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How to Buy TRON (TRX): 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 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 TRON 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 focusing on TRON right now, I am going to write a quick foreword about it and then we’ll get right into the details of the guide.
A Little About TRON - 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 TRON (ticker symbol TRX), there has been a lot of recent interest and massive upward price movement. It’s no surprise that TRON was named in a recent Bloomberg article titled “Bitcoin’s Smaller Cousins Are Leading the Crypto Rally” - and personally I believe it’s likely that simple speculation is going to raise the price, at least in the short term, in the wake of this news.
However, I never write these guides only to use a coin as an engine for speculation. For me to be interested in a coin, it has to have great fundamentals or a new and interesting technology which solves specific problems in elegant ways. TRON punches these buttons.
The Tron Foundation was founded in Singapore by its current CEO, Justin Sun. Its goal is to create a “worldwide free content entertainment system” using smart contracts. Putting it in simpler terms, this is a technology that may end up with the ability to seize the market share currently held by various kinds of content distribution platforms like Google Play and the Apple Store. TRON is aimed at content creators who would otherwise have to pay money for access to such platforms. With TRON, they’d be able to distribute their work for free. Here’s the cool part, though: the protocol behind TRON allows these creators to make decisions about the cost (if any) of the content, how it gets distributed, etc.
Now, so far everything I’ve said is basic information about TRON that I’ve discovered in the course of my research. However, what really piqued my interest about TRON is something that I actually haven’t seen anyone else mention: censorship resistance. Censorship resistance is an exciting concept in cryptocurrency - the idea that it’s impossible for a government or other bad actors to alter the blockchain, e.g., your coins cannot easily be confiscated nor can your transactions be reversed after the fact. With cryptocurrency, there is no such thing as “freezing someone’s bank account” - now that’s censorship resistance.
With TRON, I envision a far more literal form of censorship resistance - content creators will be able to say or create whatever they want without the risk of being “de-platformed.” The fact is, small-minded censors in governments or powerful corporations are always looking for ways to keep people from being able to speak their minds. This is often politically motivated, but sometimes it’s simply nonsensical - how long did Apple resist allowing Bitcoin wallets onto its Apple Store, just because they could? The reality is that companies like Google and Apple are prehistoric megafauna, dinosaurs proudly walking the Earth. At first glance they seem to be the rulers, but there’s a meteor in the sky called cryptocurrency and TRON may be the one that kicks them off their thrones. Could this be a true paradigm shift?
Before moving on to the rest of the guide, I will say a few things about the current market capitalization of TRX - this is, of course, something you should always think about when considering an investment into a coin. I’ve found analysis is often made easier by doing direct comparisons between coin market capitalizations for various cryptocurrencies. For example, Ripple is currently ranked #3 on coinmarketcap and has a market capitalization of $47,771,951,251. If TRX had Ripple’s current market cap, it would be worth around 73 cents per coin. Considering that TRX is currently worth 4 cents per coin, that’s an 1825% increase over today’s price! The realistic potential for massive growth in cryptocurrencies is always alluring, and that’s only possible when you can get in on the ground floor. With Tron, the opportunity to get in early is definitely still present - so, let’s learn how to buy some.
Buying TRX: 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 Binance account. If you are American, Binance is currently not accepting new American clients - use KuCoin instead. 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 also trades TRX - I have written a guide to using HitBTC which you will find useful.
- Move your ETH to Binance. Once it has confirmed, you can now easily use the ETH/TRX trading pair to buy as much or as little TRX as you want. More on trading pairs later.
- Send your coins from Binance to a safe TRX 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. Unfortunately, they don’t support Tron at this time - so instead, we’ll talk about options later on in this guide.
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 TRX (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 TRX, 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 TRX, or your BTC for TRX, but you’d have to perform another step if you wanted to trade your LTC for TRX (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 TRX (Changelly and Kucoin are two reputable examples). There are other reputable exchanges as well, but be careful about using lesser known exchanges - scams do exist! 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.
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:
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 TRX, 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 TRX is nearly in hand!
Once you have the required number of confirmations, it’s time to trade your ETH to TRX. This is blessedly simple. In the front page of Binance, click “ETH Markets.” Search for “TRX/ETH” in this list, and click it. Now you are on the trading page. In the bottom left under “Buy TRX,” click “100%” below the “Amount” field.
This indicates to Binance that you’d like to trade all of your ETH for a commensurate amount of TRX 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 TRX.
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 TRX 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 “TRX” 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. I recommend picking up a low-cost Android phone for use with Google Authenticator - as a bonus, you can use such a phone for the Coinomi wallet when dealing with other cryptocurrencies.
Moving Coins to a Private Wallet
The thing about TRON is that it’s an “ERC-20” token rather than a traditional cryptocurrency, which means it lives on the Ethereum blockchain. This also means that it works the same as any other ERC-20 token, in that it can be stored in similar ways.
It is possible to get TRX 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 TRX.
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.
If you’ve followed my guide this far, then you’re the proud owner of some TRX. Be advised that the information here only scratches the surface on TRON 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. 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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