Before buying Ether, you should first decide where do you want to buy your Ether from. You can refer to our article (Where Can I Buy Ether?) for further information on that subject. However, if you are ready to buy some Ether, please refer to the guidance below:
1. Create an Ether wallet. (What is a wallet?)
- What crypto wallets do is store the private and public keys of our cryptocurrencies while interacting with their Blockchain to allow us to send and receive cryptocurrencies, and also monitor their balance.
- Although Ether is already widely known and used across the cryptocurrency societies, always check beforehand that the wallet you intend to use supports Ether.
- There are different types of wallet available, be sure to research on which type of wallet suits your preferences. The types of wallet available are:
- For a full list of recommended wallets: https://etherscan.io/directory/Wallet
- Once you have created an Ether wallet, save your private key somewhere safe (preferably offline, on a piece of paper). Your private key should be known and accessible only to you. Take note that to perform transactions, you would need to share ONLY your public key/wallet address to the other party of a transaction. Never give out your private key to anyone under any circumstances.
- Your wallet address is a string of random characters that starts with 0x and should look similar to this: 0x71C7656EC7ab88b098defB751B7401B5f6d8976F
2. Buy from your preferred platform
- Be it exchanges, escrow agents or one of your friends, always be clear of the method of payments.
- Depending on your location, some of the recommended exchanges may not be available for business so it is wise to also check with your local cryptocurrency community for localised recommendations.
- When buying or selling Ether online, always be sure to:
- Check the URL of the websites you are on as to confirm that you are on the right website. When in doubt, always type the address of the website you are visiting yourself or bookmark the website that you frequent. Only proceed with the transaction after you have checked the above. This is crucial to avoid having your wallet hacked or compromised.
- Be aware of the transaction fees to incur with your transaction.
- Check that all details of the transaction are correctly inserted (especially the receiving address and value of Ether)
- Check the transaction’s estimated arrival time
3. Transfer Ether to your wallet
- If you are buying from an exchange, the Ether you bought would usually end up in an Ether wallet on the exchange. This Ether wallet belongs to you but its private key does not. If anything, this means that the exchange is actually the one owning the Ether you just bought. Hence, why we strongly recommend researching on the exchanges that you would trade on since reliability is the biggest key determinant here.
- Do not store more than you need to trade on an exchange.
- If you store your assets on an exchange, you may end up losing them all should the exchange gets hacked or goes bankrupt.
- Once the transaction is done, withdraw the Ether into your own personal wallet (double-check the receiving address of the transaction, successful transactions are not reversible nor can it be cancelled due to the irreversible nature of digital currency protocols).