A lot happened last year, more people have joined the crypto-space and more people have been hit in their faces. They lost money, mainly because managing our own cryptocurrencies is nothing like anything we have seen before.
You have to learn how to protect your coins by yourself.
You have to stop trusting third parties to handle your finances.
And you have to start being in charge of your own money.
Yes, the blockchain technology has given us the opportunity to free ourselves from the slavery that banks, governments, and giant corporations are trying to impose on us, but that freedom comes with great responsibility.
Don’t rely on third parties.
In the crypto-world, those would be exchanges and platforms that allow you to leave your crypto for trading, staking, or for whatever other reason.
Basically, you’re handing them your money and you’re trusting them to do whatever they like with it.
The main problem is that those platforms are just like any other website on the internet. They live on servers. And those servers are becoming more and more vulnerable to hacker attacks.
If you search for how many of those platforms have already been hacked and how much leaked private data there is, you might get a legit headache.
Not to mention that those platforms are operating like any other centralized company and can just decide to steal everything and run.
So, only use wallets for which you hodl the private keys.
Those are wallets like MetaMask, Trust Wallet, Enjin Wallet, and many, many more.
They don’t have control over your private data because they are functioning on the blockchain. Everything is encrypted and decentralized.
The only thing that you have to do when you create a wallet is to write down your private [seed] phrase.
That’s your private key and it’s the only access that you have to the wallet.
Never forget to store it somewhere safe, preferably on a device without connection to the internet (yes, it could be on a piece of paper).
However, if you don’t have any cryptocurrencies yet, you will have to buy from one of the centralized platforms.
Just make sure that you never keep them on there.
Send everything to your own wallet.
Whenever you want to trade, send from your wallet to an exchange, do what you have to do, but always return your funds back to the safe address.
That’s the way to go for a fast, easy, and secure exchange of cryptocurrencies.
As an example, let’s see how to use the most famous decentralized exchange – Uniswap.
Anyway, keep in mind that there are many other decentralized exchanges and it’s only a matter of personal preference for which one you choose.
A quick search on the internet will show them all to you.
How to exchange on Uniswap?
I’m using the Brave browser, which has a built-in MetaMask wallet and makes the process even faster, but you can use other wallets, extensions, and even mobile apps to connect to Uniswap.
The first step is to go to https://app.uniswap.org/#/swap.
Note that If you are using Brave browser, you will first have to click on Start crypto wallets and reload, because the page won’t load at all.
Once you are there, click on CONNECT TO A WALLET.
You will see the list with the available options for connecting a wallet, so just click on the one that you are using.
There’s even a Learn more link below if you are still confused about what to do.
Now, choose between which cryptocurrencies you’d like to exchange.
For security reasons, don’t just search for the name of a token, but always copy-paste its contract address.
Simply, go to https://coingecko.com, search for your preferred token and copy the address on the left of the page.
Cool! Now, just click on Select a token, paste the address in the field and click on its logo.
In my case, I want to sell ETH and buy some 1UP.
- Enter your numbers.
- Click on SWAP.
- Confirm the transaction with your wallet.
- Wait while Uniswap finds you a seller.
- Approve the transaction with your wallet.
It’s as simple as that.
Remember that you must have a small amount of ETH to cover the transaction fees.
No one can tell how much exactly, because fees depend on the load of the network at any moment, so they vary.
This works best for ERC-20 tokens, but…
You can exchange Bitcoin on there as well.
However, you will have to take one additional step.
First, you must swap Bitcoin for Wrapped Bitcoin (a Bitcoin token) and then exchange it for whatever token you’d like to.
All of that might look complicated when you see it for the first time, but follow the steps from here and you will be able to do it with ease.
Let me know if you have any doubts or questions in the comments below.
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