How to Buy and Store Ether
If you’re new to the cryptocurrency space, you may find the idea of buying Ether quite disconcerting. Your sentiments are not misplaced. It is true that any investment in cryptocurrencies are certainly more risky than any SEC governed stock. Your investment has no insurance, no government regulations, and no protections against loss. The cryptocurrency space is an extremely volatile market. It is important to understand all of these risks before investing money in any cryptocurrency.
First, you need to understand Ethereum, but don’t let me be your only source of information. There have been hundreds of cryptocurrencies created since the inception of Bitcoin, and all have had varying levels of success. In reality, these ‘alt-coins’ shouldn’t even be placed in the same sentence as Ethereum, let alone the same category. Ethereum is not an attempt to create another currency so much as it is an attempt to decentralize the world as we know it. Ethereum expounds upon years of Bitcoin experience and failures to create a network where decentralizing applications we use every day is easy. The advantages to decentralizing applications is that they are harder to attack, they are more secure, and they are not controlled by any one company. The foundation of these applications are smart-contracts which essentially take out the middle-man and allow contracts to execute via triggered events coded into the network. These are only some of the things that set Ethereum apart. Again, I recommend you do a lot more research before you put any of your hard-earned cash into Ethereum or any cryptocurrency.
Now that you are sure you want to buy some Ether, let’s explore your options. There is currently no credible way to buy Ether directly with fiat currency. In general, there are three stages to buying Ether. First, you need to buy Bitcoin. Second, you need to exchange your Bitcoin for Ether. And third, you want to store your Ether somewhere safe.
In the US, most people use Coinbase for their acquisition of Bitcoins. It is hands down the most reputable source for buying bitcoins. You simply connect your bank account with Coinbase’s secure interface and after a few verification steps you’re ready to buy Bitcoins. Because of the slow paced timing of wire transfers, Coinbase does require a short waiting period of 3-5 days. That is a small sacrifice for the excellent service Coinbase provides. You receive your coins in your Coinbase wallet and sending or receiving bitcoins is extremely simple. Just enter the desired address and amount and click send.
In Europe the process is similarly easy, it’s just a matter of finding the right service depending on your country. Try BITSTAMP.com, localbitcoins.com, or paymium.com.
If your service does not include a wallet, you can create one via any of the wallet methods available off of https://bitcoin.org/en/choose-your-wallet.
Once you have your Bitcoin in your wallet, it’s time to buy some Ether. In order to do so, you now need an Ethereum wallet. For Ethereum wallets, you also have many options. One of the best methods is using myetherwallet.com. Simply type a secure password (with numbers, symbols, and letters) and click ‘generate wallet.’ Be sure to write down this password and keep it safe! If you forget your password your Ether will be lost forever.
After your wallet has been created it will give you many options to store your address and private key. I recommend printing your paper wallet, writing down your address, and downloading the JSON files. Just like your password, if you forget your address, your Ether will be gone forever! Other options include using Ethereum’s client, Mist or Jaxx. You can read more on how to store your Ether securely with our article: Wheres the ETH? Part 2: Secure storage of your Ether.
Now how to buy Ether. A great tool for exchanging Bitcoin to Ether (more cryptocurrencies will be added in the future) is our official Sebfor Buy Ether tool. Think of it like an exchange office for fiat currencies you might find at international airports (except with much less fees). Simply enter in the amount of you Ether you would like to purchase or the amount of BTC you would like to spend, and the Buy Ether tool will step you through the process of exchanging your BTC for Ether.
Sebfor Buy Ether Tool
Another way to buy Ether would be to use an exchange like Kraken or Poloniex. Kraken has had some issues recently that Poloniex has not experienced, but neither are good places to hold your Ether for long periods of time. Exchanges are centralized and vulnerable to hackers and denial of service attacks that the blockchain is more resilient to. They charge similarly low fees to exchange your Bitcoin for any cryptocurrency they offer. To get started make an account and send your Bitcoin to your wallet associated with your Kraken or Poloniex account. Then, simply use these exchanges like you would any online stock trading platform to buy your Ether. When you’re done exchanging, you can withdraw your Ether from the exchange and send it to the Ethereum wallet address you created earlier.