How to Buy Ethereum

We go over how you can get Ethereum while it’s still cheap.

Updated: January 25, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

 
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Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.

Warren Buffett (Source)

Vitalik Buterin, a Russian-Canadian computer engineer, developed Ethereum (ETH) in 2013. He conceived of it as a novel blockchain that could be mined with less time and energy than Bitcoin and support more complex contracts.

To get coins, you'll need to locate a trustworthy crypto exchange as well as learn how to purchase Ethereum. Here you can contrast the features, fees, and prices of some of the most popular cryptocurrency brokers. You may also customise your investment amount and coin of choice to compare fees among brokers.

This article details the steps necessary to acquire Ethereum UK. We not only cover how to invest in ETH but we also look at the potential of this digital money.

Low on Time? 🚀 Look below, to see how you can buy Ethereum. 

How to Buy Ethereum UK in 4 Steps

No time to learn a bunch of new things? No problem. In this section, we’ve listed a quick way to buy ETH in the UK.

The steps:.

  • 1. Register. You can join eToro by going to their website and clicking the “Join Now” button. Create a username and password by entering your information. Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more.
  • 2. Verify. If you want to purchase cryptocurrency through eToro, you'll need to authenticate your account by providing identification and a billing address that matches the one on file.
  • 3. Add cash. Fund your trading account with at least $50 with your chosen payment method.
  • 4. Shop. Type “ETH” into the search field, then choose “Trade” to purchase Ethereum. 

Done 🏝️. But continue for a more detailed beginner’s breakdown below

Step 1: How to Buy Ethereum UK: First, Set Your Risk

Risk

Time for a more detailed guide, so that you understand things rather than just blindly buying coins. Firstly, Ethereum (How Does Ethereum Work?) is a risk, there's no way around it. The volatility of cryptocurrency prices makes them a particularly risky investment. 

When Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced last year that the firm would no longer take Bitcoin as payment, the value of the currency immediately dropped by 15%.

While Ether has had some incredible gains in the past, it has also seen some devastating losses, sometimes in very quick succession. Notably, it dropped from its all-time high of about £3 per coin in May 2021 to its all-time low of less than £1,300 a month later, a decline of more than 50%. That's a whole new level of severe volatility.

That's why, before you purchase Ether, you need to think about your risk tolerance and the diversification and stability of the rest of your investment portfolio. 

You probably shouldn’t put more money into crypto than you can afford to lose. Make sure you have solid savings and an income stream first!

Step 2: Know Where to Buy ETH UK: Top Crypto Exchanges

Fear is the enemy of hope.

Dave Ramsey  (Source)

There are more hoops to go through when purchasing Ether than when purchasing stocks or mutual funds via a brokerage account. Many brokerages don't allow crypto investments, and cryptocurrencies aren't traded on big exchanges like the ones in London or New York.

You need a crypto exchange account if you want to buy ETH or a broker that has access to crypto markets. In all other respects, it functions similarly to other brokerage platforms: Using a cryptocurrency exchange, investors may trade traditional currencies like dollars and pounds for digital tokens like Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Dogecoin.

Check out our top crypto exchanges to pick the best one for you if you haven't done so previously. While the primary trading platform of an exchange may incur lower costs overall, some may provide a simplified interface for newcomers to make purchases.

One of the most important things to look for when selecting a cryptocurrency exchange is whether or not you want a cryptocurrency wallet. If you want extra safeguards against hacking, you'll have to buy one. Let’s review the top contenders for where to buy Ethereum 📙:

Cryptocurrency Regulations

eToro — Popular Broker to Buy Ethereum

Regulated by the UK’s FCA 🇬🇧

If you're looking to trade Ethereum, you'll be happy to discover that eToro supports it with 3 different options.

1) You copy the trades of more seasoned traders

2) trade genuine ETH coins 

The sophisticated digital exchange is tailor-made for professional traders and institutional investors. Finally, there's the web-based wallet for sending and receiving Ether.

Overall, when it comes to buying crypto through online brokerages, eToro (review) is a safe and reliable option and among the most popular.

Can Be Expensive but is Trusted 📕

eToro logo

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more.

More than 13 million users throughout the globe attest to the platform's widespread appeal in the United Kingdom. When making your first Ethereum purchase, eToro's user-friendliness makes it a viable alternative.

eToro's hosting of a wide variety of assets is indicative of the breadth of its appeal. It supports a variety of digital currencies, including Ethereum (among 16 others). You may exchange them for a variety of fiat currencies. 

Shares of firms listed on 17 various stock markets (including those in the UK, the US, Germany, Sweden, and others) are available for purchase. A wide variety of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are available on eToro as well.

Consider an eToro CopyPortfolio if you're searching for a long-term investing plan. These portfolios are professionally managed so that you may invest without actively doing anything. The bitcoin market is only one of several options available to investors.

Unlocking ETH on eToro 🗝️

To begin trading ETH on eToro, you must first create an account and fund it with a deposit. Below, you'll find what to do next:

  1. Launch the online brokerage eToro.
  2. Select Crypto from the “Trade Markets” menu. This will provide you with a complete catalogue of all the crypto assets out there.
  3. Find Ethereum, or the ticker symbol ETH, and then tap it. You'll be redirected to the Ethereum exchange after you click this.
  4. If you want to start trading, just hit the “Trade” button.
  5. To make an investment, enter the desired amount, adjust the settings to your liking, and then click the “Open Trade” button.

Coinbase — A Top-Rated Crypto Exchange

Offers its Users Strong Value for Money 

As we’ve said before, Coinbase was one of the first-ever crypto exchanges; if you feel there is safety in numbers, then Coinbase is second only to Binance.

This massive crypto exchange has been used by practically every frequent Ethereum trader at some point, regardless of trading level.

It's absolutely ridiculous that there are more than 73 million confirmed users on this platform. Over £190B in assets are available to you on the platform, and trade volume is quite liquid.

Coinbase is accessible to people in over one hundred different countries since it has obtained several trade licences and is regulated as a money services firm. The availability of funding differs from nation to country. 

coinbase logo

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more.

However, dealers based in the United Kingdom should make advantage of commission-free bank transfers (other methods incur ridiculously high fees on most exchanges, including CB).

Coinbase: How to Buy Ethereum in the UK  

Once you sign up for Coinbase, you'll have access to both Coinbase and Coinbase Pro, but you'll only need to remember one set of login credentials. Consider upgrading to Pro if you want access to more sophisticated trading features. 

What are the costs, though? Fees for both makers and takers start at 0.5% per transaction, with a better rate available the more often and for what value you trade within a given calendar month. 

The majority of trades will fall anywhere between the 0.35 and 0.5% margin of error. CB is a fantastic choice if you're looking for a large exchange that is fully regulated and has reasonable costs.

They just increased the accessible cryptocurrency supply to a whopping one hundred coins, which should be more than enough for most users. 

As an added bonus, you don't need a Coinbase account to use the excellent mobile app for keeping your cryptocurrency in your own safekeeping. Use it to hold up to 500 unique coin varieties. There are several good crypto wallets for mobile phones, but this one is free and among the finest.

What’s keeping you from getting started? Consider seeking a financial expert. Or using analyst sources such as the Motley Fool.

★ eToro also trades stocks… Best stock trading accounts

Step 3: Buying Ethereum UK: Fund Your Account

Funding

God helps those who help themselves.

Ray Dalio, Principles (Source)

Your cryptocurrency exchange or brokerage account must be funded before Ethereum may be purchased using it. You’re essentially swapping fiat cash for crypto cash. Here’s why:

Why Swap for Crypto?

Any currency issued by a government is fiat and consequently under the authority and protection of a central bank. The United States dollar, the Euro, the Ruble, the Yuan, and the Yen are all examples of fiat currencies. 

These formerly had a valued commodity such as gold behind them. In the present day, only the credit of national governments can guarantee them. If a currency is fiat, then it usually needs a third party like a bank, a credit card company, or the government to process transactions.

Cryptocurrencies are virtual currencies that are “mined” in a decentralised (not technically issued by any single entity, although certain stablecoins are government-issued and CBDCs are on their way) computer environment. 

Although cryptocurrencies are not backed by anything physical like gold, the fact that some, like Bitcoin, have a hard cap on the total supply gives them an artificial scarcity that's analogous to that of precious metals. 

Diversification is one benefit. The value of your ETH is less tied to any single country. Crypto transactions were historically private and independent of any governing body or third party. But this is quickly changing in many respects. 

Nevertheless, compared to traditional currencies, the value of cryptocurrencies might fluctuate more dramatically and abruptly on the market.

Connect your Payment Method

So, you’re swapping traditional cash for crypto cash. You can also swap one crypto coin for another, depending on the service.

In any regard, money is usually transferred from a checking or savings account. Debit cards and payment service deposits are usually accepted as well.

Credit card purchases on cryptocurrency exchanges are now blocked by TSB, Virgin Money, and Tesco Bank, among others. Some services may let you use a credit or debit card to purchase cryptocurrency, but be wary of the additional costs they may impose.

★ Crypto markets never sleep… 

😴 but Stock Market Hours are Different! 💤

Step 4: How to Store Ethereum in the UK Using a Third-Party Wallet

When your Ethereum purchase clears, the next step is safekeeping your new coin. Although there are services that will hold your cryptocurrency for you, some investors prefer to keep their funds offline in order to protect them from hacking.

This is natural, but it's also worth noting that the vast majority of big exchanges provide insurance on customer holdings and keep the vast bulk of their assets offline to avoid catastrophic theft. Furthermore, in the past when exchanges have been hacked, they have compensated users for their losses.

However, there are two types of third-party wallets you can use if you're concerned about the safety of your crypto:

  • Hot Wallets: What we mean by “hot wallet” is a digital wallet that is online and can be accessed from any device with an internet connection. They are easy to use and are often supplied by cryptocurrency exchange companies at no extra cost, however, you may use your own if you choose to store your bitcoin in a private location. However, since they are still online, they are more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
  • Cold Wallets: Conversely, “cold wallets” are offline storage devices that may be used to store cryptocurrency without access to the web. They range in price from £30 to £150, with more costly options being available. Cold wallets are safer than hot wallets but more inconvenient to use since you must manually connect them to the internet each time you want to access your cryptocurrency. This may be worthwhile if you have a large quantity of Ethereum or other cryptocurrencies.

⭐ Read the full guide: Best Wallets for Storing Ethereum

Undoubtedly, cryptocurrency is more cost-efficient than paper money. 

Elon Musk (Source)

Tips: Selling ETH

To sell Ethereum, return to your cryptocurrency exchange and input the quantity of Ethereum you want to sell.  However, you might want to talk to a tax expert if you plan to sell a large amount of cryptocurrency. Despite the decentralised nature of cryptocurrencies, this feature is quite limited, and capital gains tax may be due on any profits made from selling them.

Top Reasons – Why Buy Ethereum?

Investors hold more than 110 billion ETH coins at present.

That’s enough to demonstrate the cryptocurrency's widespread appeal. But don't assume that since it's popular that you should invest in it. 

You might want to be well-informed and financially stable before heavily committing to a risky investment like Ether. Have a sizable “rainy day” fund, and be in a position where you are not too indebted. Even if you meet these requirements, many advisors would say you should still only allocate a small amount to your portfolio.

Reason 1: Unique Smart Contract Tech

Ethereum's ability to support transactions, including smart contracts is perhaps one of its most enticing features. The idea is advanced, but we'll break it down for you.

As we can see, an agreement between two or more parties may be codified in a “smart contract”, which is a piece of computer code. A smart contract's terms are final and cannot be altered once they have been implemented.

This eliminates the requirement for trust between the parties in a contract. What's more, these smart contracts run without any human intervention whatsoever. As an illustration:

  • Assume you want to use a smart contract to buy flight insurance.
  • You spent a total of £1000 on flights.
  • A modest premium of 50 Ether (the cryptocurrency equivalent of £50) is required.
  • If the flight is cancelled or is more than 7 hours late, the smart contract states that you will get a full refund of your ticket price plus £250 in compensation.
  • Consequently, the smart contract cancels your flight and refunds your £1250.

Curious as to how the Ethereum blockchain does this? In order to verify whether the aircraft truly took off, the underlying technology may check hundreds of external sources. Once the system has come to an agreement, the smart contract payment may be implemented.

No human hands were involved in any of this. There are many different industries that potentially be disrupted by Ethereum smart contracts; one of them is flight insurance.

I view [crypto] as an alternative money in an environment where the value of cash money is depreciating in real terms.

Ray Dalio (Source)

Reason 2: Ethereum’s Blockchain Tech is Superior to Bitcoin’s

Bitcoin is often praised as a panacea for international money transfers. 

It's true that compared to more conventional means of doing financial transactions, this new technology offers significant advantages in speed, security, and cost. It's worth noting, however, that Ethereum has even superior performance. As an illustration:

  • Unlike Bitcoin, which takes 10mins to complete a transaction, Ethereum just takes 15 seconds.
  • Presently, Ethereum can process roughly 16 transactions per second. In Bitcoin's case, 7 is manageable.
  • Since Ethereum can handle more users, its transaction fees are lower than Bitcoin’s. Financial firms that need to send money internationally might benefit.

That being said, Ethereum will release its upgraded blockchain system in the near future. With this, the blockchain's transaction throughput is projected to skyrocket from the current 16 per second to the hundreds of thousands that can be processed in the near future. This completely exceeds the limits of Mastercard, Visa, and PayPal.

Finally, both have a leadership that is open to scrutiny. Bitcoin and Ethereum are both examples of decentralised cryptocurrencies, meaning that no central authority or individual has power over the network.

It's important to remember, however, that ETH is led by the Ethereum Foundation (as well as Ethereum Labs; Vitalik Buterin, the cryptocurrency's creator, is driving this effort). 

Related Guides:

Buy Ethereum UK: FAQs

Does the UK permit the purchase of Ethereum?

Should you report UK Ethereum earnings on your tax return?

How well does HMRC monitor Bitcoin?

What are the consequences of not paying UK crypto taxes?

How private is Ethereum compared to Bitcoin?

What is the Ethereum creator's net worth?

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