How to buy Ethereum (ETH) from the UK

By   |   Verified by Andrew Boyd   |   Updated 29th August 2022

  • Ethereum is an open access, community-run digital platform that provides access to the cryptocurrency ether or ETH.
  • Ethereum is decentralised so you can trade ETH with another party without going through an intermediary such as a bank.
  • The platform is programmable so you can use it to buy other digital assets including Bitcoin, NFTs, or other cryptocurrencies.

This step-by-step guide will take you through the process of buying Ethereum from the UK today.

Not sure which exchange to use?

Where to buy Ethereum

eToro Crypto

On eToro's website

eToro Crypto

Highlights

  • Trade and stake a range of crypto assets with low fees.
  • Copy successful traders. Practice with a demo account.
  • eToro is regulated by CySec, FCA and ASIC.


Disclaimer: Cryptoassets are highly volatile and unregulated in the UK. No consumer protection. Tax on profits may apply. Please give the risk warning sufficient screen time and prominence.


Pros

  • The user-friendly website and app make it easy to trade from anywhere.
  • Trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, and 60+ other crypto assets.
  • With its CopyTrader feature, you can replicate the moves of other investors.
  • Start trading with just $10.

Cons

  • There is a 1% fee that is added to the market price.
  • Other exchanges have more selections of crypto coins and tokens.
Coinsmart

On Coinsmart's website

Coinsmart

Highlights

  • Get $20 in BTC with your first deposit.
  • Trade major coins and popular altcoins including Dogecoin, Cardano, Solana, Polkadot, and Polygon.
  • Fund your account with wire transfers, credit / debit cards, or crypto with access to trade funds the same day.

Pros

  • Low trading fees.
  • Deposits are cleared within the day.
  • Supports CAD, EUR, and USD.
  • Get 24/7 customer support.

Cons

  • Limited coins.
  • Fee applies to credit card and debit card deposits.
Uphold Crypto

On Uphold's website

Uphold Crypto

Highlights

  • Invest in 110+ coins including the majors, altcoins, and stablecoins with 0% commission.
  • Ability to trade crypto against other assets like foreign currency and commodities.
  • Stake a range of coins with competitive yields.

Pros

  • Open an account in less than a minute.
  • Low deposit requirement and commission-free trading.
  • Option to trade fiat currencies and precious metals.

Cons

  • High spreads on low-liquidity assets.
Coinbase

On Coinbase's website

Finty may be compensated when you click on the link.

Highlights

  • Get £5 in Bitcoin with your first trade on Coinbase.
  • Buy and sell popular digital currencies, and keep track of them in the one place.
  • Invest in cryptocurrency slowly over time by scheduling buys daily, weekly, or monthly.
  • Crypto stored on Coinbase servers is covered by an insurance policy.


Cryptocurrency is not regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority and is not subject to protection under the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme or within the scope of jurisdiction of the UK Financial Ombudsman Service. Investing in cryptocurrency comes with risk and cryptocurrency may gain in value, or lose some or all value. Capital gains tax may be applicable to profits from cryptocurrency sales.


Pros

  • Get access to a wide variety of altcoins.
  • Start trading with as little as $2.
  • Offers Coinbase card which allows you to spend crypto anywhere.

Cons

  • Fees are higher compared to other exchanges.
CoinJar

On CoinJar's website

CoinJar

Highlights

  • Buy and sell digital currency on desktop and mobile devices with a flat 1% fee.
  • Buy digital currencies using your Visa or Mastercard with a low fee of 2%.
  • Set up price alerts so you never miss a well-timed opportunity.

Pros

  • Extremely user-friendly interface.
  • You can use a credit card or debit card to buy crypto.
  • Has a competitive fee structure.

Cons

  • Limited crypto tokens to trade compared to other platforms.

First time buying?

How to buy Ethereum

Step 1: Select an exchange that sells Ethereum

Ethereum is one of the biggest names in cryptocurrency and is listed on practically every crypto exchange. Finding one that sells Ethereum is not difficult — we've listed some good options above — but there are some points of differentiation to consider: account funding options, what they charge for trades, and also if they charge a fee on deposits and withdrawals.

Step 2: Register and verify your identity

After you've chosen an exchange, you'll have to register an account and prove your identity. What information is required will vary by the exchange. Typically you'll need to provide your name, date of birth, and address. Additionally, a copy of a government-issued form of ID may be required before your account can be verified and secured. In all, this process can be completed within a few minutes.

Step 3: Set your budget

Crypto is a volatile asset class that experiences bull runs and sudden drops, so it's important to decide how much to invest in Ethereum and stick to it. Only ever invest what you can afford to lose.

Step 4: Fund your account

You can send fiat currency or cryptocurrency to your exchange account.

Most exchanges accept fiat currency (GBP) transfers from a bank account, credit card, or debit card. Payments via PayPal, etc. may also be supported, but this varies widely between exchanges. Fiat deposits can take a few days to clear into your account at the exchange.

An alternative way to fund your account is to transfer cryptocurrency from a wallet you control, but this may incur processing charges.

A minimum amount may be required for your first deposit.

Step 5: Buy Ethereum

Various order types are available for buying, much like there are with a stock broker. More complex order configuration tends to be limited to exchanges that are more geared towards the intermediate to an experienced trader.

If you are new to trading, a market order is the easiest option, i.e. buy Ethereum at the next available price. Some exchanges offer the ability to configure recurring buys, which means you can take advantage of dollar cost averaging over time.

After you buy

Where to store your Ethereum

You can store Ethereum in the exchange wallet and third-party wallets.

If you want easy access to your coins, store your Etherum in a hot wallet (e.g. at the exchange). Hot wallets are very accessible, meaning you can trade more frequently. However, they have a greater risk of theft since they are connected to the internet.

A safer alternative is to store your Ethereum in a cold wallet. These offline storage devices can be manually connected to the internet when you want to access your crypto.