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How to Buy Populous (PPT): Quick Guide

DISCLAIMER: None of the following is intended to be investment advice. This is only meant to be a description of what has worked well for…

How to Buy Populous (PPT): Quick Guide

DISCLAIMER: None of the following is intended to be investment advice. This is only meant to be a description of what has worked well for me so far, and my own opinions. Also, full disclosure, my links to Coinbase and Binance, etc., include referrals. It actually benefits you to use them because we will both get an extra $10 worth of BTC for free if you deposit at least $100 to Coinbase. Thanks in advance if you follow the links when you make your accounts — and even if you don’t, I hope this guide helps you out!

This guide will teach you how to buy PPT from square one (i.e., all you have is fiat money, no cryptos). It will also work for most other cryptocurrencies, but as I’m interested in PPT right now, I am going to write a quick foreword about it and then we’ll get right into the meat of the guide. For those of you who know nothing about this coin, this foreword will give you a high level overview of Populous.

A Little About PPT — Why Buy?

There is a massive subset of people who are new to the crypto-space entirely but have only heard of Bitcoin. Then they go online and they search around and figure out there are actually many, many cryptocurrencies out there with many different use cases. For Populous, the use case involves something called “invoice financing” which, I would guess, few people outside of the business world understand or know anything about. So, in light of that, let’s talk about what invoice financing is. Investopedia’s definition of the phrase starts with this:

“A way for businesses to borrow money based on amounts due from customers. Invoice financing helps businesses improve cash flow, pay employees and suppliers, and reinvest in operations and growth earlier than they could if they had to wait until their customers paid them. Businesses pay a percentage of the invoice amount to the lender as a fee for borrowing the money. Invoice financing can solve problems associated with customers taking a long time to pay and difficulties obtaining other types of business credit.”

So we’re basically talking about a sort of credit here — or, if you like, loans where you are essentially borrowing against what your customers owe you but haven’t yet paid. Because there is a form of collateral involved (the invoice which, at least in most cases, will end up getting paid by the customer at some point), this is a “secured” rather than “unsecured” loan.

To put this in real world terms, imagine I own a realty company and I’ve sold five houses for two million dollars total. The paperwork is all signed and I’ve invoiced my customers but I might not actually get paid for a few months. Through a form of invoice financing called “factoring,” I can find a lender — usually some financial institution like a bank. I will then effectively “sell” them my five invoices worth two million dollars for 70% or more of their value, so 1.4 million. The lender is (hopefully) later paid directly by the customer — if they are, then they then pass the remaining 30% on to me, taking a fee for their trouble. In this way I can get effectively pocket a substantial portion of my profits before the customer can realistically finish paying me. This is important in many businesses because you’d like to reinvest as soon as possible; in this real-world example, I’d probably want to quickly buy more houses!

I’ve written previously about coins such as SALT which seek to bring cryptocurrency into the lending industry in other ways, but what I appreciate about Populous is that its goals are very narrowly focused. My research on Populous opened my eyes to how huge the world of invoice finance is, even though it’s something most people probably don’t even realize exists.

Populous interests me mainly because, like many highly lucrative breakthroughs, it seeks to eliminate the middle-man. There are many industries where “middle men” extract a profit without injecting much value — in the automobile industry, for example, there’s no particularly good reason for dealerships to exist anymore. In a sane world, customers would purchase their vehicles directly from the manufacturers at a significantly reduced price— but absurd bureaucracy and draconian laws keep the system in place.

Like the automobile industry, the world of invoice financing is plagued by middle men, only in this case the middle men are the financial institutions themselves. Populous’s whitepaper describes a sort of sophisticated “auction house” where invoice sellers and buyers can interact. Documentation regarding the invoices is provided, and buyers proceed to bid on it. Without getting too technical about it, the actual PPT will help to facilitate this process — so, if the Populous Platform actually revolutionizes invoice finance, it would be reasonable to expect PPT to become quite valuable.

The idea of an invoice auction marketplace is nothing new, but with cryptocurrency many of the existing problems with the system are solved. I’ve read about many complaints about traditional fiat invoice auction marketplaces, which run the gamut from outrageous fees, to nebulousness regarding when an invoice will actually get financed, to issues with verification of sellers’ relationships with their customers.

Some Caveats, Downsides & Price Evaluation

There are some big questions I have about Populous which give me cause for concern. For starters, it’s a reasonably high value coin — not top ten, but still ranked #27 with a market capitalization of over one and a half billion dollars. Despite the big money invested into this coin, I can’t find any kind of active community for it online. Out of the three subreddits I could find for it, one had no moderator (account deleted) and the other two had almost no subscribers (less than 50). What is going on here, exactly? Why is no one talking about this coin? It’s confusing enough that I went ahead and created a subreddit for it, mostly to teach myself about Reddit moderation, but also to give people a decent space to discuss the coin. It is very confusing, though —by comparison, my current favorite coin is ARK, and while it has half the market capitalization of Populous, its subreddit has almost twenty thousand subscribers. Is Populous’s market capitalization artificially inflated somehow? Is it a ponzi scheme? Is this just vaporware? Where is the userbase? I realize this may sound harsh, but these are important questions. After all, this is your money at stake if you’re an investor!

I should note that I have been informed that there is a Populous Telegram group with about 1600 members and a Populous Slack channel with around 450 members. This does explain where at least some of PPT’s userbase is gathering.

02/01/2018 Update: I have claimed the populous_platform subreddit as a moderator. Perhaps we can get a decent Reddit community going!

Personally, it is still hard for me to believe that this is ever going to be a top 5 coin. As far as I can tell SALT, if its Lending Platform succeeds, covers a far wider variety of use cases in the financing world than Populous. That’s not to say that Populous is a bad investment, though — as I’ve mentioned, invoice financing is a very large industry and there is a lot of money to be made in it. Thus, I would be remiss if I didn’t do a quick price evaluation on this token.

Let’s compare Populous to Dash, which is currently ranked #10 on coinmarketcap with a market capitalization of $9,222,118,818. If PPT had Dash’s current market cap, it would be worth roughly $250 per PPT. That’s more than 5 times the current price (less than $50). So, there is certainly room for growth here. For now I have an extremely wary eye about this coin, but it still interests me enough to grab a few— so let’s go ahead and learn how to buy Populous!

Buying PPT: Basic Strategy

To date I’ve had no problems with the following basic strategy:

  1. Create and sign into a Coinbase account. I recommend Coinbase because they are the most straightforward exchange.
  2. Purchase some ETH. At the time of this writing, this currency transfers the fastest and cheapest out of anything Coinbase offers. Litecoin competes here, but will cause hiccups later in the process — more on that later.
  3. Create and sign in to a Binance account. I recommend Binance because they have been reliable and convenient for me and they offer many different lesser-known cryptocurrencies with trading pairs on both ETH and BTC. An added bonus is that you can withdraw up to 2 BTC/day worth of funds with no verification at all. Alternate exchange options: HitBTC and KuCoin also trade EOS — I have written a guide to using HitBTC and a guide to using KuCoin which you will find useful.
  4. Move your ETH to Binance. Once it has confirmed, you can now easily use the ETH/PPT trading pair to buy as much or as little Populous as you want. More on trading pairs later.
  5. Send your coins from Binance to a safe PPT wallet for long term storage if you intend to hold for awhile. This is not strictly necessary but it is considered a safer option than keeping ANY coin on ANY exchange long term. I personally believe Coinomi to be the safest and most convenient wallet for many cryptocurrencies. This is a little more complicated with ERC-20 tokens like PPT, but is well worth it. More on this later.

Now, if you’re a power user or someone with some existing familiarity with cryptocurrency, you can probably stop here. The rest of this guide is just going to be a more in-depth description of the preceding steps. If you’re completely new to cryptocurrencies, you might be a little lost — that’s fine! You won’t be by the time you finish this guide. I’ll go step by step:

Starting Out On Coinbase

This is arguably the most trusted exchange currently on the market. You can think of them as the PayPal of the cryptocurrency world, with all the good and bad connotations that come along with that. There are some countries where this is not the case! For example, in Canada, one would probably want to use QuadrigaCX instead. Unfortunately, that’s outside the scope of this guide, but I may do a country-by-country guide for acquiring coins later.

All you have to do here is go to Coinbase’s website and create an account. Security is incredibly important here — remember, in cryptocurrencies you are your own bank and so it is absolutely crucial that you follow good security practices. This means your password should be strong — and it should be a password you aren’t using anywhere else (including other exchanges). Google has a pretty good guide with some tips on choosing strong passwords. Keeping security in mind, it would also behoove you to turn on two-factor authentication once your account is created.

Once you are up and running there are a number of options when it comes to actually paying for coins via Coinbase. It is possible to link your bank account to Coinbase but actually transferring coins out of Coinbase will be impossible for a few days while the funds are clearing. This is obviously not ideal if you want to move quickly, as you would now have to wait several days to move your coins to an exchange where you can trade them for PPT (or any other coin).

Instead, I would recommend you link a credit or debit card to Coinbase. This will allow you to purchase some amount of coins immediately, and then immediately send them off wherever you want — your wallet, another exchange, etc. At the time of this writing Coinbase offers three coins: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC).

What to Buy First?

In my opinion if you intend to buy lesser-known coins like PPT, ETH is the best choice to buy here. Why? Well, with regards to LTC, the reason is clear: other exchanges like Binance offer direct trading pairs for BTC and ETH, but not LTC or any other currency. What this means is that you could directly exchange your ETH for PPT, or your BTC for PPT, but you’d have to perform another step if you wanted to trade your LTC for PPT (and that means more fees!). Obviously we don’t want to waste even one cent if we can avoid it, so LTC is out.

With regards to BTC, at the time of this writing there have been a lot of rumblings about high transaction fees, slow transaction times, etc. Exchanges often overpay these fees as well, and that means that you are again risking missing out on more money than you need to.

ETH is therefore currently the best choice for our purposes by default — fastest transaction speed, lowest transaction cost. So, to review: create a Coinbase account, link your credit or debit card, and purchase ETH.

I Bought ETH: What Now?

Now is the time for you to make your Binance account. Follow the link and create an account using a strong password (this should be different than the one you used for Coinbase!). There are other places where you may be able to buy PPT (Changelly, Kraken, EtherDelta, HitBTC, KuCoin, etc.). I cannot directly recommend most of these exchanges as I don’t have much experience with them at this point — however, I can say that I have used HitBTC and KuCoin and they have worked well for me. This guide focuses on Binance because my experience there has been 100% positive — I have transferred coins in and out of their system many times with no problems.

Once your account is made, you should set up two-factor authentication here via Google Authenticator. It’s safer, and you will need it to transfer coins out of Binance anyway. More on this later.

After your Binance account is made, click “Funds” at the top right, then “Deposits Withdrawals” beneath it. Find Ethereum in the list and click the “Deposit” button on the far right. You should end up with something that looks like this:

Depositing To Binance

Unlike the picture, there will be an “ETH Deposit Address” listed in the box at the bottom left. This is a very long series of letters and numbers, and is the fundamental basis of most if not all cryptocurrencies. An “address” is simply the destination for funds — think of it like the account and routing numbers at the bottom of your checks. For many cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin it is possible to have multiple “receiving addresses” which point towards the same wallet.

The address listed here is Binance’s “receiving address” for your Ethereum. To the right of it is a “copy address” button — use it to put the address into your copy/paste buffer. Then, in your Coinbase account, navigate to the Accounts tab and then to your ETH Wallet. Paste in your address. You should double check that the pasted address is the same one you saw on the deposits page in Binance — you can never be too sure when it comes to security! Once you’re sure you’re sending to the right place, input the amount of ETH you’d like to send (if you just want to buy some PPT, you should send all of it) and click “Send.”

Optional Trick: Using GDAX To Save Money On Fees

GDAX, or “The Global Digital Asset Exchange,” is the actual exchange which backs Coinbase. You can use it to save a lot of money on fees if you’re willing to spend a few extra minutes getting verified. Follow this link and click “DEPOSIT.” Click “Coinbase Account” at the top and deposit all your ETH from Coinbase into GDAX.

Once you’ve done this, you can click “WITHDRAW” in GDAX and send your funds from GDAX to Binance. Fees are significantly reduced with this method!

I Sent ETH to Binance — Now What?

Once you click Send, you will need to wait a little while. Without getting too technical about it, exchanges want to be as secure as possible. Thus, when you make a deposit, they wait for multiple “confirmations” from the network before allowing you access to your funds. You can view the progress in your Binance account by clicking Funds and then History. Do not be alarmed if nothing shows up at first! There are many reasons there might be a slight delay. In general you should see the transaction show up within a few minutes, with the current number of “confirmations” next to the number of required “confirmations” next to it. Be patient — your PPT is nearly in hand!

Once you have the required number of confirmations, it’s time to trade your ETH to PPT. This is blessedly simple. In the front page of Binance, click “ETH Markets.” Search for “PPT/ETH” in this list, and click it. Now you are on the trading page. In the bottom left under “Buy PPT,” click “100%” below the “Amount” field.

Time to buy Populous!

This indicates to Binance that you’d like to trade all of your ETH for a commensurate amount of PPT for no more than the price listed above. The price field is automatically listed based on the current market. If you like, you can change it to a different price, but like any market it’s not guaranteed that someone will buy at the price you’d like. Your order will remain open until it’s been fully filled or you cancel it. There are several options here such as Stop-Limit orders, etc., but this is outside the scope of this guide. In this case, you are simply placing a “Limit” order for some PPT.

I Placed My Order! Am I Done?

If you want to be done now, you can be — but there are more steps if you want to be security-conscious. You may want to check under the “Orders” and “Order History” tabs that the order went through — if you placed a Limit order at the default price, it probably did. Once you have your PPT in your Binance account, you can see them under “Funds” → “Deposits Withdrawals.” You can click “Hide 0 Balances” at the top to clean up the screen of coins you don’t own, and you can see an estimate of the overall converted BTC and USD value of your account at the top right.

For maximum security, I wouldn’t leave your coins in the exchange. I like and trust Binance, but ANY site can be hacked or experience downtime — even massively established trusted sites like PayPal. You want to have full control of your coins.

How Do I Move My Coins to a Private Wallet?

In Binance, go into the “Deposits & Withdrawals” tab, then click “Withdrawal” to the far right of the “PPT” row. By now it should be clear what you’re looking at — fields that let you input the address to send the coins to, and how many coins to send. For your convenience, there is a “Max” button to the right of the Amount field. Note that once you click “Submit” you will need to use your two-factor authentication via Google Authenticator, an Android app. I recommend you do not use your actual day-to-day phone for this purpose. These days you can get an inexpensive Android phone for around 30 dollars — this is an investment worth making for security purposes. You can keep the battery removed from the phone when you’re not using it, and connect it to a network only for cryptocurrency purposes. As a bonus, if you’d like, you can use this phone for the Coinomi wallet when dealing with other cryptocurrencies.

It is possible to get PPT working in Coinomi right now and the process is fairly straightforward. In my opinion this is the preferred method, especially if you’re willing to buy an Android phone solely for cryptocurrency use. However, if you’d prefer to use a desktop wallet, I have written an easy-to-follow comprehensive guide which walks you through how to use MetaMask and MyEtherWallet to store any ERC-20 token, including PPT.

One more thing about ERC-20 tokens: I understand it is possible to use a hardware wallet like the Ledger Nano S or Trezor to store them. I have not yet tried this myself, but I imagine it’s not that difficult — apparently all you do is plug in your hardware wallet and have it interface with MyEtherWallet in the place of MetaMask. If you’re confused by all this and want to know more, just check out my guide on the subject. Hardware wallets are probably the most secure option available, though they are also a somewhat pricier solution.

Be advised that the information here only scratches the surface on Populous and cryptocurrencies in general. I recommend you read as much as possible. Cryptocurrencies are the future, and if you’re reading this guide you are already lightyears ahead of the curve.

Come back soon because more content like this is always coming! If my work helped you or gave you something to think about, share it with others:

Sharing helps more people find my articles, and I’d love to be able to assist as many people as possible with cryptocurrencies. Also, if you have any ideas for future articles or specific questions, I’d love to hear them. Comments section coming soon! One last thing: if you’d like to chat with me in real time, check out my Patreon - I am running a public Discord for the discussion of cryptocurrency, and if you subscribe to my Patreon you can get a special role there!

Best of luck, and happy trading!
Malcolm Rose

Posted: Jan 3, 2018

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