Buying Ether is more complicated than just buying shares or collective investment funds through a brokerage account. Cryptocurrencies aren’t traded on major exchanges like those of London or New York, and many brokerages don’t offer crypto investing. While Bitcoin focuses primarily on simple peer-to-peer transactions, Ethereum takes things to the next level by allowing for the creation of decentralized applications (dApps). These dApps enable more complex payment agreements to be executed between users, without the need for intermediaries. This is made possible by Ethereum’s smart contracts, which automate the process and eliminate the need for human intervention.

You can find it on popular exchanges like Coinbase, Kraken, Gemini, Binance.US, and KuCoin. Ether is commonly confused with the platform itself—when you hear someone talk about Ethereum’s price, they are referring to ether (ETH), not Ethereum. Ethereum is a decentralized development platform that uses blockchain technology.


Popular hardware wallets for Ethereum are Ledger and Trezor wallets. Paper and Steel wallets are also great alternatives to hardware wallets as those are literally almost indestructible. The value of Ethereum fluctuates regularly making it a great asset for short-term traders. Long-term investors may also find that the possibility of increased blockchain adoption makes Ethereum a great diversification asset to include in their portfolios.

Before writing full-time, David worked as a financial advisor and passed the CFP exam. The most popular platform for this type of investment today is LocalCryptos (formerly known as LocalEthereum, you can read its full review here). Still, these platforms may be home to various scammers, so you better exercise a healthy dose of caution here. “Smart contracts are small programs stored on the Ethereum blockchain that can self-execute when certain conditions are met,” says Robert Farrington, founder of The College Investor. “A good way to think about it is that the dapp is the front-end of the program, and the smart contract is the backend of the program.”

This upgrade is meant to boost the network’s security and increase its throughput to process more transactions faster. In a sense, a decentralized exchange, or DEX is the truest way to trade cryptocurrencies in that there is no third party whatsoever. We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. Lastly, you can invest in trusts and funds like the Grayscale Ethereum Trust, which held 3.1 million ether as of its quarterly report in August 2022. This trust allows you to gain exposure to ether without the inherent risks of owning any. You can also invest in companies that are developing solutions using Ethereum.

Top 5 best exchanges to buy Ethereum

Instead, lite client wallets request information about the blockchain from the full nodes. PayPal launched the service in partnership with Paxos Trust Company allowing its US customers with PayPal Cash and Cash Plus accounts to purchase crypto. The company announced that the service will be expanded to select markets outside the US in 2021. Trading facilities offered by Kraken are spot, margin, Futures, and over-the-counter (OTC) trading. Spot trading is the immediate settlement of trades at the prevailing market prices.

Understanding Ether (ETH)

There is also a 2.49% fee on deposits that are made via a debit card and a 3.99% fee on deposits that are made via a credit card. The process is a lot simpler when using a decentralized exchange (DEX). DEXes often dispense with the use of KYC to verify the identity of users.

It launched in 2017, quickly becoming the fastest-growing crypto platform. Binance got so popular that it suspended new registrations at one time in 2018 due to an influx in new signups. Ethereum is a decentralized, autonomous blockchain network on top of which smart contracts can be hosted. Smart contracts are pieces of code that execute automatically once a specific set of conditions has been met.

It was created to allow others to build applications, cryptocurrencies, tokens, or other use cases that can benefit from distributed and secured databases. For one, you’re almost guaranteed to experience significant volatility — especially if you invest directly in Ether. Cryptocurrency is a risky investment in general because it’s highly speculative at this point. Some experts also believe we’re in a crypto bubble and that digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ether are overvalued.

A quick guide to Ethereum

Each has proven to be better at what it was designed for—ether, a way to fund on-chain transactions; bitcoin, a means to exchange value besides fiat currency. They have both caught the eyes of investors and traders, who aim to earn on the price changes both coins experience. Cryptocurrency exchanges are the gateway to the crypto-economy and one of the easiest ways to purchase and hold Ethereum.

Coinbase is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges in the market today. It is fully regulated to operate in over 40 US states and supports users from over 100 countries. Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of trade volume.

As such, investors have plenty to prepare for when deciding when and how to invest in Ethereum. The SEC has until Jan. 10 to rule on a proposed spot bitcoin ETF by Ark Invest and 21Shares. As for me, I’m fully convinced that crypto winter is over and crypto spring is on the way. The weather outside may be getting colder, but my portfolio is starting to heat up.

Similarities between Ethereum and Bitcoin

If you’re selling a substantial amount of crypto, though, you may want to consult a tax professional. Despite its decentralized nature, crypto is taxable in the federal government’s eyes. Your profits from the sale are typically subject to capital gains taxes and can significantly affect how much you owe the IRS come tax time. For example, if the price of Ethereum is $2,000 and you invest $100, you will purchase 5% of an Ether coin.

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