How to Buy Ethereum – A quick start beginner’s guide

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Note: If you’re looking to buy Ethereum for trading purposes only you may want to check out  Plus500 Ethereum CFD trading.

Lately there has been a lot of talk about the hottest altcoin in the community – Ethereum.

What is Ethereum?

Ethereum is a cryptocurrency and a blockchain platform with smart contract functionality. It’s basically a decentralized platform for developers to build apps on top of and it was invented by Vitalik Buterin in 2013.

Ethereum can be used to codify, decentralized, secure and trade just about anything: voting, domain names, financial exchanges, crowdfunding, company governance, contracts and agreements of most kind, intellectual property.

And what is Ether?

Well, Ether is the currency of the Etherium platform. Ether will be required by anyone wishing to build upon or use the Ethereum platform. Just like BItcoin, Ether can be traded around the web and mined. In a second I’ll show you exactly where you can buy it. Most people use the term Ethereum to refer to the currency instead of Ether and that’s why it can get so confusing.

The total supply of ether and its rate of issuance was decided by the donations gathered on the 2014 presale of the currency. The results were roughly:

  • 60 million ether created to contributors of the presale
  • 12 Million (20% of the above) were created to the development fund, most of it going to early contributors and developers and the remaining to the Ethereum Foundation
  • 5 ethers are created every block (roughly 15-17 seconds) to the miner of the block
  • 2-3 ethers are sometimes sent to another miner if they were also able to find a solution but his block wasn’t included (called uncle/aunt reward)

The founders of Ethereum state that Ether is not a currency as much as it is “crypto-fuel”, meaning it’s a token that has one main use – to pay for the Ethereum platform. This means that you probably won’t be able to buy stuff with Ether online. However you can still trade it and invest in it in hopes its price goes up.

Because Ether is less “mature” than Bitcoin at the moment, it’s less suitable for non technical people. For example, you can download Ether’s official wallet app from github, but there’s no “user friendly” version of it yet. There’s also MyEtherWallet and EthereumWallet available with a simple interface.

Ethereum (ETH) vs. Ethereum Classic (ETC)

Ethereum Classic is a cryptocurrency that was created due to a disagreement with the way original Ethereum conducted business. The catalyst for the split was due to a hacker finding a way to steal $60m worth of Ethereum coins. The supporters of ETH said that the code should be altered and the stolen coins should be refunded, while the supporters of ETC said that “code is law” and whatever happened happened. So in real life what happened is that ETC was the same original Ehtereum code and ETH forked their code to create a new Ethereum.

Therefor 2 identical competing currencies were created that had 2 different exchange rates. Today ETH’s price is much higher and is more common around the general cryptocurrency community.

How to buy Ethereum (credit card, wire transfer and cash)

The easiest way to buy Ethereum (i.e. Ether) would be through one of the popular Bitcoin exchanges that also supply Ethereum.

Buy Ethereum through Coinbase

The most convenient and cheapest way to buy Ethereum would be Coinbase (if it’s available in your country):

  1. Open a Coinbase account
  2. Add your payment method (Credit card or bank account)
  3. Go to “Buy/Sell” and select the amount of Ethereum you desire
  4. Click “Buy Ethereum”

Coinbase will sell you ETH for a fee of 1.49%-3.99% depending on your payment method (credit cards have a higher fee than wire transfers).

Buy Ethereum on Coinbase Read our Coinabse review

 

buy Ethereum Coinbse

Buy Ethereum through Cex.io

CEX.io is a Bitcoin exchange that also sells ETH via a credit card. The fees for on CEX.io are already calculated into the exchange rate, that’s why it will seem higher than other exchanges. For example, the exchange rate for 1 ETH on CEX.io can be around 7% higher than on Coinbase. However, CEX.io works with countries worldwide (unlike Coinbase).

  1. Open a CEX.io account
  2. Add your payment method (Credit card or bank account)
  3. Go to “Buy/Sell” and select Ethereum
  4. Choose the amount of Ethereum you want to buy
  5. Click on “buy Ethereum”
Buy Ethereum on Cex.io Read our Cex.io review

 

Buy Ethereum on Cex.io

Buy Ethereum through Coinmama

Coinmama is a worldwide seller of Ethereum. The site allows you to buy Ethereum with your credit card and exchange rates are relatively fair considering the alternatives. Coinmama is a very reputable exchange that has been working in the cryptospace since 2014.

Buy Ethereum on Coinmama Read our Coinmama review

 

coinmama ethereum

Buy Ethereum through Coinhouse

If you live in the EU (Eurozone) another good option could be buying Ethereum from Coinhouse. The company is a Bitcoin and Ethereum broker that started out supplying service only to people from France and gradually expanded to the rest of Europe. You can pay via a credit card, debit card or Neosurf.

Buy Bitcoins on Coinhouse     Coinhouse review coming soon

You can also get Ether from several Bitcoin exchanges like Krakenpoloniex and shapeshift.io.

Buy Ethereum with Cash

At the moment there is no site like LocalBitcoins for Ethereum where you can meet people face to face and buy Ethereum with Cash. However, you can buy Bitcoins with cash and then exchange it to Ethereum through Shapeshift or Poloniex.

Don’t want to buy? You can day trade as well

If you’re only into Ethereum to profit on the exchange rate you can also invest in Ethereum CFDs (contract for difference). The idea is that instead of actually buying Ethereum you can just trade according to the exchange rate. CFDs is usually suited for experienced traders and your money is at risk when doing so. At the moment Plus500 are the only company that offers Ethereum CFDs.

You can also mining Ethereum

Mining Ethereum uses proof-of-work. It’s similar to Bitcoin mining in a sense that there is a diminishing block reward for every block mined.

You can try mining Ethereum using your own computer (CPU mining), but it will probably not get you too far. However, if you have a dedicated GPU set up for the task then you can get some real rewards. For information on exactly how to mine Ether visit Ethereum’s official web page or on our blog post about it.

Ether and Ethereum in General are disruptive technologies that are set to change how the Internet works. Whether it succeeds or not remains to be seen, but for now you can easily get your share of “the Internet’s future” by following the steps mentioned above.

If you want to learn more about Ethereum you can use the variety of social channels dedicated to the platform: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, StackExchange and the Etheruem blog.

Ofir Beigel

Owner at 99 Coins ltd.
Blogger and owner of 99Bitcoins. I've been dealing with Bitcoin since the beginning of 2013 and it taught me a lesson in finance that I couldn't get anywhere else on the planet. I'm not a techie, I don't understand "Hashes" and "Protocols", I designed this website with people like myself in mind. My expertise is online marketing and I've dedicated a large portion of 99Bitcoins to Bitcoin marketing.

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102 Comments on "How to Buy Ethereum – A quick start beginner’s guide"

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Ady
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Ady

Can you suggest some best mining rig configurations for optimum mining?

John
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John

Its worth mentioning that bitmex also offer an Ethereum CFD 7 day expiring futures contract.

Ady
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Ady

I’m very new to cryptocurrency, Should I buy or start mining. If so where should I start?

Zsofia Elek
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Zsofia Elek

Hi Ady, here is a guide about how to mine Ethereum: https://99bitcoins.com/guide-ethereum-mining-how-to-mine-ethereum/

Martin
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Martin

Ofir where can South Africans purchase ETH. We have a company locally but their markup is around $100. Where can I purchase ETH by using my credit card. Coinbase do not support S Africa.

Zsofia Elek
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Zsofia Elek

Hi Martin, you can try Cex.io, I think they accept users from South Africa according to their site: https://blog.cex.io/cryptonews/buy-bitcoin-in-south-africa-15366, if you can open an account to buy Bitcoin, you can also purchase Ethereum from them.

vishal Chauhan
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vishal Chauhan

HI,

i am from INDIA , how can i buy ethereum ? Please help me.

Thanks

Zsofia Elek
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Zsofia Elek

Hi Vishal, Cex.io accepts users from India.

umar
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umar

but the price is too high. the market price is 317$ but they are charging 366$ .. this is too high

ernesto
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ernesto

i just start in this, i just want to know if this work

Eli
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Eli

Why is it so difficult to set up a bank account with Coinbase? And even when I do, the purchase doesn’t actually take place when I buy. Nothing seems to work when I try to purchase ethereum. Could my bank be stopping these transactions?

KevinCrypto
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KevinCrypto

Just set up an account with Gemini (Gemini.com)… it’s simple, and the fees are much lower. My wife and I have been using Gemini for a couple months and it’s great.

Zsofia Elek
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Zsofia Elek

Hi Eli, probably it is best to follow up with Coinbase support team and ask them what is the problem.

Di
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Di
Hi Ofir Beigel (23/7/2017) My name is Di , I am from Australia. Firstly I wanted to thankyou for giving your time and all this information to help people, that is really nice of you. I have NEVER invested in any shares, I have absolutely no idea how to go about it and would like how to get started and how to be careful to try to invest as safely as I can ( I realise there are no guarantees). Do you have any suggestions of a good way to try to determine which shares to invest in, to try… Read more »
Zsofia Elek
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Zsofia Elek

Hi Di, thanks for the feedback on the site. Regarding your questions, I suggest you read this article first about investing in cryptocurrencies: https://99bitcoins.com/should-i-invest-in-bitcoin-heres-what-you-need-to-know/ and here is a good article to read about bitcoin safety tips: https://99bitcoins.com/bwbt-bitcoin-safety-expert/ You can follow up with the support team of Coin Bank directly if they offer their services in your area.

Daniel
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Daniel

Since coinbase doesn’t work with customers located in Israel. In your opinion, what is the best way to buy ETH from Israel?

Johnny D
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Johnny D

When you place an order to buy ETH on coinbase, are you buying at that days price or the price on the day the order shows up in your account? Price dropped $150 since order was placed so do you get “screwed” on the drop?

Zsofia Elek
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Zsofia Elek

Hi Johnny, generally speaking you should pay the price at the time your order was placed. But I suggest you to reach out to their support team for confirmation.

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