Ethereum (ETH)

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In many ways, Ethereum is similar to Bitcoin. It’s a public, peer-to-peer network or blockchain with its own digital currency called Ether. Ethereum was created by Vitalik Buterin in 2014 and the purpose of Ethereum is to be a platform on which smart contracts can be built and run. Put very simply, Ethereum is intended to be a world computer.
Where Bitcoin stores a list of balances and transactions on its blockchain, the Ethereum blockchain is designed to store different types of data. This data can be accessed and used by computer programs running on the Ethereum blockchain. These programs are called decentralized apps, or dapps.

Developers around the world can build and run decentralized applications on the Ethereum blockchain. The purpose of these is to improve the industries of finance, personal information storage, governance and more by using the transparent nature of a blockchain.

Where did Ethereum come from?

Ethereum was first mentioned in 2013 in a whitepaper by Vitalik Buterin, a developer who was working on Bitcoin at the time.

Buterin believed that Bitcoin should be made more customisable. He believed Bitcoin should go a step further than simply being a store of wealth and that it needed smart contract features to determine automatically when payments should occur, for example. This project was not taken up for Bitcoin, therefore Buterin created Ethereum in 2014 for this purpose.

What’s the difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum?

Bitcoin aims to be a store of wealth, a digital gold if you will, and eventually become a globally adopted currency which could improve or replace conventional money to some extent. The purpose of Ethereum is to become a platform upon which smart contracts and decentralised apps can run.

Another important difference is the supply. Where the number of Bitcoin is capped at 21 million ever to be produced, Ethereum is not capped to any specific quantity. Both Bitcoin and Ethereum are produced in a process called mining. There are plans to shift Ethereum production to a proof of stake model, which should be more environmentally friendly than mining. More information on proof of stake can be found in the links below.

There are several technical differences in the technologies that underpin the Bitcoin and Ethereum platforms but at this early stage of these projects, they may seem very much alike. As these projects grow and mature, however, the differences may become much more apparent and could affect their trajectories quite differently.

How do I get Ethereum?

There a number of ways you can get Ether:

Just like normal money, you can earn it by providing goods or services, and asking people to pay you in Ether. This is often a cheaper and easier alternative to other payment methods, and one of the easiest ways to get your hands on some Ether.

Another way is how most people get it: buy Ether from a credible Ether broker, or from and exchange provider, like Luno. This is similar to how you would buy foreign currency at your bank or shares online and often the easiest way to get Ether because you are virtually guaranteed that someone will be willing to sell their Ether to you on such a platform.

You can also get Ether by mining for it, but this has become very difficult to do for the average person. Most mining is now done by huge companies with very expensive and highly specialised equipment, which a typical person or computer cannot compete with. So unless you have a lot of expertise and a huge amount of money to spend on this, rather buy or earn your Ether.

Ethereum price

Ethereum Wallets

One of the most important aspects of owning cryptocurrencies is storage. Down below you will find carefully selected wallets. Remember, a hardware wallet is always advised!  
Ledger Nano S

Ledger Nano S is a Bitcoin, Ethereum and Altcoins hardware wallet, based on robust safety features for storing cryptographic assets and securing digital payments. It connects to any computer (USB) and embeds a secure OLED display to double-check and confirm each transaction with a single tap on its side buttons.

ledger nano s fold medium - Ethereum (ETH)

Buy a Ledger

TREZOR

TREZOR is a single purpose device which allows you to make secure Bitcoin transactions. With TREZOR, transactions are completely safe even when initiated on a compromised or vulnerable computer. Because the use of TREZOR is very easy and intuitive we believe it will help Bitcoin adoption among people not familiar with the security issues.

trezor transparent - Ethereum (ETH)

Buy a TREZOR

Next to being an easy to use exchange for cryptocurrency, Coinbase also offers a wallet service for Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. It is called the Coinbase Vault. The Coinbase vault is available to all coinbase users. It also offers a group vault, a group vault requires email confirmations from multiple different users when the master account holder (you) requests a withdrawal.  No one else can create a withdrawal, but a certain number of approvals are needed before funds can be withdrawn, either 2-of-3 or 3-of-5. It is very important to designate only trusted individuals as co-signers!

Open a wallet at Coinbase

Where to buy Ethereum?

  • binance - Ethereum (ETH)
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    Binance
    Exchange rating:
    10
    Binance is world's largest altcoin exchange. It offers many cryptocurrency markets with high liquidity and low fees. Every cryptocurrency enthusiast should have a Binance account!
  • Coinbase - Ethereum (ETH)
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    Coinbase
    Exchange rating:
    9
    Coinbase is the world's largest Bitcoin broker. They represent an easy and fast way for new users to purchase Bitcoins. Coinbase supports over 30 countries, including the US, Europe, UK, Canada, and Australia.
  • litebit - Ethereum (ETH)
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    LiteBit
    Exchange rating:
    8
    Litebit is a Euro based exchange where many different cryptocurrencies can be bought directly. It offers many payment methods and is very beginner friendly.
  • coinmama - Ethereum (ETH)
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    Coinmama
    Exchange rating:
    7
    Coinmama is an exchange that serves almost all countries in the world for buying Bitcoin and Ethereum with credit cards. Coinmama offers a very easy buying process and therefore is beginner friendly.
  • changelly - Ethereum (ETH)
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    Changelly
    Exchange rating:
    7
    Changelly offers an easy to use interface for exchanging a wide variety of cryptocurrencies. It combines rates from different exchanges to offer you the best price.
  • cexio - Ethereum (ETH)
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    CEX.io
    Exchange rating:
    8
    CEX.io is a UK based cryptocurrency exchange, which values high security and legal compliance. It offers a wide variety of trading tools. A traders delight but might be confusing for first time buyers.
  • bitpanda - Ethereum (ETH)
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    BitPanda
    Exchange rating:
    7
    BitPanda is a Austrian based exchange that offers a variety of cryptocurrencies. With a wide variety of payment options and customer friendly user interface, it is a good choice for buying cryptocurrencies.
  • bitonic - Ethereum (ETH)
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    Bitonic
    Exchange rating:
    7
    Bitonic is a Dutch Bitcoin broker. It offers a simple user interface and is therefore very beginner friendly. Users can buy Bitcoin directly with iDeal and receive the Bitcoin directly in their wallet.
  • bitmex - Ethereum (ETH)
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    BitMEX
    Exchange rating:
    8
    BitMEX is an exchange geared to more advanced cryptocurrency traders. It offers high liquidity and a range of cryptocurrency derivatives as futures. However, it can also be used for just buying cryptocurrencies.
  • localbitcoins - Ethereum (ETH)
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    LocalBitcoins
    Exchange rating:
    8
    LocalBitcoins is a long running service and offers an easy and private way of buying Bitcoins. It is one of the only platforms where Bitcoin trading with cash is facilitated.
  • happycoin - Ethereum (ETH)
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    HappyCoins
    Exchange rating:
    6
    HappyCoins is one of the longer running Bitcoin only exchanges. It offers a pleasant buying experience with a wide variety of payment options and the occasional 'HappyHour' with 0% trading fees.
  • cointed - Ethereum (ETH)
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    Cointed
    Exchange rating:
    6
    Cointed is a Austrian based exchange offering euro markets for a variety of cryptocurrencies. This exchange allows for direct buying or for trading on the exchange offering an integrated wallet.
  • bl3p - Ethereum (ETH)
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    BL3P
    Exchange rating:
    6
    Bl3P, as a subsidiary of Bitonic, is a long running and trusted Bitcoin exchange. It services all European countries. It is one of the smaller exchanges and therefore has limited liquidity.
  • bitrush - Ethereum (ETH)
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    Bitrush
    Exchange rating:
    7
    Bitrush is a Dutch cryptocurrency broker that allows for a very smooth buying process of various cryptocurrency. With only a few clicks you can buy cryptocurrencies and have them sent directly to your wallet!
  • bitcoinde - Ethereum (ETH)
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    Bitcoin.de
    Exchange rating:
    7
    Bitcoin.de is the longest running German Bitcoin exchange. It offers high security and regular audits on their funds. It offers a moderate user experience.
  • anycoin - Ethereum (ETH)
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    Anycoin
    Exchange rating:
    8
    Anycoin is a Dutch cryptocurrency broker which allows you to buy multiple cryptocurrencies directly with a wide variety of payment options. Easy user interface makes it beginner friendly.
  • Bittrex - Ethereum (ETH)
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    Bittrex
    Exchange rating:
    8
    Bittrex is a cryptocurrency only exchange. It is used by most seasoned traders and offers many advanced tool. Because of the many users most cryptocurrency markets have high liquidity.
  • shapeshift - Ethereum (ETH)
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    ShapeShift
    Exchange rating:
    9
    Directly exchange cryptocurrencies with shapeshift. The elegant user interface makes it easy for beginner to exchange their cryptocurrencies against fair market prices.
  • Bitfinex - Ethereum (ETH)
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    Bitfinex
    Exchange rating:
    7
    Bitfinex is a widely used cryptocurrency exchange. It offers very low fees and high liquidity. For traders and large buyers this is a go to exchange as it offers fair market prices, even for big amounts.
  • Kucoin - Ethereum (ETH)
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    KuCoin
    Exchange rating:
    8
    New and upcoming exchange offering many cryptocurrencies. This exchange is a delight for everybody that wants to get into trading. KuCoin is a cryptocurrency only exchange.
  • kraken - Ethereum (ETH)
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    Kraken
    Exchange rating:
    8
    Kraken offers cryptocurrency markets for multiple fiat currencies. It is a highly financed and trusted exchange and often publishes audits of its funds.
  • bitstampnewlogo - Ethereum (ETH)
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    Bitstamp
    Exchange rating:
    9
    Bitstamp is one of the longest running Bitcoin exchanges and now offering various other cryptocurrencies. It has very low fees, and a good range of payment options.
  • btcdirect - Ethereum (ETH)
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    BTC Direct
    Exchange rating:
    7
    BTC Direct offers a service to directly purchase cryptocurrencies with fiat. A simple user interface in combination with a low minimum order amount makes the buying process easy for first time buyers.
  • coinfloor - Ethereum (ETH)
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    Coinfloor
    Exchange rating:
    7
    A UK base regulated and trustworthy exchange. Its GBP markets are one of the most liquid GBP markets and therefore is a good choice for UK citizens. Coinfloor also offers Coinfloor Vaults, a secure storage solution.
  • cubits - Ethereum (ETH)
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    Cubits
    Exchange rating:
    7
    Cubits is a european exchange offering bitcoin markets for 20 different fiat currencies and a wide variety of payment methods. With its intuitive design, buying Bitcoin is made easy.
  • gdax - Ethereum (ETH)
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    GDAX
    Exchange rating:
    8
    GDAX is the cryptocurrency exchange linked to Coinbase, worlds biggest cryptocurrency broker. It offers low fees and high liquidity. While good for traders, first time buyers are advised to go to Coinbase.
  • itbit - Ethereum (ETH)
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    itBit
    Exchange rating:
    6
    ItBit is a US based exchange with low fees. Due to deep liquidity you can always be assured that you get a fair market price! ItBit also offers an OTC trading desk.
  • paymium - Ethereum (ETH)
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    Paymium
    Exchange rating:
    6
    Paymium offers advanced trading as well as simple Bitcoin buying via their mobile app. It serves the European market and has a variety of payment options.
  • poloniex - Ethereum (ETH)
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    Poloniex
    Exchange rating:
    5
    Widely used and long running cryptocurrency only exchange. Offering advanced tools and high liquidity, Poloniex should mostly attract seasoned cryptocurrency traders.
  • safello - Ethereum (ETH)
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    Safello
    Exchange rating:
    7
    Trusted Swedish exchange with a wide variety of payment methods for European customers. This exchange is especially known for their excellent customer support.