Introducing Ethereum: what is it and how can I buy it?
We’ve just added the Ethereum token ‘Ether’ to the app. Here’s all you need to know about the crypto OG.
By Amy W
We said we’d kick things off with a bang, so here we are. From today, you can start buying and selling Ether securely within the Mode app. So, with one week to go before our next token drop, we’d better get straight into it. Here’s all you need to know about our newest token, Ether.
What is Ethereum? 💡
Don’t worry - we’re not going to hit you with a bunch of techy, head-hurting crypto jargon. Well, actually, we are - but we’ll spill it out in layman's terms too.
Ethereum is a decentralised¹ global software platform² powered by blockchain technology³.
DW - we know that may have made zero sense to some of you. So let’s break this down:
Ethereum is ‘decentralised’ To understand a simple analogy of decentralisation, think about your email address - it has no central governance. While you might use Gmail or another provider to read and send messages, if you decided not to use Gmail's platform to do this, you’d still have access to that email address and all of your historical emails.
Ethereum is a ‘global software platform’ Think of this like Apple’s app store providing a platform for iOS apps - it’s a space on which software can be built, across the globe.
Ethereum is ‘powered by blockchain technology’ In order to maintain decentralisation, Ethereum leverages ‘smart contracts’ to keep its ‘trustless’ system running. To do this, it runs on its own blockchain, which in short is much like a database formed by a sequence of entries. DW - we’re totally aware this is a little confusing. Rather than coming up with our own fictional analogy, check out The Village Story for a really really brilliant breakdown of what this actually means.
Side note: if these still have you scratching your head, don’t worry too much. We’re hedging our bets here, but assuming you don’t fully understand the database your dentist uses to process your appointments, would that affect your decision-making when it comes to getting dental work? Try think of the underlying tech behind Ethereum a little like this.
Ethereum has recently launched Ethereum 2.0 - while this isn’t a ‘need to know’, it’s helpful in understanding the platform’s longevity. TLDR: they’re shifting from a less sustainable and less scalable blockchain management algorithm called ‘Proof of Work’ (which is the way Bitcoin was built to work) to a different blockchain management algorithm called ‘Proof of Stake’. If you’re looking for some additional reading, here’s a good explainer.
Why does Ethereum exist? 🤨
An essential part of understanding Ethereum (and equally a number of different protocols, ledgers & applications in the space) is understanding why it exists.
Ethereum exists as a solution to a problem. When Bitcoin was created in 2008, it was penned as a new financial solution on the back of the 2008 economic crash that would offer a global digital currency, immune to traditional systems of central authority. In short, Bitcoin was built to enable a new financial ecosystem that would take power away from banks & authorities and give it back to the people.
Bitcoin was a revolutionary invention in itself, but the technology (blockchain) on which it was built was soon explored for its usability across more ecosystems than just finance. In 2015, Ethereum was launched to enable smart contracts (programs that replace middle men in transactions) and decentralised applications (dApps) to be built and run autonomously, and securely without the need for any middlemen.
What can I do with Ether? 🤝
Now, that’s Ethereum covered - let’s talk about its token: Ether.
Ether - or $ETH - is the native token to the Ethereum platform. It’s the second largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin and has more transactional volume than any other digital asset. As a primary function, the token is viewed as a ‘digital currency’ and can be used for peer-to-peer payments without the need for a bank or intermediary.
As a digital asset, ether also holds purchasing power across dApps on the Ethereum network, for example, to buy NFTs.
The token can be used to cover transaction fees attached to any transactions made on the Ethereum network and equally, to power decentralised applications.
Since the Ethereum merge (the launch of Ethereum 2.0), Ether can be used through an action known as ‘staking’ to support transactions on the Ethereum blockchain.
For many, Ether is bought and held as a store of value. Much like Bitcoin and most fiat currencies (GBP, EUR, USD), an ether token’s value is based on people’s trust, along with a supply-and-demand economy. At points, the value of one token has exceeded $4,500, and its value tends to follow the trends of the overall crypto markets.
Why should I buy Ether? 💰
We won’t ever tell you you should buy ether - or anything for that matter. But, the reason we built a secure and trusted platform that enables you to buy ether is that we believe in its value, with growing confidence in the token as its native network evolves.
Equally, we believe in the use case of ether, and we think it's important that people have safe access to acquire, accumulate, and store their ether holdings.
How do I buy Ether in the UK? 🚀
As an FCA-registered and publicly-listed UK app, we’ve made it our mission to make Mode the safest way to buy crypto in the UK. Crypto has come a long way since the birth of Bitcoin, but its complexities are still pretty evident in a lot of products today. At our core, we work relentlessly to grow, shape, and mould Mode in a way that it offers easy access into the space, without having to worry about hidden fees, higher risks, or difficult steps.
You can buy and sell Ether with as little as £20 in the Mode app today, and start watching your portfolio grow within seconds.
Down the road, we’ll be exploring adding features such as crypto rewards and crypto payments as part of our future roadmap. Stack more by shopping with 400+ top UK brands like Deliveroo, Foot Locker, and Trip.com.
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Fibermode Limited trading as Mode is a registered Cryptoasset firm with the UK Financial Conduct Authority, pursuant to the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017. Firm Reference Number: 928786.Greyfoxx Limited is an authorised and regulated firm with the UK Financial Conduct Authority under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 for the issuing of electronic money and payment instruments. Firm Reference Number: 901025. Mode Global Holdings PLC is a public limited company incorporated and registered under the laws of England and Wales with company number 12794676.
Fibermode t/a Mode is FCA registered as a Cryptoasset firm (FCA 928786). Bitcoin is not regulated in the UK. The value of Bitcoin can go up or down (or can drop to zero), and there can be a substantial risk you lose money. No FSCS/FOS protection. Capital gains may be subject to CGT. 18+ UK residents only. KYC required. We do not offer financial advice. More on risk associated with Bitcoin trading 👉 https://www.modeapp.com/protection.
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Fibermode is a Registered Cryptoasset firm and is registered with the UK Financial Conduct Authority, pursuant to the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017, as amended.
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