Ethereum is the 2nd largest cryptocurrency project, expanding upon Bitcoin technology to create a functional ledger for developers and consumers. But unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum’s network of decentralized applications and smart contracts are already being used to provide enhanced security and faster processing.
Are you interested in investing in Ethereum? Our guide can help you learn how the Ethereum network operates and how you can get started with your 1st purchase.
Like every cryptocurrency, Ethereum’s price changes on a daily basis as the market moves. Knowing the current price of Ethereum and tracking how prices are changing over time can help you decide on the best time to buy is.
Browse today’s Ethereum price below to get started.
JOIN THE MOON OR BUST EMAIL LIST
Our team is diligently working to keep up with trends in the crypto markets. Keep up to date on the latest news and up-and-coming coins.
Ethereum is an open-source platform that allows users to connect with one another through decentralized applications. Ethereum’s network is based on the use of “smart contracts,” which are self-executing contracts that send money when a specific set of conditions are met. This eliminates the bottleneck and unnecessary fees used by middlemen when completing transactions.
How do smart contracts work? As an example, let’s think about the process of buying a home. Typically, the buyer needs to put the down payment into a special account called an “escrow account,” which is held by a 3rd-party service.
After the funds are in escrow, the seller can transfer possession of the property to the new homeowner. The use of the escrow service ensures that the buyer isn’t able to lay claim to the property before they’ve paid, and that the seller doesn’t make off with the buyer’s down payment without transferring ownership of the property.
Smart contracts in this example could potentially use code to assume the role of the escrow service. When both the buyer and the seller meet a specific set of conditions (transferring funds vs. transferring ownership of the property), the smart contract would execute and provide each person with what they want out of the transaction. This would streamline the buying process and eliminate any fees charged by the escrow company for their services.
Ethereum’s community takes advantage of these smart contracts by creating decentralized applications (dapps). Dapps are a type of application that uses the Ethereum network to execute transactions, rather than a single centralized point of access. The Ethereum network is made up of thousands of computers across the globe, which provides users with a higher level of privacy and security when sending money and information.
The Ethereum network requires a cryptocurrency called “Ether” to operate. Ether is sometimes referred to as the “gas” that runs Ethereum because dapp users must pay a small amount of Ethereum each time they execute a transaction. In exchange, the users on the network that verify the transaction and record it on the blockchain are rewarded with a small amount of Ether. When you invest in Ethereum, you’re actually purchasing Ether coins.
Though the 2 are constantly compared to 1 another, Ethereum is not the same thing as Bitcoin. Both cryptocurrencies use the same basic technology of peer-to-peer decentralization and blockchain verification of transactions. However, Ethereum expands upon Bitcoin’s technology, providing users with a practical ledger they can use to program applications and connect with other users.
Ethereum was developed in 2013 by programmer Vitalik Buterin. It was initially released in July 2015. Ethereum is the 2nd largest digital currency worldwide. It has a market cap of over $247 billion and a daily trading volume of $9.91 billion.
How to Use Ethereum
Ethereum’s decentralized application capabilities have been adopted by a wide range of industries. Though the technology is still largely in its infancy, you can use Ether to participate in the many dapps currently running on the Ethereum network.
Some current industries adapting Ethereum’s technology include:
- Crypto. Cryptocurrency exchange has been made more affordable and faster through the use of Ethereum. Uniswap is a popular dapp that allows you to swap Ether that you own into hundreds of smaller cryptocurrencies with lower fees than standard exchanges.
- Data-sharing. In the age of social media ubiquity, sharing personal information with corporations is a major concern. Projects like uPort allow you to retain full control over your personal information while transmitting data to another user by capitalizing on the decentralized nature of the Ethereum network. Some projects have taken this concept even further — for example, AKASHA is a completely decentralized social media platform that allows you to retain control of your information while connecting and sharing content with other users.
- Gambling. The Ethereum network can also be used to create fun applications as well as practical ones. PoolTogether is a lottery system that allows users to purchase a virtual Ether lottery ticket. The funds from each ticket go together into a single pool — and every week, 1 lucky winner is rewarded with the entire pool of Ether.
Like any other type of cryptocurrency, you can also invest in Ethereum by strategically buying and selling Ether. To get started, you’ll create an account using a brokerage account that offers access to Ethereum investing. As Ethereum is 1 of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency projects, you’ll have a selection of brokers to choose from.
When you believe that the price of Ether will rise, you can purchase coins using fiat currency, another cryptocurrency and sometimes a debit or credit card depending on your broker. From here, you can either store your Ether long-term in a wallet or you can capitalize on small price movements throughout the day or week.
Best Online Platform for Ethereum
Ethereum is the 2nd largest and most popular cryptocurrency project in the world, behind only Bitcoin in terms of market capitalization. This means that, unlike some smaller altcoins, you won’t have trouble finding a platform where you can buy Ethereum.
Before you choose a broker, consider fees, commissions, ease of use, the broker’s unique trading platform and the types of cryptocurrencies you can buy and sell using the platform.
Not sure where to begin your search? Consider a few of our favorite platforms below, which currently support Ethereum trading.
Webull, founded in 2017, is a mobile app-based brokerage that features commission-free stock and exchange-traded fund (ETF) trading. It’s regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Webull offers active traders technical indicators, economic calendars, ratings from research agencies, margin trading and short-selling. Webull’s trading platform is designed for intermediate and experienced traders, although beginning traders can also benefit.
Webull is widely considered one of the best Robinhood alternatives.
- Active traders
- Intermediate traders
- No charges to open and maintain an account
- No account maintenance fees or software platform fees
- Intuitive trading platform with technical and fundamental analysis tools
- Only offers 14 coins
Founded in 2015, Exodus is a multiasset software wallet that removes the geek requirement and keeps design a priority to make cryptocurrency and digital assets easy for everyone. Available for desktop and mobile, Exodus allows users to secure, manage and exchange cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and more across an industry-leading 10,000-plus asset pairs from a beautiful, easy-to-use wallet. The noncustodial functionality is encrypted locally on users’ own devices, ensuring privacy, security and complete control over their wealth. Exodus is on a mission to empower half the world to exit the traditional finance system by 2030.
- Newcomers to the cryptocurrency world
- Ease of use
- Trezor integration
- Huge selection of cryptocurrencies
- Excellent 24/7 customer support
- No personal info needed
- FTX app not available on the mobile app
SoFi takes a modern approach to personal finance. It recently created buzz with the release of SoFi Crypto, a way to trade cryptocurrency on the app. The platform allows investors to familiarize themselves with crypto. It offers a high level of security, great customer support and an intuitive interface. However, it does have shortcomings with the number of cryptos offered and geographic restrictions.
- Centralization of your money
- Charges low or no fees for some functions within the interface.
- Relies on Coinbase, a very secure platform, to process transactions.
- Presents a low barrier of entry — you only need $10 to start trading.
- Currently only offers 28 coins.
eToro is headquartered in Cyprus, England and Israel. A major eToro plus is its social trading operations, which allows new clients to copy trade the platform’s best performers. Its social trading features are top notch, but eToro loses points for its underwhelming research and customer service features.
- Investors looking to CopyTrade other traders
- Simple user interface
- Several major cryptocurrencies and altcoins
- Expansive network of social trading features
- Large client base for new traders to imitate
- Only 29 coins available
Gemini is a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian that offers investors access to over 100 coins and tokens. Founded in the US, Gemini is expanding globally, in particular into Europe and Asia. Offerings include both major cryptocurrency projects like Bitcoin and Ethereum, and smaller altcoins like Orchid and 0x.
Gemini is 1 of the only brokers with multiple platform options based on skill level. New investors will love the streamlined interface of Gemini’s mobile and web apps, while advanced investors might appreciate all the tools that come with ActiveTrader.
In addition to a host of platform choices, Gemini users also have access to insured hot wallets to store tokens without worrying about digital asset theft. Learn more about what Gemini can do for you in our review.
- New investors looking for a simple mobile and web app
- Day traders looking to use technical analysis tools
- Users looking for a 1-stop-shop to buy, sell and store all of their cryptos
- Easy and quick signups — can get started in as little as a 5 minutes
- Multitude of platforms to accommodate traders of all skill levels
- Hot wallets include insurance to protect your from theft and hacking attempts
- Charges both a commission and a convenience fee for users buying and selling through the desktop or mobile app
Coinbase is one of the Internet’s largest cryptocurrency trading platforms. From Bitcoin to Litecoin or Basic Attention Token to Chainlink, Coinbase makes it exceptionally simple to buy and sell major cryptocurrency pairs.
You can even earn cryptocurrency rewards through Coinbase’s unique Coinbase Earn feature. More advanced traders will love the Coinbase Pro platform, which offers more order types and enhanced functionality.
Though Coinbase doesn’t offer the most affordable pricing or the lowest fees, its simple platform is easy enough for complete beginners to master in as little as a single trade.
- New cryptocurrency traders
- Cryptocurrency traders interested in major pairs
- Cryptocurrency traders interested in a simple platform
- Simple platform is easy to operate
- Comprehensive mobile app mirrors desktop functionality
- Coinbase Earn feature rewards you with crypto for learning about available coins
- Higher fees than competitors
How Will Ethereum Scale?
Ethereum is currently facing a problem with scaling. Like any ledger service, the network’s goal is to process as many transactions as possible for as many users as possible. On Ethereum’s current network, users can process about 15 transactions per minute. By comparison, credit card company Visa’s technology can process around 45,000 transactions using its centralized network.
There are several Ethereum projects that are currently attempting to tackle the scaling issue. 1 method, called “sharding,” reduces the stress on each node needed to verify transactions by splitting small fragments of information between nodes, which can process additional transactions by providing a small amount of information to each other. Another solution may include incorporating off-chain transactions, which borrows its technology from the Lightning Network used to verify Bitcoin transactions.
As Ethereum is still a relatively new technology, there are many potential solutions that have not yet been explored. Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin has said that the eventual end goal of the Ethereum network is to support “Visa-scale transaction levels” or greater. While this is currently not possible, the team is exploring potential ideas to increase scalability.
Add Ethereum to Your Portfolio
Though the realm of cryptocurrency presents a far-reaching range of diverse opportunities, it’s important to remember that all cryptocurrencies are still highly unregulated. Ethereum (or any other coin or project) can plummet in value at any moment, and no coin has a guaranteed value.
If you do decide to begin investing in cryptocurrency, be sure that coins make up only a small percentage of your overall investing portfolio. Use our guide to get started with your 1st Ethereum investment.