Coinbase is the most popular method today for buying Ethereum. The exchange is one of the oldest around and has been active since 2012. Coinbase supports 32 different countries including the US, Canada, UK, and Australia. Coinbase can act as a broker through it’s direct and easy buying service, or you can use the Coinbase exchange (GDAX) if you’re a more experienced user.
Coinmama has been around since 2013 and supplies a brokerage service to both Bitcoin and Ethereum. The exchange will buy or sell Ethereum directly at a premium. They also put an emphasis on quality customer support (at least better than Coinbase’s). Coinmama accepts credit and debit cards for Ethereum purchases.
Pros: Fast response time, good customer support
Cons: Relatively high exchange rate due to premium service
CEX.io is a Fincen registered Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange that supplies brokerage services as well. The exchange accepts credit cards, wire transfers and SEPA transfers if you live in the Eurozone. The site has a very easy to use and intuative interface that allows you to buy ETH relatively quick.
Pros: Easy to use, reputable company, multiple payment options
Cons: High fees, average response time of customer support
Bitpanda (formerly known as Coinimal) is a Bitcoin broker that specializes in buying and selling Ethereum within the Eurozone. The company was founded in late 2014 and since has grown to become one of the more popular options to purchase Bitcoins around Europe. The company has many payment options and delivers the coins to your wallet in a fast and secure manner.
Changelly was established on 2016 and within a year has managed to attract over 100,000 users which is very impressive. The exchange allows you to trade one cryptocurrency for the other. So if you own Bitcoin you can almost instantly trade it for Ethereum. From personal experience it takes around 30 minutes to get a coin traded from one type to another and the interface is very clean and intuitive. However don’t use the exchange to buy Ethereum with fiat currency since the fees are extremely high.
Pro: Fast transaction, low fees (if you use trade other cryptocurrencies), almost no verification required
Bitfinex is the world’s biggest Bitcoin exchange by volume. The exchange offers over 50 currency pairs including ETH and is most suitable for advanced traders. Bitfixe is not available for US customers and unfortunately doesn’t allow deposit of fiat currency. This means you’ll need to buy Ethereum with another cryptocurrency if you use this exchange.
Pros: Great interface for experienced traders , High liquidity
Cons: No fiat support , Complex interface is confusing for newbies
Once you’ve chosen your exchange, you will need to create an account and transfer funds from a checking account (or credit card in some cases.) The verification and transfer process can take a few days. Some exchanges, such as Gemini, allow you to transfer funds and immediately purchase ETH without waiting for the funds to move into your account. But you won’t be able to send the ETH from Gemini into your Ethereum wallet until the funds have transferred from your bank account.
When you’ve successfuly moved USD, EUR, or other fiat into the exchange, you can then purchase Ethereum (ETH) and send it to the public address of the wallet you created. After that you can follow this guide to buying Varyon. Here we will go over how to buy and send Ether using Coinbase.
Step 1. Sign into Coinbase
Click “Buy/Sell” located at the top left-hand corner of the dashboard.
Select Ethereum and enter the desired amount to purchase in the bottom left of the page.
The right column reflects the quantity of ETH you can get for the stated amount of local currency. A transaction summary or total amount to be paid, inclusive of surcharge, is also reflected at the bottom.
Note: A flat fee of $0.99 will be charged per transaction
Ascertain that the purchase amount and mode of payment are correct, and click “Confirm Buy”.
Confirm that the transaction was completed.
Once redirected back to the dashboard, your new balance should be reflected under “Your Portfolio”.
You have now bought your own ETH from Coinbase! You can’t send ETH to the token sale just yet as you will need to send it from your own wallet. To send ETH from Coinbase to your wallet, you will go to the Send/Receive page:
In this Recipient address, make sure you copy YOUR address from your MyEtherWallet website.
For Amount, put at least .002 to cover transaction fees, and make sure you select your ETH Wallet (above it says ‘BTC Wallet’).
IMPORTANT: Always test these transactions with a very LOW amount of ETH to test that everything’s working. You never want to start off with any amount of ETH that you’re not willing to lose.
Click ‘Send Funds’, and your ETH will be sent to your MyEtherWallet address to then use to buy your token(s).
Now, if you unlock your MyEtherWallet by using your Private Key or Keystore File/Password, you should see your ETH that you just sent over. If you don’t see it, wait a few minutes and refresh — it sometimes takes the blockchain a bit to confirm a transaction.
If you already own Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency and would like to change it to Ether, Shapeshift is another great option. Shapeshift allows you to change from one coin to another without going through an exchange.
Here are two tutorials about how to use Shapeshift: