How to transfer crypto from an exchange to a wallet: A beginner’s guide

Let’s see how you can transfer your crypto from an exchange to your wallet

Crypto wallet                                 
You will need a crypto wallet to do a lot of things with your coins and tokens – Photo: Shutterstock
                                

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If you want to get hold of cryptocurrency, you will need to buy crypto, probably on an exchange, and then you will want to transfer that crypto – whether it is Bitcoin, Ether, DOGE or any one of the many coins and tokens that make up the cryptoverse – into a wallet.

But how do these things work? How do you transfer cryptocurrency from an exchange to a wallet? Let’s see what we can find out.

Crypto exchanges and their checks

One thing that you will need to keep in mind before you do anything else is that, if you are new to cryptocurrency, then you will almost certainly have to submit to a few checks that exchanges make in order to find out that their customers are legit.

The most notable of these are Know Your Customer checks, which are carried out in order to prevent crypto being used in money laundering. In the United Kingdom, Know Your Customer checks require a proof of ID and a proof of address.

There will also need to be, in many cases, a proof of affordability, to make sure that people are not spending money they cannot afford – or are spending money that they are not accountable for.

Anyway, once you have been approved and passed KYC, then you will need to buy or trade your crypto. Now, there is a very good chance that, rather than just having crypto to exchange crypto or having crypto for the sake of having crypto, you might want to use your crypto for something.

One of the more popular ways of actually using crypto is to spend it in the way you would spend conventional, fiat money. Now, most of the time, if you have crypto locked up in an exchange, then you will only be able to use it on other cryptocurrencies. The chances are that, if you want to actually buy something in the real world with your crypto, then you will need to transfer it into a wallet. 

What is a crypto wallet?

Crypto wallet
Crypto wallets are not usually physical – Photo: Shutterstock

One important thing to note is that, technically speaking, your wallet does not actually hold your crypto. Your cryptocurrency still exists on the blockchain. However, what a crypto wallet does do is that it, in effect, proves ownership of your crypto. It does so by the use of crypto keys. Public keys identify who you are on the network, while private keys show that you are the rightful recipient of a payment. In order to access your keys, you will need to remember a password and, in many cases, if you do not remember it then you will be unable to access your wallet. 

There are various different kinds of crypto wallet. There are wallets based on smartphone apps, ones which are downloaded onto your computer as software, there are the hardware kinds, stored on the likes of USB devices, and there are also ones which operate online. It would make sense to do your own research in order to find out which one would suit you best, and also to learn the advantages and disadvantages of each type. 

While we are here, it is also worth mentioning that if you want to stake your crypto – that is, you want to lock it up in a liquidity pool of some description in order to be eligible for rewards – then you will need to use a wallet, and you will have to make sure that the wallet allows staking. 

How to transfer your crypto from an exchange to a wallet

Anyway, once you have accessed an exchange, bought crypto and chosen the sort of wallet that you want, then it is time to withdraw your crypto from the exchange into your wallet. The finer details will vary from exchange to exchange and from wallet to wallet, but the fundamental principle is the same.

You will have to note your wallet’s address carefully. If you get this wrong, then you will send your crypto to the wrong address, which will mean that you will not get it back. Some wallets will want you to generate an address yourself. Then, you need to get into the exchange and access your account. There, you will have the option to withdraw. You should click on this and, where prompted, enter the relevant details, such as the address of your wallet and any passwords you will need to use. Once you have done that, you will need to confirm that you want to make the transfer, wait a while and it should go through.

The other thing to point out is that, very often, there will be a discrepancy between the amount you request and the money that you actually get in your wallet. This is because there will always be some kind of transaction fee, whether it is made by the exchange or by the blockchain itself.

So that is how you send crypto from an exchange to your own personal wallet. Remember to keep your information safe and, as always when talking about anything to do with crypto, make sure you carry out your own research on wallets, exchanges and cryptocurrencies. 

Further reading

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