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A step by step guide on how to buy & store the Monero (XMR) cryptocurrency

What is Monero?

Monero is a cryptocurrency focusing on private and censorship-resistant transactions.

What are XMR coins?

Monero is electronic cash that allows fast, cheap payments to and from anywhere in the world.

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DO NOT BASE ANY INVESTMENT DECISION UPON ANY MATERIALS FOUND ON THIS SITE. The author is not registered as an investment adviser either with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") or with the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The author is neither licensed nor qualified to provide investment advice. This guide is not and should not be interpreted as investment advice, a recommendation regarding a course of action or as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative and complex, and they 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. The author may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed. All product names, trademarks, brands, photographs and logos are the property of their respective owners.

How to buy Monero
Important notes: The links in this guide are correct as to the best of our knowledge. It is your own responsibility to double check that clicked links look correct in your browser bar, and that any wallet you install on your computer is from a legitimate source.

It's highly recommended to have quality virus/malware protection on your computer, such as Bitdefender, before buying cryptocurrencies.

Notes: Images can be clicked to see a larger version.

If you're confused by any terms used, a glossary can be found here.

This guide is kept up-to-date as much as possible, but websites & software are being constantly updated- your experience may differ from what is documented.

There are three parts to this guide (click to skip to them): Setting up a Monero wallet, buying Ethereum and then exchanging Ethereum for Monero.

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First we need to install a wallet on your computer to store your Monero coins. We recommend the official wallet downloaded here.

Choose the correct wallet for your operating system, download the file, unzip it and install the wallet.

Downloading Monero wallet
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Your computer may ask you to approve the wallet connecting to the internet through your firewall. You must agree to allow it access for the wallet to work.

Installing Monero wallet
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Once the wallet is open, it'll ask you to choose your language.

Installing Monero wallet
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The Monero wallet will now give you some options. Choose 'Create a new wallet'.

Installing Monero wallet
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On the next screen you'll be asked to name your wallet. This can be anything, but make it something that will be obvious to you in the future.

The wallet will be displaying your private seed. It's very important to copy this seed somewhere safe and private (think multiple external hard drives and/or USB drives that you put somewhere safe). Anyone with access to this seed can open your wallet from any computer.

You will also have the option to change the default place where your wallet will be saved on your computer.

It's up to you if you change this, but make a note of where this wallet folder is being saved- it would be wise to back it up after this guide (again, think multiple external hard drives and/or USB drives that you put somewhere safe).

Once you've saved your seed etc. press the right arrow button.

Installing Monero wallet
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Now you'll be asked to input a password for your wallet. Make this secure but also something you'll remember- you don't want to forget it and lose access to your coins/money!

Once you've put your password in twice, press the right arrow button.

Installing Monero wallet
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You'll be presented with a summary of your new wallet.

Click 'Use Monero'

Installing Monero wallet
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The wallet will now start.

You may be asked to allow access through your firewall again. You must allow access for the wallet to work properly.

Installing Monero wallet
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The wallet will now set about synchronizing with the Monero blockchain.

This can take a while. The blockchain is now over 13 gigabytes. Feel free to leave your computer running overnight for it to finish downloading.

Thankfully, you can still receive Monero coins while you're waiting.

Installing Monero wallet
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Click the button 'Receive'.

You'll be presented with an address (a very long line of numbers and letters)

Keep your wallet open as we're going to need the address soon.

Installing Monero wallet
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Now we'll purchase the popular cryptocurrency Ethereum, so that we can exchange it for Monero (if you already own Ethereum you can skip ahead).

Choose which Ethereum exchange you'd like to use (by clicking on the logo), and the guide will continue:

Choose your exchange
#
Coinbase
  • Operates in 32 countries.
  • Accepts debit & credit cards and bank transfers.
  • Can have low buy limits at first, increases with use.
  • ID verification required.
#
Cex.io
  • Worldwide coverage, 99% of countries.
  • Accepts debit/credit cards and bank transfers.
  • High initial buy limits compared to other exchanges.
  • ID verification required.
#
Coinmama
There are also some other exchanges (but without step by step guides) listed here.
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If you use this link to sign up to Coinbase we'll both receive ten dollars of free coins when you spend over $100 (or the equivalent in your currency).

Coinbase
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Press the 'sign up' button and fill out your name (make sure this is exactly how it's written on your photo ID), email and a password.

Just like a US bank, Coinbase is regulated by the US government, and has to follow strict financial rules. So they take verifying your identity very seriously. It's a pain, but it does give Coinbase a reputation for being the most trusted way to convert fiat currency to cryptocurrency.

To verify your account you must supply a phone number, upload an image of your photo ID and verify a credit/debit card or bank account before you can buy.

Note: If you have problems verifiying your ID using your computer, try downloading the Coinbase app (on Iphone or Android), signing into your Coinbase account and verifying your ID using your phone camera.

Signing up to Coinbase
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Using a credit/debit card on Coinbase means higher fees but offers instant purchasing. Using a bank transfer is cheaper but slower (taking up to a week to get your coins).

Once your payment details are verified, click 'buy/sell' on the top menu.

Select 'Ethereum', and at the bottom of the page choose how much to spend in your local currency / how many coins you want to buy.

Once you're happy with the amount, click the big 'Buy' button.

Buying Ethereum on Coinbase
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You'll be asked to confirm your purchase.

Press the 'Confirm Buy' button.

Congratulations! You now own some Ethereum. But don't close Coinbase yet, we're going to need it again in a few minutes.

Confirm buying Ethereum on Coinbase
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Click here to go to Coinmama.

In the sign up form, enter your email address and first and last name (make sure these are exactly the same as on your photo ID).

Enter a strong password (that you won't forget!).

Select your country, tick the box to show you understand their terms and conditions and press 'Register'.

Coinmama
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You will be sent an email to confirm your email address.

Go find that email and click the link in it.

You will be informed that your email is now confirmed. Press 'Continue'.

You will be prompted to log in. Enter your email and password and press 'Login'.

Signing up to Coinmama
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You won't be able to buy any Ethereum until you verify your account.

In the left-hand menu, click 'Verify your account'.

You will be asked to fill in your personal details. Once you have, press 'Next'.

Signing up to Coinmama
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Here you need to upload some pictures of your ID.

You're also asked to take a selfie of yourself holding your ID, as well as writing 'Coinmama' on a piece of paper with today's date.

Make sure none of these pictures are blurry, or they will be rejected.

Once you've uploaded the files you'll be informed your documents are under review- unfortunately you'll have to wait until you're verified to continue your purchase.

Signing up to Coinmama
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Click here to go to Cex.io

Click the 'Register' button along the top menu.

Cex.io
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Enter your email address and a secure password. Click the checkbox to agree to the terms.

Click 'Register'.

Signing up to Cex.io
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You will now be asked to set up 2-factor authentication for your new account. It is strongly advised not to skip this step, as 2-factor authentication makes your account far more secure.

We recommend using the 'Smartphone App' option.

Signing up to Cex.io
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Once your security has been set up, you'll be taken to your account dashboard.

Before we do anything else, head on over to your personal email account- there will be an email from Cex.io asking you to click a link to verify your account. Click it.

You will be taken to a page telling you your email has been confirmed. Click 'Go back to the site'.

Signing up to Cex.io
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Look for your user ID in the top menu, hover your mouse over it and in the drop down menu click 'Verification'.

Signing up to Cex.io
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Every exchange that lets your buy cryptocurrencies for cash require you to verify your identification before doing so.

Complete the Cex.io verification process by supplying your personal information and uploading your ID.

Signing up to Cex.io
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Once you're verified, click the 'Deposit' button along the top menu.

You now get to choose how you'd like to deposit money:

Via credit/debit card

If you choose credit/debit card you can buy instantly, but you pay commission on the money you deposit.

Via bank transfer

This option takes a few days for the transfer to arrive but has no commission fees.

Choose the method you prefer and follow the instructions to deposit your money.

Signing up to Cex.io
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Once your money is in your account, click 'BUY/SELL' on the top menu.

Choose 'ETH' and the currency you'd like to buy it in (Dollars, Euros, Pounds or Rubles).

You will be offered some precalculated amounts of Ethereum, or you can scroll to the bottom of the page and input the amount of Ethereum you'd like to buy in the 'Custom amount' box.

Once you've decided, click 'Buy'.

Signing up to Cex.io
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You'll be asked to confirm your buy.

Check everything looks correct and click 'Confirm the order'.

Signing up to Cex.io
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Congratulations- you now own some Ethereum!

Press 'Ok'.

Signing up to Cex.io
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While you're waiting to be verified, we'll sign up for Binance, so you'll be ready to exchange your Ethereum for Monero.

We'll use the site Binance to exchange your Ethereum for Monero.

We'll use the site Binance to exchange your Ethereum for Monero.

We'll use the site Binance to exchange your Ethereum for Monero.

Click here to go to Binance, and click 'Register' on the top right menu.

Binance exchange
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Enter your email and a strong password (that you won't forget!).

Click 'Register'.

Setting up a Binance account
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You will be sent an email to confirm your email address.

Click the link in the email.

Setting up a Binance account
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You will be taken back to Binance as your email is confirmed.

Press 'Login'.

On the login form, enter the email and password you just used to sign up, then press 'Login'.

Setting up a Binance account
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A pop-up will advise you to set up 2FA (two factor authentication) on your account.

We strongly advise you to do this- in the event a hacker manages to get hold of your password, this second level of security makes it very unlikely they will be able to get into your Binance account.

We recommend using the Authy app on your mobile phone or web browser.

Setting up a Binance account
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Hover your mouse over 'FUNDS' on the top menu and click on 'Deposits Withdrawals'.

This screen displays any coins you have stored on Binance- obviously none at the moment.

Type 'Ethereum' in the search box.

This will narrow the wallets displayed to just a few- in those, find Ethereum.

Press 'Deposit'

You will be given a Ethereum deposit address (a long string of numbers and letters).

Copy this address and keep it somewhere safe as we're going to need it soon.

Note: Double check you've actually selected Ethereum (ETH)- if you send your coins to the wrong wallet you will lose them.

Setting up a Binance account
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Now, return to Coinbase.

Click 'Accounts' from the top menu, then find your Ethereum wallet listed on the left.

Click 'Send'.

Sending Ethereum on Coinbase
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In the 'Recipient' box, paste the Ethereum wallet address we just copied from Binance.

In amount, type how much Ethereum you wish to send (there is a 'use max' option if you wish to send it all).

Click 'Continue'.

Coinbase may ask you to confirm with your password/phone. Follow the instructions until it confirms the Ethereum are sent.

Sending Ethereum on Coinbase
28

Go back to Cex.io

Press 'Withdraw' on the top menu.

Under 'Select currency and amount' click 'USD' and select 'ETH' in the drop down menu.

Input the amount of Ethereum you're sending.

In the box labelled 'Enter the recipient's address below' paste the Ethereum wallet address we just copied from Binance.

Once you've looked everything over, click the check box to confirm you've double checked everything is correct.

Press 'Withdraw'.

Signing up to Cex.io
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You will be asked for a 2-factor authentication number.

Use your selected method of authentication to generate the number and write it in the box. Press 'Confirm'.

Signing up to Cex.io
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You will be sent an email to confirm the withdrawal.

Go to your personal email and click the link Cex.io has sent you. This will send the coins on their way.

Signing up to Cex.io
7

Go back to LocalBitcoins.

You should still be in your wallet page.

In the box labelled 'Receiving Bitcoin address' paste the Ethereum wallet address we just copied from Binance.

Enter the amount of Bitcoin you're sending.

Press 'Continue'.

Signing up to LocalBitcoins
8

You will be asked to enter your password to confirm the send.

Once entered, press 'Send from wallet'.

Signing up to LocalBitcoins
9

You will be taken back to your wallet and a message will appear to confirm the Bitcoin has been sent.

Signing up to LocalBitcoins
22

Hopefully you're now verified on Coinmama, so log into your account and press 'Buy Ethereum'.

You will be presented with some buying options- you can either choose to purchase a preset amount, or at the bottom of the page enter the amount of Ethereum you want, or currency you want to convert to Ethereum.

Once you're satisfied with the amount, press the 'Buy Ethereum' button.

Signing up to Coinmama
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You will be asked to supply your Ethereum wallet address. Input the wallet address that you copied from Binance.

Press 'Go to payment'.

Signing up to Coinmama
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You will be asked for your credit/debit card details. Input them and press 'Pay Now'.

Signing up to Coinmama
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You may be informed that Coinmama has received your order but 'are reviewing the order and making sure you're really you.' This just means they're double checking your credit/debit card information to your personal information to be sure this is a legitimate purchase.

Signing up to Coinmama
26

Once they've confirmed everything, you will be sent an email to confirm the purchase. Go to your inbox, find the email and double check it shows your correct Ethereum wallet address you copied from Binance. When you're happy, click the confirmation link in it.

Coinmama will now send your coins to your wallet address.

Signing up to Coinmama
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Now we've got to wait a few minutes for the coins to move across the network.

Unless there's an unusually large network backlog, the coins will take between 20 and 60 minutes to appear in your Binance wallet.

Binance will update automatically so there's no need to refresh the page.

While you're waiting, consider sharing this guide with your friends and followers to spread the word about Monero, encouraging its popularity and value to grow.

Here's some share buttons to make it easy:

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Once the Ethereum shows in your 'available balance' we're ready to trade for Monero.

Click here to jump straight to the XMR/ETH exchange market on Binance.

Setting up a Binance account
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The exchange page can look overwhelming at first, but don't worry, we're only going to use a small part of it.

There are two ways of buying coins:

A 'Limit' order, which lets you manually set the price at which you want to buy XMR.

A 'Market' buy, which fills your order automatically at the best price available.

As market buy is the simpler of the two options we'll go with that.

Look for the big green 'Buy XMR' button.

Above it, click the 'Market' option.

In the input box marked 'Amount' you now need to fill in how many XMR you'd like to buy. It may be easier to use the percentage buttons below the input box- for example, press 50% if you'd like to exchange 50% of your Ethereum for XMR.

When you're happy with the amount, press the buy button.

Your order will be filled immediately.

Setting up a Binance account
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Hover over 'Funds' along the top menu, then click 'Balances'.

In the search box, type XMR. You will now see your new XMR in your XMR wallet.

Setting up a Binance account
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If you're comfortable with it, you could just leave your coins on Binance and they would probably be safe. However, exchanges have been hacked in the past, and people have lost coins, so we do recommend you keep them in a personal wallet. Here's how:

Click the 'Withdrawal' button.

In the boxes that appear, fill in this information:

XMR Withdrawal Address: Put the wallet address that you copied from Monero wallet (in step 10).

Amount: Input the number of XMR you want to withdraw. It's often a good idea to do a small test withdrawal first before sending all your coins.

Once you're sure all this information is correct (double check you've inputted the correct wallet address!), press 'Submit'.

If you've set up two-factor authentication, you will be asked for a code from your phone. Enter it and press 'Submit'.

You will be sent an email to confirm the withdrawal.

Go to your email and click the link that has been sent to you.

Setting up a Binance account
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Go back to your wallet.

Once it has successfully synced with the blockchain you should see your Monero coins appear in your balance.

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What about when you're ready to sell your Monero?

You simply reverse the order of tasks you performed in this guide.

For example, you send your Monero to Binance, exchange it for Ethereum, send that Ethereum to Coinbase Cex.io Coinmama Local Bitcoins and sell it for your preferred currency.
Learn with our book:
The Age of CryptocurrencyThe 'get it done in an hour' guide to cryptocurrencies
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