Securities.io is committed to rigorous editorial standards. We may receive compensation when you click on links to products we review. Please view our affiliate disclosure. Trading involves risk which may result in the loss of capital.
Table Of Contents
Ethereum is an open-source distributed blockchain network that simplifies smart contract scripting. Importantly, the platform allows developers to streamline build decentralized applications that function on blockchains. Consequently, the platform has introduced the world to host of new functionalities and applications. To learn more visit our Investing in Ethereum guide.
We list the top 5 exchanges that offer the ability to buy Ethereum (ETH) cryptocurrency with a credit card, debit card or Bitcoin (BTC).
Uphold is a commission-free desktop and mobile trading platform that gives you access to, and the opportunity to trade Ethereum (ETH) and dozens of other cryptocurrencies. They have been in operation since 2014 and now boast a very credible reputation with more than 1.5 million users worldwide.
One of the most unique features offered by the company is that you can trade directly across asset classes. This vastly improves efficiency and allows for you to avoid any unnecessary conversion fees. So, if you want to trade Bitcoin for gold, or vice versa, Uphold is the place you can do that.
The services spread on Ethereum (ETH) and other cryptocurrency ranges from 0.8% to 1.2% depending on the asset. This is the only fee you will have to think about though with Uphold being completely transparent and charging no commission. As a US trader, you will also be able to take advantage of the Uphold debit card that allows you to manage and spend funds directly in your account all while earning cashback and crypto rewards.
Uphold Disclaimer: Assets available on Uphold are subject to region. All investments and trading are risky and may result in the loss of capital. Cryptoassets are largely unregulated and are therefore not subject to protection.
Paybis operate a very well-trusted Bitcoin and cryptocurrency purchase platform where you can buy Ethereum (ETH) and a range of other crypto using nothing more than your credit or debit card. They have been around since 2014 and have helped hundreds of thousands of people to make Bitcoin purchases.
If you simply want to buy Ethereum (ETH) and hold then this is one of the easiest ways to buy Ethereum (ETH) with a credit card or debit card.
USA residents are welcome excluding the states of Hawaii & New York.
Binance is one of the largest and most well-known cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. The benefits of purchasing Ethereum (ETH) here is that you benefit from the lower exchange fees than competing exchanges, and the increased liquidity enables you to buy and sell quickly to take advantage of market moving news.
This exchange is best for Australia, Canada, Singapore, UK & international users. USA residents are prohibited from buying most tokens.
Use Discount Code: EE59L0QP for 10% cashback off all trading fees.
From humble beginnings, they have now gone on to become one of the most recognizable names in the space offering an extensive selection of assets to trade including Ethereum (ETH).
The trading costs are competitive with other exchanges and they have continued to evolve now offering both futures and margin trading.
This is the best overall exchange for USA residents.
Launched in 2014 BitPanda quickly established a positive name and reputation for being a great place to easily buy and sell Ethereum (ETH) in Europe. Since that time they have built on their stellar reputation to expand rapidly to where they now offer trading in a broad range of cryptocurrencies alongside the ability to purchase precious metals and a host of other services.
In total, they offer close to 50 cryptocurrencies you can choose from. This positions them well within the sector particularly among those brokers that facilitate an instant crypto purchase. Included in this range is BEST, a native token that BitPanda themselves has launched.
This is one of the best exchanges in Europe, residents outside of this region are prohibited.
What is Ethereum (ETH)?
Ethereum is a popular blockchain project, which utilizes an open-source protocol. Boasting smart-contract functionality, Ethereum can act as not only a currency, but as a platform for hosting decentralized applications (dApps).
Ethereum makes use of its native token ‘Ether’ for transactions occurring on its network. These tokens are structured as ‘ERC-20’ – a protocol developed by Ethereum, and utilized by various blockchains.
What does it do?
Built using blockchain, Ethereum utilizes smart-contracts, allowing for the ability to run applications atop its protocol. Its native token, Ether, also acts as a currency, providing its holders with an easy means for transferring value.
Various implementations of Ethereum’s capabilities have been attempted throughout the years. One of the most promising examples includes applications surrounding Decentralized Finance (DeFi). This sector entails a series of financial based applications based on blockchains, like Ethereum.
How does Ethereum work?
Behind the scenes, the network makes use of a proof-of-work protocol to function. This means that the network is decentralized among a series of miners around the world. These miners host nodes, verifying transactions and storing up-to-date records of the Ethereum blockchain.
To complete a transaction on the Ethereum network, a small fee is required by the initiator. This fee is commonly referred to as ‘gas’. The amount of gas required to complete a transaction varies, as it is dependent on network congestion; more gas increases the speed at which a transaction will be completed – due to a greater incentive for miners to process.
Despite many competitors, which tout equal, or greater, functionality, Ethereum has managed to retain its spot atop its class.
It is widely expected that Ethereum will soon transition from a ‘proof-of-work’ based protocol to a more efficient ‘proof-of-stake’. While the commonly used POW relies upon computational power for a network to function, POS does not. Rather, POS allows for network validators to operate through ownership of coins/tokens.
Nearly from the onset, Ethereum was meant to be a non-profit endeavour. This remains true to this day, and has played a role in its regulatory acceptance.
Many view Ethereum as striving to achieve the ‘internet 2.0’; A platform that eliminates the need for centralized operations, bringing democracy, and security, simultaneously to our data needs. In doing so, Ethereum is, essentially, giving power over data back to the user.
Acceptance and Controversies?
Ethereum is arguably the most well-known, and popular, blockchain based project not named Bitcoin. It is found on virtually every platform which supports cryptocurrencies.
Acceptance is expected to continue, as it is believed that 2020 will see the first Ethereum Futures being offered – an event which will bring new levels of awareness surrounding the project.
Acceptance has moved beyond the public, with government entities around the world piloting the use of Ethereum. One such example is the National Research Council of Canada building an Ethereum based platform, which provides Canadians with real-time access to government funded grants and expenditures.
To date, two of the larger controversies to surround Ethereum include:
- Hard fork
- Led to creation of Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- Utilizes a unique coding language, making developing more difficult
Beyond these two leading controversies, there remains a third, which is also shared by Bitcoin. This is the usage of a POW model. While POW has treated Ethereum well enough to grow into its current state, a transition to POS believed to be needed. If the goal of Ethereum is to continue growing, then its power demands by network miners will continue to do so as well. A transition to POS will greatly diminish these power requirements, removing a major obstacle on route to success.
This transition has already been confirmed by Ethereum developers, and was originally expected to take place in early 2020. While this has since been delayed, it is still expected sooner than later.
Unlike most cryptocurrencies, Ethereum has received endorsement from various high ranking regulatory officials in the United States as NOT being a security.
Ethereum presented an interesting case, as regulators noted that, although the asset may have begun its life as a security, it has since evolved beyond that classification. This is due to a lack of centralized oversight, and its ability to function autonomously with no direct benefactor.
This classification, however, may be precarious in the coming months. With an announced transition to POS, officials from the CFTC have noted that providing the ability to ‘stake’ tokens, may result in being classified as a security.