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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.
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.
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.
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. Wall Street is synonymous with a certain type of financial wheeling and dealing, glorified and condemned, often at the same time, in movies such as Wall Street (1987) and The Wolf of Wall Street (2013).
These films memorialize a period at the end of last century when Wall Street was run by real traders commanding an army of bankers, brokers, and analysts, even if this upper echelon was hidden away from view in -fiftieth-floor offices and restaurant back rooms.
In the last twenty years, the industry has changed markedly. Now, the majority of trades are executed not by the Jordan Belforts and Bud Foxes of this world, but by HFT (high-frequency trading) algorithms.
The introduction and rapid rise to dominance of these algorithms has brought many changes to the old-school organization of Wall Street. Over 70% of all trades on U.S. stockmarkets are performed by HFT algorithms, a number which can spike above 90% in periods of high volatility.
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, new forms of money.
Yet the front-foot approach that New York's financial regulators has taken makes things difficult for many New Yorkers looking to get into crypto.
Additionally, perhaps because of the importance of New York's legacy financial system, the state's Attorney General office has taken it upon themselves to prosecute any instances of potential fraud, whether or not the operations are located in New York state.
Initiatives such as the BitLicense - which we will take a look at in a minute - mean that exchanges and cryptocurrency service providers 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. Your opinion will likely depend on your overall appetite for regulation.
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.
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.
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.
Coinmama does work in New York, with some limitations.
New York is on Coinmama's list of U.S. states served by third parties. Also included on this list are:
Existing users will be able to do this through their Coinmama account, while new users will complete signup and verification on the third-party platform, rather than on Coinmama itself.
Additionally, some states are unable to purchase at all through Coinmama or its third-party services.
Restricted U.S. territories:
Residents of these states and territories are unable to use Coinmama at all.
Despite the BitLicense and a number of major exchanges shutting down their NY operations, there are still a number of top-tier exchanges open to New Yorkers.
Cash App's parent company Square (helmed by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey) obtained a BitLicense in 2018.
This means that New Yorkers can buy and sell Bitcoin through Cash App, which is one of the most beginner-friendly ways of doing it.
For more information, check out our full guide to buying Bitcoin with Cash App.
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, a creature so foul, so cruel that not even Kraken possesses the courage or strength to face its nasty, big, pointy teeth."
Kraken outlined its overall position regarding regulation of crypto firms and exchanges here.
The best way to find a Bitcoin ATM in New York is to use our handy map.
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.