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How to buy Ethereum with PayPal
It is possible to deposit money into your broker by using PayPal, but it can be difficult to find a platform that accepts payments in this way. We’ll explain why below, and then give you some tips so you know how to find a good platform.
Where can you buy Ethereum with PayPal?
If you want to use PayPal to get Ethereum and are aware of the process involved, check out our table or list below for reputable sites where you can make your purchase. If you are a beginner, keep reading.
What’s the difference between broker platforms, exchanges, and wallets?
An exchange is a marketplace for buyers and sellers. Cryptocurrency exchanges connect people looking for Ethereum with those who want to sell it, enabling peer-to-peer transactions between them, without ever knowing who they are.
A ‘broker’ or Contract For Difference (CFD) platform allows you to trade against the value of Ether without actually owning the coins themselves. This is what cryptocurrency traders do on a daily basis (on Wall Street, for example). Similarly to exchanges, CFD platforms enable you to open and close positions quickly, taking advantage of Ethereum price changes to make a profit. Ethereum brokers are not designed for long-term investments, but to give a fast way to capitalise daily.
A wallet is essentially a bank account: it is an address that stores your ether coins and allows you to send or receive ether to/from other wallets. Every wallet comes with two separate strings of numbers and letters known as ‘keys’: a public key (used to receive ether) and a private key (used to send ether to other wallets). You need these if you want to store your coins as a long-term investment and aren’t very interested in constantly tracking the market.
Therefore, if you want to find ether at a competitive rate and capitalise on fluctuations in price, then you’ll want to sign up to an exchange or CFD platform. The key difference between these two types of service is that on an exchange you store the coins yourself, whereas with a CFD platform you trade ethers without actually owning them.
What’s the difference between PayPal and Ethereum?
PayPal is a payment method that allows you to make your purchases using fiat currency such as USD and GBP, whereas Ethereum is a blockchain network that supports its own cryptocurrency called ether. Ether transactions, unlike those on PayPal, are anonymous, and the primary difference between the two platforms lies on the technical level of how spending works.
PayPal transfers rely on the conventional banking system to keep track of spending and verify transactions. Ethereum transactions, on the other hand, are completely decentralised. Ether payments are peer-to-peer transactions that happen without the need for the involvement of a third party.
Is PayPal a commonly accepted payment method for ether?
No, PayPal is not commonly accepted when it comes to investing in cryptocurrency in general. This is because it has been associated with chargeback scams in the past, which led to several sellers transferring ether away and then having the money they received for it claimed back, leaving them out of pocket.
Is using PayPal the best method?
Probably not, largely because of the restrictions, but also because it can incur high fees. You will also not commonly be allowed to purchase large amounts of ETH coins using PayPal, as you can with bank wire transfer. And even for small amounts, the fees can be high, sometimes reaching more than 5%. Generally it’s better to use a card for smaller amounts of Ethereum and bank transfers for larger ones. However, on platforms that accept PayPal it’s perfectly secure if it’s the payment method you wish to use.
How to buy Ethereum with PayPal – a step-by-step guide
Now you know what your options are, you need to know how to use them. That’s why we’ve outlined all the steps right here. If you’re already familiar with how it’s done and have specific questions you need answering, then skip to our frequently asked questions section at the bottom of the page.
What do I need to do before I get started?
You’ll need to provide some information to sign up to a service. Spending ether is completely anonymous, but in order to verify your account and to combat fraud there are a few things you need to have with you. To get started you need to prepare your:
Method of payment
Whether buying ether with a credit/debit card, bank transfer, or PayPal you’ll need to have your account details to hand and make sure there are no restrictions on payments of that type through your chosen service.
Proof of identity
You’ll almost always be asked to supply valid photo ID to prove your identity when signing up to a platform. A passport or driving license is most commonly required and you’ll often be asked to supply a selfie of you next to it to verify it’s yours.
Proof of address
Along with photo ID you’ll be asked to supply proof of your address, generally in the form of a utility bill or a bank statement. If you don’t have access to these documents, others are sometimes accepted. This will, however, depend on the platform so be sure to check you have the right forms of ID before signing up to a particular service.
Exchange or broker platform
Now decide which type of platform you want to use. Consider what you want to get out of your investment, and make sure the provider accepts PayPal payments, and then find the service that best matches your aims from the summaries above.
The final steps
Alright, you’re ready to sign up. Follow these steps to learn how to buy Ethereum with PayPal.
- Visit site and open a free account. Select a service from our list and click the link. Once you’ve arrived on your chosen platform, select the option to register an account.
- Fill out personal details. Fill out the required details to register a new account. This will usually be your name, email address, and country of residence. On most platforms this form will also be where you set your account password. If not, then:
- Create password. It’s very important to have a solid password, especially on an exchange as your account will be used to store your ethers. Make sure to include a mixture of letters and numbers and make your password memorable. In a few cases there won’t be an option to create a password at this stage. This will mean one has been randomly generated and in your confirmation email (see next step) there will be a link to change your password. Make sure you do this as nothing is more important than the safety of your account.
- Activate account. In the majority of cases the next step is to check your inbox for an account verification email which will include a link to activate your account. As mentioned above, for some services this will also be the point at which you set or change your password.
- Fund account or make payment. In most cases, you’ll have to transfer money into your account balance, and in other cases you’ll be able to make a direct payment. Either way, there are a variety of methods to pay for your ether. We’ve summarised them for you here:
- Bank transfer. You’ll need to acquire the destination bank details from the site, key in your own account details and the amount of money you wish to transfer. Bank transfers commonly take between 1 and 5 days to go through.
- Card payments. Depending on the platform you’ll either have to add your card details to your account, or simply enter your card details and make a one-off payment. The process is the same as using your card on any online shopping site.
- PayPal/other. If your platform accepts PayPal (many of them don’t), then you’ll simply have to select the option to pay with PayPal. This will direct you to a page that will enable you to pay from your PayPal into the account you’ve created on the platform. You’ll want to ensure that your PayPal account is active, funded and has no restrictions.
- Make your purchase. If you’ve made a payment, congratulations! You’ve bought your first ether. If you’ve transferred funds into your account then you’re just one small step away: simply follow the link on the platform use the money deposited in your account. Choose how much ether you want and confirm the transaction. Done!
- Additional: Withdraw to wallet. If you’re using an exchange there will be an integrated wallet you use to store and trade coins, but you can create an external wallet into which you can transfer coins for extra security. If you’re using a CFD platform, you don’t need a wallet as the coins are handled within the platform.
Should I buy ETH with PayPal?
- PayPal is a quick and easy payment method
- It usually has low transaction fees for purchases
- Your transactions are guaranteed to be secure
Technically yes. While both PayPal and Ethereum guarantee instant payments, Ethereum has some features that can make it more appealing. Firstly, it allows anonymous transactions, which aren’t possible with PayPal. Secondly, the fees for transfer (both deposit and withdraw) are often lower when paying with ether than with PayPal because of the peer-to-peer nature of the Ethereum network.
Ethereum allows anonymous transactions and secure spending without needing third party verification (such as banks). Apart from that, Ethereum as a platform allows developers to set up apps (dApps – decentralized applications) and ‘smart contracts’ (digital contracts that allow binding agreements without the need for middlemen). PayPal is a method of payment, whereas Ethereum aims to change the way we carry out transactions.
No, not directly. PayPal is designed to hold fiat currency such as GBP or USD, and not cryptocurrency. So what you can do is sell your ether on an exchange for fiat currency (e.g. GBP) and transfer that to your PayPal account.
Yes, as long as the platform supports PayPal, you can purchase other the top cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash using your PayPal account. However, if you’re buying a less well-known cryptocurrency, then you’ll often need to start with one of the larger coins (Ethereum, Bitcoin, Ripple etc.) and use that to swap for other cryptocurrencies on an exchange.
Yes, US based users can use PayPal. If you’re in another jurisdiction, you might have to keep checking the platform to see if it has added that functionality.
No. PayPal only supports fiat currency. If you need to convert your Ethereum to GBP or USD, you’ll need to use an exchange and then transfer the money to your PayPal account.
Yes, as long as you are getting your ether from a reliable platform. That’s why we review and compare all the different options available, taking you through the pros and cons of each method and providing the platforms we believe to offer the best service to their customers. If you encounter any problems, then please contact us and we’ll do everything we can to help.
This is technically possible, but not on most platforms. The reason for this is that, in order to keep their services secure, most exchanges and brokerages (along with all CFD trading platforms) require you at least to provide an email address, and usually photo ID and address details if you wish to have more than a small number of coins. If you want to stay anonymous, then peer-to-peer platforms such as LocalBitcoins are the best places to look.
It’s easier than it used to be, but it’s true that it still isn’t as simple and frictionless as other online purchases. Cryptocurrency, and the blockchain technology that supports it, is still less than a decade old, which means that progress to this point has been quick and it will get easier and more commonplace in the future.
Generally a credit/debit card is the quickest way. With most platforms this will mean you’ll have your ether credited to your account immediately after making a payment. Debit cards are accepted pretty much universally, but it can be harder to find platforms that will process debit card payments.
Yes, there will usually be fees. The level of these will depend on the platform you’re using and the method by which you’re paying for your coins. For card payments, fees are generally between 1% and 5%, with bank transfers typically having the lowest fees (and sometimes none at all).
This is again dependent on the platform and payment method you are using. Some exchanges will charge you for depositing into your account via any method, some only for specific payments (e.g. credit card), and some will have no fees at all. You’ll be able to find accurate information regarding each platform’s fees in our reviews.
These will usually be the same as, or very similar to the fees charged for deposits. Withdrawal fees as such will only apply if you are selling your Ethereum for fiat currency and withdrawing that to your bank account. If you’re moving ether from one platform to another, or to a wallet, then there will usually be no fees from the platform but you will have to pay ‘gas’, the small transaction fees charged by the Ethereum network itself.
It depends on what you want to do with your ether and how much you want. If you’re looking to trade your coins often or exchange them for other cryptocurrencies, then leaving them in your exchange account makes sense. However, if you want to keep hold of ether as an investment, then it’s a good idea to transfer your Ethereum to a safer storage option such as a hardware wallet. Exchanges are prone to attacks from hackers, so are not recommended for holding large amounts of coins.
Absolutely. There’s no limit to the number of services you’re allowed to use, so you could sign up to a number of exchanges. You would then be able to transfer from all of these accounts to one wallet to hold all your ether in one place.
Sometimes. It’s difficult to pay with fiat currency for any but the largest cryptocurrencies (such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin). This means if you want a lesser known altcoin then you’ll usually have to start with Ethereum or another major coin and then use it to get different cryptocurrencies on an exchange such as Binance.
Fact-checking & references
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