February 1, 2018 UPDATE The ETH wallet in the coins.ph Android app is now open for public beta testing. If you’re interested to become a tester, you can e-mail email@example.com. Creating an ETH wallet will only cost 20 pesos and it’s currently available in their Android app only. You can also trade your BTC to ETH (and other supported pairs) in cx.coins.asia pretty soon. The platform is currently in closed private beta.
January 15, 2018 UPDATE Coins.ph is now having a closed beta ETH wallet test in their Android app. Pretty soon, you can buy ETH directly using the PHP in your coins.ph wallet.
Let’s go straight to the point. Where to buy Ethers if you’re located in the Philippines. Oh wait, you don’t know what Ethers are? Read this Wikipedia article about Ethereum, or this very nice Infographic by Genesis Mining about Ethereum, then continue reading this post. So now you have an idea what Ethers, ETH and Ethereum are. To summarize what you just read (or if you didn’t even bother to read it) ETH = Ether (not to be confused with NYSE:ETH). Ether is a cryptocurrency token in the Ethereum Blockchain.
Familiar with Bitcoin? If you’re familiar with BTC, then ETH is slightly similar but not exactly the same. But wait, I just said above that I’ll go straight to the point.
So… where to buy ethers in the Philippines? Currently there are no PH-based crypto platforms and online wallets that lets you buy ethers, which sucks. But you can buy some good old + extremely slow Bitcoins in exchange for the shiny new + super awesome Ethers via Coins.ph with the help Shapeshift. There are also other Bitcoin sellers in the Philippines, but I’m only using Coins.ph. If you’re using another platform, you can also buy BTC from there then convert it to ETH at shapeshift.io. Team Coins.ph doesn’t have any plans yet to upgrade their platform and integrate Ethereum. Not this year, not next year, not even the year after next year.
In order to get some Ethers via Coins.ph, buy some Bitcoins. It’s pretty straightforward, just cash-in (via BDO, BPI or your favorite bank, 7/11, Cebuana, and a whole lot of cash-in options), once done, convert your PHP to BTC. Then use shapeshift.io to convert your Bitcoins to Ethers. Make sure you already have an ETH wallet before shapeshifting. I recommend Coinbase.com, Myetherwallet.com, and GateHub.net online wallets. You can also send it directly to your offline wallet, but if you’re new to Ethereum I recommend using online wallets, as it’s very easy to get one. No need to download anything, no need to store your private keys somewhere safe.
If you’re ready to transfer your BTC to ETH, I suggest that you use the “Quick” method, because the “Precise” method fails if your transaction is not confirmed within 10 minutes. And right now, BTC transactions are confirmed reallllly reallllly slow. I experienced a very long confirmation with one transaction that took 4 days, just recently. If you want to know more about Shapeshift’s Quick vs Precise transactions, read more about in their blog post.
This is probably the easiest way to get Ethers directly if you’re in the Philippines. Just link your credit card / debit card, transfer funds to your CEX.io wallet, then buy ETH. It’s that easy! But it’s relatively expensive to purchase Ethers at CEX.io compared to the coins.ph + shapeshift method. There’s a 3.5% fee + $0.25 USD per deposit. So if you deposit around $3000.00, you’ll pay $3,109.07. But it’s perfectly safe and fast and you can get your ethers instantly. Ether’s price increased by $30 since last week, so if you’re in a rush to ride the bull, then this is the best method for you.
Deposit first before you can buy any crypto.
After you made a deposit, you can instantly buy ETH in the Buy/Sell page.
CEX.io has a very strict verification process, but once your account is verified, then you can instantly buy Ethers, hassle free.
If you already have Bitcoins, you can send it to Poloniex, then buy ETH in their exchange platform. This is one of the easiest way to buy ethers. You can just store your ethers in your Poloniex wallet, or send it to a more secure client-side wallet like myetherwallet.com. When I buy at Poloniex, I just store my ethers at Poloniex to avoid more fees when transferring it to another wallet. But it’s always safer to keep it in your wallet, in case exchanges go down forever or disappear all of a sudden.
Coinbase.com is my main Ethereum wallet. However, coinbase.com doesn’t allow buying and selling ETH yet for PH-based users, but they allow everyone—regardless of your citizenship—to use their super secure cryptocurrency wallet which currently support both BTC and ETH (And also LTC, very soon). Coinbase.com provides the most secure wallet on Earth for free! I highly recommend them if you want to store your Ethers online. You can easily transfer your purchased Ethers to this Wallet if you don’t want to use CEX.io as your main wallet.
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