It’s 2015 and you can buy Ethereum coins (Ether) for $0.05 apiece. You’ve got $10 in your bank account and decide to go for 200. Today, that investment is worth $95,000, and at all time high prices (still just a few months past), it’d be worth much, much more. Ethereum is considered by some to be the best of all cryptocurrencies, while others think it has lost its first mover advantage. We won’t get into the platform details here, but suffice to say, we’re on the optimistic side of this conversation.
We’re here to talk about how to buy Ethereum, which, at today’s low bear market prices, may be the best investment you can make in 2018.
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What is the Best Site on Which to Buy Ethereum?
On some days, Ethereum is more bought and sold than Bitcoin. And even though Bitcoin remains the world’s most popular digital currency, Ethereum’s swelling popularity ensures that it can be purchased just about anywhere cryptocurrency is sold. Whether you’re perusing online exchanges or looking for an ATM in your area, you’ll be able to buy Ethereum in one way or another.
However, the sheer amount of options out there makes choosing a buying method something of a hairy task, especially for beginners. If you’re reading this article, you’re likely somewhat overwhelmed by the incredible number of exchanges, and possibly worried by the rumors of scams and hacks. Which Ethereum broker should you trust?
We’ll give you three great options.
Coinbase is the mother of all crypto exchanges. While not the oldest, Coinbase is undeniably the most well known and mainstream. More new users get into crypto for the first time with Coinbase than with any other cryptocurrency exchange. Coinbase doesn’t sell a lot of different digital assets, as you might expect from an exchange like Bittrex. Instead, Coinbase sells the big ones, in great quantity, to people who want a streamlined buying experience.
Along with Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin, Ethereum is one of the currencies that Coinbase brings to the masses. Well regulated and constantly growing, you can expect a seamless experience with Coinbase. Though a bit expensive, this is the easiest way we can think of for new users to get into crypto for the first time, especially if they want to be able to control their coins for saving, trading, and spending. Coinbase allows fiat payments (national currencies like USD), which many other major exchanges do not, further expanding the potential client pool from which Coinbase can draw.
Binance is the world’s most popular conventional crypto exchange. Unlike Coinbase, Binance sells more than 100 different kinds of cryptocurrency. Binance only accepts coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum (no USD or fiat) as payment, traded in certain ratios against all other supported coins. Binance gives the user lots of trading options, like limit orders and stop-loss. The charting can get advanced, the prices are low – this is really a great option for the slightly more advanced user who wants the most options for the smallest amount of money.
Ethereum, because it is used as a fundamental currency on the platform, is one of the most traded coins on Binance. You won’t have to worry about liquidity here!
How to Buy Ethereum Through Coinbase and Binance
If you choose to buy Ethereum using Coinbase and Binance, you’ll have to do slightly more, but you’ll have more flexibility, as you’ll actually own and be able to transfer the Ethereum coins you buy.
With Coinbase, simply sign up, much as you did with eToro. Connect your payment channel (bank account or credit/debit). You’ll be restricted from buying large amounts of Ethereum in your early days with Coinbase, but your limit will quickly be raised. Choose how much you wish to purchase, buy it, and wait for it to appear in your wallet (credit/debit purchases happen fast, wire transfer purchases take several days). When your coins arrive, move them to an external digital wallet where they’ll be safe.
With Binance, you’ll first have to buy Bitcoin (or Tether or Binance Coin), which you’ll trade on the Biance exchange for Ethereum. Move your Bitcoin to your Binance wallet (after setting up your account as you did in the previous examples). Go to the Basic exchange and find the BTC/ETH trading pair. Choose how much Bitcoin you wish to trade for Ethereum (25%, 50%, 75%, 100%, or custom value), and make the trade. When your coins arrive in your Binance Ethereum wallet, transfer them to an external digital Ethereum wallet where they’ll be safe.
How to Store Ethereum in a Wallet
When you own Ethereum, what does that even mean? Ethereum is a digital asset. It isn’t something you can hold in your hand or keep in your pocket. Because Ethereum is a piece of software, it must use another piece of software to keep track of it. These pieces of software are called “digital wallets“, because they store coins like Ethereum. Because Ethereum is so popular, tons of wallets store it.
People use their own personal wallets because the wallets that store coins on exchanges (following purchase) can sometimes be hacked, resulting in lost funds that you never get back. Choosing the right wallet is important, though with Ethereum you’ll have many good options. Check out our Ethereum wallet page to see some of your best choices.
Other Ways to Get Ethereum
Ethereum is minable, just like Bitcoin. You’ll need special equipment that costs a lot of money to be able to mine Ethereum, but it is possible. It’s important to note that in the next couple of years, Ethereum is going to transition away from mining, because mining takes loads of energy to perform. After that point, your Ethereum mining hardware won’t be worth much, so think carefully about investing in it, and understand how much money you are likely to make with it, before actually committing to becoming an Ethereum miner.
At the end of the day, Ethereum is a tremendous cryptocurrency, based on technology that may very well change the world. We think it’s a steal at this price and think you will not be sorry if you buy it. If you want to know a bit more about the technology behind Ethereum, check out some of our Ethereum FAQ in the following section.
Before you buy Ethereum, we need to define exactly what it is. A common description is that it’s an open-source, public, blockchain-based computing platform. Anyone can use it, anyone add to it, and anyone can use it to distribute their coins. This increased functionality is a big reason for the huge growth we’ve seen.
Ethereum ETH is Bitcoin’s biggest rival; it is widely used and hosts a massive range of other altcoins on its blockchain (far more than Bitcoin). The ability to purchase Ethereum is also beginning to be easier than bitcoin, with more Ether wallets becoming available.
The vast majority of ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) accept donations in Ether, Ethereum’s native currency, only which has helped raise the profile of ETH considerably. In addition to facilitating the transference of Ether, the Ethereum blockchain also hosts ‘smart contracts’; these contain all manner of information, including but not limited to invoices, employment contracts, and proof of ownership documents. It’s worth noting that the Bitcoin network does not support this functionality…