|Wirex||Buy Ethereum with debit card|
|Coinbase Pro||Cheapest way to buy Ethereum|
|LocalBitcoins||Buy Ethereum with PayPal|
|Vimba||Buy Ethereum with bank transfer|
|LocalCryptos||Buy Ethereum without verification|
Though buyers paying in sterling don’t have as many options as Americans paying in dollars, there are still plenty of different platforms for Brits buying Ethereum. In this post, I’ll show you how to buy Ethereum in the UK with a debit card, via bank transfer, and even how to buy Ethereum without verification.
Ethereum to GBP
Best place to buy Ethereum with Debit Card: Wirex
Wirex is one of the easiest and most secure places to buy Ethereum. But be warned, you will need to undergo an obstacle course of KYC checks before you can buy a large amount, which means providing extensive proof of your address and identity.
Customer support however is available to assist you every step of the way through live chat, and the buying fees are very reasonable.
How to Buy Ethereum on Wirex: Step-by-Step
You can buy Ethereum via the Wirex app or web interface. Simply follow these four steps:
- Register with your email address and sign-in
- Navigate to Accounts > Ethereum
- Click Add Funds
- Input debit card details
First time users will need to confirm their linked card before being granted permission to purchase large amounts of Ethereum. This is done by simply visiting your online banking and retrieving a transaction code for Wirex to confirm.
Wirex debit card fees:
Wirex is one of the cheapest options for buying Ethereum with a debit card, charging a 1% fee, plus ~1% commission.
Tip: You can avoid paying debit card fees by topping up your Wirex account with a bank transfer. It is free to receive payments in sterling from your UK bank account, and they will arrive within minutes via Faster Payments.
Cheapest way to buy Ethereum: Coinbase Pro
Coinbase is one of the most well-known retail cryptocurrency exchanges, and was the first exchange to win an e-money license from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This allows Coinbase to accept deposits in pound sterling via Faster Payments.
Coinbase Pro (previously GDAX) is the professional branch of Coinbase, and is aimed at professional traders. As Coinbase Pro has low fees and plenty of liquidity, it represents the cheapest way to buy Ethereum for more confident buyers who are comfortable using Limit Orders, which are completely free.
But if you choose to use Coinbase, be aware the buying process could take longer than expected. Despite Faster Payments, Funds can take several days to appear in Coinbase, and users have reported funds being locked for identity checks. The support team is also notoriously slow at responding to customer emails, and the exchange has a tendency to crash during moments of peak demand.
NOTE: You can only pay via GBP on the Coinbase Pro website. The app does not support pounds.
Buy Ethereum with bank transfer: Vimba
Vimba is a Kiwi cryptocurrency broker that expanded into the UK in 2018. The platform is a very easy option for buying Ethereum with a bank transfer, but the fees are a little high.
How to buy Ethereum on Vimba:
- Signup for an account and verify your identity
- Hit buy, select Ethereum, and then send a bank transfer for the amount to Vimba with a unique reference
- Receive Ethereum to your wallet within 20 minutes
You can also set up a regular Ethereum investment with Vimba using its automated service.
Buy Ethereum with PayPal: LocalBitcoins
Unlike most exchanges that link buyers and sellers directly with an algorithmic matching engine, LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer exchange. This means it allows you to communicate directly with other buyers and sellers — just like Gumtree.
Some of these individual sellers will accept PayPal payments in exchange for Ethereum, but be warned: You may have to pay a premium for the privilege of paying in this way.
If you decide to follow this route, be prepared for people to expect you to be a scammer — PayPal is often used for this purpose because payments can easily be reversed.
How to buy Ethereum on LocalBitcoins:
- Signup for an account
- Search for an Ethereum seller using your location and payment method
- Select an advert
- Pay the seller and receive your Ether
What to look for in a LocalBitcoins seller:
- Competitive prices — some sellers will try their luck by charging fat premiums
- High rating — pick a seller with whom other customers have had positive experiences
- Low average Escrow release time — this makes it less likely you are left waiting around for the seller to release your Ethereum
Buy Ethereum without verification: LocalCryptos
LocalCryptos is essentially a more decentralized version of LocalBitcoins that is much lighter on regulatory compliance. You can buy Ethereum here with no verification because the platform doesn’t use Know Your Customer (KYC) checks.
How to buy on LocalCryptos:
- Register with a username, email address, and password
- Find a seller with a good offer
- Make the trade via Escrow
WARNING:Don’t forget your LocalCryptos password! If you do, it cannot be recovered!
Why buy Ethereum without verification?
KYC checks mean passing over private data is the price of entry for most cryptocurrency exchanges. But surrendering sensitive information for the sake of proving your identity poses a significant threat to your financial privacy.
Governments, banks, and most cryptocurrency brokers argue that KYC (Know Your Customer) policy is critical to the fight against financial crime and money laundering. The problem is that when banks and brokers concentrate customer’s personally identifiable information, they create a big red target for hackers. Stolen passport details and phone numbers are valuable, and can be sold on the darkweb to criminals who use them in phishing attacks, identity theft, and — ironically — money laundering under someone else’s name.
Thousands of customers of Citibank, Capital One, and even the Bank of America have had their personal details stolen in hacks, so why would bitcoin buyers trust tiny cryptocurrency startups with their sensitive information?
By transacting peer-to-peer through a service like LocalCryptos, or on a decentralized exchange like Bisq, cryptocurrency traders do not need to verify their identity.
How to Buy Ethereum in UK: What else should you know?
Ethereum was masterminded by Vitalik Buterin and launched in 2015. The blockchain is designed to run smart contracts, which as Nick Szabo says are “promises, specified in digital form.” When you buy Ethereum, you are actually buying Ether—the currency powering the Ethereum blockchain. To find out more you can read the Ethereum white paper.
Is Ethereum dead?
Ethereum has a thriving developer community who are currently working towards pushing the network towards the serenity upgrade. You can follow the code on GitHub.
Ethereum transaction fees are measured in gas, this refers to the cost of performing a transaction on the network.
Gas prices are denoted in gwei, short for gigawei, which refers to the smallest possible unit of Ether (0.000000001).
For Ethereum to work effectively as “the world computer”, network fees must be negligible.
At the moment, Ethereum transaction fees tend to be lower than bitcoin fees, but there have been isolated incidents of congestion, like when CryptoKitties clogged the network in 2017, that pushed fees through the roof.
Where is Ethereum accepted?
As of yet there are few places where you can purchase products and services with Ethereum, and the primary use case remains speculation. With that said, there are several online marketplaces that accept Ethereum as payment — including OpenBazaar and Overstock.
To get a sense of the projects working with Ethereum, take a look at the members of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance.
The Best Ethereum Wallet (UK)
Almost all blockchain-agnostic hardware and software wallets will support Ethereum.
If you are looking for Fort Knox style security, you will probably want to invest in a hardware wallet. This type of wallet is also known as cold storage.
If you want to keep your Ethereum more easily accessible, then a software wallet will do the trick. These wallets are also known as hot wallets, and keep the private keys controlling the cryptocurrency online.
Best Ethereum Software Wallets
All of these software wallets are completely open source and free to use.
MetaMask is one of the most popular Ethereum wallets. This self-hosted browser extension clips into Chrome, FireFox, or Brave, allowing you to easily transact with ethereum and ethereum based tokens. MetaMask also offer a mobile wallet for iOS and Android
MyEtherWallet (MEW) is another trusted Ethereum wallet that allows you to generate a paper wallet or connect to a hardware wallet from within the interface.
Etherwall was one of the first Ethereum wallets, and can be operated in full node mode with the entire Ethereum blockchain on your local computer.