You can’t yet buy ALGO directly with GBP, so you’ll have to go through another cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin.
The following steps explain how to buy Bitcoin (BTC) with pound sterling and then how to buy Algorand with Bitcoin. This example walks through buying ALGO with some of the most popular exchanges, but they aren’t the only options, so you may want to compare a range of options first.
Visit the Coinbase website and then click “Get started” in the top right corner of the page. Before you can start purchasing, you will need to verify your identity by providing the following:
Your email address
Your phone number
Proof of ID
Proof of residency
A photo of yourself holding a signed statement
You should enable two-factor authentication on your Coinbase account for extra security before moving on to step 2.
Once you’ve logged into Coinbase and gotten verified, you can click on “Settings,” “Linked accounts” and the “Link a new account” to add a payment method for deposits. Deposit options include:
Depositing money with a debit card is the quickest option.
Once you’ve made a deposit, you can buy Bitcoin with GBP by clicking the “Buy/sell digital currency” tab at the top of the page. Select Bitcoin and then enter the amount you want to purchase. Double check all the details and the price. If everything is in order, click “Complete buy.”
You can now transfer your Bitcoin to an exchange that supports Algorand. In this example, we’ll use Binance – the world’s most popular exchange by volume.
To register for a Binance account, visit the site and select “Register” from the top bar. You will be required to enter and verify your email address and choose a password. No other identity verification is required unless you want to raise your withdrawal limits, but two-factor authentication is strongly recommended.
To deposit BTC on Binance, you need to find your Binance Bitcoin wallet address. To see it, go to “Funds” and then select “Bitcoin” from the list. It will show you your public address.
Now, at Coinbase, go to your Bitcoin wallet and select “Send.” It will show you a place to enter a destination wallet address. Enter your Binance public address in that field then confirm that all the details match. Then confirm your withdrawal.
Once your BTC has arrived on Binance, select the Binance “Exchange” tab, choose the “Basic” trading view and use the search box to find the BTC/ALGO trading pair. You can now choose to trade BTC for ALGO with a limit, market or stop-limit order.
If you just want to buy ALGO with BTC at current market prices, choose market order, enter the amount you want to buy, check all the details and then confirm the transaction.
Buying ALGO with another cryptocurrency
If you want to buy ALGO with another cryptocurrency, there are several exchanges available, so compare your options before choosing one. This example shows how to trade BTC for ALGO on Binance.
Go to the Binance website and select “register” from the top right of the page. You can then sign up for an account by entering your email address and choosing a password. Remember to activate 2-factor authentication for extra security. You won’t have to verify your identity unless you want to raise your withdrawal limit higher than 2 BTC (or equivalent) per 24-hour period.
On Binance, go to “funds” and then select “Bitcoin”. This will show you your Bitcoin wallet address. Now go to your other Bitcoin wallet and transfer it to your Binance wallet by entering that public address in the space provided.
Once your funds have arrived on Binance, convert your BTC to ALGO by navigating to the BTC/ALGO market through the “Exchange” tab. You can choose to trade it through a limit, market or stop-limit order. If you simply want to trade BTC for ALGO at current market prices, select market order.
Enter the amount of ALGO you want to buy, review your transaction details and then confirm the transaction. You now have ALGO in your Binance wallet.
How to sell Algorand
The process for selling Algorand is similar to the steps outlined above, except you’ll be exchanging your ALGO for BTC (or another cryptocurrency) rather than exchanging BTC for ALGO.
You can use the same BTC/ALGO market on Binance by selecting “sell” rather than “buy”.
Some people store their tokens on exchanges, but this is generally not recommended and it’s considered safer to hold your own private keys. There are few wallet choices for ALGO, but the Algorand Foundation has created an official mobile wallet, the Algo Wallet, for iOS and Android.
Algorand, founded in 2017, says it’s a permissionless, public and decentralised blockchain. It’s similar to Bitcoin or Ethereum in this respect.
It’s designed to serve as a base-level blockchain protocol on which other dapps can be built and smart contracts operated.
One thing that makes Algorand different is that it claims to be highly scalable, so it’s not prone to the same bottlenecks or fee issues that Bitcoin or Ethereum frequently are. It uses a proof-of-stake system that provides immediate transaction finality, which eliminates a lot of the forking problems of earlier blockchains.
As a proof-of-stake system, it encourages ALGO holders to stake their tokens, and essentially become ALGO miners. Token holders can enjoy some governance powers. In both network consensus and governance, a super-majority of users is required to pass decisions.
It also offers unique economic innovations, including a public token dispersal process through periodic Dutch auctions. The basic tenet is that the market will always ensure a fair ALGO price, and that users will be able to return their ALGO for 90% of the purchase price for up to a year after the purchase, as a kind of algorithmic “satisfaction guaranteed” arrangement.
The team behind Algorand has attracted a lot of attention. Most notably, it was founded by Turing Award-winning computer scientist Silvio Micali.
What to consider before you buy ALGO
There are risks involved in purchasing any cryptocurrency, and even though ALGO aims to offer more assurances through its money-back and Dutch auction system, it still carries many of the same risks as any other cryptocurrency, including a complete loss of funds in the event of hacking or other misadventure.
Other factors to consider include the following:
The prevalence of protocol-level blockchain tokens. There are a lot of base-level blockchain protocols out there, and Algorand is operating in an extremely competitive area.
Complications. The Algorand system is complex, and there may be issues with bugs or other errors down the line.
Regulatory issues. As a public, permissionless blockchain protocol, Algorand occupies something of a regulatory gray area, and it may be unpredictably affected by regulatory shifts.
User participation. Algorand emphasises user participation, but this might be lacking if everyone is only interested in it for speculation.
High initial valuation. In its first Dutch auction, ALGO tokens sold for $2.40. If that’s the “correct” price, it means the total ALGO market cap is $24 billion, which gives it one of the highest market caps of all coins. When considering whether ALGO is over- or under-valued at its current prices, remember that its total supply is 10 billion and extrapolate accordingly.
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.
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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