Learn how to buy Ethereum with PayPal easily. Ether can be bought using PayPal, but not everywhere. We’ll guide you to the right platforms and show you where and how to buy Ethereum using PayPal.
How to buy Ethereum with PayPal
It is possible to use your PayPal account to buy ether, but it can be difficult to find a platform that accepts payments using PayPal. We’ll explain why below, and also guide you through the process of buying Ethereum in this way. If you want to buy ether using PayPal 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.
Here are a list of services to buy Ethereum instantly
What’s the difference between broker platforms, exchanges, and wallets?
Choosing whether to use an online broker platform or an exchange to buy bitcoin depends on what your intentions are.
An exchange is a marketplace for buyers and sellers. Exchanges connect people looking to buy and sell bitcoin, enabling peer-to-peer transactions between them, without ever knowing who they are.
A ‘broker’ or Contract For Difference (CFD) platform allows you to buy and sell bitcoin without actually owning the coins themselves. This is what traders do on a daily basis (on Wall Street, for example). Similarly to exchanges, CFD platforms enable you to buy and sell quickly, taking advantage of price changes to make a profit. These platforms 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 bitcoin and allows you to send or receive bitcoin to/from other wallets. Every wallet comes with two separate strings of numbers and letters known as ‘keys’: a public key (used to receive bitcoin) and a private key (used to send bitcoin to other wallets). You need these if you want to buy coins to store as a long-term investment and aren’t very interested in constantly tracking the market to buy and sell for quick profit.
Therefore, if you want to buy bitcoin 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 buy and store the coins yourself, whereas with a CFD platform you trade bitcoins 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 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. However, you can find platforms such as LocalBitcoins that allow you to pay with PayPal.
Is buying Ethereum with 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 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 payments and bank transfers for larger ones. However, on platforms that accept PayPal it’s a perfectly secure way to buy ether if it’s the payment method you wish to use.
A quick and easy guide to buying your first Ethereum
Now you know what your options are, you need to know how to use them to buy Ethereum (or ether). 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 for buying Ethereum. Consider what you want to get out of your investment, and then find the service that best matches your aims from the summaries above.
Buy Ethereum: the steps
Alright, you’re ready to sign up and buy your first ether. Let’s get started.
- 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 bitcoins. 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, to buy Ethereum 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.
- Buy ether. 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 to buy ether using the money deposited in your account. Choose how much ether you want to buy 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. For more information about wallets and the different options available, check out our handy guide here.
Should I buy Ethereum with PayPal?
- Your concerns
- The fees
Can Ethereum replace PayPal?
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.
Why is Ethereum better than PayPal?
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.
Can I convert ether back to PayPal?
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.
Can you buy other cryptocurrencies using PayPal?
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 buy one of the larger coins (Ethereum, Bitcoin, Ripple etc.) and use that to buy other cryptocurrencies on an exchange.
Can I buy with PayPal on Coinbase?
No, not currently. The option used to be there for US customers, but it was discontinued. To buy Ethereum with PayPal, you’ll usually have to consider direct exchange platforms such as LocalBitcoins.
Can you convert ETH to GBP or USD using PayPal?
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.