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 2023, 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 (Advanced Trade)||UK Bank Transfer (Faster Payments)||Up to 0.60%|
|CoinJar||UK Bank Transfer (Faster Payments)||1%|
|CoinJar||Debit & Credit Card||2%|
|Crypto.com||Debit & Credit Card||2.99%|
|Crypto.com||UK Bank Transfer (Faster Payments)||Varies|
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.
A few low-fee options include:
Best Ways to Buy Ethereum (ETH) in the UK
Coinbase’s Advanced Trade interface is one of the cheapest and quickest ways to buy Ethereum (ETH) in the UK.
Coinbase was the first major cryptocurrency exchange to accept GBP deposits through the UK Faster Payments Service (FPS). This means deposits to Coinbase should be credited in about an hour – but my experience is that the GBP arrives on Coinbase within minutes.
Using Coinbase’s Advanced Trade interface, you’ll be able to buy Ethereum (ETH) with GBP at the REAL market rate and low fees (max 0.6%). You’ll need to pay fees to withdraw your Ethereum (ETH) from Coinbase – but that’s the same in the majority of other places.
Coinbase’s default interface (i.e., ‘Simple’) has been a popular and well-recommended onramp for people across the world for many years. In my opinion, that’s because it’s intuitive, easy-to-use, and perfect for beginners. When you use Coinbase in this way, they’re acting as a cryptocurrency broker.
In contrast, Coinbase’s Advanced Trade interface is targeted at cryptocurrency traders (who usually want access to advanced order options), enthusiasts (who want a bit more control over their buy and sell prices), and people making high-value cryptocurrency purchases. It’s not geared towards beginners, but the attraction of using it over the standard trading interface are the fees you’re quoted are much lower (max 0.6%).
In the long-term, you’ll probably save a lot of money by learning to use Coinbase’s Advanced Trade interface..
- Create a Coinbase account and verify your UK bank account.
- Deposit GBP via UK bank transfer to Coinbase. After your initial deposit, you should find that GBP you send over to them is credited within minutes.
- Open Coinbase’s Advanced Trading interface. You can reach this by selecting ‘Trade’ in the sidebar and then the Advanced’ tab at the top of the page.
- Select the ETH-GBP trading pair to open up the trading interface.
- Buy ethereum on the ETH-GBP market at the real exchange rate using a limit or market order.
Coinbase WebsiteCoinbase Review
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, 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 when using Coinbase’s Advanced Trade interface, but not by much (less than 0.5% when I’ve checked).
This is more expensive than using Coinbase’s Advanced Trade interface, but it’s MUCH easier to use – which makes it more suitable for beginners.
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.
But if you want to pay lowest possible fees when using CoinJar, you could also take advantage of the CoinJar Exchange. When you open a CoinJar account, you’ll automatically be able to use this cryptocurrency exchange too.
With this, you’ll pay fees of up to 0.1% to buy Ethereum (ETH) or other cryptocurrencies with GBP. However, you’ll pay fees of up to just half that (0.05%) to trade between cryptocurrencies (e.g., selling Ethereum to buy Bitcoin).
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 250+ 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%.
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 or Kraken (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).
Download Mobile AppCrypto.com Review
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.
LocalCryptos WebsiteLocalCryptos Review
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. There are a lot of good options in 2023, with the cheapest two being the Trezor One and Ledger Nano S.
I like the Ledger Nano S because it’s cheap and gets the job done, but I do prefer larger devices like the Ledger Nano X or Trezor Model T. However, they come at a higher price point.
But if you’re not planning to interact with Ethereum (ETH) or ERC-20 tokens too often, I think you’d be fine with the older/cheaper options.
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.
Some other options:
- Mist Wallet: Ethereum wallet created by the Ethereum Foundation.
- MyEtherWallet or MyCrypto: Both are well-recommended ethereum web wallets.
- Exodus Wallet: User-friendly multi-currency wallet which allows you to manage over 95 cryptocurrencies.
What is Ethereum (ETH)?
Ethereum (ETH) is the native cryptocurrency for the Ethereum network, a popular layer-1 blockchain. ETH is primarily used as a store of value and to pay transaction fees on the network.
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 is now secured through Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus 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 previously caused some problems, such as network congestion and high transaction costs – which have, essentially, made it unusable for average users like me.
However, 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 validators.
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.
2 thoughts on “Cheaply Buy Ethereum in the UK (2023)”
Thanks for this guide.
The fees were low to buy ETH on Binance, but I’m struggling with the gas fees to transfer ETH from Binance into my wallet, which they’re saying will cost 0.0036 ETH. What’s the next cheapest way to get ETH all the way to a MetaMask wallet?
Network congestion on the Ethereum network remains a problem, which means that it can be quite expensive to send ETH or tokens via it.
Kraken has a slightly lower fixed withdrawal fee (0.0035 ETH) than Binance (0.005 ETH). Coinbase Pro is the lowest of the three (at about 0.003 ETH when I checked). However, withdrawal fees on Coinbase/Coinbase Pro are dynamic – which can go against you if the network is particularly busy!
Another option to consider is Gemini ActiveTrader. You can deposit GBP with a UK bank transfer, then use its exchange to buy ETH without paying more than 0.35% in fees. You can then make 10 withdrawals for FREE every month. This is a massive saving if you’re looking to make a few little withdrawals of ETH to your MetaMask wallet every month. You can find out more about it in my Gemini review.