How & where to buy Ethereum (ETH) in the UK
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This guide explains how to buy Ethereum. Learn what to look for in a crypto exchange and follow a step-by-step guide on how to buy ETH. Find out what makes the Ethereum blockchain so popular and get advice on how the cryptocurrency might perform in the future.
What are the best UK exchanges to buy ETH?
These are the best crypto exchanges to buy Ethereum right now. These exchanges offer low fees and you can start out with a demo account to practice. Sign up by following a link in the table or read on to learn more about where to buy ETH below.
How to buy ETH online, a step-by-step guide
Step 1. Find an exchange
A cryptocurrency exchange is a marketplace where you can buy Ethereum at the best prices. Crypto exchanges can take a little bit of getting used to, so if you’ve never used one before you might want to consider one that offers a ‘Lite’ or beginner-friendly version.
There are plenty of cryptocurrency exchanges that operate in the United Kingdom, so you have lots of freedom when it comes to picking one. Generally, you want to look for a large range of cryptocurrencies and cheap fees. Our favourite option is listed below:
- Binance: Binance is the leading cryptocurrency exchange and its reputation has been established by years of reliability. It is extremely beginner-friendly and you can buy Ethereum with GBP very easily. Open a Binance account today >
Step 2. Sign up and fund your account
Crypto exchanges ask you to create an account and verify your identity before making any crypto transactions. You have to fill out a form with some personal details, and provide a copy of your UK driving licence or British passport before the account will be approved.
Once your account has been verified, you need to make a deposit. All the leading exchanges, like Binance, accept deposits in Pounds from a UK bank account, or via credit or debit card payment.
Step 3. Purchase Ethereum
You can buy Ethereum using a fiat currency like GBP. First, log into your crypto exchange account and search for the ETH/GBP pair. This shows you the value of one ETH in Sterling.
Decide how much Ethereum you want to buy and enter the details. Check and confirm your numbers, and then execute the transaction. Once the order has gone through, you will be able to see your new ETH in the exchange wallet.
Step 4. (Optional) Get a crypto wallet
If you want to hold onto your ETH to speculate on long-term price increases, an Ethereum wallet is highly recommended. Crypto wallets are an online or a physical storage facility where you can store crypto assets. They operate like a bank account for cryptocurrency.
Wallets offer a secure place to store crypto because your money is protected behind a unique passcode, or ‘key’, which is like a pin number. Nearly every crypto wallet supports ETH. Here are two of the best options available:
- Trezor: Hardware cryptocurrency wallets such as the Trezor wallet offer maximum security. Developed in 2014 as a Czech start-up, Trezor has established a reputation as one of the best hardware wallets around. Get your own Trezor today >
- Freewallet: This is an accessible and easy-to-use online crypto wallet that can securely store your investment safely. Freewallet also supports in excess of 100 other crypto assets, making it a wallet with flexible applications. Open a Freewallet account now >
How to trade Ethereum in the UK
Step 1. Find a broker
To trade cryptocurrency you want to find a platform that offers low-fee trading and allows you to use features like leverage. The best option for this is normally a crypto broker.
In the UK, you have one more thing to consider. You need to find a broker that lets you buy Ethereum, the actual underlying digital asset, as opposed to a CFD. A CFD, or contract for difference, is a derivative that merely represents the price of an asset. Crypto derivatives are banned in the UK, so you cannot trade CFDs.
As a result, a platform like eToro is the best place to trade Ethereum in the UK. It offers cryptocurrency trading where you pay no more than 1% fee on each trade, while you can also take advantage of leverage to make bigger trades and use its Copytrader feature to get trading ideas from other users.
Step 2. Deposit money
Crypto brokers allow users to fund their accounts using GBP, or any other fiat currency. You need to create an account first, and then make a deposit via a bank transfer, through a debit card, or pay with a credit card.
One advantage of broker platforms is that they generally accept many different types of payment method. You can often use PayPal, Skrill, or any other payment provider to transfer money to the broker.
Step 3. Decide how you’d like to trade
ETH trading can take many different forms. Each trader needs to develop their own strategy based on their own budget and how much time they have available to trade. You can create your own very easily using simple technical indicators, such as support and resistance levels, trading volume, or Fibonacci extensions.
While it is easy to set up a strategy by studying individual price charts, it can take time to hone them. You should be prepared to lose more trades than you win early on, so it makes sense to choose a broker that offers a demo account so you can practice.
Step 4. Start trading
Once you feel familiar with how the crypto market works and are comfortable with the risks of trading, you can move on to the real thing.
When you make a trade, you can take a long position or a short position. Choosing a long position means you buy ETH in the hope it will rise in value, whereas a short position means that you sell it in the expectation that it will fall.
You can also choose to use something called leverage. This is a service provided by a broker that allows you to loan money to make bigger trades. However, whilst this can maximise your profits, it enhances your vulnerability to the market moving against you. If you’re a beginner, we would advise you to steer clear of leverage until you have some more experience.
It’s a good idea to take some time to think about whether you want to put your money on the line, and that’s especially true for cryptocurrency. Here are some of the pros and cons of purchasing Ethereum, followed by a few final questions to help you decide.
- Ethereum is already used to provide services such as decentralised finance, NFTs, and online payments
- The Ethereum blockchain is about to move from Proof of Work (PoW) to the much faster Proof of Stake (PoS)
- Ethereum is a well-planned project developed over a number of years unlike some other cryptocurrencies
- Ethereum’s smart contracts are a core building block of much DeFi infrastructure
- Due to its popularity and market capitalisation, you can easily buy Ethereum on a crypto exchange, a crypto ATM and other platforms.
To help you make a final decision, here are three questions to think about before you invest.
1. Is now a good time to buy Ethereum?
The answer to this question depends on whether you are a long-term investor or a short-term trader. Investing with an eye on long-term value could prove to be profitable as decentralised finance (DeFi) increases in popularity. The Ethereum network is already a leader in the DeFi space, and if the ‘Ethereum merge’ is successful, the price may increase in the long term.
Shot-term traders do not need to pay as close attention to the fundamentals. Instead, you should focus on the Ethereum price chart, and look for the latest trends and indicators to inform your decisions as the crypto market fluctuates. Use the latest crypto analysis for trading opportunities and ideas:
2. What problem does Ethereum solve, and what are its investment prospects?
Ethereum removes the middleman from online financial services. No longer does a central governing body preside over transactions; instead the Ethereum blockchain uses smart contracts to operate independently and democratically. This is a big win for those who oppose the monopoly that banks have historically held.
Ethereum’s long-term investment prospects look promising. Along with its role at the heart of decentralised finance, the Ethereum network is also the home to a wide range of other crypto applications, such as NFT marketplaces, crypto wallets, and other Web3 applications. According to EtherScan, there are almost 1,000 ERC20 tokens and 570K+ contracts on the Ethereum network as of August 2021.
While there are other competitors, like Solana, that present an alternative vision for the future, Ethereum is a dominant name in the crypto space. So far it has successfully innovated to keep itself ahead of the chasing pack. Use the latest Ethereum news to keep track of its latest movements and price action and do your own research and analysis before you purchase Ethereum.
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3. Do you want to hold ETH for the long term?
You can either buy Ethereum to hold for the long term, or take a more short term approach and trade ETH through a crypto broker. When it comes to purchasing Ethereum, both strategies have their own pros and cons.
Considerations for a long term investment strategy
If you expect Ethereum’s growth to continue over the long term, you can buy Ether—Ethereum’s native token—from a cryptocurrency exchange and store your coins in a crypto wallet. Crypto exchanges require a bit of getting used to, but are the best way to buy crypto.
Considerations for a short term trading strategy
If trading for short-term gains is your priority, sign up to a broker with low trading fees and conduct technical analysis. This will be key to unlocking value when you trade ETH. If you spot a pattern, you should be able to make an educated decision about which way the price is likely to move.
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