Ether is a virtual currency that was created in 2013 by Vitalik Buterin. Ether runs on a distributed public blockchain platform called ethereum, which is described as a virtual computing platform. Ethereum enables developers to build other decentralized applications that can also run on the blockchain.
Just like Bitcoin, ether can be traded around the internet and also mined. Many times, you find the term ethereum being used interchangeably with ether, and that is where some of the confusion normally stems from.
What you need before you can buy ethereum
To buy ether, you will need a digital ethereum wallet. The wallet is where you will store and trade your ether from. It is, however, less of a wallet space and more of an account where all the transactions you have carried out using ether are recorded.
After registering for your digital wallet, next you will need to buy ethereum from one of the many cryptocurrency exchange platforms available online. These platforms you to use government-regulated currencies, also known as FIAT currency and Bitcoin, to buy ethereum as well as other cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin. Let us look at some of the secure exchanges where you can buy ethereum.
If Coinbase is available in your country, it is one of the most secure and affordable platforms out there. All you will need to do is open an account, enter your preferred payment method such as using a bank account or credit card. After this, you are ready to either buy or sell ether through your digital wallet. Depending on payment method, Coinbase will charge between 1.49%-3.99% when buying ethereum. Credit cards are typically more expensive compared to wire transfers.
Coinmama sells ethereum globally, and it forms a great platform for those living in countries where the most exchange sites have not penetrated yet. You can buy ethereum using a credit card or a through bank transfer and its fees are quite fair compared to other sites. The website has been in operation since 2014, and so far they have kept a clean track record.
CEX.io is another great exchange site that sells both ether and bitcoin through a credit card. When buying through Cex.io, you will realize that the fees are already included in the exchange rate, that is the reason it will always seem a bit expensive compared to other platforms.
To trade through Cex.io, you will also need to open an account, add your payment method and select to buy/sell ethereum and input the amount. Unlike Coinbase, Cex.io can also be accessed globally.
Ether, and ethereum, the platform that makes the cryptocurrency application possible are beyond doubt disruptive technologies whose direction from here we can only wait and see. Whether it grows to be the next big thing or not, only time can tell. However, if you want a share of the future, no matter which direction, then the above options are good enough to get you started.