Acquiring Ether (ETH)
To participate in the Ethereum ecosystem, you must own some ETH. You can purchase Ether in different ways.
Online Exchange Platforms
These platforms allow buyers to purchase Ethereum for a fee. You can complete your purchases on these platforms using traditional currencies (dollars, pounds, etc.). You’ll also need to undergo a Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process to identify yourself before finalizing the purchase.
This involves reaching out to a seller and discussing prices without an intermediary. Ethereum communities across different states make it convenient to find willing sellers. However, acquiring crypto in this way can be extremely risky.
- Cryptography – A study of secure communications techniques in an adversarial environment
- Metadata – Data that describes some other data. Ex. the caption describing an image
- Whitepaper – Information document used to promote or highlight the features of a solution to a problem, product, or service
Storing Ether (ETH)
Storing Ethereum requires a digital wallet. This digital wallet lets you send and receive transactions using a public and private address key pair. These wallets are connected to the internet as “hot” storage or offline as “cold” storage.
Hot storage solutions usually refer to web wallets such as Metamask. They allow for quick access to your funds to make transactions.
However, the private keys to access your wallet are also stored online, which makes you vulnerable to hacks and other threats.
Cold storage solutions are a much safer alternative for long-term asset custody. The private keys for the wallet are kept offline using hardware-based devices like a Ledger, stamped metal, or even printed on paper and kept in a safe.
Making transactions with a cold storage device takes much longer to execute due to the time it takes to retrieve the device and reconnect the wallet online.
Later lessons explain more about digital asset acquisition and custody.
If you feel prepared, take our Introduction to Bitcoin and Blockchain quiz: