How to buy Ethereum in the UK?

Given that Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency in the world, it comes as no surprise that a vast majority of crypto enthusiasts in the UK wish to buy it.

The process of buying this cryptocurrency, however, is not as straightforward as just making a payment to a broker or an exchange.

This guide will provide detailed instructions regarding various options to buy Ethereum in the UK, along with basic information about this coin to facilitate you in choosing the correct method.

What is Ethereum?

Created by its 8 co-founders in 2015, Ethereum (ETH) is a digital currency that operates on a distributed ledger called blockchain, which is essentially a decentralized computer network. While Ethereum is the cryptocurrency, an individual unit is referred to as ‘Ether’.

Second only to the largest cryptocurrency to exist, Ethereum is different from Bitcoin because the network can perform computations as part of the mining process. Since Ethereum is a programmable blockchain, it can be used for far more than just digital payments, making a plethora of financial services not only possible but extremely convenient as well.

Why buy Ethereum?

At a time when there are thousands of cryptocurrencies available in the market, Ethereum has cemented its place among the leading digital currencies worldwide. There are multiple reasons why it is such a popular choice among cryptocurrency enthusiasts and experts, some of which are outlined below.

  • It has a large, existing network that has been tested through many years of operation and has proved its worth with billions of value trading hands.
  • Its wide range of functions includes the executing of smart contracts and storage of data for third-party applications.
  • There are no intermediate parties, such as lawyers, banks, or web-hosting services, involved with Ethereum.
  • With a large global community, there is constant innovation. This means that its developers regularly bring exciting, new features and decentralized applications to the table.
  • Most cryptocurrencies are built on top of Ethereum, which in turn drives up its demand.

Cost of buying Ethereum

Ethereum, like most other digital currencies, is usually priced in US dollars, but it is not uncommon to see a few platforms offering it against British pounds. As of 11th December 2021, Ethereum costs $4,015, which is equivalent to almost  £3,025. However, in the UK, there is no need to buy the full coin since there exists the option to buy a fraction of a coin.

While this is the base price of Ethereum, when buying it through a broker or exchange, deposit and trading fees are also involved. Oftentimes these commissions are a fixed percentage of the overall transaction amount, and they vary from broker to broker.

Top 3 ways to buy Ethereum

Although there is a vwide variety of ways one can acquire Ethereum in the UK, some methods are far more popular and safer than others.

  • Cryptocurrency Broker

The safest way to buy Ethereum is through a cryptocurrency broker such as Changelly. It is crucial to ensure that the broker of your choice is regulated, i.e., the platform is licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). These brokers charge commissions for their services.

To use this method, you will need to create an account with the broker. Next, using their website or application, provide the required documentation and information. Once your account is fully verified, you have to deposit funds in order to buy ETH. Next, search Ethereum in the list of available cryptocurrencies and buy as many tokens as you want. While the exact process might differ slightly from broker to broker, it is usually similar to this.

  • Cryptocurrency Exchange

A cryptocurrency exchange is also considered among the best ways to buy Ethereum in the UK, as these exchanges connect buyers and sellers in real-time. This means that the trade is happening with other market participants while the exchange only acts as the platform enabling this. This is usually an inexpensive option since the fees are very low, but many exchanges are often unregulated, which poses a major problem.

  • Cryptocurrency ATM

A lesser-known but highly innovative way to buy ETH in the UK is through a dedicated cryptocurrency ATM. These work in reverse as compared to traditional ATMs. You will have to insert pound notes into the machine to buy ETH tokens which the machine will guide as to how to claim. As convenient as this sounds, there are certain drawbacks to this approach.

While the number of such ATMs is growing across the country, these machines are still not widely available in the UK, and they can often charge as much as 20% in transaction fees, whereas cryptocurrency brokers may charge only a 0.5% commission.

Keep up with the top stories from Reader’s Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.