How to Buy IOTA: A Basic Beginner’s Guide

Last updated on December 25th, 2017 at 06:45 am

What Is IOTA?

The name IOTA comes from the Internet of Things (IoT). In the coming decade, there are expected to be more than 50 billion Internet-enabled devices. With that in mind, IOTA offers a way to transfer microtransactions among these devices. The goal of IOTA is to allow these devices to send micropayments for technological resources in real time, on the open market, and without fees.

IOTA: The Ledger of Things – The Tangle

With the Ledger of Things, the IOTA backbone enables participants to settle transactions with zero fees, making it an attractive resource for nearly anyone. IOTA offers the innovative Tangle ledger, which is both scalable and lightweight, in order to transfer exact amounts of resources on demand and settle transactions without charging fees. The Tangle ledger is a blockless, distributed ledger that functions as a self-regulating, decentralized peer-to-peer network. For more information about the Tangle ledger, read the IOTA white paper.

Microtransactions with Zero Fees, Secure Data Transfer, and the Leasing Out of Connected Devices

The nice thing about IOTA is that it allows for frictionless microtransactions to take place, as there aren’t any fees that would typically render small monetary transfers impossibly expensive. This truly is the Holy Grail of monetary transfer, as it opens up many new business avenues.

With the Tango ledger, IOTA allows for a secure way to transfer data from party to party. Since the data transferred through the Tangle are only shared between authenticated devices, it’s secure and impossible to exploit.

Another advantage of using IOTA is that it can serve as an e-governance system, most notably for e-voting. Unlike typical ballots, which can theoretically be tampered with, the use of e-voting through the Tangle ledger on the IOTA network is an accurate way to record and tally votes.

Another huge concern for individuals around the world is how to securely send messages to others. Masked messaging on a module of the IOTA core offers a way to exchange data in a fully authenticated and encrypted manner.

Another revolutionary service that IOTA offers is a profitable way to lease out nearly anything with a chip in it. For instance, appliances, tools, drones, computer storage, computing power, and Wi-Fi bandwidth can all be leased out to others, allowing individuals to earn value with the interconnected devices that they’re not currently using instead of letting them sit idle.

All of these revolutionary ideas have allowed IOTA to stand out from the pack of cryptocurrencies because it offers a complete solution for frictionless micropayments without fees between interconnected devices.

How to Get an IOTA Wallet

Since IOTA is a relatively new project, there aren’t any real user-friendly wallets to choose from, so many people are storing IOTA on exchanges. Though many beginners who don’t have a solid understanding of the technical details are opting to do this, it doesn’t mean that storing IOTA on an exchange is a good idea. Individuals who can set up a desktop wallet should use that or print out a paper wallet in order to secure their coins.

IOTA Desktop Wallet

The most common option for storing IOTA is downloading and installing the IOTA GUI client directly from IOTA. This wallet is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. When you’re setting up this wallet, choose “light node” and a host. Then generate an 81-character seed that contains only uppercase letters and the number 9.  Keep this seed in a safe spot.

Here are directions and comments from some users on Reddit who are discussing how hard this wallet is to set up. Truthfully, setting up the Lightwallet shouldn’t be too hard, but some beginners might not be able to complete the task. Here’s a video that should help you to set up the desktop wallet on Windows.

IOTA Mobile Wallet

There are IOTA mobile wallets for both Android and iOS, but they’re both in beta. The Android version comes with a disclaimer to use it at your own risk, so keep that in mind.

According to users, the iOS IOTA mobile wallet appears to be functional, but it probably shouldn’t be used to hold a large number of IOTA because it hasn’t officially been released yet.

IOTA Paper Wallet

The IOTA paper wallet requires 81 characters with uppercase letters and the number 9 just like the desktop wallet. After generating the paper wallet, you can print it out and send IOTA to it. This paper wallet should be stored in a safe place for future use.

IOTA paper wallet

Here’s another IOTA paper wallet that’s even easier to use because it generates an IOTA seed and encodes it in mnemonic words. Simply move the mouse around for a random seed and print out the wallet without having to do much else.

Where Can You Buy IOTA?

IOTA can be purchased on a number of different exchanges. Currently, the exchange that offers the greatest liquidity is Bitfinex, where it can be purchased with BTC, USD, and ETH. However, Bitfinex is no longer verifying US users, so these individuals will have to look for another option. Anyone who is located in the United States and has IOTA on Bitfinex should get them off the exchange as soon as possible. IOTA can also be purchased on Binance, the IOTA Exchange, and Bit520.

Anyone who wants to move their IOTA off the exchange may want to use a paper wallet, as this appears to be the easiest solution for long-term storage. Holders who are technically savvy may want to set up a desktop wallet. For the most part, avoid using the web and mobile wallets, as they’re still in beta.

IOTA Has a Promising Future Ahead

With its grand vision, IOTA seeks to revolutionize the Internet of Things by bringing microtransactions together with zero fees across all connected devices. Given its frictionless method of exchanging value, it’s clear that IOTA has a bright future ahead of it. Anyone who wants to take advantage of early adopter status still can, as this project is still in its infancy.

The only real drawback to purchasing and storing IOTA is that the desktop wallet is relatively difficult to install for anyone who is inexperienced. In addition, the web mobile wallets are in beta, making the IOTA paper wallet the best and easiest solution for long-term holders.

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16 Comments on "How to Buy IOTA: A Basic Beginner’s Guide"

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M_Crypto_Enthusiast
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M_Crypto_Enthusiast
Hi Eric and all, Thanks for your post about buying IOTA, I just did it couple days ago, I used Binance for buying IOTA with BTC from Coinbase. The issue am having is the withdraw button in Binance is disabled for me, there is a message when you hover over that says “Network Congestion, Withdraw Suspended”, and it has been like since the time I bought. I sent an email to Binance support this morning, haven’t heard back, other than the automated reply confirming they got my issue and looking into it. Are these guys legit? Has anyone out there… Read more »
Alix0923
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Alix0923

Hi,
I got IOTA coins from BTC today on Binance and same problem for me withdraw button is disabled and same warning message “Network Congestion, Withdraw Suspended”. I raised also a ticket to the support and i got only an automatic reply.
Someone already withdrew IOTA coins successfully from Binance ?

Steven Hay
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Steven Hay

Hey M_Crypto_Enthusiast,

The IOTA network is experiencing a lot of problems at the moment. I believe they’re under spam attack and the network is experiencing delays and difficulties. This tends to happen with all cryptos when they get overloaded by users.

Many Binance users have encountered this problem, yes. It seems to be mostly a problem with the exchange itself. Just keep trying and I’m sure you’ll get your coins out eventually. The exchange is legitimate as far as I know; haven’t heard of any sketchy behaviour from them.

Dolores
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Dolores

I’ve a problem with the IOTA wallet on my phone; IOTA Wallet (BETA) 0.9.1 APK, I can enter with the seed, but never see my coins, it keeps saying; ‘no data available’ in the transfers addresses part , the rest seems to work. Anyone any ideas??

Steven Hay
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Steven Hay
Hey Dolores, Yeah, it seems IOTA’s wallet and network is a bit of a mess right now. I saw some suggestions to fixing this problem but it doesn’t seem very reliable. It seems like a spam attack is exposing the weak points of IOTA. I don’t really know much about IOTA but try this fix before anyhing else: PSA: If your wallet displays a 0 balance suddenly, generate new addresses until it appears. This is a normal part of the snapshot process. from Iota If that doesn’t work, I recommend you sign up to that r/iota subreddit and ask for… Read more »
Dolores
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Dolores

Thank you very much for your reply, Steven, I will try to find out more, thanks for the advice!

Douglas Fleming
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Douglas Fleming

Thanks for the article Eric,

So where does a US citizen go to buy some IOTA?

OLEG
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OLEG

I got it here – binance.com (***Affiliate link removed***)

deanwhyte
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deanwhyte

Hello OLEG,

I am in the US and want to buy IOTA. Is binance.com still a valid place to get IOTA?

Steven Hay
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Steven Hay

Hey dean,

Nawar’s answer is correct, thanks Nawar. I haven’t heard anything bad from IOTA traders about Binance, so I’d say they’re perfectly valid unless we hear otherwise.

Nawar
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Nawar

I am using it to get IOTA. However, Binance doesn’t accept USD deposit as I know, so you have to buy BTC or ETH, send them to Binance, and then you can buy IOTA using BTC or ETH

Douglas
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Douglas

I’m uncomfortable with providing all the information requested in the Identity Authentication page on Binance. Is this step necessary?

Steven Hay
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Steven Hay

Hi Douglas,

According to a page from Binance’s support, non-verified users may withdraw at a rate of 2 BTC per 24 hours. That should be suitable for most people’s purposes.

Here’s the page:

https://support.binance.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000864371-Verification-on-Binance

To withdraw more, note that full verification is required.

I believe this information to still be valid (searching for “verification” in Binance’s support section doesn’t turn up any more relevant info) but I can’t guarantee it.

Caution would suggest contacting Binance’s support to verify the current situation before making any deposits.

Steven Hay
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Member
Steven Hay

Hi Douglas,

As far as I know, no exchange in the US directly sells Ripple for Dollars. What you should do instead is buy Bitcoin and then send it to another exchange overseas, which lets you buy Ripple with Bitcoin. Some good Chinese exchange options are Binance or OKEx.

I’m sure more exchange options will open up soon, given how IOTA is rising.

Check out CoinMarketCap’s “Markets” tab for updates:

https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/iota/#markets

Bertrand
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Bertrand

The entire system was premined at genesis, so every IOTA sold is essentially being bought from the creators then?

Apologies if I’m getting this wrong. only halfway through the whitepaper.

Steven Hay
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Steven Hay

Hey Bertrand,

Right, the devs sold IOTA off during the ICO. 2,779,530,283,277,761 IOTA were sold during that initial ICO in late 2015. There’s no mining process to generate coins.

Personally, I’m not convinced IOTA will have much advantage over blockchain cryptos once Lightning Networks are implemented, particularly on Bitcoin.