Home Ethereum Guides How to Buy Ethereum: The Complete Guide

How to Buy Ethereum: The Complete Guide

how to buy ethereum

Hey there, crypto newbies! Welcome to our guide on how to buy Ethereum.  

In this guide, we will show you different ways to buy Ethereum. First things first, though, it is important to know which method would be most suitable for you. So, would you like to know:

  • How to buy Ethereum with credit card? 
  • How to buy Ethereum with debit card? 
  • How to buy Ethereum with cash?
  • Or how to buy Ethereum anonymously?

If you already know which method you would prefer, scroll down the page and find the heading you’re looking for. They are labelled as the above options/questions are.

If you’re still trying to figure out which option you’d prefer, however, read through the whole of this guide and then make a decision.

Disclaimer: This is not financial advice. Investors should always conduct their own research and consult a financial advisor before making any investment decisions. 

If you’re still unsure whether you want to buy Ethereum, why not read our what is Ethereum guide to help you make a more informed decision? All our guides are written to be easy to understand for beginners!

How to Buy Ethereum with Debit/Credit Card 

There are lots of different broker exchanges that allow you to purchase Ethereum using your credit or debit card. However, some of these exchanges offer advanced trading options which can be confusing for beginners.

So, rather than addressing all of them, I will introduce you to the most popular and user-friendly broker exchange instead — Coinbase. Coinbase is perfect for beginners, offers reasonable fees, easy account setup, and they also offer some of the top cryptocurrencies on the market.

Before we begin, here are some key features to note about Coinbase: 

Fees: 1.49% – 3.99%. Fees vary depending on your preferred payment method and location — debit and credit card fees are more expensive than bank transfer fees. You can view the fees in more detail here. 

Ease of Use: Very easy — perfect for beginners. 

Purchase Limit: Yes, Coinbase does have a limit on how much cryptocurrency you can purchase per week. However, you can increase your limit by submitting further identification.  

Anonymous: No.

Stay Safe: If you decide to purchase cryptocurrency on Coinbase (or any other exchange), it is advised that you transfer your cryptocurrency to a secure Ethereum wallet — preferably one that you have full control of.

If you would prefer to learn more about Coinbase before signing up, read our full-length Coinbase review.

Coinbase Purchase 

Before I go ahead and show you how to buy Ethereum using Coinbase, you first need to set up a Coinbase account. If you haven’t done this yet, you can see our guide here on how to set up a Coinbase account. 

So, if/once you have done that, you will be ready to buy some Ethereum! Follow the simple steps below to see how:

  1. Click the Buy/Sell tab and then select Ethereum
    how to buy ethereum
  2. Next, enter the amount of fiat currency you would like to spend. (Alternatively, you can enter the amount of Ethereum you would like to purchase). Coinbase will automatically convert your fiat to ETH (or your ETH to fiat). You also need to select your desired payment method.
    how to buy ethereum
  3. For the purpose of this guide, I have decided to purchase £2.50 worth of Ethereum, which converts to 0.00252466 ETH at the time of writing. If you are happy with the conversation rate displayed by Coinbase, click Buy Ethereum Instantly.
  4. As soon as the payment has gone through, you will be sent back to the Coinbase dashboard. From here, click on the Accounts tab. You will then see your Ethereum in your ETH Wallet 

I didn’t purchase the Ethereum, hence why there are no funds in my ETH Wallet.   

how to buy ethereum

That’s it — finito! You just made your first Ethereum purchase on Coinbase!

As I mentioned earlier, you should now send your Ethereum straight over to a secure Ethereum wallet. This is because your funds aren’t entirely safe when they are stored on a centralized exchange, as you don’t have full control of your funds — instead, Coinbase does. So, if someone was to hack the Coinbase servers, your Ethereum would be vulnerable and at risk of theft.

How to Buy Ethereum with Cash (and Anonymously)

In the next part of this How to Buy Ethereum guide, I will show you how to buy Ethereum anonymously and with cash. This method, of course, is best for those who either (1) don’t have a bank account, or (2) would prefer not to disclose their private information.  

LocalEthereum is one of the most reputable peer-to-peer trading platforms available when it comes to buying Ethereum anonymously. However, sellers on LocalEthereum differ in what they ask for from the buyers. Some allow 100% anonymous transactions, whereas others ask buyers to submit a form of identity — this is to help protect the seller.

Here is a list of things to think about before using LocalEthereum:  

Safety: Because LocalEthereum is a peer-to-peer trading platform, it is important to be aware of fraudsters! It is important to check the trade history of any seller you decide to open a trade with. Make sure that each seller has traded at least 50 times (just a basic rule of thumb) and has 100% positive feedback.

Ethereum Price: Once again, because LocalEthereum is a peer-to-peer trading platform, the sellers can set their sell price to whatever they like. So, you will find that the prices are higher than the actual market price. This is because the sellers risk being scammed too, and so you must pay a price for their risk.  

Seller Agreement: When you open a trade with a seller, they will provide you with the terms and conditions of the trade. This may include submitting identification to them before you’re able to make a purchase. 

Escrow Service: An escrow system is put in place to protect both the buyers and sellers from being scammed. So, once you have entered the amount of ETH you would like to purchase, that ETH is then locked in to an escrow. The ETH stays there until both the buyer and seller agree that the amount has been paid or not.  

There is also a rather wide range of purchasing options to choose from on LocalEthereum. I have listed some of the most common methods below: 

  • Meet in Person (Cash): If you find a seller that is local to you, you can arrange to meet them in person to give them the cash and have them release the funds from the escrow right in front of you.
  • Bank Transfer: Once you have opened a trade, the seller will provide you with their bank details. You would then make the payment via bank transfer and send them proof of payment before they release your Ethereum.
  • Cash Deposit: Once you have initiated a trade, the seller will provide you with their bank details, as well as their preferred bank. You would then visit their preferred bank and deposit the funds into their account. This can be done using the bank’s deposit machine.  
  • PayPal: Transfer the funds to the seller’s PayPal account.

Providing that you’re happy with the payment options available, I will now show you how to create an account and initiate a trade with a seller!

LocalEthereum Account Set Up & Purchase 

  1. Go to LocalEthereum and click Sign Up Today.
    how to buy ethereum
  2. Now, you need to create an account. You must enter a UsernamePassword and Email Address. Enter the CAPTCHA and then click Generate Keys & Sign Up.
    how to buy ethereum
  3. That’s it, your account has now been created! Once logged in, you can then look to find sellers. Select the option to Buy, then select your preferred payment method, and then enter your location. I have chosen Cash (in person) as my payment option for this example. 
    how to buy ethereum
  4. Next, you need to find a seller! As I said earlier, it is important to find a seller with positive feedback and a reasonable trading history.Once you are happy with a seller’s price, location etc. you can then click Buy 
  5. You will now see the following screen(below). On the left side, you can see the sellers term of the trade. If you agree to the terms and would like to proceed with this seller, you should now enter the amount of ETH you wish to buy, or the amount in GBP you would like to spend.  

Generally, most of the sellers on peer-to-peer trading platforms are helpful. So, if you have any questions then most sellers will be happy to help! 

Once you are happy, click Open Trade.  

how to buy ethereum

And there you have it, you have just opened a trade with seller on LocalEthereum! The Ethereum that you entered to purchase has now been placed in to the escrow (which I touched on earlier). Once both you (the buyer) and the seller agree that the payment has been made, the Ethereum will be released into your LocalEthereum wallet. 

Again, just like Coinbase, you should not leave your Ethereum on the LocalEthereum site. This isn’t a safe place to store your Ethereum as you do not have full control over your funds. Instead, LocalEthereum does. So, you should send your Ethereum straight over to a secure Ethereum wallet.  


So, that’s the end of this How to Buy Ethereum guide.  

Today, I have showed you two of the most popular methods for buying Ethereum. These two methods are suitable for all types of Ethereum buyers. No matter what your preferred payment method is, both Coinbase and LocalEthereum are perfect starting points.

Here’s a final summary of the two:  

If you’re new to cryptocurrency and would like an easy way to buy Ethereum with Credit/Debit card, then the most convenient place to buy Ethereum would be Coinbase. Coinbase offers a very easy to use platform, great customer service and is very credible.  

If you want to purchase Ethereum anonymously then the best site for you is LocalEthereum. There are many payment options available, including cash payments. It is an easy to use platform, however, it is important to be aware of scammers.  

Starting out in the cryptocurrency world can be a little daunting in the beginning as there is so much to learn. One of the most important things to grasp is how cryptocurrency wallets work. So, if you’d like to learn more about cryptocurrency wallets, we welcome you to check out our What is a Cryptocurrency Wallet guide.

If you have any questions regarding anything that you have learned today, please leave a comment below and we will be happy to assist you further.

Also, if you have received value from reading this guide (or even better, have purchased your first amount of Ethereum), please share this with your friends so that they can learn something too.


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