Ethereum Trading and Brokers 2022

While still undeniably in its infancy, the market for cryptocurrencies, like Ethereum has exploded. Decentralised, digital alternatives to fiat currencies have been around since around the time the most well-known, bitcoin, was launched in 2009. However, it is over the past few years that adoption levels have seen cryptocurrencies enter mainstream public consciousness.

Venture capital has been pouring into cryptocurrencies and their underlying blockchain technology for several years now. Perhaps even more tellingly, financial and government institutions are now taking the concept of cryptocurrencies playing an important role in the economy seriously. They are investing big money into educating themselves and preparing infrastructure and legislation around what many consider to be the biggest technological leap since the internet to influence how we live and conduct commerce.

Ethereum Brokers List

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Found 67 Brokers
Reliable and affordable trading since 2009. Join over 900,000 others trading on 400+ CFD products over assets like forex, gold, indices, cryptocurrency and shares from 0.0 spreads through TradingView, MT4 or MT5. Vantage is ASIC regulated and client funds are segregated. Open an account in under 5 minutes.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
ASIC, FCA, CIMA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$200
Min. Trade
0.01 Lots
Crypto
Yes
Trading in the Uphold environment offers a one-stop-shop for all your crypto requirements.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, FinCEN
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$0
Min. Trade
$1
Crypto
Yes
NordFX offer forex trading with specific accounts for each type of investor. Spreads start from 0.0 pips while minimum deposits start at $10.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
VFSC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$10
Min. Trade
$1
Crypto
Yes
Trade Forex on 0.0 pip spreads with the world's leading True Raw forex broker - IC Markets.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
ASIC, CySec, FSA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$200
Min. Trade
0.01 Lots
Crypto
Yes
Skilling are an exciting new brand, regulated in Europe and beyond, with a bespoke browser based platform, allowing seamless low cost trading across devices.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
CySec, FSA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
100 £/€/$ or 1000 NOK, SEK
Min. Trade
0.01 Lots or 1 Share
Crypto
Yes
Coinmama is a popular cryptocurrency trading exchange, aimed at beginners and high-net worth investors.
Demo Account
No
Regulated By
FinCEN, FINTRAC
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$30
Min. Trade
$30 to buy, $100 to sell
Crypto
Yes
BitMEX offer the largest market liquidity of any cryptocurrency exchange. The platform also offers ultra low trading costs and minimum deposit requirements.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
Licensed in the Republic of Seychelles, company number 148707
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
0.001 BTC
Min. Trade
Varies upon the crypto traded and amount of leverage
Crypto
Yes
PrimeXBT is a Bitcoin-based platform offering highly leveraged trading in FX, indices, commodities, & cryptocurrencies.
Demo Account
No
Regulated By
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
0.001 BTC
Min. Trade
0.01 contract
Crypto
Yes
Finq.com offer a great all round service with trading on 2100+ assets and immediate bonus offers. Up to $4000 in Deposit Bonuses.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FSA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
RaceOption is a binary options and CFD platform offering trading contests and prize giveaways.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$250
Min. Trade
$1
Crypto
Yes
TMGM is a competitive forex and CFD broker with a wide range of instruments, features and tools provided at low-cost.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
ASIC, FMA, VFSC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
Kucoin is a global crypto exchange offering spot and margin trading alongside lending services and trading bots.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$0
Min. Trade
0.0001
Crypto
Yes
Rockfort Markets is a New Zealand broker with a competitive range of assets, trading platforms and educational services.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FSP, FMA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$200
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
Pocket Option is a global binary options broker with sleek proprietary trading platform and competitive range of assets.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
IFMRRC
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$50
Min. Trade
$1
Crypto
Yes
Pacific Union is a multi-asset broker offering trading via the MT4 and MT5 platforms.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and Seychelles Financial Services Authority (SFSA)
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$50
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
Nexo is a crypto platform with a range of blockchain-based solutions, including trading, lending, borrowing, and payment cards.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
ASIC, FCEN
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$10
Min. Trade
$30
Crypto
Yes
Pionex is a cryptocurrency exchange with impressive automated trading tools and bots.
Demo Account
No
Regulated By
FinCEN
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$0
Min. Trade
0.1 USDT
Crypto
Yes
AdroFX is a regulated, global broker offering forex, CFD and crypto trading with MT4 access and attractive welcome bonuses.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FSA, BSSLA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$25
Min. Trade
0.01 lot
Crypto
Yes
Bybit is an established crypto exchange aimed at active online traders.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$0
Min. Trade
0.001
Crypto
Yes
OKX is a digital exchange offering trading on hundreds of cryptos across desktop and mobile applications with low fees.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
VARA
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
10 USDT
Min. Trade
Variable
Crypto
Yes
Bitfinex is among the best crypto exchanges for experienced investors with a free mobile trading application and low fees.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$10,000
Min. Trade
$10 - $25
Crypto
Yes
IB Boast a huge market share of global trading. With a minimum deposit of $10,000 however, they remain an option for larger traders only.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
SEC, FCA, IIROC, SFC
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$10000
Min. Trade
$100
Crypto
Yes
Gemini is a leading crypto trading exchange with low fees and a long list of altcoins.
Demo Account
No
Regulated By
FCA
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$0
Min. Trade
0.00001 BTC
Crypto
Yes
Paxful is a crypto trading exchange and digital wallet offering low fees and easy sign-up.
Demo Account
No
Regulated By
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
From 0.005 BTC
Min. Trade
10 USD
Crypto
Yes
Kraken is a top-rated cryptocurrency trading exchange offering the largest tokens and altcoins by market cap.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, FinCEN, FINTRAC, AUSTRAC, FSA
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$10
Min. Trade
Varies upon the crypto traded
Crypto
Yes
TP Global FX offers a long list of popular financial assets with spreads from 0.1 pips. With a focus on innovation and transparency, they are a growing brand.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
SVG FSA, NFA, CAMA Nigeria
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$200
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
Global Prime is a multi-regulated trading broker offering 100+ markets.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
ASIC, VFSC, FSA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
AUD $200
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
Trade.com offers thousands of tradable assets on desktop and mobile platforms.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, CySEC, FSCA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
Quotex offers a proprietary web platform that offers digital options and copy trading.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
IFMRRC
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$10
Min. Trade
$1
Crypto
Yes
Just2Trade offer high tech trading on stocks and options with some of the lowest prices in the industry.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
CySEC, NFA, FINRA, Bank of Russia
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01
Crypto
Yes
Videforex accepts deposits in a range of cryptos and fiat currencies. Payouts reach 95% per trade.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$250
Min. Trade
$1
Crypto
Yes
Zulutrade provide multiple automation and copy trading options across forex, indices, stocks, cryptocurrency and commodities markets
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
HCMC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
Broker choice dependent but balance on ZuluTrade should exceed $100
Min. Trade
$1
Crypto
Yes
ActivTrades offers online trading on the MT4, MT5 and ActivTrader platforms. Over 93.60% of orders are executed at the requested price.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, SCB
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$500
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
StormGain provides an online crypto trading platform, cloud mining tool, plus digital currency wallets and daily signals.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$50
Min. Trade
$10
Crypto
Yes
LQDFX offers online trading with multiple STP accounts and MT4 analysis tools.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$20
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
RoboForex is a multi-asset online broker offering powerful trading aides.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
IFSC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$10
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
SimpleFX is a CFD broker offering its own SFX WebTrader platform & low fees.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$0
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
EagleFX is a popular trading broker offering forex, stocks, cryptos & commodities.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$10
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
Speculate on traditional and emerging financial markets via MT4, MT5 and cTrader. FXPrimus is multi-regulated and offers leverage up to 1:1000 alongside monthly promotions.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
CYSEC, MIFID, ICF, FCA, BaFin, VFSC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$15
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
FXChoice is an offshore retail broker offering MT4 and MT5 platform downloads plus online CFD trading.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FSC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
EZ Invest is a CySEC-licensed broker offering trading on the financial markets.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
CySEC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$500
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
FXCC is a trustworthy trading broker regulated by the CySEC. The brokerage offers ECN trade executions, leverage up to 1:500 and $0 commissions.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
CySEC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$0
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
Fortrade is a multi-asset broker offering a simple live account with advanced tools.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, ASIC, CySEC, NBRB, IIROC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
FP Markets is a multi-asset broker offering a choice of trading platforms.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
ASIC, CySEC, ESMA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
AGEA is a regulated forex & CFD broker offering multiple trading platforms and account types.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
Commission for Capital Markets
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$1
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
Admiral Markets is leading Forex and CFD broker offering the MT4 & MT5 platforms
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, CySEC, ASIC, JSC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
Spectre.ai is a blockchain-based binary options broker
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$0
Min. Trade
$1
Crypto
Yes
Trade on the financial markets with low cost, leveraged products at HYCM.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, DFSA, CIMA, CySEC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
FXOpen is a highly regulated FX & CFD broker offering multiple trading platforms.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, ASIC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$300
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
Hantec Markets is a multi-regulated online FX broker offering MT4 and a tailored service providing flexibility to suit any trader.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, ASIC, FSC, FMA, FSA, CGSE, VSFC, JSC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$10
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
Dukascopy is a Swiss-based forex, CFD, and binary options broker
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FINMA, FCMC, JFSA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
NinjaTrader offer investors futures and forex trading. Use auto-trade algorithmic strategies and configure your own platform while trading with the lowest costs.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
NFA, CFTC
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$50
Min. Trade
Varies by asset
Crypto
Yes
GO Markets is an ASIC-regulated FX & CFD broker.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
ASIC, CySEC, FSC of Mauritius
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$200
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
ThinkMarkets is a multi-regulated forex and CFD broker
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, ASIC, FSCA, CySEC, JFSA, FSA Seychelles
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$0
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
LegacyFX is a multi-asset broker offering an MT5 download & free signals.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
CySEC, FCA, VFSC, NBRB
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$500
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
easyMarkets.com - Simply Honest. Trade CFDs on Forex, Commodities, Indices, Shares & Cryptos With a Top Rated Forex Broker
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
CySec, ASIC, BVI
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
€100
Min. Trade
Varies by asset
Crypto
Yes
Deposit and trade with a Bitcoin funded account. BinaryCent offers binary options, FX and CFD trading. 1:100 leverage is also available.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
VFSC
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$250
Min. Trade
$.10
Crypto
Yes
Spreadex offer spread betting on financials with low fees. The company is a popular and award winning UK regulated broker.
Demo Account
No
Regulated By
FCA
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
£0
Min. Trade
£0.01
Crypto
Yes
Pepperstone offers spread betting and CFD trading to both retail and professional traders. Clients can trade FX, indices, commodities and shares on MT4, MT5 and cTrader platforms.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, ASIC, DFSA, CMA, BaFin
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$500 recommended
Min. Trade
0.01 Lots
Crypto
Yes
Axi is a global online FX and CFD trading company, trusted by 60,000+ ambitious customers in 100+ countries around the world.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, ASIC, DFSA, FMA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
0 $/€/£
Min. Trade
0.01 Lots
Crypto
Yes
Coinbase is the easiest place to buy, sell, and manage your cryptocurrency portfolio.
Demo Account
No
Regulated By
CBoI
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
0 $/€/£
Min. Trade
0.0001 XBT
Crypto
Yes
Fusion Markets are delivering low cost forex and CFD trading via low spreads and trading costs. Their message is - Stop paying too much to trade
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
ASIC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$0
Min. Trade
0.01 Lots
Crypto
Yes
eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptoassets, as well as trading CFDs.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, CySEC
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$200 ($50 in US, $10 in UK)
Min. Trade
$1
Crypto
Yes
An investor with a Plus500 account can trade CFDs on underlying financial instruments such as Forex, Stocks, Commodities, Cryptocurrency (Availability subject to regulation), Options and Indices. With tight spreads and no commission, they are a leading global brand.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, MAS, CySec, ASIC, FSA
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
Varies by asset
Crypto
Yes
Alpari offer forex, CFD and binary options trading across a big range of markets with low spreads and a range of account types that deliver for every level of trader from beginner to professional.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FSC of Maritius, SEBI, JFSA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
From $/£/€ 5
Min. Trade
0.01 Lots
Crypto
Yes
Trading 212 Offer a truly mobile trading experience. With tight spreads and a huge range of markets, they offer a dynamic and detailed trading environment. Recent customer care issues have severely damaged the reputation of the brand.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
€/£/$1
Min. Trade
0.01 Lots
Crypto
Yes
Multi-Award winning broker. Specialising in Forex but also offering stocks and tight spreads on CFDs and Spread betting across a huge range of markets.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
CySec, DFSA, FCA, SCB, FSCA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01 Lots
Crypto
Yes

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Exactly what the future holds in store for cryptocurrencies and their role in our world is hard to tell at this point. That they will have a major role is becoming hard to argue against. As a payments system, blockchain cryptocurrencies are faster, cheaper and potentially more secure than current online payment technologies. This means that they will almost certainly have a key role in future payment processing systems. However, their position as a viable alternative to fiat currencies will face stronger opposition from established governmental and financial institutions. As such, the future of cryptocurrencies as an eventual replacement for fiat currencies is less clear cut.

A significant way in which some of the more established cryptocurrencies have already achieved acceptance as financial assets or investment instruments is that they can now be traded alongside the major fiat currencies. CFDs pairing Ethereum and bitcoin with the U.S. dollar, British pound, euro and yen are now a commonplace offering on the trading platforms of brokers. In this article, we’ll focus on Ethereum and what anyone interested in trading the cryptocurrency should be aware of.

How to Trade Ethereum

Trading cryptocurrencies online via CFDs, spread betting or binary options brokers, whether Ethereum, bitcoin or another, works in the same way as with any other derivative. An Ethereum/fiat pair CFD is created by the broker which reflects the exchange price between the two. The actual cryptocurrency is not held and the trader simply uses a derivative to take a position on whether its price will rise or fall against the fiat currency it is paired against over the course of the trade.

The broker bases the exchange price of Ethereum to the fiat side of the pair, which could be USD, BGP, EUR or JPY, on the prices currently trading on the dominant cryptocurrency exchanges and market makers they work with.

A handful of particularly progressive brokers have also started to offer the option of traders using Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies as the base currency of their trading accounts.

Advantages to Trading Ethereum

The fact that cryptocurrencies are both a developing market and asset class and that different factors influence their pricing in comparison to other financial instruments creates an interesting scenario for traders. Ethereum’s unique status in this regard has several advantages for traders as well as some disadvantages.

One strong plus as to why trading cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum is gaining popularity is that, unlike with fiat currencies, there are no market hours. Their decentralised nature means they can be traded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is of particular appeal to retail traders who have day jobs and find time limited during the working week.

Traditionally traded financial instruments such as fiat currencies, commodities, stocks and indices are closely connected to geo-politics and the economics of particular countries and geographical regions. Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, are not influenced by localised factors in the same way and this leads to minimum correlation with most other instruments. Many traders consider this as a benefit to taking cryptocurrency positions, which can be considered as a hedge to positions held in other more highly correlated markets.

Finally, the biggest incentive for trading Ethereum and other cryptos is their high levels of volatility. It’s highly unusual to see daily movements of more than a decimal place of a percentage point between major fiat currency pairs. Ethereum, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are, however, still immature markets and as a result much more volatile. Movements of up to 3% against the major fiat currencies over the course of a single day are relatively commonplace and double-digit swings also take place from time to time. Such big price swings mean the potential to realise huge profits for traders who are on the right side of them.

Disadvantages to Trading Ethereum

Ethereum’s relative volatility in comparison to major fiat currencies can also be considered a disadvantage when it comes to trading the cryptocurrency. Just as big profits can be made by traders on the right side of any major price swing, those on the wrong side will sustain significant losses. This makes trading cryptocurrencies a high risk-high reward trading position and only appealing to more aggressive, adventurous traders.

A further disadvantage to trading Ethereum or bitcoin is another flipside to one of the advantages – non-correlation with other financial markets. Because cryptocurrencies are not influenced by the same geo-political and localised economic trends as other financial instruments, predicting their price trajectories means learning about and monitoring a different set of influencers. Ethereum price changes are mainly influenced by events around adoption numbers and sentiment and security.

While blockchain technology theoretically means cryptocurrencies should be much safer than electronically held fiat currencies when it comes to fraud or theft, their newness means that there are still bugs in the system that hackers occasionally exploit. Security breach scandals tend to send cryptocurrency values temporarily tumbling while big events that pep up sentiment that Ethereum or another cryptocurrency demonstrating strong adoption progress can really boost values. Cryptocurrency traders therefore have to monitor a whole different set of information which is both a time commitment and learning process.

Where Can I Trade Ethereum?

As little as a year ago there were very few online brokers offering Ethereum or other cryptocurrency CFDs. That is rapidly changing and now traders wishing to take positions on crypto/fiat pairs have a good degree of choice. Some of the biggest international names in financial markets trading now offer Ethereum and bitcoin pairs as part of their suite of tradable instruments. In another year, a brokerage not offering cryptocurrencies as tradable instruments will most probably be the exception.

When choosing a broker to trade Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies with the most important factors to look at are the size of the spread or commission, as some can be quite a lot wider than standard, and where pricing is taken. Most of the bigger cryptocurrencies have competing exchanges and prices for crypto unit to fiat currencies are not always 100% uniform do to the relative immaturity of the markets. When trading with leverage even fractional price discrepancies can make a difference. Most brokers will state the source and methodology of their cryptocurrency price feeds and it is important to see this is done in a clear and transparent manner.

Ethereum vs Bitcoin

We’ve seen how cryptocurrencies differ from fiat currencies but how do different cryptocurrencies differ between each other? What’s the difference between ethereum and bitcoin, for example? The first, and probably the most important, difference between cryptocurrencies is nothing more than rate of adoption.

Bitcoin was the first widely used cryptocurrency. As such, the supporting infrastructure of online and offline storage facilities, exchanges, merchants who accept payment in bitcoin and businesses built around bitcoin is the most developed. It has the highest rate of adoption. Ethereum is bitcoin’s closest challenger in terms of rate of adoption.

Ethereum’s growing popularity and usage is the result of an accompanying software ‘platform’ that adds additional features and makes it more than just a cryptocurrency. Ethereum is actually the name of the wider platform, with the cryptocurrency units referred to as ethers. Smart contracts can be created from digital tokens to represent things such as virtual shares, assets, proof of membership voting, fundraising and more.

Other differences between Ethereum and bitcoin are that Ethereum ‘blocks’, which store cryptographed transaction and ownership data, are formed more quickly, at around 12 seconds compared to 10 minutes for bitcoin. This makes transaction confirmations faster with Ethereum. There are a number of other differences between the two, such as how transfer costs are calculated. The main difference, however, can be summed up as that bitcoin’s ambition is purely to be a digital currency while Ethereum aims to accomplish more with the currency aspect one element of a bigger overall aim.

How Cryptocurrencies Work

Cryptocurrency systems such as Ethereum and Bitcoin are based on a technology called blockchain. Blockchain is a decentralised ledger-type database that stores a registry of assets and transactions across a peer-to-peer network. It’s essentially a public registry of who owns what and who transacts what, its history locked in blocks of data then cryptographically linked and secured to make an unforgeable record of all transactions which replicated on every computer using the network.

The two fundamental differences between crypto and fiat currencies are:

  • Cryptocurrencies do not require a third party to verify and control electronic transactions
  • Cryptocurrencies have a finite, non-expandable total number of units

These two divergences in how cryptocurrencies work compared to fiat are put forward by advocates as why they are a superior alternative. The decentralised nature of blockchain makes tampering harder and security higher as there is no single point of weakness in a registry stored in potentially hundreds of millions of multiple copies on multiple devices. They are also not influenced by political and economic interests and events affecting specific geographies. And, most crucially, units cannot be devalued by a central bank printing more of the currency as and when they see fit.