What is Ethereum?
Ethereum is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform featuring smart contract functionality. Smart contracts are a protocol that automatically executes the contractual part corresponding to the condition that is fulfilled. With smart contracts, you are looking at an incorruptible system of enforcing contracts, thus eliminating the risks of delayed payments and bringing down the risk of non-performance by over 80%. Ethereum also provides a cryptocurrency token called "ether", which can be transferred between accounts and used to compensate participant nodes for computations performed. In 2016, as a result of the collapse of The DAO project, Ethereum was split into two separate blockchains – the new separate version became Ethereum (ETH), and the original continued as Ethereum Classic (ETC).
1. Create account on a exchange
The best way to buy Ethereum in Canada is with a cryptocurrency exchange that accepts CAD.
Create an exchange account
In comparison to other cryptocurrencies buying Ethereum with an exchange is pretty easy.
If you want to buy Ethereum, without a account verification delay, and if you want to buy only a small amount ($375 CAD or less) consider using Coinbase.
For a comparison of the local exchanges and a more comprehensive guide on how to pick one, see the Exchanges Guide.
Verify and Fund
In order to fund your exchange account you will need to verify your identity. This often involves sending in copies of your drivers license, a utility bill, and in many cases a selfie of you holding your ID. This is normal for local exchanges.
2. Buy your Ethereum
Once your account is funded all you need to do is place an order to buy. You have two options, a market order or a limit order.
Place an order for Ethereum on the exchange
The next step is to actually buy Ethereum. This should be fairly obvious once you have access to your account.
For small or quick-fill orders where setting a limit price may not be of great importance, you can buy using a market order. For larger trades we recommend using a limit order and wait for it to fill at a specific price you desire.
3. Store your Ethereum in a wallet
It is best practice to store your cryptocurrencies in a wallet that is not hosted with a exchange. If you have more then $1000 in cryptocurrencies you should strongly consider storing the funds in a wallet that is not connected to the internet, a cold wallet (hardware). Each cryptocurrency has it's own wallet.
If you are just getting started you will probably want to use a software wallet. They are typically free and are considered more secure than leaving Ethereum on an exchange.
A software wallet we have used in the past is Blockchain. It was easy to use and also supports Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.
Feel free to do a google search to research what wallets are available and know what the options are.
Download and install whatever wallet you decide on using. Then withdraw your Ethereum from your exchange account. It is common for a small fee to be associted with the withdrawal.
The safest way to store Ethereum, or any cryptocurrency, is with a hardware wallet that is not connected to the internet. This is to prevent it being stolen or hacked from a exchange or a wallet connected to the internet.
A common hardware wallet for Ethereum is the Ledger Nano S.
Leaving it on an Exchange
This is generally not recommended. However, you might want to do this if you are actively trading and need access to Ethereum. Be aware you are taking an extra risk. Exchanges have been known to get hacked or disappear.
The advantage of doing this is instant access to your Ethereum, and saving the fees associated with transactions and withdrawing.
If you are going to be doing this, make sure you have 2 factor authentication enabled and that you are using a reputable exchange.
- Create an account on a local exchange.
- Place a order for Ethereum
- Send your Ethereum to a wallet to keep it safe