IOTA has a major difference from other cryptocurrencies: there are no blocks, no chains, and no miners. The IOTA platform is a revolutionary, publicly distributed ledger built around a new data structure called “Tangle.” As the name implies, instead of a chain of blocks, the structure is more like a web.
To make a transaction on Tangle, the user has to actively participate in the consensus of the network by approving two past transactions. Thanks to this unique architecture, IOTA can offer unlimited scalability, true decentralization, and no-fee transactions. It’s because of these features that people interested in altcoins want to know how to buy IOTA and how to sell IOTA.
Trading Units to Buy IOTA
IOTA is referred to by many names, and this can be confusing. All these names just signify the number of IOTAs. Just like a thousand grams (g) is a kilogram (kg), a thousand IOTAs is a KIOTA. The list below gives the value of each trading unit.
|1,000 IOTAs||KiloIOTA (KIOTA)|
|1,000,000 IOTAs||MegaIOTAs (MIOTA, Mi)|
|1,000 MIOTAs||GigaIOTAs (GIOTA, Gi)|
|1,000 GIOTAs||TerraIOTAs (TIOTA, Ti)|
|1,000 TIOTAs||PetaIOTAs (PIOTA, Pi)|
Of these, the most commonly used trading unit is MIOTA (Mi). (Source: “How to buy IOTA and how it works,” Finder, December 11, 2017.)
Once you buy the IOTAs, you can leave them on the exchange for some time. However, as with every other cryptocurrency, it’s best to move your IOTAs into your own personal wallet.
How to Buy and Withdraw IOTA on Exchanges
Despite being one of the top five cryptocurrencies in market capitalization, IOTA is available only on select exchanges, of which only two (Bitfinex and Binance) have large trade volumes of IOTA. Both consistently rank in the top 10 exchanges for daily trade volume.
Neither of these exchanges accept dollars or euros or any other fiat currency. To make matters worse, as Bitfinex does not support individual U.S. customers’ options on how to buy and how to sell IOTA in the U.S., the list becomes further narrowed down to Binance.
So if you are in the U.S. and need to buy IOTA, the first step is to buy Bitcoin or Ehtereum on Binance, trade them for IOTA, and withdraw your IOTA into your personal wallet.
Different Wallet Types in IOTA
IOTA wallets are classified into full node, light wallet, headless node, and Android wallet.
Full Node: This is a running IOTA Reference Implementation (IRI) that can be accessed locally via a Graphics User Interface (GUI). To facilitate optimum functioning, full nodes should be connected to neighbors via a static IP. The setup of this wallet is intermediate (neither too hard, nor too easy)
Light Wallet: This wallet connects remotely to a server on which the IOTA IRI is running. As this is the easiest way to operate a wallet, there is a huge demand for working lightwallet servers. Setting up this wallet is relatively easy.
Headless Node: This is a full node running in your local console. While it has the same requirement as Full node, the advantage with this that one can open multiple accounts at the same time. The setting up for this wallet is difficult.
Android Wallet: As the name suggests, this is for mobile phones using Android. It’s pretty easy to set up these wallets. (Source: “Wallet Knowledge Base,” IOTA Support, last accessed December 12, 2017.)
To download a wallet, go to the Github site for IOTA. Once you are there, you’ll see the latest version (currently v2.5.4). Go to the “downloads section” and download the IOTA wallet-2.5.4.dmg (for Apple) or IOTA wallet.setup-2.5.4.exe (for Windows). It will take a couple of minutes to download. (Source: “Releases,” Github, last accessed December 12, 2017.)
Once the download is done you’ll get a popup with an IOTA logo and a blue applications folder. Click on the logo and drag it into the “applications” folder and you’re done. You can then go over to your applications and you’ll find your IOTA wallet there.
Buy IOTA Using Cryptocurrencies
While there are a number of ways to buy IOTA, there are very few exchanges that allow you to buy IOTA using cryptocurrency. As U.S. users cannot use Bitfinex, their only significant option is Binance.
Whichever cryptocurrency you choose on Binance, click “deposit,” then send funds to the given address. When your deposit is fully confirmed, it’s time to trade your deposited cryptocurrency for IOTA. Click the “exchange” button in the menu.
Place a buy IOTA cryptocurrency order using either a limit or market order. A market order will purchase the maximum amount of IOTA available for the cryptocurrency amount you’ve chosen to spend. It will purchase the cheapest available IOTA until it has filled this amount.
Once your order has filled, it will be shown in your available IOTA balance. You can then withdrawal your IOTA to the wallet of your choice.
Buy IOTA with Credit/Debit Cards or PayPal
While trading IOTA using cryptocurrencies is pretty straightforward, the bigger challenge is how to buy IOTA with credit cards.
Changelly, one of the best exchanges to purchase most cryptocurrencies with a credit/debit card, does not support IOTA as of yet. So the best option is to obtain a cryptocurrency that pairs with IOTA with your credit card on Changelly–like, say, Ethereum ETH. And once you have ETH, exchange it for IOTA on Binance. The same procedure answers the query of how to by IOTA with debit cards as well.
Once you have ETH, you can send it to your Binance account. To do this, open your Binance account, click the “funds” tab on the navigation bar, and click “deposits withdrawals.” On this screen, you will see a list of cryptocurrencies; find ETH and click on it. Click “deposit” and your ETH deposit address will show up. Copy and paste this address into Changelly and click “send.” Within 15 -20 minutes, your ETH will arrive on Binance. Click the “exchange” button in the menu.
For those wondering how to buy IOTA with PayPal, the simplest option is to convert your PayPal balance into bitcoin on VirWox and then use the bitcoin to buy IOTA on Binance.
Reasons to Buy IOTA
What gas was to the automobile industry in the last century, IOTA will be to the “Internet of things” in this one. According to reliable sources, there will be 20 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, and 75 billion devices by 2025. IOTA will be used as the currency for all this interoperability. With its great features (instant and free transactions, no interference, no miners fee, no block confirmation) IOTA will be the backbone of the Internet of things. Want more reasons to buy IOTA? Try these: Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) has partnered with IOTA, Bill Gates is investing in IOTA, and ICO investors have already pumped $80.0 million into it.
In regular cryptocurrencies, when a blockchain becomes popular and busy, transactions get slower and more expensive. This is known as the “scaling problem.” As IOTA, thanks to Tangle, has sidestepped the scaling problem, it is earmarked to be the cryptocurrency of the future.
IOTA’s rapid rise up the cryptocurrency charts (it’s currently fourth on the crypto market cap list) shows that investors are realizing its true potential. If you are in the U.S. and want to invest in IOTA, buy Ethereum and trade it for IOTA on Binance. And once you own IOTA, withdraw it into a light wallet. That’s what I’d do.