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How to Buy RaiBlocks (XRB): 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 KuCoin, 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!
Note: RaiBlocks has been rebranded to “Nano” since the time of this writing but is still under the “XRB” ticker. I will leave the name as RaiBlocks in the rest of this article— and will be writing about the Nano rebrand and what it means for the future of XRB soon!
This guide will teach you how to buy XRB 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 XRB 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 XRB — 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 XRB, things are a little more complicated than boiling it down to one single use case. Like IOTA, XRB is what I’d refer to as an attempt at a “paradigm shift” in the world of cryptocurrencies.
I have often heard RaiBlocks regularly referred to as a direct competitor to IOTA, another coin which I have previously written about. For some reason this comparison seems to incense die-hard IOTA supporters and, most notably, David Sonstebo (founder of IOTA) himself. Here is a recent quote from him from Reddit:
Virtually everytime you guys have spammed about Raiblocks you compare it to IOTA. In your own subreddit you compare it to IOTA. If your technology and team is worth something, then talk about that instead. Don’t ride someone else’s coattails under a false pretense to draw attention to yourself.
Wow! This is actually one of the very few RaiBlocks-centric quotes from David that I could find which didn’t contain certain four letter words. So it seems like there’s some controversy concerning this coin, or at least some rivalry. That’s good — competition is healthy, and if you’ve read my previous article about Verge or my favorite coins for 2018, you’ve probably already noticed I often find myself drawn to coins which have a diversity of opinions surrounding them. But what is it about RaiBlocks that could inspire such strong opinions? Without getting too technical, here are some quick points:
- Fee-less transactions. Almost no cryptocurrencies offer this.
- Unlimited scalability.
- No mining (proof of stake, not proof of work).
- Uses a DAG (Directed Acyclical Graph) but also makes use of blockchain technology.
As you can see, many of XRB’s ambitious goals and features are indeed shared with IOTA. As a holder of IOTA, though, I have to admit that RaiBlocks seems to be the more “functional” currency right now — moving XRB around is very swift, with confirmation time often measuring in seconds. This may seem like a small point in a world full of altcoins trying to change the world, but it is perhaps the most important fundamental aspect of any cryptocurrency. If any coin succeeds in taking Bitcoin’s throne, its transactions will have to be reliably fast. With this in mind I think XRB is a an extremely strong contender for actual worldwide use as an online currency. Frankly I am a little surprised that it’s not yet a top 15 market capitalization coin.
With regards to market capitalization, it is good to take a look at where a coin is at before putting money into it. I find it useful to to do direct comparisons; Bitcoin Cash (BCH), for instance, is currently ranked #4 on coinmarketcap with a market capitalization of $42,518,375,818. If RaiBlocks had Bitcoin Cash’s current market cap, it would be worth about $320. That’s about eleven and a half times the current price ($28). This is an especially apt comparison because, as Roger Ver is fond of saying, Bitcoin Cash is a peer-to-peer electronic cash system with emphasis on the cash. RaiBlocks, if it continues to scale well, will perform better as cash than any fully blockchain-based cryptocurrency I can think of. Could XRB take BCH’s place in the rankings? My opinion: easily.
Another quick note about the price — at the time of this writing, it was recently announced that RaiBlocks will be listed on Binance soon. It’s my opinion that this will probably have an upward “pump” effect on the price, as far more people will see it as a more mainstream coin. This is pure speculation, though — I think it’s far more important to look at the long-term value of any coin.
Buying XRB: Basic Strategy
To date I’ve had no problems with the following basic strategy:
- Create and sign into a Coinbase account. I recommend Coinbase because they are the most straightforward exchange.
- 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.
- Create and sign in to a KuCoin account. I normally recommend Binance; however, at the time of this writing they have temporarily closed their doors to new users and, moreover, they do not offer XRB. Regardless, my experience with KuCoin is that they have been reliable and convenient for me. This exchange offers many different lesser-known cryptocurrencies with trading pairs on both ETH and BTC. An added bonus is that no burdensome verification is required.
- Move your ETH to KuCoin. Once it has confirmed, you can now easily use the ETH/XRB trading pair to buy as much or as little RaiBlocks as you want. More on trading pairs later.
- Send your coins from KuCoin to a safe XRB 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, including XRB at this time. There are some caveats to this, which I will detail 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 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 XRB (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 XRB, ETH is the best choice to buy here. Why? Well, with regards to LTC, the reason is clear: other exchanges like KuCoin and 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 XRB, or your BTC for XRB, but you’d have to perform another step if you wanted to trade your LTC for XRB (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 KuCoin 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 later be able to buy XRB (Changelly, Kraken, EtherDelta, HitBTC, Binance, etc.). Out of these, I can say that I have used Binance and HitBTC and they have worked well for me for other coins. This guide focuses on KuCoin because my experience there has been 100% positive — I have transferred coins in and out of their system many times with no problems. At the time of this writing, they are also the only exchange I trust which supports XRB.
After your KuCoin account is made, hover over the little dollar sign button at the top right, then click “Deposit” once the box pops up.
Once you’ve clicked Deposit, you should end up on a screen where you’re being asked to set up Google Authenticator, an Android application which increases your security. This is a form of “2fa” or “two factor authentication,” an important security step which helps keep your account safe. I personally recommend that you use an inexpensive Android phone for this and nothing else other than perhaps a Coinomi wallet for other cryptocurrencies. You can get one for around $30 — this is significantly less costly than a deluxe hardware wallet like a Trezor or a Ledger Nano S, and unlike those wallets your phone can serve double duty as a 2fa device. My opinion is that it’s a bad idea to use your regular phone for this — your phone could have malware and you probably always have it online, which means it’s always available for malicious hackers to attack. With an inexpensive spare Android phone, however, you can just take the battery out when you’re not using it for crypto purposes.
You should be on a screen that looks like the above, except the blue square is replaced with a QR code (the image with the black squares) and the equivalent “key” above it (a series of letters and sometimes numbers). This isn’t as complicated as it seems — but before moving on, make sure you write down that key and keep it somewhere safe and private. This is important in case you lose your phone.
Now all you need to do is load up Google Authenticator on your phone and press the “+” button, then press “Scan a barcode.” Scan the QR code on your screen with your phone’s camera (or input the key manually, if you prefer) and the Google Authenticator app should present a six digit verification code which is reset every minute or so. This is what you will put in the field on the right, with no spaces. Any time you need a key in the future (such as when withdrawing coins, etc.), simply pull out your phone and it will be there. Cool, right? Let’s move on.
Depositing Some ETH to KuCoin
If you’re not automatically redirected, hover over the dollar sign and click “Deposit” again. Now you’ll see a screen with this at the top:
Click “Kucoin Shares KCS” and scroll through the dropdown menu until you find “Ethereum ETH.”
Unlike the picture, there will be an address listed where the blue box is in my example. 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 KuCoin’s “receiving address” for your Ethereum. Highlight it and put this 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 page in KuCoin — 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 XRB, 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 KuCoin. Fees are significantly reduced with this method!
I Sent ETH to KuCoin — 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 check for progress by refreshing the page and making sure you’re on the Ethereum screen. 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. Be patient — your XRB is nearly in hand! Once your ETH deposit has been processed, you will see it at the bottom of the screen. It’ll look something like this:
Now it’s finally time to trade your ETH to XRB. This is blessedly simple. At the top of the front page of KuCoin, click “Markets.” Click “ETH” and search for “XRB/ETH” in this list, and click it. Now you are on the trading page. On the next page you may be prompted to fill in your current 2-Step verification code — do so with your phone, then direct your attention to the area beneath “Buy XRB.” Click the number to the right of “Best price.” Then a number will appear to the right of “Max” — click that too.
This indicates to KuCoin that you’d like to trade all of your ETH for a commensurate amount of XRB for no more than the price listed above (in this example, 0.023999 ETH per XRB). 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 XRB.
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 “Assets” → “Active orders” and “Assets” → “Dealt orders” tabs to see that the order went through. Once you have your XRB in your KuCoin account, you can see them under “Assets” → “RaiBlocks XRB.” Conveniently, you can see an estimate of the overall converted BTC and USD value of your account at the top left on the “Assets” page.
For maximum security, I wouldn’t leave your coins in the exchange. I like and trust KuCoin, 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 KuCoin, go into the “Assets” page, then click “Withdraw” to the far left screen, then change the current coin to “RaiBlocks XRB” with the drop-down menu. 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 me, intend to send my coins to the official RaiBlocks desktop wallet.
So How Do I Use the RaiBlocks Wallet?
I will later update this guide to include specific information about the main wallet found on the RaiBlocks website. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, KuCoin’s withdrawals for XRB are currently turned off. I realize this may sound sketchy at first glance, but I don’t think it should surprise anyone — XRB’s technology is different than most coins and I imagine that a great deal of effort is required to properly integrate DAG tokens, let alone such a unique DAG token like RaiBlocks which also makes use of blockchains. If you do buy XRB on KuCoin, be advised that you can still withdraw the “value” of the XRB by trading for something like BTC or ETH then withdrawing that. Personally I will be holding on the exchange until withdrawals are enabled. Note: if you decide to use the wallet before I get a chance to review it, just remember to back up any seed phrases/information it gives you and keep this information in a safe place, as this will allow you to recreate your wallet in the event of any sort of disaster.
Be advised that the information here only scratches the surface on XRB 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 light-years 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. One last thing: if you’d like to chat with me in real time, check out my Discord!
Best of luck, and happy trading!
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