After you’ve done your homework of researching and determined that ETH has a place in your portfolio, you’ll need to figure out where — and how — you’ll buy and store the cryptocurrency. There are two essential conditions for purchasing and retaining ETH:
An exchange is a platform where you may buy cryptocurrencies with US dollars or trade bitcoin for cryptocurrency.
An ETH wallet is a digital wallet where the currency is kept. A public address is another feature of a wallet that you may use to transmit or receive ETH.
Here are a few ways to buy Ethereum, as well as how exchanges and wallets are involved in each.
Stockbrokers on the internet
One of the simplest methods is to purchase cryptocurrencies from an online brokerage that does so, but this has a number of downsides. While online brokers have made it simple and inexpensive to convert cash to cryptocurrency and vice versa, read the fine print to determine if the brokerage allows you to access your wallet or move coins in and out of the account – some don’t. Crypto purists argue that this effectively negates the entire premise of having a digital currency.
Brokerages That Offer Hosted Wallets For Cryptocurrency
Crypto brokers that offer hosted wallets allow you to buy ETH and other coins with US dollars and store them safely in the brokerage’s wallet. This simplifies and streamlines the purchasing procedure for new cryptocurrency investors, and you can send and receive currencies.
You won’t have to worry about losing your wallet’s private key or forgetting your password with a hosted wallet, which is a real concern that has cost people millions of dollars. Instead, the host saves this data for you. It’s often compared to a bank holding and securing your funds for you.
Centralized exchanges and non-custodial wallets
This is a more advanced way to buy, hold and trade crypto, and gives you more control over your funds and wallet.
One way to do this is to set up your own ETH wallet for storage and purchase ETH with cash on a centralized exchange (such as Binance.US or Coinbase Pro). However, for security purposes, it’s generally not a good idea to hold large sums for extended periods on exchanges; while security has come a long way, historically, exchanges have been big targets for hackers. This is why you’ll want your own wallet where you can send your ETH after buying it on an exchange.
After you’ve set up your wallet and are ready to accept ETH, you’ll need to choose an exchange. Centralized exchanges are simple to use; if you’ve ever used an intermediate-level stock trading platform, you’ll be familiar with them. Because of its popularity, most centralized exchanges will likely allow you to buy ETH with US dollars. If you want to swap one cryptocurrency for another, you’ll need to do some additional research to determine what pairings are available and what is displayed on the exchange.