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You'll need a Bitcoin wallet before you buy since some exchanges require one.
Don't have a wallet? Read our guide on the best Bitcoin & cryptocurrency wallets.
Gemini is a New York-based Bitcoin exchange, open to residents of the United States, UK, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and South Korea. Deposits can be made via wire transfer, SEPA or ACH transfer.
Founded mid-2011, Kraken is the one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, and the largest in Europe based on daily average trading volume. It is available in almost all countries.
Deposits can be made via bank wire, SEPA, ACH and SWIFT. Users can buy bitcoin, ethereum, dogecoin and dozens of other coins.
Swan Bitcoin is a dollar cost averaging Bitcoin exchange, where users can set up recurring Bitcoin purchases to be drafted from their bank account or credit card every month or week.
LocalBitcoins is an escrow service which also helps to match bitcoin buyers and sellers. Users may advertise trades for whichever payment method they prefer.
Buying bitcoins via an in-person meeting, secured and facilitated by LocalBitcoins, may be one of the fastest and most private ways to buy bitcoins in any country, including the United States, Europe (besides Germany), UK, Singapore, Canada, Australia and many more.
Every year Bitcoin becomes more and more accessible and practical in everyday life. Major companies like Microsoft and Overstock have all begun accepting Bitcoin for some purchases.
While one of the primary purposes of Bitcoin was to empower users, governments have been trying their best to regulate the digital currency. This has caused unfriendly Bitcoin laws and has discouraged exchanges from doing business with people living under certain regulations.
Unfortunately, Bitcoiners in Hawaii among others, have fallen victim to these unfriendly regulations and rules.
As a result, Coinbase and other major exchanges have stopped dealing Bitcoin to Hawaiians.
Purchasing Bitcoin in Hawaii is still perfectly legal. However, it’s become more complex.
To understand the struggle of buying bitcoin and cryptocurrency in Hawaii, you need some brief history first.
Up until 2016, users could buy Bitcoin in Hawaii, just like most other states. In September of 2016, Hawaii lawmakers created a law that would make it mandatory for exchanges to hold cash reserves for collateral.
If a Hawaiin Bitcoiner owns $10,000 worth of BTC, the exchange would need to hold $10,000 of cash for the customer as well.
Exchanges that adhered to this new law would be sacrificing a magnitude of dollars just to comply with an incomprehensible rule.
Coinbase, one of the biggest exchanges, was discouraged by the law’s impracticality — calling the regulation “untenable.”
Exchanges are still seeking a better deal with legislators to pass fairer laws regarding digital currency. To no avail, news bills and efforts have all stalled in the Hawaiian House and Senate as of October 2019.
However, in August of 2020, regulators granted a special license-free status to 12 firms on a pilot program to see how things go in the state, so hopefully this will show regulators they do not need to stifle the growth of these firms in their state.
What this all means is that, while there is hope, if you’re a Hawaiian, you might have a few more struggles than the average Bitcoiner, but that shouldn’t stop from getting in on the action. There are a handful of ways for you to trade, just beware of fees and make secure trades.
Hawaiians aren’t able to use all of the same exchanges that the rest of America is privileged with, but they do have options.
You can use any of the exchanges outlined above. There are several exchanges offering Bitcoin in Hawaii, and you can easily select one based on your requirements and preferences using our guide. Different exchanges have different transaction fees, withdrawal limits, payment modes, and verification processes that need to be kept in mind before users select one.
Additionally, Bitcoin buyers need to keep in mind the fact that certain exchanges might require them to get a wallet of their own before they are able to buy the digital currency. Also, it is recommended to have a wallet of your own for security reasons, preferably a hardware wallet. If you don’t have a wallet, refer to our guide on the Best Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Wallets to choose one.
Another way to buy Bitcoins in Hawaii is through automated teller machines (ATMs). These ATMs allow users to instantly purchase the cryptocurrency using cash, and most of them only require a telephone number for verification, so long as you aren’t buying a lot of Bitcoin. This makes them more private than exchanges.
Local Bitcoins is another option. Here, you can buy and sell Bitcoin for a wide range of payment methods, from gift cards to bank transfers. Local Bitcoins is a peer-to-peer (P2P) exchange, where you buy and sell with another individual. This does introduce a degree of risk, though by ensuring that you conduct all business on the platform, make use of its escrow services, and only trade with users who have a good reputation, you'll minimize any potential problems.
Hawaii has access to many large Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges.
Have a look at our favorites below:
There are three main types of Bitcoin wallet and all of them are supported in Hawaii:
The Ledger Nano X is the newest crypto hardware wallet, and is very easy to use. It connects to iOS, Android & desktop computers.
ZenGo is an easy-to-use iOS and Android Bitcoin & crypto wallet. Start within 20 seconds.
In August of 2018, various Hawaiian businesses began reporting calls from scammers claiming to be from various Hawaiian electric companies.
In the call, the scammers would claim the business was delinquient on their electric bill and demand payment in Bitcoin immedietely or lose their electricity.
However, no Hawaiian electric company accepts Bitcoin as a form of payment so anyone who receives a phone call like this one should just hang up and ignore it.
Users in Hawaii cannot use any of Coinbase’s services.
Users in Hawaii can use all of Gemini’s products and services.
Users in Hawaii cannot use any of Coinmama’s services.
Users in Hawaii can use all of Kraken’s products and services.
The best way to find a Bitcoin ATM in Hawaii is to use CoinATMRadar.com.
Here, you can filter by any of the most popular cryptocurrencies, find ATMs that support buying, selling, or both, and find stores and merchants that offer crypto services.
Hawaii is one of the excluded states for Bitcoin buying in Square's Cash App because of the rules in Hawaii involving sales of crypto. Square would need to hold the equivalent dollar amount of USD that you, as the user, hold in Bitcoin on their platform. This makes the service impossible to offer since the company would lose money.
The best way to buy Bitcoin in Hawaii is to create an account on one of the exchanges listed above and make a purchase on their platform, or create a profile on LocalBitcoins.com and look for offers.
Just as with buying, the best way to sell Bitcoin in Hawaii is to create an account on an exhcange platform that supports Hawaiians or create a profile on LocalBitcoins.com and make an offer.
Bitcoin is not illegal in Hawaii. It is just very hard for exchanges to operate in the state of Hawaii because of the reserve restrictions required by law. This makes purchasing Bitcoin more difficult than it is in other states. You are, however, allowed to own, buy, and sell Bitcoin if you can find others to trade with.