SoFi Invest Crypto
- Trade ETH and 29 other cryptos
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- Win up to $100 in crypto with a qualifying first trade
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Ethereum (ETH) redefined cryptocurrency and the internet by introducing Web3 technology to the world through smart contracts, dapps and tokenization, which helped ETH reach an all-time-high price of $4,878.26 in November 2021.
While this has helped make ETH the #2 crypto by market cap, Ethereum is still a highly volatile asset capable of major price swings in a single day.
Today ETH is trading for $1,670.59, which is slightly up from yesterday's trading price of $1,637.06. Ethereum's seen a decrease of -46% over the past year.
So before you buy Ethereum, make sure you understand these unique risks as well as its legal, regulatory and tax status here in the US.
If you're ready to get started, read on for step-by-step instructions and a list of platforms you can use to buy Ethereum in the US.
To buy ETH all you'll need is a smartphone or computer, an internet connection, photo identification and a way to pay.
If this is your first time buying cryptocurrency you'll need to look for a platform that accepts US dollars, like SoFi or eToro.
Don't worry too much about extra features or coins for now – you can always sign up with another exchange later.
Use the table to choose a platform that meets your needs and click the Go to site button to get started.
Launched in 2015, Ethereum (ETH) is one of the oldest cryptocurrencies and has long been the second largest by market cap. It was initially developed by a team of software engineers to build on Bitcoin's innovative use of while adding new and advanced use cases beyond digital payments.
The key innovation of the Ethereum blockchain is its use of smart contracts. Smart contracts are programmable, self-executing pieces of code that allow parties to reach a consensus without needing an intermediary. Smart contracts also allow you to build software applications on Ethereum, and it was the first blockchain to bring this programmability to cryptocurrencies.
Ethereum's blockchain has since laid the groundwork for thousands of decentralized applications (dapps) to build upon, including DeFi, social networks, games and more. These applications are similar to ones you would find on your computer or on the web, but instead, run on a blockchain to enable additional functionality and security that only blockchains can provide.
Everything running on Ethereum requires the native coin (ETH) to pay for network fees, similar to paying a toll for using the network.Read our beginner's guide to how Ethereum works
To create an account with your chosen crypto platform, you only need an email address or mobile number. This will usually allow you to deposit cryptocurrency, but not USD.
If you want to buy Ethereum with US dollars, you'll need to pass a Know Your Customer (KYC) check.
This is a standard security procedure for most exchanges in the US and requires you to upload some photo ID, and in some cases a selfie with today's date.
KYC is usually approved instantly, but in rare cases, you may have to wait a few hours or days.
Once you've set up your account, you'll need to deposit funds to buy Ethereum with. We've listed out some popular ways to buy ETH and what you should know about each payment method below.
First things first – you don't have to buy a whole Ethereum.
Most exchanges let you buy as little as $5 worth of ETH, if not less. Just type in how much you want to spend in USD and let the exchange work out the rest.
Some platforms only offer 1 way to buy Ethereum, while others provide several choices. The 2 most common ways to buy ETH are on the spot market or with an "instant buy" feature.
If it's your first time buying Ethereum this will be the fastest method – but also the least cost-effective.
You'll usually find the instant buy section under a "Buy now" heading on the platform you've chosen.
It should feature a simple interface that lets you enter the amount of Ethereum you want to buy, or US dollars you want to spend.
This is usually the only option available for credit or debit card purchases, but you may also be able to make an instant buy if you've pre-funded your account with a bank transfer.
Be prepared to pay a markup on ETH's market rate in exchange for the convenience.
If you see colorful charts with a range of prices, you're probably in the spot market.
The spot market is where buyers and sellers come together to place bids for ETH on the open market. It's usually the cheapest way to buy Ethereum because it lets traders set their own price.
You'll find the spot market under a "Trade" or "Spot" heading on the site or app menu of the platform you've chosen to use.
There are several different order types that you can make on the spot market.
There are dozens of different trading platforms to choose from when buying Ethereum in the US, so to help you find your best option, keep these factors in mind:
Crypto exchanges founded and based in the US are required to register with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a division of the US Department of the Treasury. This bureau safeguards the US financial system by working to prevent money laundering, terrorist-financing activity and other financial crimes.
FinCEN-registered exchanges contribute to a more secure financial system in the US and provide you with better consumer protections compared to exchanges based in other countries.
Other reasons for using a FinCEN-registered exchange may include the following:
You shouldn't invest in any asset, including ETH without doing plenty of research first. Before you buy Ethereum, make sure you understand and weigh up these risks:
Compare today's price of Ethereum ($1,670.59 USD) against its all-time high (ATH) price of $4,878.26 USD on November 10, 2021. The closer the bar is to 100%, the closer ETH is to reaching its ATH again.
If you hold Ethereum as an investment, you'll be taxed on any capital gains you make when you sell it — which includes spending it on goods and/or services. In the US, tax obligations also apply to mining, professional Ethereum trading and in a range of other scenarios, so make sure you're fully aware of what you need to report to the IRS.
If you want to buy Ethereum, start by comparing a range of crypto brokers and exchanges available in the US. Look at their features, fees, security and overall reputation to decide which platform is the right fit for you. Consider an exchange registered with FinCEN for added peace of mind.
Remember that owning and using Ethereum is not without its risks. Carefully consider investing in ETH as part of a wider strategy, and talk to a financial advisor if you have any questions.
Once you've bought some ETH, think about what your short and long-term goals are. This will help you decide whether to keep it on an exchange, or move it to your own wallet.
Unfortunately, there's no easy way of knowing for certain whether any asset is worth buying. A good place to start your evaluation is by considering the asset's utility.
ETH is the gas used for the Ethereum blockchain, so anyone that wants to use it must own ETH. As a result, mass adoption of Ethereum could see demand for ETH rise as well.
Take a look at our expert panel's price prediction for ETH through 2030 to help you to get a better idea as to whether or not Ethereum might be worth buying.
The best place to buy Ethereum will depend on your needs, but a common thing to look for is a platform that supports USD, which you can do using our table.
You should also consider these things when choosing where to buy Ethereum:
Find out more with our guide to some of the best crypto exchanges in the US.
Yes, lots of crypto trading platforms can help you buy Ethereum with fiat currencies. Use our table to look for an exchange that supports USD deposits to get started.
Keep in mind that unless the exchange supports direct trading between USD and ETH, you may have to convert your USD to BTC first.
There are a handful of ways to earn small amounts of free ETH, including playing online games or using a crypto rewards credit card.
A much more common approach is to stake ETH you already own or lend it to a platform such as Nexo to earn a yield.
Read our guide on how to earn free crypto for other potential ways to earn some free Ethereum.
Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum, are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance of ETH 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 Ethereum or any other cryptocurrency discussed.
A panel of industry specialists give us their predictions on the price of Ethereum to 2030.
You can borrow ETH through a number of exchanges and specialised lenders in the US, but make sure you understand the risks first.
Read our guide to explore 5 ways to get started investing in Ethereum.
Credit cards are a popular way for buying Ethereum (ETH). Learn how you can do the same by reading this guide.
Find out how to purchase Ether with Paypal.
Explore some key statistics about Ether and see how this coin compares against other major market players.
Discover which staking method is right for you and learn how to get started earning today.
Have you made an investment in ETH that you would now like to take profits from? Follow our step-by-step guide on how to sell your ETH holdings.
Find out what Ethereum mining is, how it works, and how you can earn ETH profitably.
Learn more about Ethereum’s history and technology and its potential for growth.
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