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Once upon a time, cryptocurrency-users may have struggled to buy IOTA. But this is easier today, and we’ve put the following guide together to help you get started.
First and foremost, what does IOTA actually mean?
It’s simpler than you might expect.
IOTA is an acronym for Internet of Things Application, and refers to the cryptocurrency’s ability to process payments from one machine or appliance to another via internet connections.
The Internet of Things has become a key part of everyday life for so many of us, and IOTA takes advantage of this interconnectivity brilliantly.
It was created by an experimental group of programmers back in 2015. This same team is still dedicated to overlooking and maintaining IOTA’s development today.
One of the primary motivations driving the team behind IOTA was addressing scalability issues and undesirable transaction charges associated with blockchains.
This means that IOTA does away with blockchains and has no need for miners, unlike some more well-known cryptocurrencies. Instead, IOTA relies on something known as a DAG (directed acyclic graph), otherwise referred to as the ‘Tangle’, with which IOTA’s users verify transactions for each other.
Users’ devices will verify two previous transactions whenever they submit a transaction record on IOTA’s own ledger. By checking these two earlier transactions before processing the present one, there’s no requirement to have miners or a familiar central ledger either.
The Tangle’s power grows along with the network size too, so IOTA delivers quick, free transactions in line with network expansion. So far, IOTA has the capacity to process a staggering 1,000 transactions in just one second.
IOTA’s lack of fees and capability to operate on any device with even a simple processor looks likely to help it become the Internet of Things’ core currency.
This is particularly valuable as 5G technology emerges, allowing all devices to go online, and machines will have to perform a huge range of transactions with one another. IOTA will be a viable channel for devices to do so in a fast, reliable way.
No new cryptocurrency arrives without concerns being raised. In IOTA’s case, experts in the field have expressed their doubts regarding the crypto’s practicality. Specifically, their issue seems to be that the system is not as efficient as it claims to be due to the amount of new tools it’s trying to leverage at once.
Basically, critics are worried IOTA’s technologies lack a satisfactory level of testing to determine their ability to perform as required as IOTA scales, or how it could manage to deflect attacks.
And, as IOTA is one of the most recent cryptocurrencies and undergoing intensive development work, critics posit that flaws could still arise in its security and software. Users obviously want their funds to be safe during transactions, so it’s crucial that IOTA offers a high standard of security at all times.
IOTA has a distinctive value proposition and architecture, which helps it appeal to people who want to be at the forefront of cryptocurrency advancements. Before you buy IOTA for yourself, though, you need to consider whether you’re doing it as a single experiment or if you aim to buy IOTA on a frequent basis.
It’s also worth thinking about whether you plan to make a long- or short-term investment.
Perhaps you prefer not to think about your cryptocurrency purchases in depth and rely on gut instincts. But even so, a little research can go a long way to helping you make the right choice.
For some time, IOTA was only listed at cryptocurrency exchanges with no way to deposit fiat currencies like EUR or USD. This meant users typically needed to create accounts at multiple exchanges, to buy Bitcoin with their fiat money and to purchase IOTA with said Bitcoin. This made buying IOTA something of an inconvenience for all but the most patient users.
Today, though, it’s simpler. Various marketplaces allow you to purchase IOTA directly through a short, streamlined process. You’ll need to take the following steps:
Picking a cryptocurrency exchange or a broker service may be an intimidating prospect for beginners. There are plenty out there to choose from, but think about the following factors to make your decision easier:
Payment options: The right exchange will cater to your personal payment preferences, whether you lean towards credit cards, bank transfers, or something else
Quality experience: The best exchanges and broker services invest in facilitating a good user experience, through well-made interfaces and features
Good security: Look into the security set-up at any exchange or broker service you’re considering; check for effective measures like two-factor authentication
Crypto support: Different exchanges will support different cryptocurrencies, so take a moment to check yours if you intend to invest in others as well as IOTA
Charges: Exchanges impose a huge variety of fees on users, and while low ones do create the potential to save money down the line, cheaper exchanges may not offer the same quality experience as those with higher fees
Look at reviews for any cryptocurrency exchange or broker service you plan on trying. Other users tend to be honest and go into detail on any issues, so spend time checking up before you dive in.
The initial part of creating an account at an exchange is simple: you just submit your details and you’re in. But credible marketplaces demand that you verify your identity before you can buy IOTA for the first time.
You’ll have to upload a copy of a relevant ID, such as your passport or a utility bill with your address on it, to prove your permanent place of residence. Exchanges might offer the chance to verify your identity through a video chat with one of their customer service agents, checking they align with your documentation.
The next step in deciding to buy IOTA is to deposit money into your exchange account first. Your chosen exchange may not allow you to purchase IOTA directly, in which case your only option is to add funds into your account using one of multiple payment methods.
The exchange will process your IOTA purchase when it receives your full payment, and you’ll be ready to start buying IOTA. Fortunately, this part of the process is quick and simple, as you can usually do it within a couple of clicks.
But don’t rush into it. Make sure you check the details of the transaction so you feel satisfied before you complete it.
As with any cryptocurrency, any IOTA you buy will be placed into your IOTA wallet at your chosen exchange. This is standard, but you might want to keep your IOTA in a personal wallet when investing for the long term. Experts tend to recommend setting up your own wallet.
While there aren’t many cryptocurrency wallets that support IOTA at present, you may want to try Trinity. This wallet comes courtesy of the IOTA Foundation, and is available in beta on mobile and desktop devices.