How to buy Ethereum (ETH) and how it works

A beginner's guide to buying and trading Ether in New Zealand.

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

If you want to acquire some of this popular cryptocurrency for your portfolio but don’t know how, you’re in the right place. Keep reading for step-by-step instructions on how to buy Ether.

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.

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Based in New Zealand, BitPrime trades around 50 of the world’s top cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin and Ripple.

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How to buy Ethereum in New Zealand

  1. Register for an account with an exchange like Vimba.
  2. Enable 2-factor authentication.
  3. Verify your account.
  4. Click “Deposit NZD”.
  5. Transfer funds into your account.
  6. Click “Buy/Sell” at the top of the screen.
  7. Search for “Ethereum” and click on “Buy ETH”.
  8. Enter the amount of ETH you want to buy or the amount of NZD you want to spend.
  9. Review the transaction details.
  10. Click “Buy ETH”.

This is our quick guide to just one way to buy ETH. Compare some other options in the table below.

Where to buy Ethereum (ETH)

Name Product Deposit methods Fiat Currencies Supported Cryptocurrencies
Bank transfer
POLi
NZD, AUD
ZRX, AION, REP, BTC, BCH, ADA, DGB, ENJ, EOS, ETH & 60+ more
Based in New Zealand, Easy Crypto enables users to simply pay in NZD through POLi or bank transfer to access a range of cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrency
Electronic Funds Transfer
POLi
SWIFT
PayID
AUD, NZD, USD
BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, XRP, OMG, ZRX, EOS & 3+ more
Trade AUD and other fiat currencies against a wide range of cryptos at competitive rates.
Bank transfer
Cryptocurrency
POLi
NZD
BTC, BCH, BTG, ETH, ETC, XLM, XRP, SC, EOS, XVG & 80+ more
Based in New Zealand, BitPrime trades around 50 of the world’s top cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin and Ripple.
Electronic Funds Transfer
Bank transfer (SEPA)
Wire transfer
USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD
BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, EOS, LTC, ADA, XLM, DASH, XMR & 15+ more
Buy, sell and trade a range of digital currencies on this high-liquidity exchange – suitable for beginners right through to advanced traders.

UK residents: In addition to normal crypto trading, Kraken 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.
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, XRP, USDT, ETH, NEB, XVG, TRX, NEBL, ETH, NEO, FUN, ETC, BCC, POE, DASH, ELF, & 80+ more
Trade an extensive range of reputable coins on this world-renowned exchange, popular for its high liquidity and multi-language support.

US residents: US-based users have been restricted from Binance since June 2019.
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.
Credit card
Debit card
PayPal
Wire transfer
Local Online Banking
EUR, GBP, NZD, USD, AUD, CAD, HKD, SGD, CHF, NOK, ZAR, JPY, SEK, CNH, TRY, RUB, HUF, MXN, PLN
BTC, ETH, BCH, XRP, DASH, LTC, ETC, ADA, MIOTA, XLM, EOS, NEO, TRX, ZEC, BNB, XTZ
Disclaimer: Highly volatile investment product. Your capital is at risk. 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Copy the trades of leading cryptocurrency investors on this unique social investment platform.
Bank transfer
NZD
BTC, ETH
Formerly known as MyCryptosaver, Vimba is a New Zealand-based platform where users can opt for instant buys or deposit up to $2,000 NZD every few weeks in a crypto savings account.
Bank transfer
Cryptocurrency
POLi
NZD
BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, XRP, EOS, ZRX, REP, STORJ, TUSD
A New Zealand-based cryptocurrency exchange that allows you to buy and trade between NZD and major cryptos on a full-featured trading platform.
Bank transfer (ACH)
Credit card
Bank transfer (SEPA)
Faster Payments Service
USD, EUR, RUB, GBP & 125+ more
BTC, BTG, BCH, LTC, DASH, ETH, XRP, ZEC & 3+ more
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.
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, EOS, XVG, LTC, ADA, MIOTA, TRX, NEO, DASH, XMR, XEM, VET, ETC, ICX, QTUM, OMG, & 70+ more
Buy and trade 100+ cryptocurrencies on this global cryptocurrency exchange.

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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.

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 New Zealand dollars is the easiest option. However, we’ve also included instructions on how to buy ETH using another cryptocurrency (in this case bitcoin) if that is your preferred approach.

Buying Ether with NZD

There are several exchanges that allow you to buy Ether with New Zealand dollars, 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 NZD on New Zealand exchange Vimba.

Step 1. Register for a Vimba account

Visit the Vimba website and click on the “Sign Up” button in the top right corner of the page. You can then sign up for an account by providing:

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

Make sure you enable 2-factor authentication on your account before moving on to step 2.

Step 2. Deposit NZD into your account

When logged in to your Vimba account, click on the “Deposit” link from the account dashboard. There is only one way to make a deposit with Vimba, and that’s via bank transfer.

    Step 3. Buy Ether

    Once the funds have arrived in your account, click the “Buy/Sell” tab at the top of the screen and select “Ethereum” from the list of currencies. Next, click the “Buy Ethereum” link and then specify either the amount of ETH you want to buy or the amount of NZD you’d like to spend.

    Make sure you double-check the details and total cost of your transaction before clicking “Buy”.

    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, you’ll need to 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 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”.

    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.

    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 $50 if he emails me a 10-page report on pet obesity by 30 November 2018”.

    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.

    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.

    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 (October 2018) the circulating supply of ETH was 102,883,734. Unlike bitcoin, Ether does not have a maximum supply cap limit but instead an annual issuance capped at 18,000,000 ETH per year. 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 will soon be shifting to a proof-of-stake system as part of the Casper update. Designed to improve scalability and tackle centralisation, Casper’s success (or otherwise) will have a big impact on the future of Ethereum.
    • Market leader. As it stands, Ethereum has the biggest profile of all the dapps 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 Cardano are just some of the dapp platforms that look set to compete with Ethereum in the future.
    • 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.

    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.

    Picture: Shutterstock

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

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