What's the best way to buy Ethereum in NZ?
Ethereum is currently the second biggest cryptocurrency by market cap, and is not difficult to purchase in NZ.
In fact, in most places you can buy Bitcoin in NZ, you can buy Ethereum as well.
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However, every exchange or broker will have different prices and rates, so in this guide I'll show you where I've been buying my Ethereum as a NZer (with NZD), how to store it safely, how to earn interest on it, and a few other tips as well.
Contents of this guide:
- What is Ethereum?
- Why own Ethereum?
- What’s the best place to buy Ethereum in NZ?
- How to store Ethereum safely
- How to earn interest on your Ethereum
What is Ethereum, exactly?
Ethereum is a digital currency, much like Bitcoin.
However, the scope and possibilities of each are different.
Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer currency, mostly used for investment, store-of-value, and actually purchasing goods and services. It serves the purpose of a decentralised currency.
The Ethereum blockchain is different. It serves the purpose of facilitating decentralised applications.
Ethereum has also gained some corporate support, and many big names have jumped on to support it into mainstream commerce. Some of them include Toyota, Samsung, Microsoft, Intel, J.P. Morgan, Merck, Deloitte, Accenture, Banco Santander, and several others.
If you Google the news on Ethereum, new partnerships and support is being built by the day.
You can learn more about Ethereum in our Ethereum Guide.
What’s the best place to buy Ethereum in NZ?
When I first got into crypto back in 2016, it was near impossible to buy Ethereum anywhere. I was actually using an Australian exchange, as nowhere in New Zealand was brokering it.
Luckily things have changed and there are now many options available.
The option I recommend right now is EasyCrypto.
They are a full service crypto and Bitcoin brokerage owned and operated in NZ.
Here is why it's my top recommendation:
- Orders are filled quickly at market prices.
- Very low fees.
- Excellent customer service.
- Around 70 other cryptocurrencies available.
- They don’t store coins for you, instead they help you set up your own wallets (much safer!)
- They are a registered NZ Financial Services Provider and FDRS member.
- Pay by bank deposit or instantly with Poli or Account2Account.
How to buy Ethereum on EasyCrypto?
One reason I like EasyCrypto is because the process is so easy.
There are four simple steps, no different to buying some clothes while you're online shopping.
Step 1: Open an EasyCrypto accountaa
First, click here to head to their website and open an account:
You can sign up with your socials or an email address just like any other online service.
That’s it! You’re in.
Verify your account:
As a registered as a Financial Services Provider in NZ, they need to verify your identity.
While this might feel like a nuisance, remember it is actually to protect you. Don't buy Bitcoin or crypto from anyone who isn't registered in New Zealand, especially if you're new to the market. Too many people get scammed trying to get a deal from obscure sellers.
Verification should only take you a few minutes and only requires a driver’s license or passport:
Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to buy!
Step 1: Choose your coins and quantity
For this example, I’m going to walk you through buying $200 of Ether.
Head to the homepage after you’ve signed up and you should see a page with all the coins you can buy:
Click “Buy”, then click “Ethereum” and then click “$200” as I’ve shown in the screenshot above. The prices are all in NZD.
Step 2: Choose your Ethereum address
On the next page, you’ll get asked to enter your ETH address. This is where your Ether will be sent to.
Ethereum addresses work exactly the same as Bitcoin addresses.
If you don’t have one, just click the “I don’t have an Ethereum address” button and EasyCrypto will help you set one up for you.
Alternatively, you can just set one up yourself on your phone in less than 2 minutes by downloading a wallet app. My recommendation is the Coinbase Wallet. It is available on both Android and iOS, and free for everyone.
If you need help creating your own wallet, I have a step-by-step guide to setting up your Coinbase Wallet below. Just click the green box to expand.
First thing you want to do is download a wallet app.
In this example, we will be using the wallet we recommend to all new users which is the Coinbase Wallet.
Once you've downloaded and installed the wallet on your phone or tablet, you should get a screen like this:
Tap Create a New Wallet. You then get asked to create a username:
The username is not that important - choose whatever you like.
You'll then be given an option to protect your wallet with a PIN or fingerprint:
Choose at least one - it's a good layer of protection in case you lose your phone (you still need to back up your wallet, which I'll walk you through as well in just a sec).
Then you'll finally be brought to your wallet.
You can see in my wallet, there are no assets for a total of $0. Let's change that!
Tap the Receive button.
You'll be asked to choose which coin you want to receive. In this case, we want to receive Ethereum, so type that in the search bar:
Make sure you choose the asset Ethereum with the code ETH, as shown in the screenshot above.
Once you select Ethereum, this should bring up your Ethereum address:
You can see below the Ethereum address for my wallet is 0x36dE3D35DC84654CdA8286c19622D502cE4808f1.
Yours should look similar to that.
If it sounds complicated, try to think of it like a regular bank account number from ASB or ANZ. It's the same concept - just a unique set of numbers that represents your account.
Tap on "Copy/share address" and that will copy your address to your clipboard. Then simply paste it into EasyCrypto to complete your order:
Important: Always double and triple check your address!!! Some people ask, do I really need to check every letter? YES! Check every single letter. If you enter the wrong address, your coins will go somewhere else and they will be unrecoverable. Always check your addresses.
The final thing you need to do is backup your wallet. This is the most important step, and ironically, the step most people like to skip. If you skip this step, you are at a very real risk of losing all your coins, so please do it now.
First, click the Settings cogwheel at the bottom of your wallet and then click on Recovery Phrase:
You will then be shown a screen of 12 words, with the option to back them up to Google Drive, or back them up manually.
I highly recommend backing them up manually, as it is best practice to store your backup words offline.
Write these 12 words down on a piece of paper. Make sure you spell them correctly, and write them in the correct order. These words will give anyone who has them full access to your wallet. Keep them in a safe place, preferably in a locked safe or somewhere very secure.
You're now the owner of a safe and secure crypto wallet! You've also probably noticed, you can use this same wallet to receive hundreds of other coins, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, XRP and so on. Have fun!
This is one of the reasons I recommend EasyCrypto.
Rather than store your coins on their site, they force you to set up your own private wallet and keep your coins yourself.
This is the absolute safest way for anyone to hold their crypto. It also means they're not misusing/lending your coins out or planning to "crash" and then disappear with everyone's money. There have been too many hacks in crypto now for people to not take security seriously. EasyCrypto does and that's exactly what you should be looking for in a provider.
Step 3: Choose a payment option
The next screen will give you your payment options.
You can use Account2Account or standard bank deposit which are both free, or you can use POLI which is $3 or 1%, whichever is lower.
Step 4: Make payment and wait for your Bitcoin to arrive
EasyCrypto will then give you payment instructions.
If you choose Poli or Account2Account, your order will execute immediately. The rate will also be locked in immediately, and your Ethereum should arrive within a few hours or earlier.
If you chose bank deposit, your order will execute whenever your bank deposit clears.
That’s it! You’re now invested in Ethereum!
Who should use EasyCrypto to buy Ethereum in NZ?
In my opinion EasyCrypto is going to be the best option for 95% of first time buyers, and for people who are new to Bitcoin.
When it comes to crypto, most people are interested in buying $200 or $500 or maybe a few thousand dollars as an investment. EasyCrypto is absolutely perfect for this and you won’t find a service better suited for it.
As you get more involved and educated about Bitcoin, you may also become interested in purchasing other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum or Ripple XRP or Litecoin, and many others. EasyCrypto allows you to buy all of these as well, and has more than seventy of the most established cryptocurrencies which you can buy directly with NZD.
They’re also one of the safest options and operate everything legally and above board as a registered provider, so you know you’re protected by NZ law, which is not the case when dealing with overseas brokers and exchanges.
If you want to get started with EasyCrypto, you can open a new account by clicking here.
What’s the best way to store Ethereum in New Zealand?
Managing to buy Ethereum in NZ is the first hump, but what about storage?
Most exchanges and services want to hold your coins for you, so they can keep them in private accounts in case they go under, or lend them out to traders and institutions and earn interest on them.
EasyCrypto doesn’t even give you this option and in doing so doesn’t expose you to any of that risk. This means you will need to get your own Ethereum wallet.
What is an Ethereum wallet?
A wallet is a storage system for your Ethereum. It’s a bit like an online bank account.
It contains two keys: one public and one private.
The public key is like your account number. It's what you give to people when you want to get paid. You can safely give your public key to anyone.
The private key is like your online banking password. It's what you use to access your funds. Never give your private key to anyone.
As for the wallets, there are two main types of wallet. There are hardware wallets and software wallets.
Software wallets are free and are generated on your computer or mobile phone.
You can think of software wallets like the wallet you carry around in your pocket each day. It's good for storing a little bit of cash, but not for a huge stacks of money.
It's the same for Ether and other cryptocurrencies. If you're planning on sending and receiving coins regularly, a software wallet can be a good choice.
In the tutorial above, we showed you how to receive your Ethereum to the Coinbase Wallet, which is a software wallet.
A hardware wallet is more like a safe in your basement.
It's a physical device (looks like a USB drive) that you can keep in your house and is used to store large amounts of digital currency.
Some people even lock their hardware wallets in an actual safe or a bank safety deposit box.
What’s the difference?
Obviously, a hardware wallet is the safest choice.
Which is safer - a $100 bill in your back pocket or a $100 bill locked in the safe in your basement?
However, we also need to think about practicality and that's why both types of wallet exist.
If you are only planning on buying a small amount of Bitcoin, Ether and other cyrptocurrencies, a software wallet is fine. Keep the password somewhere safe, and it's unlikely anything will happen.
If you are planning on investing upwards of a few thousand dollars, then it makes sense to invest in the extra security of a hardware wallet.
Crypto stored on a hardware wallet is near impossible to lose. Even if the wallet gets stolen, you will still be able to recover your funds if you've kept your passwords in a safe place.
What do I use?
I use both.
I store most of my coins on a hardware wallet, and have a small amount of coins stored in a software wallet in case I want to move them around.
The hardware wallet I use is the Ledger Nano S.
It’s one of the most highly recommended in the crypto community and is super easy to use.
It also allows you to store Ethereum, Litecoin and about 10 other major cryptocurrencies, along with your Bitcoin. You can grab one here.
They ship their Bitcoin wallets worldwide, including to New Zealand.
Can you earn interest on Ethereum?
There are many services now offering interest bearing accounts as institutions start to enter the industry en masse.
The service I currently use is Blockfi.
Blockfi is backed by some of the biggest names in crypto, including Coinbase.
The rates change every month, but they do allow deposits in Ether and other major coins and stablecoins. Here are their current rates:
I’m not comfortable putting in all my holdings, but I have been depositing a little month by month and as the industry matures I’ll hopefully be able to earn interest on everything I own.
If you’re interested in keeping some of your Ether or Bitcoin in Blockfi, you can use this link to get $10 of free Bitcoin on your first deposit.