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How to Buy Power Ledger (POWR): 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 Power Ledger (POWR): 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 POWR 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 POWR right now, I am going to write a quick foreword about it and then we’ll get right into the meat of the guide.

A Little About POWR — 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. I’m really into Power Ledger right now partially because of how focused it is. Ultimately it’s all about just one thing: revolutionizing the “energy market” with the power of the blockchain.

Energy markets are currently defined by Wikipedia as “commodity markets that deal specifically with the trade and supply of energy.” Once upon a time everyone simply received their power from the power company, but that period of history is coming to a close. As technology becomes more advanced, many people are choosing to power their homes themselves through techniques such as solar energy. What ends up happening, though, to the excess power that gets generated using these methods? Can they sell this excess power to the local power company? On the flipside, what happens if the home sometimes needs more power than their solar panels are generating? These circumstances can change day-to-day depending on weather, cloudiness, and so on! This is the simplest case, but there are other situations too; for example, what if I wanted to sell my excess power directly to my neighbor, not the power company? Is such a thing even possible?

Power Ledger’s slogan is “The Democratization of Power.” It is meant to help organize and facilitate the incipient process of bringing “homegrown” electricity to the energy market. Without getting too much into the technicalities, Power Ledger should indeed be able to solve all the use cases listed above and more, and it will do it in an efficient system which helps to keep energy prices reasonable. I really like POWR because it is so forward-thinking; it really is solving an emerging problem in real time!

The technical details of Power Ledger are actually pretty straightforward. POWR itself is an ERC-20 token, meaning it uses Ethereum’s smart contracts and technically lives on the Ethereum blockchain. This token (along with another in-house “energy trading token” called Sparkz) is used in something called the Power Ledger Ecosystem to facilitate the entire process of energy trading. Sound complicated? Let me break it down for you:

  1. First, one buys the limited-supply ERC-20 token POWR.
  2. POWR can be traded for Sparkz in the local market. Sparkz is pegged to the lowest denomination of the local currency. This makes POWR the underlying basis of the Power Ledger Ecosystem — because this is meant to facilitate truly “global” energy markets, a token that easily crosses borders is needed. ERC-20 is perfect.
  3. Sparkz will then be used for the actual selling and buying of energy on the energy trading applications/platforms.

I’ve left a lot of the technical details out in the interest of giving you a high-level overview of the token without boring you to tears; if you’re interested, I do recommend you check out the whitepaper because there’s definitely a lot more to POWR.

While the underlying technology of any coin or token is important, it’s also useful to take a look at some of the hype around a coin, even if you aren’t a speculator. Back in December, John McAfee was shilling for something called “KWHCoin”:

Much as I enjoy reading John McAfee’s opinions, I’m pretty sure he’s flat-out wrong here. At the time of this writing KWHCoin is still an ICO as far as I can tell — and isn’t even listed on coinmarketcap. POWR’s token sale, however, happened way back in September 2017. Sure, it’s “just an ERC-20 token,” but this is still miles and miles ahead of ICO status. If McAfee thinks KWHCoin is going places, then I can only assume he’d think POWR is even better.

Since POWR is pretty established at this point, it’s easy to make a quick price comparison.

At the time of this writing, Stellar is ranked #7 on coinmarketcap with a market capitalization of $8,261,497,994. If POWR had Stellar’s current market cap, it would be worth almost $23 per POWR. That’s around 25 times the current price (about $.90)! Is this really viable? In this case, I think so. Energy markets are a truly enormous worldwide industry. They make and break countries. Perhaps the most important technology that separates civilized countries from uncivilized ones is readily available power. If Power Ledger can really optimize and revolutionize this crucial industry, how could it not enter the top ten coins by market capitalization?

Now that you understand the price situation when it comes to POWR, let’s learn how to buy some.

Buying POWR: 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.
  4. Move your ETH to Binance. Once it has confirmed, you can now easily use the ETH/POWR trading pair to buy as much or as little Power Ledger as you want. More on trading pairs later.
  5. Send your coins from Binance to a safe POWR 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. Because POWR is an ERC-20 token, this step is a little more complicated than usual — I will give details on this later in the guide. The long story short is that it’s possible, with some effort, to use Coinomi, a Ledger Nano S, or a Trezor to store POWR.

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 do have a country-by-country guide which may help you if Coinbase doesn’t work in your area.

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 POWR (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 POWR, 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 POWR, or your BTC for POWR, but you’d have to perform another step if you wanted to trade your LTC for POWR (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 POWR (Changelly, Kraken, EtherDelta, HitBTC, 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 POWR, 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 POWR is nearly in hand!

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

Time to buy POWR!

This indicates to Binance that you’d like to trade all of your ETH for a commensurate amount of POWR 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 POWR.

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 POWR 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 “POWR” 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.

It is possible to get POWR 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 POWR.

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 Power Ledger 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: Feb 10, 2018

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