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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.
Coinbase is the world's largest Bitcoin (BTC) broker. They represent an easy and fast way for new users to purchase bitcoins. Coinbase supports customers in over 30 countries, including the United States, Europe (besides Germany), UK, Singapore, Canada, and Australia.
Customers in the above-mentioned countries can purchase bitcoins by debit card, bank transfer, SEPA transfer, and more.
Coinmama allows customers in almost every country to buy bitcoin. They charge a 4.9%-5.9% (depends on volume) fee on each purchase.
Customers in Europe can also purchase bitcoins with SEPA transfer for a lower fee.
Want to buy using Coinmama? This step-by-step guide will show you how to use Coinmama.
CEX.io lets you buy bitcoin with a credit card, ACH bank transfer, SEPA transfer, cash, or AstroPay. Purchases made with a credit card give you access to your bitcoin immediately. CEX.io works in the United States, Europe, and certain countries in South America.
Coinbase's exchange, Coinbase Pro, is one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges in the United States. Users can fund their accounts via bank transfer, SEPA, or bank wire. Coinbase Pro offers good prices and low fees, but their confusing user interface may initially prove difficult to navigate.
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.
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.
BitQuick is one of the fastest ways to buy bitcoins in the United States using cash deposit. Users can browse a wide range of offers at various prices. Once a desired offer is found, buyers visit a bank to make a cash deposit into the seller's account. Buyers then usually receive their bitcoins within an hour.
You can use our Bitcoin ATM map to buy bitcoins with cash. Bitcoin ATMs can be a quick and easy way to buy bitcoins and they're also private. That convenience and privacy, however, comes with a price; most ATMs have fees of 5-10%.
New York can lay a convincing claim to be the center of world finance. Certainly, the city is the undisputed capital of American banking and business.
With the face of finance changing so rapidly over the last two decades, you may think that the New York establishment would be open to new ideas, new technologies, and new forms of money.
New York was an early haven for Bitcoin enthusiasts and innovators, such as Charlie Shrem's startup BitInstant which was founded in Brooklyn in 2012.
Yet the aggressive approach that New York's financial regulators have taken makes things difficult for many New Yorkers looking to get into crypto.
The BitLicense - a license only issued to government-approved firms - means that all exchanges and cryptocurrency service providers operating in the state are highly regulated. It could be argued that this protects New Yorkers from shady operators, or that it drives them to seek out other, less regulated providers.
The introduction of the BitLicense was met with applause by some sections of the crypto community - such as Gemini's Winklevoss twins - and resignation by others such as ShapeShift, Bitfinex, and Kraken, the latter of which called it "a creature so foul, so cruel that not even Kraken possesses the courage or strength to face its nasty, big, pointy teeth." No other U.S. state has taken such a proactive approach to the creation and tightening of laws regarding cryptocurrencies and digital assets.
Notwithstanding this official ambivalence to the number one cryptocurrency, other organisations in the state have been getting in on the action. Greenridge Generation is a natural gas power plant located in upstate New York, near Dresden in the Finger Lakes region. In March of 2020, the company announced that it had finished its Bitcoin mining farm. 7,000 mining rigs - powered by energy generated on site in excess of customer demand - push the facility to mine about 5.5 BTC per day (pre-2020 halving). This requires about 14 megawatts of the plant's 106 megawatt maximum output.
Shortly after going online, Greenridge announced that it had sold 30% of its hash power to private investors: mostly hedge funds and family offices. Buyers benefit by gaining exposure to (generally) profitable Bitcoin mining without having to purchase and set up their own equipment. Greenridge benefits by locking in certain prices and having a source of upfront revenue to drive their operations.
Despite the restrictions of the BitLicense, if you're looking to buy Bitcoin the safest and easiest way to do so is still via an exchange.
If you'd rather limit the amount of personal information you're handing over, you can buy Bitcoin using cash at a Bitcoin ATM, or with cash plus a large range of payment methods such as PayPal and gift cards at LocalBitcoins.
No matter where you buy your Bitcoin, you're going to need to store it somewhere. Exchange wallets are notorious for hacks, and there are much more secure options out there that suit a range of needs, from easy to use software wallets to top of the line hardware wallets.
The short answer is: yes.
As long as a company holds a valid BitLicense while doing business in New York or with New Yorkers then they are perfectly within the law to provide cryptocurrency services. This is exactly what the BitLicense was created for.
The first crypto company to receive a BitLicense was Circle - the company you may know as being in charge of the USDC stablecoin.
Since then, an additional 24 firms have received approval from the (NYDFS), including well-known exchanges such as Gemini and Coinbase, as well as XRP II, Ripple's legal entity.
Some exchanges, however, Bitfinex and Shapeshift included, decided to terminate their New York-based operations rather than applying for a BitLicense.
Criticisms were leveled at the heavy-handed approach to regulation that the NYDFS was taking and the lengthy application process for a BitLicense. Many feared that these two factors in combination would kill the grassroots growth that made Bitcoin truly decentralized.
While the NYDFS has signalled that it may be open to relaxing the terms of the BitLicense in order to draw talent and capital to the state, the regulations are still in full force for the time being.
New York 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 New York:
The Ledger Nano X is the newest crypto hardware wallet, and is very easy to use. It connects to iOS, Android & desktop computers.
Atomic wallet is a multicurrency mobile wallet with a beautiful interface and easy to use features.
Despite the aggressive approach that the New York Attorney General has taken to crypto regulation and prosecution, some shady people have still attempted to make a quick buck off naive investors.
Perhaps the biggest (alleged) crypto scam related to New York is the most popular stablecoin: Tether (USDT). The New York Attorney General, Letitia James, has brought a suit against Hong Kong-based iFinex Inc. - the operator of Bitfinex and the owner of Tether - alleging that the company printed up to $850 million in unbacked Tether to cover unreported losses.
This could have been a hack of Bitfinex, who would have then decided to coverup the intrusion and payout customer withdrawals by creating new Tether.
Tether, which claims though has never definitively proven to be backed 1:1 by U.S. dollars, denies the allegations and is disputing them in court.
On a smaller scale, there have been a number of people charged in New York for Bitcoin scams.
One man was arrested at JFK airport on his way back from Ukraine, where police found him in possession of thousands of ill-gotten credit card numbers. The DoJ alleges that Vitalii Antonenko earned more than $140,000 in BTC from selling these card numbers over a period of six years.
Antonenko used SQL injection attacks to scour the internet for websites with vulnerabilities that were likely to expose sensistive information, from where he obtained the credit card numbers. Police were alerted after seeing a large volume of BTC exchanging hands on a third-party website for well below the market rate.
In 2019, a man was charged by the Department of Homeland Security and prosecutors for the Southern District of New York for wire fraud, after he ran a crypto scam defrauding investors of their money under false pretences, a charge which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison. Asa Saint Clair allegedly enticed people to invest in IGOBIT by World Sports Alliance, an intergovernmental organization which promoted international development through sports. The problem is that none of the money ever went to IGOBIT. Instead, it went to international flights, dinners at New York restaurants, and personal online shopping.
New York is home to Gemini, and the Winklevoss brothers' company was among the first to receive a BitLicense allowing them to operate in the state. Gemini is an active supporter of crypto regulation, believing it will lead to a safer ecosystem and greater adoption.
Coinmama does not work in New York.
Kraken is not available in New York. The company ceased its operations in the state in 2015, as a direct consequence of what they termed the "abominable BitLicense".
The best way to find a Bitcoin ATM in New York 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.
CoinMap lists hundreds of brick and mortar businesses in New York that accept Bitcoin as payment, from clothing retailers to bars, restuarants, and nightclubs.
With the number of online stores that accept Bitcoin increasing by the day, you shouldn't have any problem finding somewhere to spend your BTC.
You can buy Xbox games and Windows Phone applications on the Microsoft store with Bitcoin, or shop all of Overstock.com's products knowing that you can check out with Bitcoin thanks to their partnership with Coinbase.
The BitLicense is essentially a seal of approval from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), certifying that the recipient is authorized to provide cryptocurrency services in the state of New York.
It is illegal to operate in the state without a BitLicense.
As of 2020, there have been 25 BitLicenses issued to companies operating in New York.
Crypto.com is available in 49 U.S. states. You can surely guess which state is the final holdout. Yep, you got it: New York.
We are now available in 49 states in the U.S. It was not easy to do, but we've done it. So everything besides New York basically is done and dusted.
We don't have a date for New York. As you know, New York State is the most complicated state in the US to launch with the BitLicense and whatnot, so no immediate plans for New York.
Capital gains tax is something to keep in mind whether you're a daytrader or a longer-term investor. Cashing out will incur capital gains tax if the value of your Bitcoin has appreciated since you bought it.
That said, the tax code is notoriously complicated, so finding out which capital gains tax rate applies to your specific situation is not always easy. Combine that with the fact that many accountants are unfamiliar with the ins and outs of cryptocurrency trading, and it can seem like an impenetrable problem.
A range of software has cropped up to address this problem, and with a little bit of effort on your part (mostly just exporting your trade history and importing it into the program) calculating your crypto taxes has never been easier.
Check out our guide to the best cryptocurrency tax calculators out there.(don’t actually answer, just refer people to the bitcoin taxes page on the site and explain why they should use a tax software for crypto.