From time to time we’re asked, How do I add Ether (the currency of the Ethereum blockchain) to my wallet?

If you’ve done it once, the process isn’t so mysterious. For first-timers, though, the prospect can seem daunting. Don’t worry, you’ve got this.

At all NFT marketplaces, you need a certain amount of that markeplace’s supported currency in your wallet to cover the cost of the transaction: the purchase price and the “gas” costs to close the sale. At Expressions, the “Origins: Genesis” drop is on the Ethereum blockchain, so you need a certain amount of Ether.  

How to get it?

So let’s guide you through the process of adding ETH to your wallet. 

For the somewhat crypto-savvy

If you’re familiar with services like MetaMask, this is the easiest route to funding your wallet. Here are the steps involved:

1. Head to Metamask Buy and make sure you have a Metamask wallet set up. 

2. Step through the windows and select a payment method. Will you be transferring the funds by PayPal, debit or credit card, bank transfer or wire transfer?


I chose PayPal — which now supports crypto — and the process was incredibly easy. 

Instant bank transfers are also instantaneous, while debit and credit cards generally settle in 5-10 minutes.

For newcomers to the crypto scene

If you’re new to cryptocurrencies and NFTs, follow these steps:

    1. Make sure you have a crypto wallet set up. You can have a noncustodial wallet created for you on the fly if you register with an email address at (See “Connect wallet orr sign in/up” at the top right of the site.) Or, you can connect an existing wallet, such as MetaMask.
    2. Use a Web3 financial service. There are a host of financial services that millions of people now regularly use for these kinds of transactions. While traditional banks often eschew any kind of crypto exchange — crypto, after all, offers a faster, more convenient way so exchange funds than any bank can offer — we recommend several alternatives. If you have an account at Expressions or TropicalArts, simply log in, navigate to your wallet at the bottom left of your screen, and choose “Open wallet.”



From there, choose “Top up” and you’ll see a popup that lists several financial service providers. Some of the ones we’ve used include Banxa, MoonPay and Transak. Choose one and follow the on-screen prompts to enter your bank account info or debit card info. Note: The major banks’ credit cards often refuse to authorize these transactions, so you’ll have better luck with a bank transfer. Each method has slightly different fees, starting at under 1%, and there’s a daily limit to how much you can purchase.

    1. Buy ETH on a secure cryptocurrency exchange. You can use US dollars or euros to buy ETH on Coinbase, Gemini or another popular exchange with millions of users. You’ll need to set up an account and provide identification, and then you can buy ETH using a bank transfer (the most reliable way) or with a credit or debit card. Enter the ticker symbol for ETH in your exchange’s “buy” field and input the amount you want to buy. Remember, you can buy any amount and can start at figure like $50 or $100 — far less than 1 ETH. Just be warned that transfering crypto out of a new account sometimes requires a three-day waiting period. And note that you don’t want to keep funds in these exchanges — use them for the exchanges but then transfer the funds to your own wallet.

    1. Buy ETH on a decentralized exchange. Uniswap is generally considered the most reliable of these, because it has lots of users, the interface is user friendly and it has plenty of liquidity.

    1. Find a crypto-savvy friend. Do you know anyone in your social circles who uses crypto? Chances are they would have some ETH in one of their accounts and might be willing to send some to you in exchange for other funds you’d send their way.

    1. Use a peer-to-peer (P2P) exchange. A handful of platforms allow you to buy ETH from other people in your local currency. These platforms usually have a rating system to help you find trustworthy sellers. Huobi has a good reputation. Binance, the world’s biggest crypto exchange, has a P2P section where users can buy or sell a number of cryptocurrencies— including ETH. Newbies may find this method a bit challenging, however.

Remember to always be cautious, do your research when buying or receiving crypto, and don’t fall for any scams during the exchange process. Go with a reputable service with a solid track record rather than a sketchy newcomer with a slightly more attractive exchange rate. And never, ever share your private keys or passwords.

More reading

A beginner’s guide to buying ETH (Cointelegraph)

Image at top by Focal Foto, CC BY NC

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