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Launched 7 years ago by Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum is an open-source blockchain with its own native token Ether. Despite being named Ether many still refer to it as Ethereum and for a long time already it holds the status of the second crypto in the world just behind Bitcoin. Ethereum network can be used by anyone to create secure digital technology. Following the latest market crash, Ether has seen a huge decline in its value and now trades at around $1100. But with ongoing developments, Ether is expected to return stronger than ever before.
Ethereum is an open-source blockchain technology that implements many different features. This is a platform of choice for many developers as it is extremely flexible and easy to build decentralized applications. It uses the famous Solidity scripting language and Ethereum Virtual Machine. Alongside being a platform that helps developers to create applications and sub-Ethereum networks it can be used to create different ERC-20 smart contracts and tokens, the most famous of them being Ether or ETH for short.
Ether is the biggest altcoin and the second crypto altogether. Currently, Ethereum trades for $1131 following the crypto market crash. Before this crypto winter, Ethereum was trading for $2,500 - $3,000. Ethereum holds a market capitalization of $136 billion with a circulating supply of almost 120 million tokens.
"The main advantage of blockchain technology is supposed to be that it's more secure, but new technologies are generally hard for people to trust, and this paradox can't really be avoided." - Vitalik Buterin
Ethereum operates on a Proof-of-Stake protocol, meaning that there is no Ethereum mining, and new Ether tokens are created through staking. This is thanks to the biggest Ethereum update “The Merge” that took place in September 2022. Up until then, Ethereum used a resource-heavy Proof-of-Work protocol that required Ethereum miners in order to confirm transactions, which resulted in big transaction fees and slow transactions.
When it comes to buying Ether there are multiple ways we can approach this subject. We can use exchange services and acquire Ethereum with direct purchases or purchases using different cryptos and there is even a possibility to avoid exchanges altogether and purchase Ether directly from crypto wallets.
When purchasing Ethereum on crypto exchanges there are multiple important factors we need to take into consideration. We need to decide what we value the most and based on that choose the exchange we will be using. There are many different exchanges that operate in different countries, have different regulations and securities, use different payment methods, and have different fees associated with different payment methods, some are best for trading Ethereum, and some are best for storing it. Because of these differences, there is no one exchange that will fit the needs of all traders. We need to decide what we value the most and only after that choose the exchange that we value the most. Here we will take you through the basic process that you will have to follow in order to purchase Ethereum on an exchange.
As we mentioned before we need to find which exchange will fit our needs. For example, if we plan on purchasing Ethereum with the goal of holding it until its value goes up, exchanges that offer the lowest deposit and purchase fees will be the best option for us. If we plan on trading with Ether we will have to look for exchanges that have good trading features for Ethereum such as margin trading, futures, good trading pairs, and so on. If our main priority is the safety of our funds we can look towards exchanges with good security measures and regulations. So we just need to decide what our plans are after acquiring Ether and choose Exchange that will fit those plans. We also need to take into account that not every exchange will be available in our country of residence.
Visual: Our cactus looking at two laptops. One laptop should have a Binance logo and another Coinbase. Each logo should have Buy Ether written underneath
Right after we find the exchange which we will be using, we will need to open our personal account on that exchange. In most case scenarios this process will be similar on almost any exchange and the only differences might be something minor like some might ask for info such as our profession, average income, and similar information, while some exchanges might be satisfied with just our name and surname. What will be constant on each exchange is the verifying process where we need to provide our identification documents.
Visual: Our cactus looking at the laptop screen which has Open Account written on the screen
Once our account is open, we will just need to purchase Ethereum. There will be multiple ways we can do this and it is best to decide beforehand which method we will be using. We can just simply use traditional payment methods available on the exchange, or we can even trade different cryptos for Ether in case we own some. This is where fees come into play and fees will depend on which method we choose. Also, each payment method will have a different processing time and it also needs to be considered, some are instantaneous while some might take a few days to go through.
Visual: There should be two cactuses exchanging dollar and Ethereum tokens and there should be two more cactuses exchanging Bitcoin and Ethereum
Another alternative way to acquire Ethereum is to use the MetaMask wallet and directly purchase Ethereum there. This wallet is a web browser extension that operates on the Ethereum network. Once you create your personal wallet MetaMask will give you a Buy option for Ether and you can simply purchase it using a credit/debit card, PayPal, and other payment options.
Now we know what kind of process awaits us before we purchase Ether, but which exchanges are best for specific reasons? Here we will try to present you with some exchanges that are best for purchasing Ether for one reason or another.
When it comes to Coinbase they might not be the best in any particular section, but for those who are looking for everything, Coinbase will be the best choice. This exchange has competitive deposit fees when purchasing Ethereum, they have decent staking APYs on Ether, the trading experience is good and security is of the highest quality. This is also a US-based exchange with good regulatory bodies overlooking their operations. To use Coinbase there are a few simple steps we need to take.
Our first step when starting on Coinbase will be to register on the exchange. This registration process is simple and straightforward. Here Coinbase will ask you your first and last name, which email you would like to use, and what password would you wish to have. After this, simply complete the verification by going to the link sent to your email address.
Since Coinbase is a US-based exchange with different regulations they need to verify your identity before giving you the ability to trade on their exchange. When doing this verification process, we will simply need to upload our ID or Passport photo along with providing our country of residence and residential address.
Once this verification process completes we will be able to purchase Ether. This can be done in two different ways. We can either purchase it using fiat currencies such as USD and EUR or we can deposit different crypto we own and swap it for Ethereum.
For fiat purchases, we need to go to the explore tab and look for Ethereum. Since it is the second largest token it should be at the top portion of the list. Then we simply press it and Coinbase will give us a buy option with all available payment methods.
For purchasing Ether using crypto, we will need to go to our Coinbase Wallet. There we will be given an option to deposit crypto on our wallet. Here we simply select which tokens we want to deposit and Coinbase will give us a deposit option and then simply send tokens there. When the transaction goes through and tokens appear on our account we can simply swap them for Ether. But make sure that Ethereum has a trading pair associated with that crypto or unless you will not be able to convert it.
When it comes to exchanges best for trading Ethereum, in our opinion no one comes close to Binance. There are more than 100 trading pairs which include Ethereum. This gives traders opportunities to interact with many different cryptos using Ether. There is also Binance Convert which can be used to trade Ethereum for any other token and the other way round. There is also a possibility of margin trading and futures. Ethereum staking is another function that Binance has with APY up to 4.13%. You can also provide Ethereum liquidity and earn interest rates through that. All in all, Binance is one of the best places where you can trade with Ether. Acquiring Ethereum on Binance follows a somewhat similar pass as Coinbase but we will still take you through it.
When joining Binance we need to register our account in order to access the exchange features. For this, Binance will simply ask us to provide a mobile phone number or an email address, and a strong password. After this, we will be sent a confirmation email, and once we confirm it our account will be open.
Binance allows us to use some of the exchange features without the need for verification, but these features are very limited and in order to have a better experience, we will need to verify our identity and remove limitations placed on us. For this, we simply have to provide personal information and upload government-issued documents confirming our identity.
To purchase Ethereum on Binance we have to choose the Buy Crypto option at the top menu. There we simply select which payment option we would like to use, then select Ethereum and make a purchase. As soon as payment is received Binance will credit our account with Ether.
Gemini is one of the most secure exchanges on the market which offers Ethereum. Launched in 2014 its main goal and ideology were security-first and this approach has given Gemini great advantages, most notably in 2016, it became the first licensed Ethereum exchange. They implement military-grade security, use multi-factor authentication, and have different insurance policies in play. But there are also some downsides, the most notable of which is the considerably high fees. Despite that, if you value security this exchange will not disappoint you.
Creating a Gemini account follows the traditional route. Here you just have to provide your name and surname, email address, and password. After this, you will be asked to enter your phone number and verify it through the sent SMS notification.
This process is pretty straightforward. You just need to upload your government-issued ID and take a selfy to further prove your identity. The verification process is usually done in a few hours, but it can also take up to 2-5 business days.
After our account gets verified we receive a green flag and gain access to the exchange. To purchase ETH we need to find the Transfer option at the top right corner. There we will simply need to select the deposit option and choose that we want to buy Ethereum. Then simply select the payment method we would like to use and complete the purchase.
At the beginning of this guide, we talked about how important it is to correctly choose the right exchange for purchasing Ethereum. But the right exchange for purchasing is not always the best exchange for actually keeping your Ether tokens. If you don’t have any plans for Ethereum and you purchased them for holding, it might be better to transfer them somewhere else for giving them utility or giving it further layer of protection.
If you are a believer in Ethereum and plan on holding your newly acquired tokens for the long term, it will be best to give them some sort of utility and grow your assets. Staking is one of the best options for it and one of the best options for Ethereum staking is on Kraken. Kraken offers APY of up to 7% for staking Ether. But before doing so, you should know that you won’t be able to access your staking rewards until Ethereum fully moves to a proof-of-stake protocol which might take up to a year.
If you are looking for the highest security possible using a hardware wallet is a must. Trezor One is one of those hardware wallets and is best for storing Ethereum. This wallet comes in a form of a small chip/USB and can be connected to either computer or mobile device through Bluetooth. Even if someone gets their hands on the wallet it is still protected by the PIN and every time someone enters the wrong PIN number they will have to wait longer to be able to enter it again.
|Security||Has two-factor authentication and provides crime insurance||Impossible to hack remotely and uses a PIN to protect the physical device|
|Benefits||High APY on Ethereum staking||Most secure crypto wallet on the market|
|Number of available cryptos for storage||110+||1000+|
|Purchase options for Ethereum||Can be purchased using fiat and crypto||Is available for both fiat and crypto||Can be acquired with fiat and crypto||Is available for fiat and crypto purchases|
|Fees||ACH deposits - Free; Wire - $10; SEPA - €0.15|
SWIFT transfer - Free; Signet transfer - Free
Credit Card - up to 2%
|ACH deposits - Free; Wire - Free; Debit Card - 3.49%||ACH deposits - 0.5%; SWIFT - Free; Debit/Credit Card - 3.75% + $0.25|
|Allows Ethereum Stakeing||Allows Ethereum Staking||Has Ethereum staking feature||Allows Ethereum staking||One of the best places to stake Ethereum|
|Number of trading pairs available for Ethereum||5||100+||10||35|
|Trading options for Ethereum||Spot and ETH 2x leverage trading||Spot, leverage, and futures trading||Spot trading||Allows spot and margin trading|
ACH - Free; Wire - $25; SEPA - €0.15
Direct Ethere withdrawal - 0% + network fees
SWIFT transfer - $15; Signet transfer - Free
Credit Card - up to 2%
Direct Ethereum withdrawal - 0.0012
|Depends on Ethereum network condition at the time of withdrawal|
ACH - Free; SWIFT - $4
Direct Ethereum withdrawal - 0.0035 Ether
|Security||Has crime insurance and two-factor authentication||Uses multi-factor authentication and crime insurance||Stores users funds on cold wallets, has crime insurance and multi-factor authentication||Uses cold wallets and has two-factor authentication|
Currently, Ethereum is in a weird state. When looking at the price of Ethereum, it is significantly down compared to its highs of November 2021 and currently trades for around $1200. We still don’t know what effect Ethereum's successful Merge had on the future of the Ethereum network, was it a success? or was it a failure? After the Merge, the price of Ethereum significantly dropped by around $450, but then started to recover before falling again, when crypto took a massive blow from the collapse of the FTX crypto exchange. This leaves us in the current situation and making any solid predictions is pretty much impossible, as there are rumors of other market-leading exchanges being in a similar situation as FTX. The correct answer here is whether you believe or not of the whole crypto market making a big recovery or not. If you do, then investing in Ethereum will be a great idea, while if you are a non-believer it might be best to avoid investing in Ethereum right now.
"When I came up with Ethereum, my first first thought was, 'Okay, this thing is too good to be true.' As it turned out, the core Ethereum idea was good - fundamentally, completely sound." - Vitalik Buterin
When you are new to the crypto market and want to acquire Ethereum. The simplest way is to create an account on one of the exchanges and purchase it using a bank transfer or credit/debit card.
Gas is the transaction fee we have to pay when making transactions on the Ethereum network. These gas fees are paid out to miners for validating our transactions. Gas fees can go up really high but with the upcoming Merge, these gas fees will drop significantly.
Mining Ethereum is impossible ever since it went through a successful Merge in September 2022 as it transitioned itself to Proof-of-Stake protocol and permanently removed Ethereum mining.