This is not investment advice, please do your own research before doing anything with this information. I DO own some Ethereum and will benefit from it's rise in value.
My inbox has been blowing up about Ethereum ever since I mentioned it on my facebook wall 3 weeks ago.
In fact, if you had been paying attention, and bought some, you may have just doubled your 'money'.
Now, I'm not a financial advisor, and I do not give any investment advice. I urge you to do your own research.
Ethereum is a highly experimental technology in it's early stages right now. It would be extremely risky to invest money into this as it could go to 0 tomorrow.
To me what makes it better than bitcoin is the speed. It has 10 second block times and transactions happen much faster than bitcoin. Also it is not clogged up like the bitcoin network which routinely hit's it's transaction limit these days.
On top of all of that, besides just sending bits of coins around as currency, you can also attach scripting language to these transactions and do some amazing things. Some yet to be seen, but coming very soon, you can read the full list of expected Ethereum related announcements here.
Blockchain sharding is a game changer for Ethereum and could allow it to 10000+ transactions a second (Visa currently handles 2000 per second).
Several of the biggest banks are rumored to be exploring blockchain technology, Ethereum, being open source is at the top of their list. reuters source.
There are over 100+ dApps being built on top of ethereum each with their own unique goals. If any ONE of these becomes mainstream, who knows what could happen with Ethereum! It's all very exciting to be part of the process this early in the game.
This is not investment advice, please do your own research before doing anything with this information.
With all of that said, if you have reviewed the technical documents and done your due diligence, and you have decided that you want to get some Ethereum, I've written this quick guide to help get you there safely.
How To Buy Ethereum:
Since this is so new, there are only a few exchanges that have Ethereum right now. This will change very soon.
One of the fastest ways to get Ethereum is to already have Bitcoin.
If you don't already have bitcoin, there are plenty of other guides that will tell you how to obtain it.
If you are in the US, look into coinbase, circle localbitcoins, libertyx, these are all reputable places that will allow you to exchange dollars for bitcoins.
Once you have bitcoins in your BTC wallet, you are ready for the next step.
Creating Your Ethereum Wallet
Ethereum has a different type of wallet than bitcoin. There are instructions on Ethereum.org on how to install the full client which will connect to the network and start downloading blocks.
If you don't want to deal with any of that and just want to safely buy and store the Ethereum, here is the easiest way to do it.
Goto this address and generate a wallet:
This site does not store any of your wallet details, so it's very important that after you generate your wallet, you save all of the passwords and keys to a safe place.
It even allows you to PRINT a paper wallet to help you recover the funds later.
There is no undo, there is no refunds, if you lose these passwords, it's gone forever.
So now you have generated an ethereum wallet and safely stored all of it's private keys and passwords somewhere.
You should do one last test to make sure you have all of the correct passwords saved.
Goto the 'Send Transaction' tab and paste in your private key + the password.
It will unlock your account and show you the current balance.
If all of that looks good, you are ready to buy some Ethereum.
Note your ETH Account address (starts with 0x), copy it into your clipboard and head over to http://shapeshift.io
Converting BTC to ETH
There are other exchanges that give you more control over the trades (such as Poloniex), but if you just want a quick way to switch BTC for ETH, shapeshift is the way to go.
Basically, you select BTC as the first currency and ETHER as the second currency. Paste in your ETH address as the destination, and your BTC address as the refund address, agree to their terms, and hit START transaction.
The next page will give you a deposit address. Send your BTC from your bitcoin wallet into that deposit address. Wait and watch until the transaction is confirmed.
If anything goes wrong, shapeshift will refund the BTC to the refund address you specified.
Once the transaction is completed, go back to
goto the send transaction tab, and paste in your private key and password.
You should now see your ETHEREUM balance.
If you ever want to 'cash out', simply do the reverse, go back to shapeshift, select ETH to BTC, and send the transaction from your ETH wallet to the deposit address specified.
Hope this has been helpful. Excited for where things will go with Ethereum.
Update: Kraken.com will now allow you to fund an account with your USD bank account and buy ETHEREUM directly. If you don't already have bitcoin, this may be your best option.
To see the latest price graph, visit:
To learn more about the tech behind Ethereum visit:
To see in to the 'crystal ball' of things to come from the Ethereum project and the projects that will be using this platform to power their own ideas, visit this reddit post