Shut up and give me ETHER! (guide)

How to get ether if you are late to the party (continuously updated)

Ether it’s a cryptocurrency — like bitcoin — with a clear purpose: it makes a new kind of apps running on the ethereum network

(more on this on Ethereum explained to… my mom! (infographic) .

When ethereum go client reached 99%, I started to panic.

“F************CK! I need to be ready when the d-day comes. It can be in 2 months… as well as tomorrow!”

That day has come!

Why panicking ? Because the earlier you join, the more ether you will mine or buy at a low cost, the more gas you’ll have to run your dApps.

Panic can make you do stupid things (I know it for sure).

Do only what’s easy for you, don’t spend more money (and time) that you can’t afford to loose.

a Warning from Stephan Tual of the Ethereum team:

“Frontier is a technical release directed at a developer audience… If you would prefer a more user friendly experience, we encourage you to wait for the future Homestead”


…so, what’s the fastest and cheaper way to get ether, like.. now?”


I asked again my friends Leonardo Pedretti and Massimiliano Terzi of Ethereum Italia, and we put the below options on the table:

  1. Buying parts and build your own mining rig? (You don’t have time for this. The word “now” doesn’t mean “in a week”)
  2. Renting hashrate on (they don’t support ethereum algorithm and they wont, in the short term)
  3. Using your own computer (yeah, it’s the fastest solution and can work, if you have a decent graphic card on board)
  4. Cloud mining con Amazon EC2 (it’s about 2.60 USD / hour + taxes)(working at 50 MH )but it can do the trick. We still don’t know about profitability… it will depend — inter alia — on the future price of ETH, and the collective mining power of the net …and it’s not super-easy to setup
  5. Buying a pre-assembled mining rig and colocating in a Data center (no time for this, maybe it’s good in the long term)
  6. Buy ether on an exchange (fastest and easier way to get ether, if you are not into mining)

So, we are left with these short term solutions:

3. Use your computer — or a gpu mining rig you own already

4. Cloud mining

6. Buy on an exchange

Let’s go a little deeper on each of these three.

Cloud minining.

This is an experimental solution I tested with @terzim, we put together a complete step by step guide — which also got plenty of traction at all levels in Ethereum (devs team included) — , if you are interested:

Ethereum cloud mining for dummies

If you know what you are doing, EC2 is the fastest way to get ready for mining with a good hashrate.

BUT it is more expensive than other solutions. And you know what happens with experiments.. things break and you have no people to ask for help.

Anyway, you can install ubuntu linux and that’s a plus if you only have a windows machine.

Follow the final steps by Stephan Tual to start mining

Use your computer

First thing first: you want to start mining on windows, uh?

You can, even if you shouldn’t (c’mon… windows… are you serious!?)

You have to take in account 2 major risks:

  1. Safety risk: “If your machine is compromised you will loose your ether, access to any contracts and maybe more.” (source)
  2. Failure risk: you could burn your graphic card, or other componets of your computer.

Personally, I would never use my work computer for mining in the long term…but it’s up to you.

Setup your computer to mine ether

You’ll need to follow the Ethereum Frontier Guide for the mining client installation ( and — in particular — focus on this article ( to get your GPU up and running.

Specific guides

Mining on windows guide

Gpu mining on ubuntu linux

And follow the final steps by Stephan Tual

Buy ETH on an exchange

So, you see potential in Ethereum, but mining is too technical for you, therefore too risky?.

Go straight to an exchange.

I asked the italian Ethereum community and most of them agreed Kraken is the best.

But, if you want the easiest way, Get it on coinbase:

With this link (yeah, that’s my ref link) you also get a cool 10 usd bonus on your first 100 usd worth Deposit!

UPDATE February, 2016

Read this short guide: a newer, faster way to buy ether

All right. We are done for the short term solutions.

Feel free to share on reddit, make questions or suggestions!

Next up, a post about the long term ones.