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How to buy Ethereum (ETH)

A beginner’s guide to buying and trading Ether in Hong Kong.

As the native asset of the Ethereum network and one of the best known digital currencies, Ether (ETH) can be bought and traded on a huge range of crypto exchanges.

With the currency hitting new all-time-highs in 2021, many buyers are looking to enter the market for the first time. We’ve put together this simple guide to help you do so safely and securely.

1. Compare crypto exchanges

The easiest way to buy Ethereum is from a cryptocurrency exchange. Comparing in the table below lets you find one with the features you want such as low fees, ease of use and 24-hour customer support.

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2. Create an account

To create an account on an exchange you will need to verify your email address and identity. Have some Government-issued photo ID and your phone ready.

3. Make a deposit

Once verified, you can deposit HKD using the payment method that best suits you – bank transfer, UPI, IMPS, NEFT, RTGS, debit cards and credit cards are all widely accepted.

4. Buy Ethereum

You can now exchange your funds for Ether. On easier-to-use exchanges, this is as easy as entering the amount you want to purchase and clicking “buy.” If you like you can now withdraw your Ether to your personal wallet.

Where to buy Ethereum (ETH)

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.
Name Product Deposit methods Fiat Currencies Cryptocurrencies
Binance Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer (ACH)
USD, AUD, GBP, EUR, RUB, TRY, NGN, UAH, PHP, CZK & 20+ more

314
cryptocurrencies

Finder Exclusive: Get 10% discount on your fees when signing up through Finder.
Trade an extensive range of reputable coins on this world-renowned exchange, popular for its high liquidity and multi-language support.

US residents: As of September 2019, US-based users can only trade USD on the American dollar onramp of Binance, Binance.US.
UK residents: In addition to normal crypto trading services, Binance offers margin lending. As this is a regulated activity which they are not authorised to offer in the UK, we advise you not to use this service. If you're interested in margin trading, see authorised providers.
KuCoin Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency, PayPal, Wire transfer, Credit or Debit Card, SEPA
USD, EUR, GBP, RUB, CNY, AUD, KRW, JPY, TRY, VND & 40+ more

255
cryptocurrencies

Finder Exclusive: Get up to 10 USDT in trading fee rebates for signing up and making a deposit, and up to 30 USDT in trading fee rebates after buying with fiat. T&Cs apply.
Browse a variety of coin offerings in one of the largest multi-cryptocurrency exchanges and pay in cryptocurrency.
Liquid Cryptocurrency Exchange & Margin Trading
Bank transfer, SEPA
USD, JPY, EUR, SGD, AUD, HKD

125
cryptocurrencies

Promo: Get 10% off your trading fees. T&Cs apply.
Disclaimer: Highly volatile investment product. Your capital is at risk.
Liquid is a unified, globally-sourced trading platform that bridges the worlds of fiat and crypto.
Coinmama Cryptocurrency Marketplace
Bank transfer, Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Debit card
USD, EUR, AUD, CAD, GBP, JPY

10
cryptocurrencies

Founded in 2013, CoinMama lets you buy and sell popular cryptos with a range of payment options and quick delivery.
Wirex Cryptocurrency Exchange
Wirex Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Debit card, Bank transfer (SEPA), SWIFT
EUR, GBP, CAD, CZK, HUF, PLN, RON, HRK, USD

29
cryptocurrencies

Get a Welcome Bonus of USD 15 in WXT when you sign up with Wirex through Finder. T&Cs apply.
Spend a range of cryptocurrencies anywhere Visa is accepted with the Wirex Crypto Card and earn rewards.
Bittrex Global
Bank transfer, Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Debit card
USD

279
cryptocurrencies

Buy from one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges with a selection of over 190+ cryptocurrencies and 3 USD pairings.
Bitfinex Professional Trading Exchange
Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Bank Wire
USD, EUR, GBP, JPY

165
cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies are a highly volatile investment product. Your capital is at risk.
Spot trade all of the major cryptos on this full-featured exchange and margin trading platform.
OKEx Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer, Cryptocurrency, iDEAL, PayPal, POLi, SEPA, Faster Payments (FPS)
USD, CNY, EUR, ARS, AUD, BGN, BRL, CAD, CHF, COP & 20+ more

269
cryptocurrencies

Promo: Earn US$10 in BTC when you refer a friend and they purchase $100 of cryptocurrency. T&Cs apply.
Listing over 100 cryptocurrencies, OKEx offers its users a variety of payment methods and coins to choose from.
CEX.IO Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer, Credit card, Cryptocurrency, SWIFT, SEPA, Faster Payments (FPS)
USD, EUR, GBP, RUB

22
cryptocurrencies

Disclaimer: Highly volatile investment product. Your capital is at risk.
Use your USD, EUR or RUB to buy and sell cryptocurrency at competitive exchange rates and with high maximums for verified accounts.
Paybis Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer, Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Neteller, Skrill, Apple Pay
EUR, GBP, USD, AUD, CAD, PHP, SGD, CHF, HKD, JPY & 30+ more

32
cryptocurrencies

Buy Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies with credit card or debit card on this digital cryptocurrency exchange.

US residents: Restricted in the following states - NY, CT, NM, WA, HI, AL, VT, FL, AK, NV.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Must read: Ethereum vs Ether: What’s the difference?

Ether is the native token of Ethereum, a smart contracts platform which developers can use to build and deploy decentralised applications. However, despite this fact, it’s quite common to see the platform’s currency also referred to as Ethereum across crypto exchanges and online.

Simply put, Ethereum is the network (blockchain) name, and Ether is the token name, however these terms are often used interchangeably.

A step-by-step guide to buying Ethereum

There are two ways to buy Ether:

If you’re new to the world of cryptocurrency, you’ll most likely find that buying ETH direct with Hong Kong dollars is the easiest option. However, we’ve also included instructions on how to buy ETH using another cryptocurrency (in this case BTC) if that is your preferred approach.

Buying Ether with HKD

There are several exchanges that allow you to buy Ether with HKD, so make sure you compare the features and fees of a range of platforms before deciding which one you’d like to use.

For this example, we’ll show you how to buy ETH with HKD on Binance.

Step 1. Register for a Binance account

Visit the Binance website and click on the “Register” button in the top of the page. You can then sign up for an account by providing:

  • Your name
  • Your email address
  • Your phone number
  • Proof of ID
  • Proof of residency

Step 2. Verify your account

f you want to access higher withdrawal limits, fiat currency purchases or additional features, you can get verified. Otherwise, you can skip this step.

To get verified, go to your account settings page and the account verification section, and then fill out your details and upload supporting documentation.

Accepted documentation includes photographs of documents such as a passport or driver’s licence.

Step 3. Buy Ether

Make fiat purchases by going to “Buy crypto”, selecting your payment method and currency, and following the prompts provided.

Or deposit cryptocurency onto Binance by going to “User centre” and then “Deposits and withdrawal” and then “Funds.”

Click “Deposit” on the cryptocurrency you want to deposit to see the address you should send funds to. You can either copy and paste it or use the QR code.


Go to Binance's website

Buying Ether with another cryptocurrency

If you want to exchange another cryptocurrency for ETH, there are myriad exchanges that allow you to do so. Make sure you compare the features and fees of a range of platforms before deciding which one you’d like to use.

To provide a clear example of exactly how to buy ETH with another cryptocurrency, let’s look at how to complete this transaction on Binance.

Step 1. Buy BTC

While Ether can be purchased using a number of popular cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is the easiest to acquire and trade.

If you already have some BTC, skip ahead to step 2. If you don’t, you can find step-by-step instructions on how to acquire some in our guide to buying Bitcoin.

Step 2. Register for a Binance account

Navigate to the Binance website and click the “Register” link at the top right of screen. You can then sign up for an account by entering your email address and creating a password. Remember to activate 2-factor authentication before proceeding to step 3.

In addition, please be aware that if you want a higher account withdrawal limit than 2 BTC, you’ll need to provide proof of ID.

Step 3. Deposit BTC into your Binance account

If your Bitcoin is already stored on Binance, skip ahead to step 4.

However, if your BTC is stored on another exchange or in a Bitcoin wallet, you’ll need to find the address of your Binance wallet so you can transfer the BTC into your trading account.

To do this, log in to your Binance account, click the “Funds” drop-down menu and then select “Deposits”. Choose Bitcoin from the list of supported currencies and copy the wallet address or scan the QR code provided.

This is the destination address you must use to send a BTC deposit to Binance from your private wallet.

Step 4. Buy Ether

Now it’s time to click the “Exchange” tab near the top left of the screen and choose the “Basic” trading view. Use the search box provided to find the BTC/ETH trading pair and then choose a limit, market or stop-limit order.

Enter the amount of Ether you want to purchase, but remember to review all the details of the transaction before clicking “Buy ETH”.

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How to sell Ether

If you want to sell your ETH tokens, the good news is that they can be exchanged for an extensive range of digital and fiat currencies on many different exchanges.

The selling process is similar to the buying process outlined above in step 4, except for the key difference that you’ll need to enter your transaction details in the “Sell” field.

Find step-by-step instructions for selling ETH in our complete guide.


Which wallets can I use to hold Ether?

While some people choose to store their crypto tokens in their exchange account, this is not recommended. As exchanges are regular targets for hackers and thieves, it’s generally considered a much safer option to move your ETH tokens into a wallet which allows you to retain full control of your private keys.

The biggest drawback of using a wallet is that if you lose your password and seed phrase — you lose your crypto. Ensure to keep backups (preferably physical) of your wallet keys.

Happily, there are heaps of choices available when searching for an Ethereum wallet. Options you might like to consider include:

For more information, check out our guide to the best Ethereum wallets.


How Ethereum works

Launched in 2015, Ethereum is an open-source blockchain platform which developers can use to build and run decentralised applications (dapps). Its key feature is that it allows developers to create smart contracts, which are self-executing contracts that automatically complete tasks when specific conditions are met. As an example, a basic smart contract could say, “pay John US$50 if he emails me a 10-page report on pet obesity by 1st March 2021”.

These smart contracts are executed by the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which is powered by a decentralised international network of nodes. In the real world, Ethereum can be used to power dapps and smart contracts across a diverse range of industries, including everything from finance and insurance to supply chain management, betting and file storage.

Ethereum’s ability to execute smart contracts has seen the network responsible for hosting the vast majority of NFT marketplaces available. The flexibility and potential of smart contracts is a major reason for Ethereum’s high profile. As NFTs and DeFi continue to evolve, Ethereum has dedicated itself to improving scalability in this field. The Ethereum 2.0 upgrade (December 2020) and implementation of Optimistic Rollups (September 2021) are two major steps in this direction.

Ether is the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network. It is used by developers to pay for transaction fees and services on Ethereum, and can also be traded on a wide range of crypto exchanges, DeFi platforms and NFT marketplaces.

Find out how the Ethereum platform works in our comprehensive guide.


What to consider before you buy Ether

Cryptocurrencies are complicated and volatile assets, and buying any digital coin or token comes with a high level of risk attached. Before you buy, make sure you do plenty of research and that you recognise those factors that could potentially drive the price of a crypto asset either up or down.

If you’re thinking of buying Ether, consider the following factors first:

  • Supply. According to CoinMarketCap, at time of writing (September 2021) the circulating supply of ETH was 117,432,365. Unlike bitcoin, Ether does not have a maximum supply cap limit but instead an annual issuance capped at 18,000,000 ETH per year. ETH’s new economic model has resulted in substantial burn-offs, with over 190,000 Ether being removed from circulation between August and September. Find out more in our guide to the ETH inflation rate.
  • Move to proof-of-stake.Though it started life as a proof-of-work cryptocurrency, Ethereum has since shifted to a proof-of-stake system as part of the Casper update. Designed to improve scalability and tackle centralisation, Casper’s upgrade has had a huge impact on Ethereum, resulting in its superior integration with decentralised applications, faster transaction times, lower fees and lessened environmental impact.
  • Market leader. As it stands, Ethereum has the biggest profile of all the dapp platforms currently in existence. Thanks to its early-mover advantage, Ether is the world’s second largest digital currency in terms of market cap and the Ethereum platform is synonymous with the development of dapps.
  • Competition. However, Ethereum is also operating in an increasingly competitive market sector. NEO, Lisk, EOS and Solana are just some of the dapp platforms that look set to compete with Ethereum in the future. Cardano, sometimes dubbed the ‘ETH-killer’ has also reached new heights in 2021, becoming the third largest digital currency based on market cap, launching its new smart contract upgrade in September.
  • Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA). The EEA is a non-profit corporation that aims to accelerate the adoption of Ethereum’s blockchain technology by businesses. If it can successfully drive increased use of Ethereum, this could potentially lead to increased demand for ETH.

Find out more about the factors that could influence the price of Ether in our ETH price prediction guide

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FAQs

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ADA, ICX, IOTA and XLM.

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