Let’s face it: like many business opportunities out there, investing in cryptocurrencies is largely a first-world kind of privilege. Unless you use faucet websites to get few Satoshis (you need 100 billion of them to get a Bitcoin) or Gweis (that’s a nanoEther) every now and then, you need real money to buy real Ether. For people living in the US, a variety of exchanges are available that accept credit card payments, or bank transfers (check out this article). The process is long but totally possible.
On the other hand, for people living in developing countries, the Blockchain’s promise of democratization, and a fair access to wealth is not a Gospel truth. The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) has recently published a research paper Global Cryptocurrency Benchmarking Study, which, among other facts, reveals the cold-hearted truth:
Because this rather correlates to current wealth distribution rather than world population, I decided to investigate a way to buy Ether, that is more accepted. For instance, using PayPal. This is my tale of adventure.This is how I bought 0.1 ETH using … PayPal, in just a few minutes. No excuses left…
The Localethereum.com exchange
So first, I signed up for localethereum.com, a simple and user-friendly website. I activated my account, 2FA authenticated it, I mean, you know the drill.
I then indicated that I’m looking to buy Ether using Paypal in my dashboard view. A number of sellers appeared, and I picked one of them.
Getting in touch with the seller
Next, it was time for a security check if you will, where the buyer asked to verify my identity:
Fair enough, I mean it’s not asking me to scan my SSN, nor is he pretending to be “A Nigerian Prince“! (Nod in shame if you already failed to that scam!).
After a couple minutes, the funds were transferred to the escrow for payment. In other words, they are verified to exist and securely stored pending payment.
Using PayPal to pay
Next step is to pay using Paypal, and I honestly got a little over-cautious and sassy. Who doesn’t, right? Anyway, as agreed upon with the seller (emails were hidden for safety purposes), funds were transferred, and that took only a few minutes.
With funds released, a self-running smart contract verified the action. This turned out to be the safest transaction I ever made over the Internet. And as far as fees concerned, the transaction cost me 0.18$, or 0.36%. Can any payment method beat that?
And .. Bingo!
The last step I took was releasing the funds to my Jaxx wallet, by simply entering my address. Bingo, I got some Ether that might someday be worth millions of dollars!!
You now have a living proof that it’s possible to buy Ether using Paypal, from any part of the world. Next, maybe buying Bitcoin using food stamps? Way to go mainstream anyway!