Ethereum (ETH) is the second-largest cryptocurrency network. It supports loads of ERC-20 tokens on its blockchain, and it’s traded on most crypto exchanges.
But if you’re not careful?
You’ll get ripped off. You might end up unnecessarily paying high fees when buying Ethereum (ETH) with GBP in the UK.
In this post, I’ll show you the cheapest way to buy Ethereum (ETH) in the UK with GBP.
Intro: Cheapest Way to Buy Ethereum with Each Payment Method
Buying Ethereum (ETH) as a UK resident used to be difficult and expensive.
In 2022, it’s easier and cheaper than it’s ever been before.
Here are the cheapest ways to buy Ethereum (ETH) with the most popular payment options in the UK.
|Kraken||UK Bank Transfer (Faster Payments)||Up to 0.26%|
|Coinbase Pro||UK Bank Transfer (Faster Payments)||Up to 0.50%|
|CoinJar||UK Bank Transfer (Faster Payments)||Up to 1.5%|
|CoinJar||Debit & Credit Card||2%|
|Crypto.com||Debit & Credit Card||2.99%|
This post is about how to buy Ethereum (ETH) directly with GBP in the UK.
If you’d like to buy Ethereum (ETH) with Bitcoin (BTC), then you’ll want to check out this guide to learn how to buy Bitcoin (BTC) at the cheapest possible rate in the UK.
Once you have Bitcoin (BTC), you can exchange it for Ethereum (ETH) in loads of places.
Here are just a few options:
Best Ways to Buy Ethereum (ETH) in the UK
1. Coinbase Pro
Coinbase Pro (previously GDAX) is one of the cheapest and quickest ways to buy Ethereum (ETH) in the UK with a UK bank transfer.
Coinbase Pro was the first major cryptocurrency exchange to accept GBP deposits through the UK Faster Payments Service (FPS). This means deposits to Coinbase Pro should be credited in about an hour – but my experience is that the GBP arrives on Coinbase Pro within minutes.
On Coinbase Pro, you’re able to buy Ethereum (ETH) with GBP at the REAL market rate and low fees (up to 0.5%). You’ll need to pay fees to withdraw your Ethereum (ETH) from Coinbase Pro – but that’s the same on the majority of other exchanges too.
Coinbase and Coinbase Pro (formerly GDAX) are owned by the same company. When you create a Coinbase account, you’ll automatically have access to Coinbase Pro (using your Coinbase credentials).
Coinbase is intuitive, easy-to-use, and perfect for beginners. Coinbase is the world’s most well-recommended and popular cryptocurrency broker.
In contrast, Coinbase Pro is a cryptocurrency exchange which is targeted at cryptocurrency traders and high-value cryptocurrency purchases. The fees on Coinbase Pro are much lower (up to 0.5%), but it’s harder to use and intimidating for beginners.
In the long-term, you’ll probably save a lot of money by learning to use Coinbase Pro.
Buy Ethereum (ETH) on Coinbase Pro [GUIDE]
Create an account on Coinbase. It doesn’t take long.
Link your UK bank account.
You can add your UK bank account by going to ‘Settings > Linked Accounts > Link a New Account’ and following the on-screen instructions.
Send GBP funds to your GBP wallet on Coinbase Pro.
Coinbase supports UK Faster Payments (FPS), so deposits are usually credited in less than an hour. My experience is that, after your first deposit to Coinbase, GBP is credited within minutes.
Here’s how you find Coinbase account information (and reference number):
- Login to pro.coinbase.com
- In the left sidebar, select ‘Deposit
- In the dropdown box, select ‘British Pound’
- You’ll be shown everything you need to transfer GBP directly to your Coinbase Pro account.
Buy Ethereum (ETH) on the ETH/GBP market on Coinbase Pro.
Coinbase Pro recently changed their fees, so that you’ll pay 0.5% in fees if you have a trading volume that’s under $10,000 per month. You’ll pay this regardless of whether you’re a market maker or a market taker.
It’s easier to submit a market order, but this video provides a good explanation of how to submit a limit purchase order in this video.
If you’d rather read a text guide on how to complete a limit order, check out this.
Withdraw Ethereum (ETH) from Coinbase Pro.
Coinbase Pro recently introduced fees for Ethereum (ETH) withdrawals. These are based on the current network fees (which are quite high).
- In the left sidebar on pro.coinbase.com, select ‘Withdraw’
- In the dropdown box, select ‘Ether’
- You’ll then tell Coinbase Pro how much Ethereum (ETH) you’d like to send, and where you’d like it to go.
- If you don’t have your own Ethereum (ETH) wallet, jump to the wallet section at the end of this post.
CoinJar is yet another great place to buy Ethereum (ETH) and other cryptocurrencies with GBP in the UK.
It supports UK bank transfers via the Faster Payments Service (FPS), which means that any GBP you send over to CoinJar (after your initial deposit) should be credited within about an hour. Like on Coinbase Pro, I’ve found that CoinJar usually credits my GBP within minutes.
You’ll be charged a fixed 1% fee when you buy Ethereum (ETH) on CoinJar. The prices you’re quoted might be a little bit above what you’d find on Coinbase Pro, but not by much (less than 0.5% when I’ve checked).
This is more expensive than Coinbase Pro, but it’s MUCH easier to use than either of these alternatives – which makes it more suitable for beginners.
But if you want to pay lower fees, you could take advantage of the CoinJar Exchange. With this, you’ll pay fees of up to 0.2% to buy Ethereum (ETH) or other cryptocurrencies with GBP. However, you’ll pay fees of up to just 0.05% to trade between cryptocurrencies (e.g. ETH/BTC).
You can also instantly buy Ethereum (ETH) with a credit or debit card on CoinJar. However, you’ll pay a higher fee of 2% for the slight bit of convenience it offers.
Signing up and getting verified doesn’t take long.
Although not as great as it used to be, the Crypto.com app is still a convenient place to buy Ethereum (ETH) in the UK.
For UK residents, the cheapest way to get GBP into the Crypto.com app is with a UK bank transfer. You can then buy Ethereum (ETH) and 150+ other cryptocurrencies with your GBP wallet balance – without paying any explicit fees.
Alternatively, you can instantly buy Ethereum (ETH) with a debit card or credit card. If you take this option, you’ll usually be charged an explicit fee of 2.99%. However, new Crypto.com app users won’t have to pay this for the first 30 days after creating an account (more details on that here).
Unfortunately, the exchange rate you’re quoted in the Crypto.com app is higher than what you’d find on a cryptocurrency exchange like Coinbase Pro (by more than 1%). This seems to vary a lot, which makes it difficult to judge the real competitiveness of Crypto.com’s offering.
Regardless of that: Since I’ve started using Crypto.com, I’ve been really impressed with what it offers. It’s much more than just another place to buy, sell, and store cryptocurrency though (e.g., offering one of the best crypto debit cards around).
LocalCryptos is a peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace where you can buy and sell Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC) with other people. It’s available worldwide and supports all traditional (i.e. fiat) currencies. When I checked, there were over 6000 active offers (across the world). It was previously known as LocalEthereum.
Like other P2P crypto marketplaces, it supports all payment methods – as long as you can find someone willing to accept that payment method.
In the UK, these are the most popular payment methods on LocalCryptos:
- UK Bank Transfer (via Faster Payments)
- Cash (in-person)
- PayPal (+ other similar services)
Unfortunately, there were only about 30 sellers with open offers in the UK when I checked. The lowest rate I found was approximately 1% above the real ETH/GBP exchange rate.
When buying Ethereum (ETH) through LocalCryptos, the seller will need to place the Ethereum (ETH) you’re buying into an escrow smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain.
This is pretty cool! Here’s how they explain it:
“Escrows are decentralised using the Ethereum blockchain, which means that the seller is not sending ether to a trusted third-party (although it works similarly) but instead a ‘smart contract’… in short, this makes localethereum trustless; there’s no way for staff to access this ETH — we can only intervene and send it to one of you if either party opens a dispute” (Source)
You can read more about this here.
Communications between buyers and sellers are also end-to-end encrypted so that you can communicate privately with one another.
Registration takes less than a minute.Check it Out
Don’t like the options above?
Here are some other places you can buy Ethereum (ETH) directly with GBP in the UK.
|Website||Payment Method||Fees (Approx.)||Full Review|
|BC Bitcoin||UK Bank Transfer||5%||BC Bitcoin Review|
|Bittylicious||UK Bank Transfer||4%||Bittylicious Review|
|Coinbase||Debit Card, & Credit Card||4%||Coinbase Review|
EXTRA: Best Ethereum Wallets
Ethereum Hardware Wallet
Once you’ve bought Ethereum (ETH), it’s best practice to immediately move it into an external crypto wallet which YOU control.
Hardware wallets are extremely popular and well-recommended across the world. They make the process of securing your cryptocurrency simple and easy – even for non-technical users.
I’ve reviewed nearly every cryptocurrency hardware wallet that’s available. I’ve ranked my favourite cryptocurrency hardware wallets in this post.
One of the best hardware wallets I’ve come across is the Ledger Nano S. It’s the most popular crypto hardware wallet, with over 1.4 million units sold worldwide. It also costs under £60, which makes it great value for money.
Other Ethereum Wallets
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but these options appear well-recommended across the crypto-community. My favourite is the Atomic Wallet.
- Mist Wallet: Ethereum wallet created by the Ethereum Foundation.
- MyEtherWallet or MyCrypto: Both are well-recommended ethereum web wallets.
- Atomic Wallet: Feature-packed multi-currency wallet which lets you manage ethereum, as well as 300 other coins and tokens.
- Exodus Wallet: User-friendly multi-currency wallet which allows you to manage over 95 cryptocurrencies.
What is Ethereum (ETH)?
The network was first described in a 2013 whitepaper by Vitalik Buterin, a programmer and entrepreneur. Buterin worked with a number of other developers and venture capitalists to launch Ethereum (ETH) in 2015, including Gavin Wood, Charles Hoskinson, Mihai Alisie, Anthony Di Iorio, and Joseph Lubin.
Here’s a quick video that explains what Ethereum (ETH) is and how it works:
At its core, Ethereum (ETH) works much like any other major cryptocurrency.
The network itself is currently secured through a Proof of Work (PoW) consensus mechanism and all transactions are recorded on a public blockchain. It is a decentralised and permissionless system so anyone who can connect to the network using the internet can send, receive, or hold ETH.
What makes Ethereum (ETH) unique, however, is its support for smart contracts.
Smart contracts are pieces of code that are designed to execute when certain conditions are met. For example, if a developer wanted to have a program that could swap £100 pounds worth of Ethereum (ETH) for Tether (USDT) every day, they could write code for the smart contract so this swap could automatically happen every 24 hours.
Nowadays, smart contracts aren’t exactly novel and there are a decent number of layer-1 blockchains that support them.
What makes Ethereum unique is that it was one of the first major blockchain networks to support smart contracts. Technically, the Bitcoin network and some of the Ethereum network’s predecessors have support for smart contracts, too, but Ethereum was arguably the most viable and accessible smart contracts platform for developers when it launched.
As a result, the Ethereum network has become the go-to place for blockchain developers who want to create decentralised apps (DApps), such as decentralised finance (DeFi) platforms and decentralised exchanges (DEXes). That’s because all these apps require smart contracts to function efficiently and without the need for a central oversight authority.
Ethereum has also become a really popular blockchain for the development of other tokens, most of which follow the ERC-20 standard. For example, USD Coin (USDC), Shiba Inu (SHIB), and Dai (DAI) are all ERC-20 tokens. The network is also popular for minting and distributing NFTs (non-fungible tokens), many of which follow the ERC-721 standard.
That said, the popularity of Ethereum as a great blockchain for DApps and token development has caused some problems, such as network congestion and rising transaction costs. But there are a number of layer-2 scaling solutions like Polygon (MATIC) and Loopring (LRC) that hope to make Ethereum network transactions faster and cheaper in the long term.
Ethereum (ETH) is used as a store of value, so you can send and receive it to pay for goods and services.
Additionally, Ethereum (ETH) is used to pay transaction fees on the network. Specifically, it’s used to settle gas fees for transactions, which are paid to the network. A part of the gas fees for each transaction on the Ethereum network is burned while the rest is distributed to miners.
It’s worth noting that all transactions that happen on the main Ethereum network charge gas fees in Ethereum (ETH), even if you’re transacting with ERC-20 tokens like Tether (USDT) or NFTs. There are a few exceptions to this rule (especially if you’re using certain layer-2 platforms), but most DApps built on Ethereum also require that you pay gas in ETH.
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