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Exchanges are businesses that let you buy crypto using traditional currencies. They have custody over any ETH you buy until you send it to a wallet you control.
If you want more control, buy ETH peer-to-peer. With a DEX you can trade without giving control of your funds to a centralized company.
Some wallets let you buy crypto with a debit/credit card, bank transfer or even Apple Pay. Geographical restrictions apply.
Exchanges and wallets have restrictions on where they can sell crypto.
Enter your country of residence to see a list of wallets and exchanges you can use to buy ETH
Decentralized exchanges are open marketplaces for ETH and other tokens. They connect buyers and sellers directly.
Instead of using a trusted third party to safeguard funds in the transaction, they use code. The seller's ETH will only be transferred when payment is guaranteed. This type of code is known as a smart contract. More on smart contracts
This means there are fewer geographical restrictions than with centralized alternatives. If someone is selling what you want and accepting a payment method you can provide, you’re good to go. DEXs can let you buy ETH with other tokens, PayPal or even in-person cash deliveries.
You will need a wallet to use a DEX.Get a wallet
Buy ETH with traditional payment types directly from sellers.
Swap your tokens for other people's ETH. And vice versa.
Ethereum and ETH aren't controlled by any government or company - they are decentralized. This means ETH's open to everyone to use.
But this also means you need to take the security of your funds seriously. With ETH, you’re not trusting a bank to look after your money, you’re trusting yourself.
If you plan on buying a lot of ETH you may want to keep it in a wallet you control, not an exchange. That's because an exchange is a likely target for hackers. If a hacker gains access, you could lose your funds. Alternatively, only you have control of your wallet.Check out wallets
When you download a wallet it will create a public ETH address for you. Here's what one looks like:
Example: Do not copy
Think of this like your email address, but instead of mail it can receive ETH. If you want to transfer ETH from an exchange to your wallet, use your address as the destination. Be sure to always double check before you send!
If you lose access to your wallet, you’ll lose access to your funds. Your wallet should give you instructions on protecting against this. Be sure to follow them carefully – in most cases, no one can help you if you lose access to your wallet.
Now that you own some ETH, check out some Ethereum applications (dapps). There are dapps for finance, social media, gaming and lots of other categories.