Buying bitcoin can be an exciting prospect with the regular highs and lows of the market providing prime buying and selling opportunities, but there are a few things you should consider once you have set up your first digital wallet.

Here’s everything you need to know to protect your bitcoin investment, but fear not if you are also interested in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin cash, XRP, and other altcoins. This advice could also be applied to any of your favorite cryptos:

1. Always do your research.

The world of cryptocurrency is very volatile, partly in thanks to the effect that news can have on how bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency is faring. It can be impossible to predict the highs and lows of the market due to the impact of the news cycle, but you should always do your best to stay informed of what is going on around you.

Setting up Google News alerts for bitcoin or your favorite altcoins can help you keep tabs on the news. If you prefer to do your reading on your mobile device, there are several customized news apps available for both iOS and Android that make staying in the loop for bitcoin trading a breeze. Keep an eye on your favorite altcoin market to see how it reacts to news from other markets and be aware of any upcoming regulation proposals from various high-profile governments that could affect the cryptocurrency market.

Always have an idea in mind for what you plan on doing with bitcoin. If your primary plan is to buy and hold, then you should not sweat the daily ups and downs too much. However, if your primary use of bitcoin or altcoins is to make purchases online or to move into and out of different altcoins, you could benefit from knowing when the market is in a down slump by doing proper research before you buy.

2. Use an exchange or platform with top-notch security.

To acquire bitcoin or to send bitcoin to a merchant, friend, or family member, you will need an exchange account or online digital wallet. You should be very selective about which platform you choose to use, as some of the most prominent hacks in the history of bitcoin have occurred at the exchange level.

3. Use a platform with instant transfers.

One of the most annoying things about buying bitcoin from traditional exchanges is that it can take up to two weeks for your funds to process. In that time, the market wave you were hoping to ride up or down has likely passed. That is why you should consider using an exchange that offers instant asset transfer in and out of crypto and fiat currencies.

That’s who our members love Uphold. We allow instant transfer of funds so you can move from crypto to fiat and back again without worrying about fees or slow processing times. Being able to move funds instantly into and out of different currency cards on Uphold enables you to ride highs and protect assets when you want to take your gains in your native currency and wait out the market for another entry point. Best of all there are no fees for this service; it is offered to all verified members!

4. Make sure you actually own your bitcoin.

When you buy bitcoin from an exchange online or a digital money platform, it is essential to make sure you own the bitcoin you have. Some exchanges and wallets do not allow you to make withdrawals to an external wallet or to another platform of your choice, making bitcoin impossible to use as it was intended.

You can avoid this by using an exchange that allows you to move your bitcoin anywhere you choose. Being able to transfer any bitcoin or altcoins you own to the wallet of your choice gives you more control over your funds and how you manage them.

5. Get professional financial advice.

Finally, if you are green to the world of finances and cryptocurrency, you should always, always seek the professional advice of a financial advisor before making any significant moves into any market.

It is important to realize these are still the early ‘Wild West’ days of the cryptocurrency world, where lack of government regulation and oversight and a 24 -hour news cycle can cause wild swings in day-to-day trading.

While it can seem incredible to have gained 348% of your portfolio in just a few short months, it can be equally shocking to lose that much in a matter of minutes. Always be aware of the amount of cryptocurrency you are buying and that a cryptocurrency market is a volatile place that comes with no guarantees.