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The cryptocurrency exchange you use will depend on what your goals are. Some people buy only bitcoin, while some buy many cryptos. Some trade, while some buy and hold.
We'll outline some of the best options for each type of buyer and trader.
If your only goal is to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum or another coin, the following exchanges have smooth and easy buying processes:
If you plan on trading in and out of different coins, the following exchanges support many cryptocurrencies:
Now, let's give a bit deeper into some of the exchanges mentioned above with our detailed overviews.
eToro is a trading platform based in the United States. It supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Zcash and many other coins.
Deposits can be made quickly via bank transfer or ACH. It also offers unique features like copy trading.
Your capital is at risk.
Coinbase is probably the fastest and easiest way to buy bitcoins in the USA.
If you need bitcoins fast, then buying with a debit card is a good option. Coinbase charges 3.99% fees for debit card purchases but you can get your coins instantly.
Another payment option for US customers is using a connected bank account. The fees are less for this method--1.49%--but your coins are only delivered after five days.
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.
Bitcoin wallets are just software or hardware, so the truth is that wallets can work in any country.
However, we've highlighted some Bitcoin wallets we think would be good for US users here.
The Ledger Nano X is the newest crypto hardware wallet, and is very easy to use. It connects to iOS, Android & desktop computers.
Coinbase is NOT a wallet. You can use it to buy bitcoins, but send them out of Coinbase after buying.
If none of the above exchanges fit your needs, you can try one of the exchanges below.
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.
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.
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.
Athena Investor Services offers a unique way to purchase Bitcoin. It's aimed at large volume buyers who are looking to buy between $10,000 and $500,000 worth of bitcoins. The fees are 4% per buy. The fees are high because Athena will work with you and walk you through the buying process with them and offers personalized help. You can only pay via bank wire at this time.
LibertyX is an American service which makes buying bitcoins with cash simple. First, use LibertyX's app to locate a store near you that sells LibertyX codes. Next, enter your LibertyX code to the app, along with your Bitcoin address and you'll receive your bitcoins very soon after.
If you connect a Facebook account to your LibertyX app, your first $1,000 of purchases are fee-free. Otherwise all purchases cost 1.5% + $3 in fees.
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%.
CoinBTM is a New York-based Bitcoin ATM provider with over 30 machines across NY and New Jersey. Check their website for the latest details on locations, fees, and hours.
itBit is a global Bitcoin exchange, licensed with the New York State Department of Financial Services. It also operates a global OTC trading desk, making it easy for customers to buy large amounts (100 BTC and up) of bitcoin. It supports all US states besides Texas.
Mycelium Local Trader helps you find local Bitcoin sellers. Once you locate a seller, you meet up in-person and conduct the trade. Mycelium charges absolutely no fees. While Mycelium Local Trader works great in highly-populated areas, users in low population areas will have trouble finding sellers.
Luno does not work in the USA. It only accepts customers from Singapore, Nigeria, Indonesia, Malaysia, Zambia and Uganda.
At this time, you can't buy bitcoins at Walgreens. The best way to buy bitcoins at a physical location as at a Bitcoin ATM.
At this time, you can't buy bitcoins at Walmart. The best way to buy bitcoins at a physical location as at a Bitcoin ATM. Some Walmarts may have a Coinstar machine, which does sell bitcoins. But Walmart itself does not sell bitcoins.
Bitcoin is a digital currency that has been around for almost a decade now. It was created in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, but the developer’s true identity has never been verified. It took some time for the world to embrace Bitcoin, but it eventually found its way in to the U.S. financial markets.
Here is a comprehensive insight into the history, legality, and mining of Bitcoin in the U.S.A.
Bitcoin has been in use in the USA since its development. It has not always been considered as a legal currency, but its decentralized nature made it difficult for the government and financial regulators to control its use.
There are three crucial events that define Bitcoin’s history in the U.S. The first event is the U.S. Treasury’s classification of Bitcoin, as a decentralized and convertible virtual currency. This classification came in 2013, five years after the unveiling of the cryptocurrency. It paved the way for the legalization and general acceptance of Bitcoin in the country.
The 2013 classification was followed by another classification in 2015, this time by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). This commission officially classified Bitcoin as a commodity towards the end of 2015 – this classification meant that Bitcoin would be liable to taxation by the Internal Revenue Service as it was categorized as property.
The third significant event in Bitcoin’s history in the U.S.A. came in 2016 when a federal judge ruled that the virtual currency is money just like any fiat currency. This came following the prosecution of Anthony Murgio, who was accused of running an unlicensed Bitcoin exchange platform. U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan ruled that Bitcoin qualifies as money citing a similar ruling earlier in 2014 by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff.
Over the years, Bitcoin has become more entrenched in the U.S., and its adoption is still ongoing.
Listen to a Bitcoin podcast to stay up-to-date with the latest news.
One of the main characteristics of Bitcoin is that is does not hold any intrinsic value as it is a digital currency. The uncertainty associated with it, coupled with the fact that it has been in existence for barely a decade, means that many companies and stores have been reluctant to embrace it. However, this has been changing over the years, as there are thousands of companies and stores that accept Bitcoin as a means of payment today.
This section will highlight four of the most significant companies that accept Bitcoin:
Overstock is a popular online ticket vendor that sells big-ticket items at discounted prices. It was the first online retailer to accept Bitcoin in 2014 following a partnership with Coinbase, a popular cryptocurrency exchange. It accepts Bitcoin, as a form of payment for virtually every item in its inventory.
Microsoft has also embraced Bitcoin. The company accepts Bitcoin in exchange for products and services such as apps, games, and movies. Bitcoin transactions are conducted on the company’s online store as well as on Windows and Xbox stores.
Virgin Galactic is a commercial space flight company under the Virgin Group. This company has been accepting Bitcoin since 2013 for services such as space travel.
Although most Bitcoin holders turn to crypto exchanges to get the digital currency, tech-savvy holders prefer to mine it. All of the Bitcoins that have been generated to date were mined using special software. Miners need powerful computers and other related gadgets to facilitate mining. They also need to be tech-savvy as the process involves coding and software development and management. For those who lack the resources or know-how, there are many startups that offer communal mining services at a fee.
Mining Bitcoin in the U.S.A. is legal and convenient, but it can also be expensive. This is because the mining process requires a lot of power. As such, although anyone can mine Bitcoin from anywhere in the country, there are certain states that have been classified as preferable thanks to their affordable energy rates. Miners and researchers have recommended five states for their affordable energy rates: Louisiana, Idaho, Washington, Tennessee, and Arkansas. On the other hand, the five most expensive states to mine Bitcoin in the U.S.A. are Hawaii, Alaska, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
Developers are optimistic that it will be easier and cheaper to mine Bitcoin in the U.S. with time. Currently, the U.S. is home to the biggest Bitcoin mining facility – the facility is under construction in Virginia at a cost of $65 million.