How to buy Ethereum (ETH)

A beginner's guide to buying and trading Ether in the UK.

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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.

BC Bitcoin Cryptocurrency Broker

BC Bitcoin is a UK-based cryptocurrency brokerage that buys and sells more than 100 different cryptocurrencies.

  • Local support from UK headquarters
  • Buy crypto in 5+ fiat currencies, including GBP
  • Direct deposits available
  • User-friendly interface
  • Buy/sell calculator displays fees prominently
  • Wide selection of cryptocurrencies
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Where to buy Ethereum (ETH)

Name Product Deposit methods Fiat Currencies Supported Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrency
Bank transfer (SEPA)
SWIFT
Wire transfer
Faster Payments Service
GBP, EUR, USD, CAD, SGD, AUD, JPY, MXN
BTC, ETH, BCH, XRP, LTC, EOS, XLM, USDT, ADA, XMR, TRX and 50+ more
BC Bitcoin is a UK-based cryptocurrency brokerage that buys and sells more than 100 different cryptocurrencies.
Electronic Funds Transfer
Bank transfer (SEPA)
Wire transfer
USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD
BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, EOS, LTC, ADA, XLM, DASH, XMR, USDT, ETC, QTUM, ZEC, REP, DOGE, GNO, MLN, ATOM, XTZ
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.
Credit card
Debit card
Neteller
PayPal
Wire transfer
China Union Pay
Giropay (Sofortüberweisung)
Skrill Limited UK
WebMoney
Wire
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.
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.

UK residents: In addition to normal crypto trading, 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.
Bank transfer
Credit card
Debit card
GBP, EUR
BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP
Buy and sell bitcoin in GBP or EUR with credit card, debit card and bank transfer payment options.
Credit card
Debit card
AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, CNY & 50+ more
BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, EOS, LTC, XLM, ETC, ZEC, ZRX, REP, BAT, LINK, DAI, USDC
Get US$10 in free bitcoin when you buy US$100 or more of any crypto. T&Cs apply.
Buy and sell major cryptocurrencies on one of the world's most renowned cryptocurrency exchanges.
Binance Jersey Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer
Cryptocurrency
EUR, GBP
BTC, ETH
Use your GBP or EUR to buy bitcoin and Ethereum through a platform launched by Binance.
Credit card
Wire transfer
USD, EUR
BTC, ETH
A global exchange where users buy and sell cryptocurrency in exchange for USD or EUR.
Bank transfer
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
Debit card
Neteller
Bank transfer (SEPA)
SOFORT
EUR, GBP, CHF, USD
BTC, LTC, ETH, DASH, XRP, BCH, KMD, MIOTA, EOS, PAN, OMG, REP, XLM, ZRX, XEM, ZEC, XTZ
A European exchange which enables users to pay in EUR, GBP, CHF and USD through a variety of payment platforms.
Bank transfer
NZD, GBP
BTC, ETH
A cryptocurrency savings platform where users can deposit regular bank payments between 10 - 2,000 GBP to save BTC, ETH or XEM.

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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 GBP 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 GBP

There are several exchanges that allow you to buy Ether with GBP, 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 GBP on Uphold.

Step 1. Register for an account with Uphold

Visit the Uphold 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
  • Proof of residency
  • A photo of yourself holding a signed statement

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

Step 2. Deposit GBP into your account

When logged in to your Uphold account, click on the “Deposit GBP” link visible from the account dashboard.

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 GBP 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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