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Buying Ethereum (ETH) is a relatively simple process to follow. You just need some photo ID to create an account on a platform that sells it, then link a payment method to buy it with, like a bank account or debit card. Credit cards are another common way to buy ETH, and we have a separate guide for buying ETH with a credit card.
Cryptocurrency exchanges are the main way people buy Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. Don't worry, while the technology behind Ethereum is complex, Finder has all the information you need to buy ETH. The process is the same for buying other cryptocurrencies, so it will be easy to buy crypto assets and tokens and have a diverse portfolio. You are not locked in to buying a lot or a little of Ethereum, it's completely up to you how much you spend.
The first step is to choose a cryptocurrency exchange to buy ether. An exchange acts as a broker service for users that wish to turn fiat currency or other cryptocurrencies into ETH. There are many cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, and a full comparison list can be found on Finder's Cryptocurrency Exchange page. Generally speaking though, users will pick an exchange that works best for them in terms of fees, coins and services offered, and location.
To purchase Ethereum, you will need to choose an exchange that accepts payment in US dollar.
Some of the most popular exchanges that accept USD are Coinbase, Binance US and Kraken.
To help you pick an exchange for buying Ethereum, consider the following:
Once you have selected an exchange to purchase Ethereum from the table above, you will need to register.
To buy Ethereum, you will first need to deposit money into your exchange account or link a credit or debit card. Some exchanges accept registration without KYC but will require it when users go to fund their account with fiat or buy Ethereum with a card.
There are various ways to deposit funds into an exchange account to buy Ethereum, each of which will have a different wait time before payments are deposited.
Navigate to the markets section on your chosen exchange to find your desired Ethereum pairing. Look for the section on buying ETH, and type in the amount of the paired cryptocurrency you want to spend or the amount of ETH you want to buy.
Some cryptocurrency exchanges only offer one way to purchase cryptocurrency while others give you a few options. The most popular methods of purchasing Ethereum are instant buy and the spot market.
Most exchanges offer the ability to buy high volume cryptocurrencies like Ethereum instantly, and this is one of the fastest ways to purchase ETH. Simply enter the amount you would like to purchase in USD and the exchange will calculate the equivalent amount of ETH, according to the market rate.
Buying cryptocurrency via the instant buy method is generally more expensive than on the spot market as there is usually an extra exchange fee added on top of the market price. This can be a simple way to purchase cryptocurrency for beginners but it's important to be aware of the extra costs involved, especially if using this method with a linked credit card as fees add up.
The spot market is offered on the majority of exchanges and is the most common way to buy and sell any crypto asset or tokens. There are a few different ways to buy cryptocurrency on a spot market, but market buys and limit orders are the most common.
A market buy is similar to an instant buy, but without the added fee charged by the exchange for brokering the deal. There is still a trading fee, but it is less than for instant buy.
A limit order means placing an order for Ethereum at a set price and amount of ETH. The order is filled as other users sell their assets through a selling limit order or market sale at the price set. Trading fees for a limit order are less than for a market buy.
After you've acquired ETH, there are a number of things you can do with it. The first thing is simply nothing, just hold on to it. However, if you are considering holding onto any cryptocurrency for a long period of time, we recommend transferring it off an exchange for safekeeping. Alternatively, there are ways that you can make use of ETH on the exchange. Let's explore these options in detail.
Transferring ETH to a wallet that you control is the best way to keep your ETH safe for an extended period of time. As long as you've picked a good wallet, and follow the best practices of keeping ETH safe in that wallet, then the wallet is the safest place to keep your ETH long term. Once the ETH is off an exchange, and safely secured by the wallet, it is free from the possibility of being stolen on an exchange. Use Finder's Ethereum wallet guide to select the best wallet for you.
There are some reasons why you might want to keep your ETH on an exchange. Depending on the exchange, it will offer you the ability to earn interest on your ether in a variety of ways. Some exchanges will give you the ability to lend your ethereum, allowing you to passively collect interest on the loaned amount. They may also give you the ability to stake your ETH within ETH2.0, but without needing the technical expertise or 32 ETH. Lastly, you may just want to trade with your ETH on a centralized exchange, taking advantage of fast and cheap trades, instead of the decentralized exchanges which cost more and take longer.
Full table of exchanges that offer the ability to buy Ethereum.
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 can identify the factors that could potentially drive the price of a cryptocurrency asset either up or down. Here are a few risks of buying ETH:
While some people choose to store their cryptocurrency tokens in their exchange account, this is not recommended. Exchanges are regular targets for hackers and thieves. It's a much safer option to move coins and tokens into a wallet which allows you to retain full control of your private keys. There are both hardware and software wallets for desktop and web browsers available to store cryptocurrencies. Keep Ethereum safe with any of Finder's recommended wallets.
Whether or not ETH is worth buying depends on where you think Ethereum is going in the future. We recommend checking out Finder's Ethereum Analysis page for a price prediction as well as a full breakdown of ETH's history and future.
Ethereum can be bought with fiat at most cryptocurrency exchanges that accept fiat currency.
Some exchanges will try to reward users to sign up and use their platform with free cryptocurrency including ETH. The other way to get more ETH without explicitly buying more of it is having some first, then lending it out to other people and collecting interest.
The best place to buy Ethereum depends on where you are in the world, the amount in fees you're willing to pay, and what you ultimately intend on doing with the ETH. Check out the exchange comparison table for Finder's recommendations on where to buy Ethereum.
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