook.

Securing your BitUnits

As the Trust digital wallet does not hold the tokens in your phone, it is vital that you secure access to your digital assets. Trust provides a six digit pin code which you should activate from the Settings menu at the bottom right of the software screen. This ensures that if your phone is stolen that the thief can’t transfer your BitUnits to their wallet.

Write a comment below or in our Telegram group if you have any questions or spotted the gift we provided for the first observant reader. [Update: gift now claimed]

How to Buy BitUnits on the Saturn Network DEX

How to Buy BitUnits on the Saturn Network DEXIn a previous article we covered the news of the first day listing of BitUnits on the Saturn network DEX, and in this article, we will look at the mechanics of how to buy BitUnits. Essentially there are four different types of trade available on the DEX:

  • Accept a seller’s open sell order to buy UNITS
  • Create an open buy order for someone to sell UNITS to you

 

  • Accept a buyer’s open buy order to sell some of your UNITS
  • Create an open sell order for someone to buy your UNITS

With the first two options, you will be buying UNITS and selling with the last two options. Or specifically, with two of the four options, you hope you will be buying or selling BitUnits. When you create an open buy/sell order, you have to wait for a seller or buyer to accept your offer. For a token like bitcoin or ethereum if you set a realistic buying or selling price on a popular DEX your order will normally be snapped up within a few seconds. Conversely if to set a bitcoin buy order at $3,000 today when the market rate is currently around $6,388 you could be waiting a lifetime.

On some exchanges, you can leave your order open indefinitely and hope it gets filled at some time in the future. Occasionally you might get lucky on an exchange with “fat finger” syndrome where a trader miskeys a price and fills your order by mistake. Saturn eliminates many fat-finger incidents because you have a single click option to select an open sell or buy order. The crypto markets are generally more volatile than traditional stocks, and you could win big with a flash crash or pump of the price.

Saturn DEX Trading in Detail

The screenshot below is a desktop view of the DEX of open orders to sell and buy BitUnits. It shows you the prices you can accept right now and you can part-fill an order if you wish so if a seller has 20,000 UNITS for sale you could just buy 2,500, or whatever quantity you require up to and including 20,000.

Saturn DEX of open sell and buy BitUnits orders

Note the SELL ORDERS on the left are allocated green Buy buttons for you to buy BitUnits and the BUY ORDERS are on the left with red Sell buttons. On mobile you will need to familiarize yourself with the different trading areas of the screen as they are not currently laid out as clearly as shown above.

Scrolling down the page brings up the recent trades of BitUnits including the 2 UNITS I bought earlier today. The screenshot is fairly self-explanatory.

Recent trades of BitUnits

If you have already bought and sold UNITS on the Saturn DEX the first section to appear will look similar to the screenshot below, but we are assuming you haven’t traded on the DEX yet. Again fairly self-explanatory but post comments if you are unsure.

BitUnits My Open Orders and My Completed Trades

In addition to accepting open orders, you can open your own orders to find a seller or buyer for BitUnits. Just click the green Create Order button as shown above. The button really should be a neutral color because when you click it, you can set up buy or sell orders as shown below.

Create open Buy order or Sell order for BitUnits

Simply select one of the two tabs and enter the required amount of UNITS and price in ETC, not dollars. In the Firefox browser for mobile or Chrome (and Firefox) for desktop, you will need to be logged into the Saturn wallet for some of the details above to be available. The Saturn DEX can be accessed directly with this link or indirectly with this link. If you select the indirect link just scroll down the page until you see the BitUnits link in the Assets section. When you confirm a trade in the DEX, you will also need to bring up your Saturn Wallet (in a separate tab if you are using a smartphone) to confirm gas settings etc. as shown below.

Saturn wallet DEX gas setting and trade confirmation screen

 

We would recommend that you keep the default gas settings for your trades but do remember this means you will require a small amount of ETC in your Saturn wallet. Best way to obtain ETC is to ask a crypto friend to send some to your wallet as the minimum trade for ETC is relatively high on main exchanges. It is perhaps only $5, but that would cover hundreds or thousands of trades on the DEX. One dollar, about 0.1 ETC is ample to start with. If you don’t have sufficient ETC to complete the transaction on the Ethereum Classic blockchain, you will not be able to SUBMIT the trade.

In our next article, we will run through transferring BitUnits from a Trust to a Saturn Wallet.

Cryptocurrency BitUnits, Ticker UNITS, Now Trading on Saturn Network Decentralized Exchange (DEX)

Earlier today the BitUnits cryptocurrency token began trading on the Saturn network decentralized exchange (DEX). Trading is performed directly between the DEX and the Saturn proprietary digital token controller (SPDTC or more commonly known as a digital wallet). I don’t like the term wallet because it gives the impression that it contains the tokens whereas it simply gives access to them on the respective blockchains.

Saturn DEX

The Saturn network is currently available for Ethereum Classic (ETC) tokens, and we are lead to believe it will include the Ethereum network within the next seven days.  The DEX looks to be running well, and we were able to trade with Firefox on our Android phone, but it was a lot more straightforward on our laptop. Below is a screenshot of the SPDTC (wallet) and the DEX which we took on our smartphone.

 BitUnits in Saturn Wallet  Saturn DEX on mobile

What we were really impressed with was that the team behind the DEX were up and running almost 24 hours ahead of schedule. The crypto space is full of missed deadlines and meaningless whitepapers, so it came as a pleasant surprise to find a team ahead of the game. I also liked this promotional video that was produced in the run-up to the Saturn DEX release.

Firefox is available for iOS 10.3 so in theory, the Saturn DEX can be used on the newer iPhones, but it might be worth waiting until the site is a little more mobile friendly, especially if you already have access to a desktop system.

BitUnits Club

BitUnits is an ERC223 token with a fixed supply of 10,000,000 and a stock ticker of UNITS. The philosophy behind the BitUnits club can be found on their website and within their whitepaper, but in short, it is to educate individuals that are new to crypto. What better way to learn crypto than with FREE tokens and from a team dedicated to bringing blockchain to the masses?

5,000,000 BitUnits tokens have been airdropped to crypto enthusiasts over the last few weeks. The team used a variety of methods to distribute the tokens, and all of them had some element of learning about crypto from “hacking” wallets, crypto bingo through to educational surveys, etc. Lots more to come regarding the BitUnits club in the coming months but one of the crypto puzzles I was very successful with was the Trust wallet “hacks”. The Trust wallet was recently taken over by the “number one” centralized exchange Binance and the wallet is developing at a rapid pace. Binance is also working on their own DEX, but Saturn is the one we would recommend at the moment.

Trust the user friendly crypto wallet from BinanceThe screenshot to the left is the Trust wallet and to use the Saturn DEX the UNITS have first to be sent to the SPDTC. For individuals new to crypto the Trust wallet is much easier to use than the SPDTC, and this is why the BitUnits team airdropped the tokens into this wallet. Trust is a smartphone app, available for Android and iOS rather than the browser extension wallet as provided by the Saturn team.

Fingers crossed, Saturn will make their wallet easier to use on a  smartphone as there are many people around the world that don’t have a PC and sharing one is not very practical based on the security required to trade tokens.

We will put together a more detailed breakdown of how to move BitUnits from one wallet to another in due course, but meanwhile, if you have any questions or comments, please post them below or in the BitUnits Telegram group.

Financial disclosure – as shown in the wallets above I hold BitUnits and other cryptocurrencies. If you found this article informative, you can donate BitUnits or ETC to the address shown below, thanks.

UNITS or ETC address:

0x070A5cBCAD2954A69A5Ab5241EC465DbfF8B09D9

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Welcome to Buy Crypto News Articles. If you have an interest in crypto as a reader, writer or editor you have come to the right place. We hope you will find the site a useful resource and that you will help us promote Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision.

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