It goes without saying that many have asked this question been asking ever since Ethereum went from $8 at the beginning of 2017 to over $1,000 by the end of 2017.
Whether you already know something about cryptocurrencies or know nothing about the subject, this guide is the right place to start. You are sure to gain you a better understanding of the different platforms you can use to buy Ether (Ethereum’s currency) and how to decide which is the best and safest option for you.
Crypto is new, ever-changing, and anything but simple. However, before you learn on how you can buy Ethereum, I’ll explain how Ethereum works. It’s much more than digital money – Ethereum is changing the way many businesses operate.
Remember, whether you’re trading cryptos or just investing in Ether, always make sure you’re using only the most reliable cryptocurrency exchange platforms.
How to buy Ethereum: what is Ethereum?
To understand Ethereum, you first need to understand the technology used. The technology used is referred to as “blockchain.” This requires some research, so I recommend you read our guide “Blockchain Explained”. However, if you don’t have time, here is a brief explanation.
Since the database is shared among many different nodes, it will not shut down if one of the nodes fails, breaks, or gets hacked. This is called decentralized, which means that it does not operate from one center, but from many.
A good example is: if you try to access a website and it crashes, sometimes that means its server is a centralized location. With blockchain, there is never any downtime! With different nodes running simultaneously all over the world, it can’t crash. Mainly because the information is shared everywhere, not just in a single place! Hence, decentralized.
How does Ethereum use this technology?
Ethereum was introduced in 2015 following the success of Bitcoin (the first substantial application of blockchain technology). Ethereum strengthens the way blockchain operates with the application of smart contracts which is known as “Blockchain 2.0”.
A smart contract is like a pledge that can’t be broken: It can’t be reversed until it’s in effect. This presents a much better way to do business.
How does a smart contract work?
Let’s imagine your employer is on the cutting edge of technology and wants to pay you in Ether. The employer creates a smart contract that instructs the Ethereum blockchain to pay you your salary in Ether on the 15th of each month. As you can see, you can use smart contracts to program/automate transactions on the blockchain.
Now let’s imagine we buy a car with a smart contract. When you pay the Ether required for the car (by sending it to the smart contract), the ownership of the car is automatically sent to you via the blockchain. This transaction is then verified by all other nodes around the world and added to the blockchain. A safe option to do business.
What is so valuable with smart contracts?
In several various negotiation situations, smart contracts remove the need for a third-party provider! You will usually depend on a third party in the examples I just described.
In the case of the boss, on the day you are to be paid, you will rely on a bank to move the salary/money into your account (your “payday”). Instead, if you use the smart contract, you don’t require a bank to process the transaction – the smart contract instructs the blockchain on your payday to process it (send, check, etc.).
In the case of a vehicle, you will usually focus on a dealer and a broker. For intelligent contracts, there is no trader or broker to pay a bill!
Additional note: The bank will charge the company a lot of fees to pay you if you were working abroad. Also, it will take 3+ days to compensate. It’s almost immediate for smart contracts and the employer does not have a bank/third party to pay a commission to. Another great value and justification to use smart contracts is this!
The fuel that drives everything
And you know now what intelligent contracts are. You know that the platform/blockchain which drives them is Ethereum. So what’s it that drives it all? These “nodes” have energy to consume, right? Who pays for it?
Ok, here’s where I introduce Ether to you (ETH). It’s the Ethereum Money. That’s the gas that drives it all. Currently, when we use it for purchases with Ethereum, it’s actually called gas.
For their job at Ether, the nodes operating Ethereum are compensated. This accounts for the expense of their electricity and makes them a profit as well. Mining is called this method.
It is really liquid because of the need for ether. This means it can be turned into cash quickly (fiat currencies, i.e. USD, EUR, JPY, etc.). The price of Ether has risen a lot due to its popularity, because millions of people are investing in Ether.
Although you know about Ether and its demand, it is still confusing, isn’t it? I’m sure you’re still wondering why and how to buy Ethereum. So, let’s get into it.
Why should I buy Ethereum?
“If you ask yourself, “Should I buy Ethereum?” you could be asked, “Why should I not buy Ethereum?” It is the world’s second most popular cryptocurrency, and there are strong explanations why.
A centralized model is currently working in our country. International exchange rates, interest rates and taxes are all subject to a single point of influence (i.e. banks and governments). A modern paradigm – a decentralized model – is offered by Ethereum and its smart contracts. When many see it as the future, it is important for investors and companies to be part of this modern model.
After its publication, the price of Ethereum has risen sharply. 1 Ether was priced at just $8.24 on January 1, 2017. By January 1, 2018, the value of 1 Ether was $747.52. That’s over a 9,000 percent rise!
While Ether was not the first cryptocurrency, it learned from the mistakes of those that came before it. Bitcoin transactions, for example, take more than ten minutes to process.
Ethereum’s transactions, however, can take mere seconds.
When Ethereum and its smart contracts modify the way the environment runs by eliminating third parties, it is impossible to quantify the benefit. It is very flexible (every day the price varies a lot) in the short term. The general long-term outlook, though, is that the valuation of Ethereum will continue to grow as it becomes more famous each year.
When the world uses Ethereum (to exclude third parties) for its primary reason, we will figure out how much Ethereum is actually worth. Nevertheless, it is a very common way to make money to acquire and sell Ether and other cryptocurrencies.
How to buy Ethereum: Steps…
Now, let’s press on, with all that said and out of the way, to talk about how to buy
The Etereum. With just a few easy steps, it can actually be achieved!
Phase 1: Get yourself a Digital Wallet.
You need to store it somewhere, because Ether is a digital currency – a digital wallet. You can hold several currencies in it, much like a normal wallet. You can bring US dollars, euros, and pounds when you visit other countries.
The same goes for digital currencies – you can store many different cryptocurrencies depending on which wallet you use. For Ethereum, you need to use an Ethereum-compatible wallet.
You can get web-based wallets (available in a browser), software wallets (that you download), or hardware wallets (a physical wallet that you purchase and connect to your computer via USB).
This is the least secure option, and we don’t recommend it if you’re storing an amount that means a lot to you. If you do use one, we recommend MyEtherWallet, Mist, and MetaMask.
If you go to MyEtherWallet, make sure you bookmark the site in your browser for added security.
If you are not sure how to bookmark the website, take a look at the image on the right of Google Chrome. You click on the star while on the website, and then it will be put under your address bar when you open a new tab.
When you go to MyEtherWallet, always click on the bookmark instead of typing “MyEtherWallet”!
These are wallets that you download to your computer, tablet or phone. They offer better security than web wallets. I recommend Exodus and Jaxx.
Exodus is not usable on handheld devices, but it has a nice interface and is convenient to use. For its excellent smartphone app, I suggest Jaxx! Another nice thing about Exodus and Jaxx is that switching from one cryptocurrency to another can be used to transform them. You can turn Ether into Bitcoin, for instance.
Wallets for hardware
The other option is to buy a wallet with hardware. The most safe option to store Ether and other cryptocurrencies is hardware wallets.
These are tiny electronic devices that attach through USB to your computer. Your crypto will still be deposited in the blockchain and in an online account, but without your hardware wallet, you will not be able to enter the account. You can’t be compromised as long as you keep the hardware wallet secure!
Proposed is TREZOR and Ledger Nano S for hardware wallets.
Regardless of the wallet you want, if you build, import, or buy your wallet, you will have an ETH address. When you purchase Ethereum, this is the address to which you give it.
Phase 2: Buy Astraleum Astraleum
An open marketplace is a digital currency, so you can pick how to buy Ether. It gives you more stability and encourages you to build your portfolio in the way you want.
Note: The ‘portfolio’ is your list of assets for those who are not investing geeks.
You need to know where to purchase Ethereum first, in order to know how to buy Ethereum. From several different exchanges, you can buy Ether (online platforms). You can also convert other cryptocurrencies to Ether using ShapeShift or purchase from another user using LocalEthereum.
To buy Ether with fiat currencies (USD, GBP, EUR, JPY, etc.), you need to open an account on one of the following exchanges. On any of them you can buy Ethereum with credit card and bank transfer.
Coinbase is the most popular digital exchange and also the most user-friendly. It is as simple as downloading the app or visiting the website.
You can pay with bank transfer on Coinbase and it is one of the easiest ways to buy Ethereum. However, it is not available in every country, so make sure you can use it in yours.
Coinbase’s fees range from 1.49% – 3.99%. Different for each payment method – debit or credit card fees are higher than bank transfer fees.
How to buy Ethereum with Coinbase:
- first open a Coinbase account. Simply go to the Coinbase website, click “Sign Up” and enter your details in the required fields.
- Then, open your email i.e. inbox and find the email that Coinbase sent you. Click on the link then go ahead and sign up to verify your email address.
- You will need to check your phone number after you have signed up. Insert your phone number and then press the ‘return code’ button. With a secret, Coinbase will give you an SMS. In the field on Coinbase, enter this code.
- Add your form of payment once you have signed in. Pick a debit/credit card or bank transfer option.
- Select “Buy/Sell “next to” Ether ” and choose/enter the amount of Ether you would like to purchase. You may use USD, GBP or EUR to pay.
- click on “Buy ETH”.
Another simple-to-use exchange is CEX.io, but the platform is easier than the software. One of the huge benefits of CEX.io is that it’s usable in more nations than Coinbase.
How to purchase Ether using CEX.IO:
- Subscribe to a CEX.IO account: Tap on “Register” on the top right of CEX.io’s homepage. Enter your information in the appropriate fields or, if you want to use Facebook to sign up, press ‘Sign up with Facebook.’
- Open the inbox of your account and find the email that CEX.IO sent you. To check your email address, click the link in the email.
- Next, you will be asked to allow two-factor authentication via CEX.IO. In order to secure your account, this adds an extra layer of protection.
- On the next page, it will say “Buy BTC” when you first land on it. Click on “BTC” and you will see a menu. Select “ETH” from the menu.
- next to “Buy ETH” you will see “For USD”. If you want to use another fiat currency, click ” USD ” and you will see another menu. Select “EUR or GBP” from the menu. Currently, these are the only fiat currencies you can purchase with CEX.io Ether -maybe they’ll update that!
- select/enter the amount of Ethereum you want to buy and then click “BUY”.
In 2013, Coinmama was released and is still really friendly for beginners. You can buy only Ether and Bitcoin, but it has low fees, and debit/credit card and bank transfer are approved. Note: Only USD and EUR are recognized by Coinmama.
How to buy Ether with Coinmama:
- register with Coinmama: go to the homepage of Coinmama and you will see a form on the right side of the page under ‘Register’. In the fields on the form, enter / type your information. Click the ‘Register’ tab. Open the inbox of your email and find the email you were sent by Coinmama. To verify your email address, click on the link in the email.
- You will need to log in to your Coinmama account after you have signed up. Tap on the tab “Verify Account” after signing in and verify yourself: Click “My Account” first, and then, on the left, click “Verify My Account”. Fill out your information in the form and supply your national identification.
- on the next page you need to upload copies of the front and back of your passport or ID card. Then you need to take a photo of yourself while holding a piece of paper with “Coinmama” with today’s date on it. Coinmama provides the following example so you can do this correctly.
- Once you have taken your photos, add them to the online form and click “Upload”. You will receive the following message:
- Please note: every time you want to invest in larger quantities of Ether, you will need to verify your account. This first check will enable you to purchase up to US$10,000. In this screenshot, the other amounts can be seen.
- Click “ETHER.” At the top of the website, it is on the menu.
- select/enter the amount of Ether you want to buy and click “Buy Now”.
- click on “Credit / Debit Card via Simplex”.
- enter your wallet address (this is from the wallet you created in step 1) in the field below “Please enter your Ethereum wallet address” and click “Complete payment”.
- enter your payment details in the fields on your screen and click “Pay now”.
- Your ether will be sent to your wallet from Coinmama. This can take seconds sometimes, but it can take up to an hour at other times, when the Ethereum network is busy. It will be longer than an hour if the Ethereum network is truly, very busy. This is a problem that Ethereum has been focusing on.
Step 3: Save your Ether
And you ordered an Ether. Oh, congratulations! You need to transfer your Ether to the wallet you developed in Step 1 right now. This is because the Ether is much better to place in your pocket than it is on an exchange.
I’m going to teach you how to send your Coinbase Ether into your wallet and CEX.io. You don’t have to do something when you buy Ether on Coinmama – the Ether will be delivered straight to your wallet when you buy it.
Sending ETH from Coinbase
1.Select “Send/Request” from the menu at the top of the website. 2.
- enter the address for your wallet that you created in step 1.
- enter the Ether amount you want to send and click “Send Money”.
- Coinbase sends you an SMS with a code. Enter this code in the field.
- click on “confirm”.
Sending ETH from CEX.io
- Select the “FINANCE” tab in the top menu.
- scroll down the page until you see ‘ ETH ‘.
- click on the ‘Withdraw’ button next to ‘ETH’.
4.Key-in the amount of Ether you want to send in the field on the right. It is located under “Select currency and amount”.
- Put in the address for your wallet that you created in step 1 in the field in the middle of the page. It is below ‘Enter the address of the recipient below’.
- click ‘Take off’.
So now you know where and how to buy Ethereum. You have either already bought it, or you are thinking about it and still wondering which way is the best to buy Ethereum.
Ok, if you are still curious, let’s use this guide’s specifics to help you decide.
Form Of Payment
You can use Coinbase if you choose to pay in GBP, since the other exchanges don’t support GBP.
Coinmama accepts EUR and USD only, but RUB as well as EUR and USD are approved by CEX.io. So, you can use either of the three exchanges if you choose to use EUR or USD. But if you would like to use RUB, you must use CEX.io!
You would most likely have to use Coinbase or Coinmama if you live in the US. This is because only in certain US states is CEX.io available. You won’t be able to use Coinbase if you live in France, Germany, China, Japan or South Africa (and several other Asian and African countries), so you’ll have to pick either Coinmama or CEX.io.
Tip: Coinmama is available in every country!
On each exchange / site, let’s compare credit / debit card fees:
3,75 trillion – Coinbase –
CEX – 3.5 percent + $0.25 + $0.25
6 percent – Coinmama –
So avoid Coinmama if you think fees are necessary!
The most user-friendly is Coinbase – both the website and the software (available on iOS and Android) are very easy to use.
Coinmama, though, transfers the Ether straight to your wallet so you don’t have to do it yourself. In our tutorial, this saves you the whole move 3!
CEX.io is still easy to use, but not as user-friendly as these two.
And you’ve got it there. I hope you can now comfortably make your decision and launch your Ethereum journey. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions!
Note: It is important to think about all the risks involved before making every investment. We always ought to do analysis on our own.
Is it worth it to buy Ethereum?
This depends. If you’re thinking about buying and investing some Ethereum as a long-term fund, then you may want to pay attention. If it’s kind like a short-term kind of contract, so it depends on variations in timing and expense. You should ensure that you only ever order your ETH from the most reputable exchanges, whatever the case might be.
Two strong examples are Binance and Coinbase.
Is Ethereum better than Bitcoin?
The response to this question surely depends on what the word “better” means to you. Ethereum poses better technology – that goes without saying. Thanks to smart contracts, it is one of the most advanced blockchain systems in the world. That said, Bitcoin is still the more popular alternative, and it’s also much more expensive.
How do I choose the best crypto exchange for you?
When choosing the best crypto exchange for yourself, you should always focus on maintaining a balance between the essential features that all top crypto exchanges should have and those that are important to you personally. For example, all the best exchanges should have top-notch security features, but if you only want to trade the most important cryptocurrencies, you probably don’t really care about the variety of coins available on the exchange. It’s all a case-by-case scenario!
Which cryptocurrency exchange is best for beginners?
If you read through various online reviews of the best crypto exchanges, you’ll notice that one of the things most of these exchanges have in common is that they are very easy to use. While some are easier and more beginner-friendly than others, you shouldn’t encounter any difficulties with any of the top rated exchanges. That being said, many users believe that Coinbase is one of the easier exchanges in the market.
What is the difference between brokerage and crypto exchange?
A cryptocurrency exchange is, in Layman’s terms, a place where you meet and exchange cryptocurrencies with another person. The exchange platform (i.e. Binance) functions as an intermediary – linking you to the other person (your offer or request) (the seller or the buyer). However, there is no “other person” with a broker – you come and exchange your crypto coins or fiat money with the platform in question without any interference by third parties. However, all types of businesses (exchanges and brokers) are generally only put under the umbrella term exchange when looking at crypto-currency exchange rankings. This is done for simplicity’s sake.
Are all top cryptocurrency exchanges based in the US?
No, certainly not! Although some of the top cryptocurrency exchanges are currently based in the US (for example, Coinbase or Kraken), there are other very well-known pioneers in the industry located all over the world. Binance is, for example, based in Tokyo, Japan, while Bittrex is based in Liechtenstein. While there are many reasons why an exchange would choose to be located in one location instead of another, most of them boil down to business niceties and typically have little effect on the platform consumer.