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Breaking into cryptocurrency can be daunting, even if you’re using a popular crypto network like the Ethereum platform. You may be wondering what you need to get started and how some of the fundamentals of cryptocurrency work. Luckily, there are a variety of payment options including credit cards and debit cards that, alongside some key personal information, will let you dive into the world of Ethereum without much of a hassle.

What is Ethereum?

Before you go out and researching popular Ethereum exchanges, you should know some of the fundamentals of the Ethereum cryptocurrency. Like a good number of blockchains, the Ethereum platform is reliant upon its own native cryptocurrency which is referred to as Ether. Ether (ETH) is a digital currency that operates much in the way that other top coins, like Bitcoin (BTC), do.

It’s a purely digital currency that is decentralized. That means that you can send Ether to a personal account instantly and that Ethereum itself isn’t controlled by any government agency or company. As a result, Ether is also a scarce currency and you can’t buy Ethereum coins constantly. This is to help stabilize Ethereum so it’s never easily over- or under-valued in the market, although the exchange rate will vary frequently. So now that you know a bit about the Ether currency, it’s important to know more about Ethereum as a platform.

Ethereum itself is something like a decentralized internet where you use your personal information and data and your applications don’t spy on you or harvest said personal information. It’s neutral and open access, much like the currency. One big draw of Ethereum is that it’s programmable which means that you can use it to make decentralized apps, also called “dapps.”

Ethereum is incredibly popular amongst developers and programmers. As a result, it’s perhaps the largest operating blockchain in the world which makes its appeal incredibly apparent. It’s essentially built by a collection of individuals working together.

How to buy Ethereum/ETH

Thankfully, there are some simple steps involved in purchasing Ethereum for the first time. You can do it with many payment methods. You can buy Ethereum with credit card and debit card payments as well as through a bank transfer to certain bank accounts. You’ll need some key personal details —occasionally an email address or phone number—to sign up for an exchange.

You’ll also likely want to set up a digital wallet to store your Ethereum. You’ll always want to check the exchange rate on various cryptocurrency market sites to make sure you’re getting your currency at a good value. Unlike BTC, Ethereum tends to have less frequent or several market fluctuations.

A good place to check is a site like Coinbase. Crypto enthusiasts rely on Coinbase for market information and when it’s best to add coins to your wallet. Coinbase also has functionality for buying, selling, and trading crypto. It’s one of the most highly-used and trusted cryptocurrency exchanges which explains its large user base. Coinbase also accepts a variety of payment methods including Mastercard and smaller debit options.

If you’re wondering how your personal information or debit card may be used on the site, it’s always a good idea to double-check the Coinbase privacy policy. However, Coinbase stores nearly 99% of any held assets in offline cold storage. This means that they’re not vulnerable to hacking or other external security threats.

While there are a lot of terms to take in at once, Ethereum is truly a fairly forgiving cryptocurrency, especially for first-time buyers. To learn more about Ethereum, you can always review their website or other popular crypto guide sites that are currently publishing on digital currency.

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