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Are you looking to start investing in cryptocurrency and wondering where the best place to buy it is? Or if you are in the US, are you wondering which crypto exchanges are legal for you to use? Below is a list of 5 cryptocurrency exchanges that, as of this post, are all legal for US citizens. I have also included a quick break down on the pros and cons of each exchange. This is not a complete list of every exchange available to US citizens as there are others, but these are my own personal top 5 based on characteristics such as ease of use, security, fees, liquidity and selection of available coins to trade. If you are not located in the US there is a good chance most of these exchanges are available to you as well, you will just need to check with the exchange and look up your own country's policies regarding the purchase of cryptocurrencies.
As you go through the list please keep in mind, while I do have them ranked 1 through 5, there is not a lot separating them and each of these exchanges offer something a little unique from the others. Everyone's investment goals and preferences are going to be a little different so my #5 exchange here could be your #1 based on your criteria. It is also pretty likely that if you end up wanting to invest in 5 or more coins at some point, no one exchange is going to have all of them available so you will likely need to open multiple accounts anyways. Okay, on to the list.
1) Binance US
Binance US is an offshoot of one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges out there, Binance.com. They created Binance US in response to US citizens being banned from using their main exchange back in 2019. These two exchanges function much the same with the biggest difference being that Binance US has a slightly smaller pool of cryptos listed on their exchange, which currently is a little over 30 coins. Other than that, all of the great features of Binance.com that have helped it become one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, apply to Binance US as well.
PROS - Low Fees:
Start at 0.10% spot trading fee and goes down from there depending on your trading frequency. You can also save an additional 25% off your trading fees by holding their native token BNB. - High Trading Volume:
Allows you to get in and out of your positions more easily. - Coin Selection:
Currently as of this writing there are over 30 different coins available to be traded. - Reliability / Reputation:
As one of the larger players in the crypto space, Binance is able to offer a bit of security as they are able to throw a lot of money at any potential problems with things like hackers. Binance US puts away a set portion of their earnings every month in a fund that acts as insurance against any funds that may be lost due to hackers. Back in 2019 they had an incident where 40 million dollars of crypto was stolen by hackers and they reimbursed every penny to their customers. CONS - Interface:
Trading can be a little confusing for those not used to trading cryptocurrencies. While it is not too difficult to learn, a couple of the upcoming exchanges on my list are a little more user friendly for those who are new to the space.
All things considered, right now if I was getting started with Crypto trading in the US, Binance US would be the first account that I created. If you would like to open an account you can use the link below. If you are located outside of the United States I would suggest opening an account on the the original Binance.com exchange as they currently have a wider selection of cryptos to pick from. Below is a link for their sign up as well if you are interested. Binance US Sign Up Binance Sign Up (Non-US Citizens)
Crypto.com is on a mission to be the leader in cryptocurrency adoption to the masses and is trying to bridge the gap between the worlds of blockchain and traditional finance. Along with trading cryptocurrencies they have programs on their app like Earn, Invest, Pay & Credit which you would find with more traditional finance companies. For instance, through their Earn program there are many coins you can earn interest on by locking them up for a set time period. Depending on the coin, how many MCO (Crypto.com native coin) you have staked and how long you keep your tokens locked up for, you can earn anywhere from 2% to 18% interest which a lot better than any bank is going to do for you these days.
One of the best features of Crypto.com, in my opinion, are their great eye-catching, metal crypto MCO reward credit cards. These cards pay you cashback, in the form of their MCO token, for all of your day to day purchases anywhere that VISA is accepted. Depending on which level of card you get, these credit cards reward 1% to 5% cashback on all spending along with other great benefits like free ATM & international withdrawals, 100% cashback on Spotify & Netflix subscriptions and airport lounge access. In order to get your hands on one of these cards you will need to open a Crypto.com account if you don’t already have one. There is good news if you don’t already have one, as new sign ups can get $50 worth of MCO tokens free
by using the link and promo code I have posted below. Please note that the $50 of MCO tokens will remain locked until you deposit & stake at least 50 MCO tokens toward the sign up of the particular card you are interested in. If you want to know a little more about these cards you can check out method #3 in my earlier post 5 Easy Legitimate Ways to Earn Free Crypto
where I go into a bit more detail on them. However, for the purpose of this post, let's get to some pros and cons of their exchange platform.
PROS - Low Fees:
Start at 0.20% and go lower from there depending on your trading volume. - Coin Selection:
Currently as of this writing there are 53 different coins available to be traded. - Interface:
Easy to use app that is very user friendly.- Customer Service:
One of the best customer service programs in the industry if you need any help.
CONS - App Only:
No desktop version, all functions on the exchange must be done via their app. - History:
Founded in 2016 so they are still relatively new to the industry.
Crypto.com is a great option if you are looking to trade cryptocurrencies and also want to take advantage of things like their cash back VISA cards and Earn program that pay you great interest rates as you hold your coins. Below is a link you can use to sign up for a new account. If you are also interested in getting one of their MCO Visa cards, use the link below along with the promo code to get $50 of their MCO token free.
Crypto.com Sign Up PROMO CODE: gapena3dq4
Headquartered in San Francisco, Coinbase is the largest US-based crypto exchange with about 20 million current users. Like Crypto.com, they are trying to bring cryptocurrency trading to the masses through an easy to use interface and education. One way they try to educate their users is through their Coinbase Earn program where they offer free crypto for watching short educational videos teaching you about the various coins they offer on their exchange. I will not go into the details of that program here, but if you are interested in checking it out I go into a bit more detail on it in my post 5 Easy Legitimate Ways to Earn Free Crypto
. Now on to some of the pros and cons.
PROS - High Trading Volume:
Allows you to get in and out of your positions easily. - Interface:
Easy to use desktop interface and trading mechanisms for those new to crypto trading. - Insurance:
Coinbase carries an insurance policy that covers 2% of all assets on the exchange and they keep the other 98% in cold storage.
CONS - Fees:
While their fee structure is not horrible, it is a bit higher than Crypto.com and Binance US. Crypto to crypto trading fees are at 0.50% / bank purchases at 1.49% / credit & debit card purchases at 3.99%. - Coin Selection:
Currently they only have about 20 coins to choose from, however they are looking to add a bunch more soon.
Coinbase is a solid choice for anyone looking to get started in crypto trading. If you would like to open an account you can use the link below which will get you $10 of free Bitcoin as a sign up bonus. Please note that to get the free $10 you must buy or sell $100 worth of crypto within 180 days of signing up. Coinbase Sign Up
Robinhood is the pioneer of no fee trading for securities which is the main benefit of this exchange. It also is, to my knowledge, one of the few exchanges that allow you to trade both traditional stocks and cryptocurrencies. Technically their stock and crypto exchanges are separate entities, however you can seamlessly trade them both from the same account on their app. This is great for those who would like to get started trading in both crypto and traditional stocks but don't want to open multiple accounts. Or for those who might want to trade back and forth between stocks and crypto but don't want to have to transfer money between accounts to do so. Now to explore some other features of the Robinhood exchange let's get into the pros and cons.
PROS - Fees:
None (FREE!) - Flexibility:
Can trade multiple asset classes (Stocks, Crypto, ETFs, Options) - Interface:
Easy to use app that is very user friendly. Desktop version available as well.
CONS - Coin Selection:
Currently only offer 7 coins that can be traded (BTC, BCH, BSV, DOGE, ETH, ETC, LTC) - Coin Mobility:
Your coins must remain on the Robinhood exchange. You cannot transfer your coins to another exchange or withdraw them to put in your own digital wallets.
With their user friendly interface and no fees, Robinhood is very appealing for those just getting into crypto trading. If you are just looking to buy some of the higher cap coins like Bitcoin and Etherium, this exchange can be a good fit for you. However if you know there are some projects you would like to invest in that are not listed above, you may want to choose some of the other exchanges on this list, or both. If you are unsure at this point if you want to invest beyond coins like Bitcoin and Etherium in the future, it doesn't hurt to start here, get your feet wet and open another account down the road if you have other projects you get interested in. If you would like to open an account you can use the link below to get one free stock
with sign up! This free stock will be valued somewhere between $2.50 and $200. Robinhood Sign Up
Kraken exchange is based out of the United States and was founded back in 2011. While there is no specific trait that blows away the competition with this exchange, it does most everything pretty well. Like most crypto exchanges at this point, your funds on there are not FDIC insured, however Kraken does keep a separate fund that serves as an insurance policy and is currently over 100 million dollars. They also show great transparency and compliance with programs like their Proof of Reserves which offers proof that they hold all of the funds that they say they do. Here is quick break down of their pros and cons.
PROS - Low Fees:
Range from 0.10% to 0.26% depending on your trading frequency. - High Security:
One of the best reputations in the industry for security. - Coin Selection:
Good but not great. Currently they have about 20 coins available for trading.
CONS - Interface:
Making trades can be a little confusing for beginners who are not familiar with their format. However with a couple quick tutorials most of you should be able to get familiar with it pretty quickly.
To open an account and begin trading with Kraken use the link below. Kraken Sign Up
Interested in some ways you can passively earn free crypto?
Below is a link to a previous post that shares my best ways to earn free crypto in 2020 with the least amount of effort. 5 Easy Legitimate Ways to Earn Free Crypto
If you could list the exchange with its fees, that would be much appreciated. TIA. submitted by
I want to know is how do I link it to my online wallet once before. I just have to do this for a while, but am late to the game. Just started and was wondering if there any hardwares that can help me as I have just a few identification measures, I just don't see where the value comes from. submitted by
I am preparing an article about crypto I decided to go with a hardware wallet. Can anyone outline the steps I need to wait for tech support to call tomorrow. I knew that was old, so I downloaded the app and it looks like using a CC will cause that. Now i want to know how to go about doing that? submitted by
Any wallets or strategies that are recommended, for example, for a Walmart of Kohls or Target gift card? Thanks! submitted by
I'd prefer not to do in-person transactions, especially in a foreign country. Are there ATMs in any major cities yet? submitted by
Cryptocurrencies are popular in the US and the relatively large number of exchanges is not surprising. In order to acquire Bitcoin of any other digital asset, one must go through a trading venue of one form or another. This is a US-based exchange which was founded in 2012, and it supports over 32 countries. Coinbase exchanges Bitcoin and the alternative cryptocurrencies of Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin – One of the best US bitcoin and ethereum exchange sites – Low fees – Advanced investment tools – Quick transactions and withdrawals – Excellent security. Cons – Various restrictions for buying and selling of bitcoin – Relatively unsuited for beginners – Account verification can take weeks. Coinexchange. This is an interesting one. When you plan to be a part of the cryptocurrency world, your first step into this volatile industry will occur through an exchange. Basically, there exist two types of crypto exchanges to buy and sell Bitcoin – first – a fiat exchange that allows the direct transfer of US Dollars, Euros, and most government-backed currencies to be traded for cryptocurrency – and second - cryptocurrency Gemini is a Bitcoin exchange run by the Winklevoss twins. It's a licensed Bitcoin exchange and operates in 42 US states and many other countries (check here for full list of supported districts): Once you create an account on the exchange you will need to setup 2-factor authentication, verify your bank account, and verify your identity.
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