Last modified: Thu Apr 18 2019 08:29:10 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

How to get first Ether

In this tutorial, you will learn about Ether (ETH) and how to get it. In addition, you will learn about ERC-20 tokens, such as LÍF.

Requirements

Step by step

Ether (ETH) is a cryptotoken native to Ethereum. All transaction costs are paid for with it. ETH comes to the world as a reward for those who participate in processing new transactions in the network (so called miners).

Faucets

Apart from that, in testing networks (or testnets) of Ethereum, you can get free ETH from special addresses that are called faucets. ETH is not transferrable between networks, so ETH you get from a faucet on a testnet cannot be used in the production network (or mainnet).

There are multiple testnets, but we will stick to the one called Ropsten. Some of the faucets are:

After you put in your wallet address (such as 0xd037ab9025d43f60a31b32a82e10936f07484246), the faucet should send you free Ether. To verify that it actually happened, you can check transactions associated with your wallet in a block explorer, such as Etherscan for Ropsten. Just put your address in the search input in the upper right corner.

Mainnet

In the main Ethereum network, there are no faucets. From time to time you can get paid in ETH for something, but there are two main ways how to get ETH.

Mining

Mining is a term used for participating in processign transactions in the network. If you want to take part in mining, you will run a node (associated with an Ethereum wallet) that tries to be the first to come up with the next network block. If the node succeeds in that effort, it is rewarded with ETH.

Nowadays, mining for a standalone separate node does not make much economical sense.

Exchanges

Very common way of getting ETH is through exchanges. There are some where you can buy ETH with USD or EUR (commonly referred to as fiat currencies). And there are some where you can get ETH in exchange to other cryptotokens.

It's up to you which exchange you choose, but you should pick one that is well-established, secure and allows you to withdraw your ETH funds at any time to a wallet that is not controlled by the exchange.

ERC-20 tokens

ERC-20 compatible token is a cryptotoken of its own that is built on, operates on and is traded on Ethereum network. It is not equal with ETH, for example you are not able to pay for transaction costs with them.

Ther are plenty of ERC-20 tokens, Winding Tree's LÍF being one of them. Similarly to ETH, you can buy them on exchanges, but there are many models how the tokens can be distributed.

Typical ERC-20 token is tied to a specific use-case or a specific application.

Where to next