Where Can I Spend Ethereum?

As cryptocurrencies penetrate our mainstream financial networks, the opportunities for making the most out of these assets are increasing every day. Even though the global economy hasn’t switched to cryptocurrencies yet, and you don’t immediately think about paying with digital currency when buying yourself a coffee, the retail opportunities might be greater than you think. 

Ethereum (ETH) is one of the largest altcoins on the market, second only to the most popular cryptocurrency – the good old Bitcoin (BTC). However, thanks to its underlying technology, it is much more than just a cryptocurrency. The Ethereum blockchain is also a decentralised computing platform that works like a computer program, but instead of being run on a single device, it runs on all the nodes that constitute it, with no single owner or manager. Thanks to its flexible nature, Ethereum’s possibilities are endless.

In this article, we will talk about what you can do with your ETH if they’re simply lying around in your crypto wallet. You might be amazed by the sort of products and services you can get with your Ethereum investments.

What Is Ethereum (ETH)?

As we have just mentioned, Ethereum is a decentralised computing platform. Today, the role of cryptocurrencies as investment instruments is so prominent that one can easily forget their underlying blockchain technology can be used for so much more than just peer-to-peer payment systems.

Physical Ether coin on top of bank notes

With blockchain technology, we can build complex computing mechanisms that don’t need a central authority to monitor or regulate the system, i.e. smart contracts. Instead of programming a piece of software intended to run on a single computer, developers can now create and launch code that runs across Ethereum’s distributed network. 

You should also bear in mind that Ether and Ethereum are different things, even though they are sometimes used interchangeably among the crypto community – even coinmarketcap lists Ether as Ethereum. The cryptocurrency is called Ether, while Ethereum is the protocol that powers the coin. Ether stores value, and thanks to the Ethereum blockchain and its integration of smart contracts, we can set conditions on how Ether is going to be transferred, making Ether, fundamentally, programmable money.

Aside from Ether’s value in the crypto market, the Ethereum network offers a platform to run decentralized applications (dApps) on, which brings about an exciting amount of new products to the Ethereum market.

So, let’s talk about where you can buy Ether and what you can actually do with it.

Where Can You Buy Ethereum?

The best way to purchase any cryptocurrency is through a crypto exchange. Because Ether is so popular, most of the crypto exchanges will let you buy it. Plus, Ether is one of the few crypto coins that are also available on Venmo and Paypal. Different platforms implement different fees on purchasing and transacting cryptocurrencies, so you might want to compare your options before diving in.

What Can You Buy With Ether?

Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies

The most obvious thing you can buy with your Ether is other cryptocurrencies. In general terms, cryptocurrency trading involves speculating over the price movements of crypto tokens via cryptocurrency exchanges. Moreover, most of the well-established crypto exchanges offer derivative trading tools such as futures contracts and more.

Male wearing gray suit holding bitcoin coin

Cryptocurrency trading is a risky investment instrument as the crypto market is typically subject to much higher volatility rates than stock or foreign exchange markets around the globe. High volatility also means you can generate substantial profits if you know what you are doing. However, if you are a beginner, spend some time learning your way around the crypto market to determine your strategy, and by no means take this article as a piece of investment advice.

You need a cryptocurrency exchange in order to buy Bitcoin and other altcoins with your Ether. If you already have Ether in your crypto wallet, you most probably got it from an exchange, and you already have an account. But if you don’t, pick yourself an exchange platform according to your needs and location. You can have a look at our exchange reviews page to get more information about your options. 

You can check out our Coinbase, CoinSpot, Bittrex, and Swyftx reviews to have a general idea of how DEXs and CEXs work, and what they have to offer in terms of security, staking/farming opportunities, coin pairs, fiat currency policies, and deposit and withdrawal options. Once you get yourself a crypto account, you are set to buy and sell cryptocurrency as you please. 

Goods and Services

Cryptocurrency payments are becoming more mainstream every day. Today, many companies accept Bitcoin, Ether, and Litecoin (LTC) payments… For example, you can book trips, hotels, flights, and activities with your Ether on Travala.com. You can also shop from the online retail giant Overstock or buy gift cards on Egifter with ETH.

You can even buy yourself a cup of coffee and your favourite dessert at Starbucks with Ether, even though the company doesn’t accept direct crypto payments yet. You simply have to load your Starbucks card with Ether using a third-party app such as Bitrefill or Fold App.

Cup of coffee with slice of dessert on wood table

Plus, another heavyweight company, Paypal, has announced that their next phase is to include cryptocurrency, as well as card and other payment methods at vendor checkouts. They are already supporting direct crypto exchange through their own liquidity pool at the moment. So as you see, the list of companies that accept Ether as a form of payment is quite long, and crypto integration is gaining momentum.

Crypto Debit Cards

In addition to finding online stores that accept cryptocurrency payments, you can get yourself a Mastercard or a Visa crypto payments card. These cards work as payment gateways between your digital wallet and the retailers in the real world, even offline ones. Whenever you make a purchase, your crypto payment card converts your crypto assets into fiat currency depending on your region (USD if you are shopping in the US or AUD if in  Australia). 

Here are some of the crypto debit card services:

Buy Products on dApps

Ethereum blockchain runs many applications, and there are many dApps, ranging from finance to art and collectibles, gaming to technology, that run on the Ethereum network you can spend your Ether on. 

For example, you can join automatic online lotteries at PoolTogEther, join crowd fundings on Gitcoin Grants, or get insurance coverage on Etherisc

You can invest in NFTs, unique editions of digital artworks on-chain, and trade limited edition art pieces with other buyers through Foundation, SuperRare, or OpenSea

Man participating in lottery using phone in front of computer

If you are into gaming, you can check out the virtual world simulator Cryptovoxels, where you can buy land, open businesses, and create art galleries or other games like Gods Unchained or Dark Forest

Or, most notoriously, if you are a programmer, the dApp environment has some interesting finds that you can get in return for your Ether, like radical.xyz or Golem

Having said that, you should always keep in mind that most applications on the Ethereum blockchain are new and hard to police. Plus, the integrations are also newborns, and your actions might come with repercussions you weren’t aware of beforehand. So you should always do your research before depositing large amounts of money in any cryptocurrency platform.

A Few Words Before You Go…

Nowadays, you can purchase tons of products and services with your Ether. Even though cryptocurrencies are still too volatile to replace fiat currencies, they are getting closer to mainstream adoption every day. Cryptocurrencies don’t look like they will be fading out from our financial systems. So you can expect to have even more options and integrations with Ether world in the near future.