Almost all activities, on the Ethereum network, are powered by its native crypto token Ether or ETH. ETH boasts of a $20 billion market cap and a circulating supply of ~108 million coins. This makes it the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
The Ethereum network token entered the cryptocurrency trading arena in 2015.
According to CoinGecko, since launch, ETH has registered a 2800 percent increment in price to date. Although Ether is down almost 87 percent after hitting all-time highs at ~$1500, it is pretty much an attractive alternative investment option because of the overall appeal of Ethereum, as a decentralized computing platform.
Many see ETH as a much more promising crypto investment option than bitcoin. Few Fortune 500 companies and financial trust Ethereum. They recognize it as the de-facto blockchain platform for building next-generation applications and monetary settlements.
For all of these reasons and more, many investors are rapidly adding ETH to their portfolios. But how does one buy Ether? And from where?
Buy Ethereum (ETH) on Crypto Exchanges
Probably the easiest way to get some Ethereum network tokens is from a well-established cryptocurrency exchange operating in your country.
ETH enjoys massive popularity within the crypto community due to its demonstrated decentralized use case. Any crypto exchange will surely have Ether listed for buying and selling.
Choosing a Suitable Crypto Exchange
While locking onto a particular exchange, some preliminary research needs to be done. Cryptocurrencies by their very nature are assets that come with high risk and equally high rewards. Consequently, the fledgling space also attracts a lot of fraudsters. So, it is mandatory to do your due diligence before picking a platform to buy Ethereum.
Crypto exchanges need to have well-established headquarters a genuine team (probably with a good Twitter, LinkedIn presence), well-responsive support, decent liquidity and security of trading funds, etc. Some well-recognized names are Binance, Bitfinex, Coinbase, Kraken, eToro.
Registering on The Chosen Crypto Exchange
After choosing a suitable crypto trading platform, you would be required to register yourself as a legitimate user.
That means you will have to provide a few personal details as KYC (Know Your Customer) which confirms your status as a bonafide citizen of the particular country or state where you reside. This is done by exchanges just so that they are in line with global Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations.
After exchange officials verify your details, its time to use your newly opened crypto trading account to buy ETH. But for that, you need to deposit some fiat currency first. This should be relatively easy as all your details (including banking information) were okayed for trading.
Depositing Fiat Funds to buy Crypto
Simply add money through your bank account or debit card on file. Cryptocurrency exchanges do not generally have high minimum investments. You can invest as little as $5 or as much as $1,000 or more. This is of course, based on the country or location of your residence, and the official currency in circulation.
Funds generally can some time to appear in the ‘fiat account’ of your chosen crypto trading platform. This depends on the bank and exchange transaction processing speeds, protocols, etc.
Once the fiat deposit happens, you can instantly use it to buy Ether. But remember to go through the current rates and trading volumes.
Buying Ethereum with Stablecoins or Other Crypto Assets
In the past 2 years, there has been a gigantic upsurge in ‘crypto-to-crypto’ purchases. The proliferation of fiat-backed stablecoins like Tether (USDT) and rising bank restrictions on crypto purchases with credit/debit cards and wire transfers has led to the same.
It’s very simple buying ETH in a crypto-to-crypto (C2C) arrangement. All you need is some Bitcoin as it is considered the benchmark crypto asset for all C2C transactions or a US dollar-backed stablecoin like USDT or USDC (USD Coin) which is easily available on peer-to-peer trading exchanges. These platforms let users exchange actual fiat with fiat stablecoins, which you can use to buy the Ethereum token.
Withdraw Ether (ETH) into a ‘Private Wallet’
An important step follows your ETH purchase. It’s important that you transfer the funds into a cryptocurrency wallet, which you control. Storing your crypto funds on exchanges is not out of risk. A great lot of them have fallen prey to notorious hacks in the past.
The recent one to get hacked was Binance, the largest crypto exchange by trading volume. It shows how unsafe your crypto funds can be, even with dominant trading platforms.
Hence, it is advised to store your crypto on a wallet where you control the private keys. Some examples of companies selling such ‘cold wallets’ are TREZOR, Ledger, KeepKey.
Alternatively, you could use software wallets like Exodus, TrustWallet, etc. For Ethereum though, you have something called ‘light client wallets’ which are widely used by ETH investors. They are MyEtherWallet, Atomic Wallet, etc.