While there are many cryptocurrency exchanges, at the time of writing, there is only a small handful that trades GRIN. KuCoin is one of the largest of such exchanges by volume, so the following instructions assume that you have chosen to use KuCoin.
Now you’ll need to deposit your BTC, ETH or USDT into KuCoin. This is the cryptocurrency you’ll be trading for GRIN.
To make your deposit, go to your KuCoin wallet by clicking on “Assets” in the top banner. This shows all your available balances. Now, click “Deposit.”
This will bring up a dropdown menu. By default it will be set to KuCoin Shares (KCS), so you’ll need to change it. Navigate to and select BTC, ETH or USDT as applicable.
Your deposit address and QR code will now be shown.
Use either the QR code or the deposit address to send funds from your BTC/ETH/USDT wallet into KuCoin. You will receive an email notification once the funds have arrived.
Once your funds have arrived, click “Markets” on the top banner to visit the cryptocurrency marketplace.
Now select the cryptocurrency you have deposited. Selecting it will reveal the available trading pairs.
Now look for the trading pair of GRIN/BTC, GRIN/ETH or GRIN/USDT, as applicable.
Select the relevant pair and you’ll be taken to a new page that shows price charts, the order book and other information. Look for the box at the bottom right of the screen.
This box will ask for your two-factor authentication. It’s where you initiate your trade. Enter the price per unit that you want to pay for GRIN in the green box on the left and the amount you want to buy.
Confirm the details to lock in your trade and place it on the order books. If you are trying to buy GRIN at a price equal to or above the existing offers, your order might be filled immediately. Otherwise, you will have to wait until someone accepts your offered price.
Once there is a match, your trade should be completed immediately.
You are now the owner of some GRIN cryptocurrency.
You can either leave it on the exchange or get a GRIN wallet to withdraw it from KuCoin.
How to sell GRIN
If you want to sell GRIN, the process for doing so is the same as buying, except you reverse the coins that you’re buying and selling.
To sell it, you can exchange it for BTC, ETH or USDT, as well as any other trading pairs that become available.
What is Grin?
Grin is a privacy cryptocurrency based on the Mimblewimble protocol.
Private and anonymous cryptocurrency transactions
Proof of Work (Cuckoo Cycle)
Notable team members
A privacy cryptocurrency allows anonymous transactions without revealing the sending or receiving addresses. Monero, for example, helps to conceal the addresses of the sender and receiver by seeding a transaction with decoys, while Zcash conceals addresses and allows for optional shielding of transaction values.
But in Grin’s case, it doesn’t even show the transaction amounts or the sender or receiver addresses. It aims to be the most private and anonymous cryptocurrency ever made.
However, achieving true and effective privacy on a public decentralized cryptocurrency is extremely technically challenging.
Grin achieves this level of privacy with something called the Mimblewimble protocol. It’s one of the only cryptocurrencies in existence to use this protocol.
Mimblewimble is a design for private cryptocurrency transactions. It’s a pre-assembled framework of several key features, which have been put together in a way that makes them compatible with each other.
Each of these features was individually developed and refined over time before being combined in Mimblewimble.
Wallets for GRIN
To create a GRIN wallet you’ll first need to set up a node. This is slightly more complicated than what you might be used to with other cryptocurrencies.
This is firstly because Grin is still in its early stages of development and secondly because its unique privacy features come with some added complexity.
Detailed instructions for setting up a GRIN wallet are beyond the scope of this guide, but the general steps are to:
Get a Linux virtual machine. At the time of writing (January 2019) GRIN wallets are only available on Linux.
Currently, Grin is largely geared towards more technically-inclined users. But over time, as more developers work on it, it’s likely to get easier to use.
How to send and receive GRIN
Due to its nature, with hidden transaction numbers and amounts, sending and receiving GRIN is currently more difficult than other cryptocurrencies.
You will need to run a Grin node and wallet to make GRIN transactions.
With the node, there are three ways to identify the recipient of the funds and send them money.
HTTPS. Send GRIN by identifying the recipient’s IP address.
File-based. Send GRIN as a file. You can send it through email or in other ways that one might send data.
GRIN box address. You can send GRIN by wallet addresses, similar to other cryptocurrencies.
In all cases, the receiving wallet’s node will need to run the “listener.” This essentially “listens” for incoming transactions.
What makes Grin different?
Its use of the Mimblewimble privacy protocol is what sets Grin apart.
Two cryptocurrencies quickly emerged and started building on top of Mimblewimble. One of them is Beam and the other is Grin.
One of the main differences between them is that Beam is a corporate venture while Grin is the result of volunteer developers, many of whom have adopted their own Harry Potter-esque pseudonyms in tribute to the original Mimblewimble creator.
The technical foundations of Grin, the very real privacy problems it aims to solve, its incorporation of solutions initially proposed for bitcoin, its anonymous volunteer team and its general vibe have many pegging it as bitcoin’s spiritual successor.
Grin has also set itself apart with some technical differences. For example, it uses the Cuckoo Cycle proof of work mining algorithm while Beam has opted for Equihash.
Cuckoo Cycle is a memory-bound proof of work system that wants to help level the playing field for cryptocurrency miners. It does this by introducing artificial bottlenecks in the memory of mining machines.
The result is that Grin aims to have much more egalitarian mining than Beam does.
What to watch out for
High volatility. Cryptocurrencies are volatile by nature, but Grin might be especially volatile due to its newness and low circulation to date.
Adoption risks. Grin is still difficult to use, which might hinder real adoption. Real world demand for privacy coins may also be limited.
Potentially centralized distribution. The Cuckoo Cycle mining system was designed to make the mining scene a lot more egalitarian, but it’s also been dominated by heavy-handed venture capital investments. Grin’s wealth distribution may be highly concentrated from the start.
Macroeconomic factors. Grin is coming into the world at a very different time than bitcoin. Despite its similarities and people’s hopes for it, this means that Grin may be unlikely to mirror bitcoin’s career arc.
Proof of work concerns. There are growing concerns around the long-term viability of any kind of proof of work cryptocurrency, which Grin’s Cuckoo Cycle does little to settle.
Privacy downsides. The intentional opacity of the Mimblewimble privacy protocol can cut both ways. While it protects user privacy, it can also conceal bugs and other issues. Privacy coins might also be subject to sudden and unpredictable regulatory action.
Frequently asked questions
Grin launched with a lot of hash power behind its network, and it likely won’t ever be profitable to mine without a professional-grade cryptocurrency mining set-up, including at least hundreds, if not thousands, of GPUs.
Not yet. Currently, GRIN wallets are for Linux only.
Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly
volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of
future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information.
You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory
requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may
have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds ETH.
Andrew Munro is the cryptocurrency editor at Finder. He was initially writing about insurance, when he accidentally fell in love with digital currency and distributed ledger technology (aka “the blockchain”). Andrew has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales, and has written guides about everything from industrial pigments to cosmetic surgery.
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