Most people try to mine Ethereum but then get frustrated with the high up-front costs.
This post will show you how to buy Ether instantly with any of the following payment methods.
Note: Before you buy Ethereum make sure you have a secure place to store your Ether! An Ethereum hardware wallet is the most secure option.
We do not promote, endorse, or earn commissions from the trading of securities of any kind, including CFDs, however, eToro requires that we provide you with the following disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 62% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
There are many ways to buy Ether with a credit card and this section will discuss the three best options. Note that the fees will be around 3.5% for most options.
In the USA, Europe, Canada, and the UK, Coinbase is the easiest way to buy Ethereum with a credit card or debit card.
The fees will amount to 3.75% and you can buy instantly.
Coinmama is a reliable Ethereum broker that has been operating since 2014. They allow customers from nearly any country to purchase ether with a credit card or debit card. Coinmama has some of the highest credit card buying limits among all credit card brokers.
The company offers excellent customer support and has very fast response times. Coinmama also supports bitcoin and litecoin.
eToro is a trading platform and crypto exchange. It supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Zcash and many other coins.
Deposits can be made quickly via bank transfer, SEPA, NETELLER, PayPal and more. It also offers unique features like copy trading.
Your capital is at risk. We do not promote, endorse, or earn commissions from the trading of securities of any kind, including CFDs, however, eToro requires that we provide you with the following disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 62% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
CEX.io is a worldwide cryptocurrency exchange that supports most countries.
You can also buy other coins such as bitcoin, litecoin, Ripple, DASH and a few more.
The only countries that cannot buy ether with a credit card are: Iceland, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.
Buying Ether with a bank account will allow you to save on fees, although it takes longer than buying with a credit card.
Using Coinbase you can buy Ethereum with your bank account if you live in the following countries:
The fees will be about 1.49% per purchase.
For US users, the buy will take about 7 days because the ACH banking system is very slow.
Canadians can buy very fast in 1-2 days, and the same goes for UK and Europe if you use SEPA transfer to deposit to your account.
You can also sign up on Coinbase and then use Coinbase Pro. Coinbase Pro is Coinbase’s sister exchange. It is slightly more difficult to use but will allow you to buy ether with bank account for 0 fees.
Bitpanda is a cryptocurrency exchange and broker based in Austria. You can now buy Ethereum instantly as well as bitcoin, Ripple, litecoins and some other coins.
The fees are not shown but instead included in the buy price. The premium is only about 1% usually, so Bitpanda’s fees are fairly low.
CEX.io is based in the UK and is one of the oldest crypto exchanges online. You can buy Ether with SEPA in Europe or with ACH from inside the United States of America.
Before we move onto other Ethereum exchange options, we need to talk about storing your ETH.
Getting started with Ethereum wallets is a confusing process.
Luckily, we’re making it easy to decide which Ethereum wallet is best for you.
The best way to backup an Ethereum wallet is to create a recovery seed. The recovery seed is a 12-24 word series of words that you input into a new wallet to retrieve coins at an address. If you lose your wallet or it gets destroyed, then you need this phrase to get your coins back.
There are some warnings to be aware of when it comes to backing up any wallet.
Anyone who knows or finds this recovery phrase can take your coins. You need to hide it somewhere other people won't find it. That means you shouldn't write it down on any electronic device, especially if that device connects to the internet.
You also want to protect it against fire and flood. If you lose your wallet in a natural disaster, you want the backup to be written down on something stronger than paper. This is where steel wallet backups come in.
Steel backups let you write down your seed in fire and corrosion resistant metal. You can find our top picks below:
You can buy Ethereum with Bitcoin at nearly any cryptocurrency exchange. This is because most of the global Ethereum trading volume is actually done in the ETH/BTC pair, and not the ETH/USD pair.
For US customers, Coinbase Pro has some of the highest volume and is a convenient way to turn your BTC into ETH, especially if you already used Coinbase Pro or Coinbase to initially buy Bitcoin. If so, you won’t even need to create a new account but can just immediately start trading your bitcoins into ETH.
In order to use Coinbase Pro, you have to sign up for a Coinbase account first.
Coinbase Pro had a flash crash of Ethereum a while back, but Coinbase paid everyone back for any losses.
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to buy Ether with PayPal. Other sites will tell you that cex allows for this, but that is no longer the case.
You can, however, now use eToro to buy Ethereum, unless you live in the United States.
If you don’t live in the US, here are the steps to Buy Ethereum with Paypal on eToro (the same steps apply to Neteller and Skrill as well).
Select “deposit funds” on the main dashboard, and then choose your preferred payment method, entering the amount of you want to deposit.
You’ll be redirected to Paypal to login (the same if you choose Neteller or Skrill) - log in to your account.
Within a few minutes, your funds should be showing in your account and you can proceed to buy Ethereum.
If you live in the US, the only way to buy Ethereum with Paypal is to buy Bitcoin using paypal, and then use the Bitcoins to buy Ethereum. You can easily buy Bitcoin using Paypal on Local Bitcoins. Once you have Bitcoin, you can use an exchange like Coinbase Pro to swap the Bitcoin for Ethereum.
Whereas many Bitcoin buyers use the coins to send money internationally, most Ethereum buyers appear to be buying ONLY for speculative purposes.
So we’re still yet to see something that allows people to easily buy Ethereum with cash.
Like the methods above, you will first have to buy bitcoins with cash.
Once you’ve purchased bitcoins there you can use an exchange like Coinbase Pro to exchange your bitcoins for Ether.
Decentralized Ethereum exchanges are probably the best option for you if you’re looking to swap only between coins and ERC20 tokens.
You can swap tokens without the need to actually store your coins on an exchange, which removes the chance that you will be hacked or lose your coins in any similar way.
Watch out for fake “decentralized” exchanges which are not actually decentralized.
We’ve highlighted some of the best decentralized ETH exchanges below.
Uniswap is one of the fastest growing and most popular DEXs on the market in 2020.
On Uniswap, users can trade between various trading pairs via Uniswap’s smart contracts without handing over their coins to centralized exchange. Instead they are deposited into the smart contract which then handles the trades.
Trading fees on Uniswap can be quite high, but these high fees encourage more users to deposit coins into the exchanges liquidity pools which brings down the fees.
What are liquidity pools?
To solve the issue of liquidity that many decentralized exchanges experience, Uniswap created liquidity pools where a user can deposit coins from each side of the trading pair and they can earn fees in exchange for the service. For instance, if I own ETH and BAT, I can deposit equal parts ETH and BAT into the ETH/BAT liquidity pool, which then helps makes other trades between ETH and BAT easier to execute.
It is worth nothing that Uniswap has experienced issues with stolen coins in some of the smart contracts, made possible by coding errors during the creation of the contracts. This is unfortunately quite common in ETH and in smart contracts generally, so it’s not at all surprising and users should beware.
ForkDelta is the most popular decentralized Ethereum exchange. It allows you to trade ETH for other ERC20 tokens. So, you can’t really buy ETH if it’s your first time but if you already own some tokens it’s a nice way to exchange them for ETH.
ForkDelta is somewhat complex, so here is a good video explainer:
Note: ForkDelta is a fork of an exchange called EtherDelta. It uses the same code. But many people were having issues with Etherdelta so someone forked the code and made a new exchange.
ERC dEX is a new decentralized Ethereum exchange. It has an excellent UI and makes swapping tokens in a trustless manner very easy.
ERC dEX also works well from your phone, which adds convenience to your trading. Its fees are 0.1% for maker and 0.2% for taker.
We’ve mentioned it before but remember:
Do NOT store your Ether on the exchange once you buy!
A quick search on Google will show you hacks with millions of ether stolen and billions for cryptocurrency in general.
So, how do you know which wallet to use?
You have a few options.
These devices store your ether offline. You can send directly from your Ethereum exchange to your Ledger wallet.
If you are not looking for simple secure storage, you can just use a hot wallet, like mobile wallet, web wallet or desktop wallet. A hot wallet means your wallet is connected to the computer.
MyEtherWallet is the most popular web wallet. It recently split into MyCrypto.com as well. But know that web wallets are the least secure type of wallet and even less secure than desktop and mobile wallets.
Exodus.io is a very popular desktop wallet that support ethereum and many other coins. You can also exchange between coins directly in the wallet. It also displays your portfolio in a very easy to view graph which a lot of users really like.
And, just one more reminder, your exchange account–like Coinbase or Binance–is NOT a wallet! Do not leave cryptocurrency on an exchange. If you need to do so for more than a day use two-factor authentication.
Once you send to your wallet you can check the status of your payment in your wallet or by pasting the transaction ID into a block explorer like EtherScan.
Here is how to send, for example, from Coinbase to your Ledger Nano S:
This section will answer the most common questions about Ethereum and how to buy it.
Ethereum is more than a cryptocurrency. It’s an open source shared world computing platform. A ‘world computer’ that allows for the decentralized verification of transactions for any Turing-viable implementation. Thanks to Ethereum, Blockchain technologies are now easy to employ without having to reinvent the wheel.
Ethereum right now uses PoW mining to secure its chain.
Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum, stressed that his idea was fueled by the desire to “ [Avoid] the swiss-army knife protocol ”. That is to say that use-case specific Blockchain solutions were expending unnecessary effort on the building of equivalent infrastructure. Here Ethereum enters the picture.
With Ethereum, Buterin created the first universal application of the principles underlying Bitcoin. Instead of using Blockchain just as a way of establishing/providing value, Ethereum offers the ability to use that technology in a Turing complete environment. Where Bitcoin implements Blockchain technology in combination with proof of work to form a currency, Ethereum’s value is derived from the ability to create universal applications.
We also see differences between the way that Ethereum and Bitcoin implemented their decentralized currency. Most notably, BTC supply has a universal cap whereas ETH supply is capped yearly at 18 million ETH but is otherwise unbound.
Ethereum and Ethereum Classic are different versions of the same Blockchain. The fork served as damage control to the issue caused by the DAO hack in 2016 and was ultimately fueled by ideological differences between early Ethereum workers. As DAO collected 150 million USD worth of ETH but almost 50 million USD in ETC were hacked, about 80% of miners decided to hard-fork the Blockchain. The other miners remained with the initial Blockchain which we now call Ethereum Classic. That is why there now are two Ethereum-based currencies that can be used to trade.
Ethereum was created by Vitalik Buterin, who also helped start Bitcoin Magazine.
Ethereum launched on July 30th, 2015 by Vitalik Buterin.
Ethereum has a standard wallet, called Mist, that is used as a gateway for developers to use ÐApps. Ethereum wallets act much like BTC wallets. You can use the tools integral to the system or use the convenience of other wallets that wrap the software in a more user friendly way.
A legal disclaimer on the Ethereum page jokingly requires you not to be a ‘jerk’ and to be responsible for your own computer security. So there is the caveat of exposing yourself (although securely) to a massive network of active computers. But that’s a risk you’re exposing yourself to anyway by using the Internet.
Other than the Mist Wallet, you can also handle Ethereum with online wallets like MyEtherWallet.com, EthereumWallet.com and EthAddress. CLI (Command Line Interface) wallets like Geth provide power-user functionality. An Ethereum hardware wallet is also an option, like Ledger’s Nano S.
Like any market, it’s impossible to know the right time to buy.
One strategy you can use is dollar cost averaging. This means you split your buys over a period of time to even out in case the price rises or falls substantially.
You may also want to use charts to track the market, so you can see if the price seems too high or too low.
Ethereum is a new type of asset and even more volatile than Bitcoin.
You should do as much research as possible, compare Ethereum to other crypto assets, and if after that you feel you understand it perhaps it is time to decide if you buy.
Like all tradable assets, the value of Ethereum changes all the time. The value of Ethereum is also different from country to country and exchange to exchange.You can find the most up to date US price on Coinbase or see the ticker below:
The reason buying Ether can be slow is because the traditional banking system is very slow. Credit card and bank payments are all very slow and most exchanges must wait for these payments to clear before you can get your Ether.
Of course, you can use most of the exchanges mention above to sell Ether.
Yes, Ether is divisible to many decimal places so you don’t have to buy an entire Ether.
Anyone is free to use Ethereum. If you can find an exchange in your country, there is no reason you should not be able to buy.
It depends what your goals are. Mining Ethereum has more up front costs, while buying is the fastest way to acquire some/
It depends what your goals are. For low fees, try a bank transfer. For privacy, you will have to buy bitcoins privately and then buy Ether on an exchange. For speed, try credit card.
If you plan on storing your Ether long term, move your coins immediately to a secure Ether hardware wallet.
For small amounts you can use any online wallet although they are less secure.
It depends on how you are buying with cash.
If you have a Bitcoin ATM in your area, then the process can be very fast since once you arrive to a Bitcoin ATM your purchase is basically instant. Note that ATMs have very high fees at around 5-10%, although purchasing Ethereum with that Bitcoin can be very cheap. Also note that if you buy from an ATM you are buying in a very private way, if you care about that.
If you buy with cash using something like LocalBitcoins or Bitquick, the speed can depend on the availability of sellers in your area. Using these two sites you can buy with cash deposit in the USA and most of Europe. The fees are usually about 1%, so much lower than ATMs although sometimes less private since some buyers on LocalBitcoins may require ID, and BitQuick also requires ID verification from the start.
Bitcoin ATMs do not support Ethereum at this time. This is, again, likely because there is no real demand right now to use Ethereum in cross border payments or remittances, or for online shopping like so many people use Bitcoin for.
The main benefit is privacy. If you don’t care about that, then try to buy Ethereum using your bank account or credit card, where you can buy larger amounts, buy faster, and also pay less in fees than buying bitcoins with at an ATM and trading that in for Ether.
Ethereum is one of the most heavily debated cryptocurrencies. Some claim it’s useless and some say it will power the internet in 10 years.
Which is it?
No one knows. However, many people are buying Ethereum and speculating that it will turn out to be a success. No one knows what will happen in the end.
The DAO was one of Ethereum’s defining moments and set some bad precedents for its future.
About $34 million of ETH was lost in the DAO bug. The Ethereum devs decided to “fork” the ETH network to create a new network and unlock the lost funds. This is, essentially, a “bailout”.
Since Ethereum claims to have unstoppable applications, many are questioning what the point is if the developers can decide at any point to reverse transactions that they don’t like.
Another main issue raised about Ethereum is the Parity wallet bug.
$169 million worth of ether was locked when a contract went wrong and resulted in a loss of funds. Now, once again, there is talks to bail out the money with a new “fork” of the Ethereum network.
This would be the second time the Ethereum developers have decided to reverse a transaction. This is what has many people claiming Ethereum is controlled by developers and not actually decentralized.
Only time will tell when the switch is made - if ever. Some think it will never happen because Ethereum is too complicated.
ERC20 tokens are assets that are issued on top of the Ethereum blockchain. ERC20 tokens are NOT Ethereum, but separate assets.
Gas is essentially the equivalent of a network fee in Bitcoin. It is the fee miners charge to include your transaction in a block. Gas is denominated in gwei, which is sub-unit of ether, much like satoshis are a sub-unit of Bitcoin. One Gwei is equal to 0.000000001 ether.
There is no “best” ETH exchange. You will have to research and find out which one is best for you based on your country and payment method. Some exchanges only work in the USA, for example, so you’ll have to make sure that the ETH exchange you are trying to use works in your country.
As of this writing, there are currently more than 110 million (110,000,000) Ether in existence. However that number is constantly growing.
According to Bitrates,
5 New Ether are created with each block, meaning 5 Ether are created about every 14-15 seconds. There is no cap to the Ethereum Blockchain.
Buying Ethereum takes place just like you would buy any other cryptocurrency.
You can do it via exchanges over GUI or programmatically over API. You can even send and receive Ethereum directly, meaning that you can trade currency privately with clients or friends without paying an additional fee to an exchange.
After all, the act of buying Ethereum is simply the trading of Ethereum for another currency. Whether you use the service of an exchange is up to you.
However, the easiest way to purchase Ethereum is to go through an online exchange.
Even though Ethereum is the second most prominent blockchain platform, it is considerably harder to find reliable local trading possibilities as provided by localbitcoins.com for Bitcoin.
If you’re looking for a reputable exchange that deals in ETH, you will find no shortage of options.
Good places to start looking are Poloniex, Bitfinex, Kraken and Coinbase Pro. These exchanges largely perform the same function, but by comparing fees and payout methods/schedules between these you can make sure to find the exchange that suits you best.
Stocks are commonly searched with reference to Ethereum. Truth is, Ethereum is not a stock. However, as it represents value based on a free-market supply-demand structure, Ethereum, just like other cryptocurrency blockchain implementations, effectively acts the same way a stock would. There is, however, an important difference to stress. Unlike stocks, Ethereum’s decentralized nature makes it less malleable by specific market forces and fluctuations, making it act more like a diversified asset. Even if Ethereum’s core team disappeared from the face of the earth, Ethereum tokens should, in principle, retain their value (at least until the lack of updates would make it fall out of date). Stocks, on the other hand, live and breathe by the company of which they hold value.
As a result, stock exchanges all over the world are introducing Ethereum into their trading options.
Now that Ethereum has taking a seat as the second most dominant cryptocurrency on the market you might be wondering what it means to mine Ethereum.
Here is an overview of Ethereum mining, what it is, and what you should know to get involved (go here if you just want to buy Ethereum).
Ether mining is the accruement of ETH via the validation of network transactions. More specifically, mining is the participation in the validation of transactions that take place in order to confirm all activity in the Ethereum Blockchain. This can be done on every platform meaning that it is available to home computers as well as tailored rigs. Note that it’s usually easier to get started with Unix machines than with Windows, especially when it comes to Ethereum.
The challenge in mining is to generate more money by the collection of ETH than is spent on the electricity consumed to do so. As a beginner, the best chance of generating any money by mining is by participating in a mining pool. Otherwise, even the most expensive gaming card will readily be edged out by professionals. There are multiple mining clients that can ease your way into Ether mining. Ranging from the miner provided by the core software and other CLI tools to fully fledged GUI apps that allow fine-tuning and a clear view of all mining activity.
Ethereum mining software is what helps you connect your Ethereum mining hardware to an Ethereum mining pool and the Ethereum network.
Ethereum mining hardware - You need strong GPUs that will allow you to mine Ethereum for a profit.
Mining pool - An Ethereum mining pool allows you to share your hashrate so you can receive more frequent payouts, instead of only getting paid when you find a block.
Be VERY careful when installing any cryptocurrency mining software.
Because there is TONS of malware that is targeted towards cryptocurrency users. Many apps that claim to be “mining” software are really just apps that are out to steal your cryptocurrency.
Mining is not the fastest way to get ethereum.
Buying ethereum with a debit card is the fastest way.
Hive OS is a dashboard available on Windows which allows miners to monitor and control all of their ASICs and GPUs from one centralized location.
Hive OS supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bcash, Monero and many other coins.
On a Windows computer, one software option is to download Ethminer.
According to the Ethminer Github, its features are:
Another option on Windows is Dual Miner.
Hive OS is a dashboard which allows miners to monitor and control all of their ASICs and GPUs from one centralized location. It works on Mac.
Hive OS supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bcash, Monero and many other coins.
Minergate is a good option for mining on Mac. It also easily allows you to switch to mining different cryptocurrencies and will show you which ones are the most profitable at any given time.
Hive OS is a dashboard which allows miners to monitor and control all of their ASICs and GPUs from one centralized location. It works on Linux.
Hive OS supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bcash, Monero and many other coins.
Etherminer is also available on Linux.
According to the Ethminer Github, its features are:
Some wallets are not updated to send transactions with the proper fee.
Our guide on the best crypto wallets features wallets with good fee estimators. Read it here!