How to buy Icon coin online
This guide introduces you to Icon and its ICX coin. Learn more about how the cryptocurrency binds a community together and get some pointers on what to look out for before you spend your money.
Compare where to buy Icon, and open an account
If you have all you need to know about Icon already, then use one of the trading platforms below. These are the top brokers chosen by our teams of crypto experts, who have reviewed all the most popular options. To learn more about the Icon community first, keep reading.
What is Icon?
Icon is a framework for creating a community of blockchains that can all work together. It runs like a union of states, where each blockchain platform is a state with its own rules that uses Icon to communicate, trade, and share information with any other state. All this is powered by the ICX coin, which is used for payments, voting and to earn rewards.
By offering a place for blockchains to interact like this, Icon creates a decentralised exchange of information that’s not constrained by borders or government regulation, and can be used to solve practical problems in the real world. Icon originates in South Korea, where it’s already received government backing, and launched in 2018.
How does Icon work?
Icon works by creating a common set of rules so all its communities can talk to each other. It’s essentially a decentralised exchange where blockchains can come together and all transactions between them are stored on Icon’s own blockchain. This removes the need for any central body to act as governor of the network.
The other crucial part of Icon’s infrastructure is its voting system. ICX holders can stake their coins – locking them up for a short period so they can’t be used for anything else – to allow them to vote for representatives to act in the best interest of each community on Icon.
Voting also has another aspect, as holders also vote on public representatives to add new transactions to the blockchain, and everyone is rewarded for contributing. The biggest rewards go to those who contribute the most, but you can also be punished if you use your coins to vote for a bad actor.
How to buy ICX online – a step-by-step guide
Step 1. Find an exchange
Cryptocurrency exchanges have a wide range of coins, and almost all include the Icon token. Each platform has a unique range of features with its own pros and cons. You should take a look at the options before you decide on the best one for you. A couple of the top exchanges around are:
- Binance: With Binance you can trade more than 100 cryptocurrencies. Binance has more trading volume than any other exchange and so is a great place for most crypto trading. Sign up for Binance >
- Bitpanda: Bitpanda is ideal for beginners with an intuitive platform. It specialises in trading cryptocurrency with fiat currency. Join Bitpanda today >
Step 2. Sign up and fund your account
To buy and sell on an exchange you need to first sign up for an account. It’s a simple process but make sure to have a copy of your photo ID handy for verification. Once that’s done, you’ll need to deposit some fiat currency (like GBP, USD, or EUR) to fund your account.
Step 3. Purchase
To find Icon on your chosen exchange platform, you need to search for its ticker symbol – ICX. Then, you’ll be presented with a list of coins or currencies you can use in a swap for Icon. At the moment, that might not include any fiat currencies (like GBP or USD). If that’s the case, then the best way to buy ICX is to swap your fiat into Bitcoin or Ethereum, and then use that to get Icon.
Step 4. (Optional) Get a suitable wallet
You can store your new ICX coins in your exchange account. This is reasonably safe, but for extra security you want to think about getting a wallet. Wallets give you control of a private key to access your coins. The most security comes from hardware wallets, but there are also online wallets and mobile wallets available as well.
Here are two of the top wallet providers available:
- Freewallet: An online wallet that can be accessed through a browser and a mobile app. On Freewallet you can hold more than 100 different cryptos. Get Freewallet now >
- Trezor: Trezor was the first ever hardware wallet to be released. Trezor holds your coins in a USB stick-like device, ensuring they’re always safe, even if you connect to a malware infected computer. Sign up with Trezor >
How to trade Icon – a step-by-step guide
Step 1. Find a broker
When you look for a broker you want to find one with low fees. This is especially true if you plan on making a lot of trades, as trading fees can make it very expensive.
You might find it difficult to find ICX on any broker at the moment, as they only tend to have the biggest cryptocurrencies available. However, that might change, and when it does eToro and Plus500 are two of the top brokers around.
Step 2. Deposit money
You can fund your broker account with fiat currency. Most brokers also let you trade directly with that fiat currency, but you should check before you start. You should also see if you are entitled to any extra money as a deposit match and the rules around that.
Step 3. Decide how you’d like to trade
Before you start trading you should decide on a trading strategy. Generally, the most popular way of trading cryptocurrency is using contracts for difference. When you trade CFDs you don’t own the underlying asset, rather you speculate on its price moves. They can be a way of getting exposure to the broader market, particularly to assets that would be too expensive to own outright. With CFDs you can back the price to go up or down.
Step 4. Start trading
Most brokers offer demo accounts where you can trade with pretend money until you get used to how it all works. For beginners, this can be a good way to start without the risk of losing your money.
When you start trading you have two options. If you like a coin, you can back it to go up (going long), while if you don’t you can ‘short’ (sell) it. If you plan on going short you can learn more about it in our guide to short selling.
For traders with a bit more experience, you can use leverage to make bigger trades. When you trade with leverage you put up a small percentage of the overall trade value, which is known as the ‘margin’. Trading like this can open up the potential for big wins, but it means you can lose big as well. It’s not a trading strategy recommended for beginners.
If you still aren’t sure if Icon is for you, don’t worry. It’s always a good idea to take some time over an investment, and particularly so with cryptocurrency. Here are some of Icon’s pros and cons, followed by some more questions for you to think about.
- Holding ICX coins entitles you to rewards and lots of voting rights on Icon
- Icon is one of the most democratic systems around
- It has already received government backing in South Korea
- A one coin: one vote system could hand a lot of power to the biggest holders
- Its alignment with the South Korean government could be seen as against the blockchain’s decentralised ideals
If you want a bit more information, below are three more questions to help you decide whether to invest in Icon.
1. Is it a good time to buy Icon?
It depends on your investment goals. Icon is a way of investing in the success of a variety of blockchains, and you can use ICX to participate in the platform. It encourages its investors to be active, putting their coins to work and using the voting rights ICX allows them. If those ideals appeal to you, it could well be a good time to buy.
For short term traders, think about whether the current price represents an opportunity. Icon has designed a system to reduce big swings in price, but that doesn’t take away volatility entirely. You’re still looking for reasons that the stock might go up, and below you can find some of our market analysis to help you find them:
Is ICON (ICX) a buy or sell in March?
Up or down? ICON (ICX) price prediction for February
2. What problem does Icon solve, and what are the coin’s investment prospects?
Icon solves the problems of isolated blockchains being unable to communicate with each other. By allowing communication it can help solve real world problems: letting data flow across borders and encouraging interaction between industries. Its decentralised nature keeps it secure and no institution or government has control over it, the power is all in its users hands.
ICX is likely to be a good investment if more people join the platform. Part of its voting system allows holders to vote on new projects they want to see developed, so everyone stands to benefit from its democratic nature. ICX will be more in demand the more Icon grows, particularly given the way it incentivises holders to stake their coins in the platform so they can vote.
You should make sure to research before you invest. Because there’s so much voting, holders can act to change the rules if enough people get together. This is something to look out for, as are signs of official approval. Icon has already seen backing from the South Korean government, and you can look for more like this by following the news below:
3. Do you want to hold Icon for the long term?
You want to hold ICX for the long term if you’re going to use its platform. As a long term investor, you can put your coins to work and earn rewards. You can vote on its future, help choose new projects, and contribute to its success. Here are a couple of final things to consider, depending on your investment outlook:
Considerations for a long term investment strategy
If you plan on joining one of the Icon communities and want to vote on its future, it’s a good time to invest. In that case, the best place to buy Icon coins in the UK is on an exchange platform. You could also think about a wallet if you want somewhere to hold coins for the long term.
Considerations for a short term trading strategy
ICX is designed to reduce price volatility, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any opportunities for short term traders. Pick a broker with low fees and read up on trading strategies to see if you can predict moves in the market.