How to buy Ethereum (ETH) with USD

Hello and welcome to Ethereum!

Ethereum and digital currencies are a pretty new world and in this new world, things can be a little bit different. First, you are responsible for your stuff. Your investments, your choices, your security. There are no babysitters or undo buttons or a bank to call up and reverse your transaction. The power of the blockchain is this, but it's also a dangerous thing if you are expecting to have all the cushy things you've come to enjoy.

Secondly, most of the people involved in this world are pretty technical and sometimes forget how different things are. Take your time, ask questions, ask for clarification reach out for help, read the instructions, read the warnings, hang out, and try to learn new things.

  • Scams and phishing sites and malicious links exist. Trust messages and random links about as much as those in your spambox. Verify verify verify.

  • Always save & back up your private key in a separate location, like a piece of paper or a USB drive. Avoid cloud storage.

  • Be skeptical. Does the person have an ulterior motive? Is that too good to be true?

Still with me? Good! Let's dive deeper!

Now, the fun part! How To Buy ETH

  1. Create an account on Gemini or Coinbase or Kraken.

  2. Verify that account. You will need to upload a wide variety of documents proving you are who you say you are and stuff. It's all regulatory stuff. Once you upload this stuff, verification takes about a day or two (time is dependent on how busy the service is. During times of price increases and tons of new users, it may take longer. Be patient.)

  3. Follow the instructions on the exchange to deposit USD into that exchange. This, depending on your bank and the wire transfer, will typically take 3-5 business days.

  4. Now you have USD in your exchange account and can buy ETH with it.

  5. Once you have all the ETH you want, withdraw that ETH into a wallet that you control. Exchanges are notorious for being hacked (although the ones mentioned above are very reputable) and you want your funds in a place that you have the private key to. So...

  6. ...While you are waiting for your verification and transfer, download and install Mist / Ethereum Wallet. Run it so it can sync the blockchain.

  7. When you run it, it'll prompt you to make a new account. Create a password that you will never ever forget and create the account. Then, it'll give you an address that starts with 0x.. This what you will enter on your exchange to move your ETH from their account to your own.

  8. To safely keep your account you have 3 pieces of information:

    • Your address (0x7573aB.....)
    • Your password
    • Your private key

The private key is like a password, but way more intense. Plus, it's a password that is protected by another password. In Ethereum Wallet, this private key is in the form of a keystore file. You need to make a backup of this in case anything happens to your computer.

In Ethereum Wallet, go to the top bar and find ACCOUNTS -> BACKUP -> ACCOUNTS. It'll open up a folder and inside you will see a file. This file is your private key. Copy this to a USB drive and safely store the USB drive in a different physical location than your computer (in case your house explodes).

Alternative steps 1-5:

If you already have BTC, you can use or Changelly to convert your BTC into ETH. Start a BTC->ETH exchange and it'll tell you where to send your BTC. (If you have your BTC on an exchange, you can likely exchange them for ETH on that exchange without the need for Shapeshift.)

Then create an Ethereum Wallet account and back it up. In Circle or Coinbase, send all the BTC to that address. The ETH will appear in your ETH wallet in ~20 minutes.

Alternative steps 6-8:

Mist is highly recommended but some people have issues installing & syncing it. If for some reason you cannot get it to run, here is a list of easily accessible wallets. Follow the instructions provided by each of these wallets to back up your information. In Jaxx, that is a mnemonic. In MyCrypto, read this.


Refresher Course!

I have outlined the steps above like you should do it all as fast as possible. Stop. Breath. There is no rush. Take your time moving your funds from an exchange to your own wallet. Test with a small amount first. Get the feel for things and make mistakes with small amounts rather than all your money! If you skipped them earlier or didn't understand them, take the time to re-read it now.

How to Use the MyCrypto Coinbase Widget

The Coinbase widget is visible on your "View & Send" screen just below your address information. See below.

Just click on the widget and you will be re-directed to a new tab with the window below. Double-Check that you are on the "Secure" Coinbase URL.

For NEW Coinbase Accounts - Enter your email address and follow the directions to register and verify your account and device. Once you have successfully created your account, you MAY need to go back to the Coinbase Widget and enter the email address connected with the Coinbase account that you just created.

For CURRENT and VALID Coinbase Accounts - Enter the email address associated with your Coinbase account along with your password, then you should be directed to the screen below.

For any questions or issues on How to Buy ETH with USD via the MyCrypto Coinbase widget, please contact Coinbase directly.

Coinbase : Support

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