Similar to Bitcoin, there are mainly three different ways to acquire Ether. The one which is least attractive for beginners is Ethereum mining, which means that you are providing computing resources and processing the Ethereum blockchain protocol in order to "mine". This in fact means that the processing power is used to verify Ethereum transactions on a blockchain network, to which the miner is gaining a reward in form of the crypto currency which is being mined. (In Ethereum, the price and reward for executing transactions is called "Gas"). However for beginners and for regular people who wish to buy Ether, the recommended way is to open an account with a crypto currency exchange or crypto trading broker.
Shall I use a crypto exchange or broker?
There are several popular options of both crypto exchanges and brokers which we list and review, be mindful that there is a distinct difference between an exchange and broker. Crypto exchanges are slightly more complex than using an online broker, because you will have to understand basic trading features and its also recommended to create an external Ethereum wallet to keep your crypto currency after you have purchased it on the exchange.
Using an online broker is the easiest option as you can trust that the signup process is secure and quick, you can also fund your account with credit or debit cards, which normally crypto exchanges on the other hand will not accept and you will need to make a bank transfer to fund your exchange account. If you choose to use an online broker you will not have to worry about the safe keeping of the crypto currency you choose to buy or sell, everything is managed by the broker you are using. This might be a more practical option for people who want to buy Ethereum and not actually keeping the coins in an external wallet.
Opening an account
Its really easy to open your first exchange or broker account. Go to the crypto exchange or online broker of your choice, you will find secure brokers in the crypto exchange section or by clicking the link later below in this guide.
Choose your preferred online broker or crypto exchange
- Signup with your email
- Fill in your personal information and agree to terms and conditions
- Account verification (crypto exchanges may require ID and address verification before allowing to trade over certain amounts)
- Fund your account with either credit or debit card (crypto exchanges may require bank transfer)
- Start buying Ethereum
Can I buy less than one Ether?
Yes, you can usually buy Ether in smaller nominal value however some exchanges and online brokers will have a minimum funding amount when you start trading. This will vary between a couple of hundred Euro or Dollar but can also sometimes be up to a thousand Euro or Dollar.
Security awareness is key
Security with reputable crypto exchanges and online brokers will be very high and you will require to set a unique username and password, there is even options to use two-factor authentication. However beware that due to the very rapid growth of crypto currencies over the last year and values increasing, there are many scammers out there and you should never signup to a website dealing with crypto currencies unless you know they are 100% secure. In some cases there might be websites which look familiar to you and where you have signed up previously, however they can be copycat websites that will try to steal your user credentials for the real website and try to steal your crypto currency. Beware and always check that the URL (web address in your browser) is exactly the same as for the crypto exchange or broker that you wish to signup or log in.
Ready to buy Ether?
Choose an exchange or broker that you prefer and open an account