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Written by Kevin Mercadante on August 1, 2021
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Best Crypto Exchanges For Foreigners In 2021

Did you know it’s generally not possible to buy, sell, or hold cryptocurrency through a bank or a broker. It’s a specialized type of investing, and it requires the use of a crypto exchange. These platforms function much like brokers, even to the extent of paying interest on your investments and offering credit or debit cards.

Though some are based outside the U.S., most operate primarily from the U.S. However, each of the crypto exchanges included in our list are suitable for foreigners (non-U.S. residents).

Much like brokers, crypto exchanges offer a wide range of services and benefits. You can choose the crypto exchange that will work best for you by matching those services and benefits with your own investment style and preferences.

What to Look for in the Best Crypto Exchanges for Foreigners

So it doesn’t seem as if our list of the best crypto exchanges for foreigners is arbitrary, we’ve used the following criteria to rate the crypto exchanges we’ve included:

  • Minimum Initial Investment: The lower the minimum requirement is, the more investors can participate, especially beginners.
  • Number of cryptocurrencies offered: So much attention in the crypto world has been focused on Bitcoin in recent years. But there are other cryptos worthy of consideration, and more coming online all the time. We’ve favored exchanges offering multiple cryptos.
  • Other investments offered: Though most exchanges focus specifically on cryptocurrencies, those that offer other investment types are included on this list.
  • Stablecoin offered: Though they don’t draw the same attention as popular cryptos, these coins are tied to the value of specific currency (like the U.S. dollar) and can more readily be used like cash.
  • Debit card access: If an exchange offers a debit card, it will be easier to spend the cryptocurrency held in your account.
  • Digital wallet provided: Since it’s a digital asset, buying cryptocurrency requires a digital storage capability. That’s accomplished with a digital wallet. You can buy your own digital wallet, but some exchanges provide them.
  • Fees: Cryptocurrency fee structures contain numerous moving parts. For example, apart from specific fees charged by each exchange, the use of “spreads” is common practice. For example, a crypto may be priced at X, but you’ll pay X+ to buy it. When selling, it may be priced at X, but you’ll receive X-.
  • Mobile access: Just like banking or investing on the go, you can do the same with crypto investing.
  • Customer support: Unfortunately, this is very limited with crypto exchanges but it’s an important feature, nonetheless.

With that in mind, below is our list of the best crypto exchanges for foreigners.

1. Gemini

gemini logo

Best for: The only regulated crypto exchange.

Why Gemini is a good crypto exchange for foreigners: When it comes to cryptocurrency exchanges—and cryptocurrency in general—regulation is scarce. But that’s where Gemini is different. It’s regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services. Because Gemini is subject to that oversight, they must maintain minimum capital reserve requirements, state compliance standards, and cyber security requirements.

In addition, Gemini does offer insurance coverage from a captive insurance company. Though it’s not the same thing as FDIC in the U.S., it does provide protection for the digital assets you hold on the exchange.

Gemini offers its own stablecoin, known as the Gemini dollar. It’s one of the most popular stablecoins in the crypto world, commonly offered by other exchanges. And though the exchange doesn’t offer a debit card to access your crypto account balance, they do plan to offer a rewards credit card later this year.

Meanwhile, you can take advantage of Gemini Earn, where you can earn between 1.26% and 7.4% APY on your accumulated crypto balance. The specific amount you will earn will depend on the cryptos held in your account, as the return on each is different.

In addition to being available in all 50 states in the U.S., Gemini is also available in Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Australia, New Zealand, Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Vietnam, and most countries (31) in Europe.

Apart from the U.S. dollar, eligible currencies include the Canadian dollar, Australian dollar, Hong Kong dollar, Singapore dollar, British pound, and euro. For European users, the only currencies that can be used are the British pound and the euro.

Gemini Basic Features:

  • Minimum Initial Investment: $0.
  • Number of cryptocurrencies offered: 40+.
  • Other investments offered: No.
  • Stablecoin offered: Yes, the Gemini dollar.
  • Debit card access: Crypto credit card to be issued in 2021.
  • Digital wallet provided: Yes.
  • Fees: $0.99 or 0.03% to 3.99%.
  • Mobile access: Yes.
  • Customer support: Webmail only.

2. Coinbase

Trade cryptocurrency with Coinbase

Best for: Ability to spend your cryptocurrency.

Why Coinbase is a good crypto exchange for foreigners: In addition to being a full-service crypto exchange, Coinbase may provide the easiest way for investors to spend or transfer their crypto balances. That’s because it offers both a stablecoin and a Visa debit card. Coinbase offers their services in more than 100 countries around the world.

It also provides the ability to invest in another type of digital asset, non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. These are digital assets, typically being digital art. NFTs have been drawing investor interest because of their uniqueness and rising values. If you’re looking to diversify your digital holdings beyond cryptos, Coinbase provides a way.

Coinbase provides a market for almost 70 cryptocurrencies. And through Coinbase Earn you can earn additional cryptos by completing courses related to specific cryptos. In addition, you can earn commissions by participating in crypto staking on the exchange.

Coinbase has a relatively high base fee, but if you’re a high-volume trader, trading fees are as low as 0.05%.

Coinbase Basic Features:

  • Minimum Initial Investment: $2.
  • Number of cryptocurrencies offered: 69.
  • Other investments offered: Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.
  • Stablecoin offered: Yes.
  • Debit card access: Visa debit card.
  • Digital wallet provided: Yes.
  • Fees: $0.99 or 0.05% to 4.00%.
  • Mobile access: Yes.
  • Customer support: Webmail only.

3. BlockFi

Best for: Earning interest on your crypto holdings.

Why BlockFi is a good crypto exchange for foreigners: BlockFi is not the only crypto exchange paying interest on your crypto balance, but they may be the exchange that pays the highest rate. Depending on which crypto you hold, you can earn as much as 8.6% APY.

And just as you can earn interest on your balance, you can also borrow against it. BlockFi enables you to borrow at a rate as low as 4.5% APR. You can borrow up to 50% of the value of your account, with a minimum loan amount of $5,000. And if that’s not enough, they also offer a Visa credit card that pays rewards of 1.5% of eligible purchases.

BlockFi is closely tied to Gemini, which is a regulated cryptocurrency exchange. That offers investors on the exchange at least some of the benefits of that regulation. Meanwhile, it also means they can offer the Gemini dollar as their stablecoin.

BlockFi doesn’t provide a breakdown of countries where it operates. However, they do indicate they offer their services to businesses and individuals worldwide.

BlockFi Basic Features:

  • Minimum Initial Investment: $0.
  • Number of cryptocurrencies offered: Less than 10.
  • Other investments offered: None, but high interest on your cryptocurrency balance.
  • Stablecoin offered: Yes, the Gemini dollar coin.
  • Debit card access: Rewards credit card.
  • Digital wallet provided: Yes.
  • Fees: No trading fees, which means spreads. They do charge withdrawal fees, with percentages based on the specific crypto.
  • Mobile access: Yes.
  • Customer support: Phone and email.

4. Binance (Non-U.S.)

binance-logo

Best for: Low fees on high-volume trading.

Why Binance is a good crypto exchange for foreigners: Binance offers what may be the lowest trading fees, at least on high-volume trading. Based in the Cayman Islands, Binance makes their services available globally, with the exception of the U.S. (U.S. residents, however, can take advantage of Binance.US, which was established specifically for U.S. citizens).

Binance charges maker and taker fees on trades, with a low of 0.012% on the maker side, and 0.024% on the taker side. To get fees that low, you would need to be trading at least 150,000 Bitcoin per 30-day trading period.

The low fees aren’t all that Binance offers. They offer a Visa debit card that pays cash back of up to 8% on your purchases. Like Gemini, they also offer their own stablecoin—two, actually—BUSD, tied to the U.S. dollar, and BGBP, which is tied to the British pound. Either can be purchased using your cash balance, your Binance debit card or through ACH transfers from a connected bank account. Other cryptos can also be converted to stablecoins right on the exchange.

Binance Basic Features:

  • Minimum Initial Investment: $10.
  • Number of cryptocurrencies offered: 30+.
  • Other investments offered: NFTs.
  • Stablecoin offered: Yes.
  • Debit card access: Yes.
  • Digital wallet provided: Yes, through TrustWallet.
  • Fees: 0.012% to 5.0%.
  • Mobile access: Yes.
  • Customer support: Email only.

5. Crypto.com

crypto.com logo

Best for: Cash-back Visa card.

Why Crypto.com is a good crypto exchange for foreigners: Despite being perhaps the youngest crypto exchange on this list, Crypto.com offers more than 100 cryptos to over 10 million users in 90 countries around the world. The company also provides $360 million in insurance coverage for cryptocurrencies stored on the exchange.

Their cash-back Visa card is a prepaid debit card that offers cash rewards as high as 8%. Exactly how much you earn will depend on your crypto balance. For example, with $0, you’ll receive 1% rewards. With $400, you’ll receive 2%, and so on. The 8% rewards level requires a balance of $400,000. Each card level also offers between $200 and $1,000 in free ATM withdrawals each month.

You can also earn high interest with Crypto.com. That includes up to 8.5% on crypto, and as much as 14% for stablecoins. For example, you can earn 8.5% on Bitcoin, 7.5% on Ethereum, and 14% on USDC (from Coinbase).

Crypto.com Basic Features:

  • Minimum Initial Investment: Varies by cryptocurrency.
  • Number of cryptocurrencies offered: 100+.
  • Other investments offered: NFTs.
  • Stablecoin offered: Yes.
  • Debit card access: Yes (prepaid Visa card).
  • Digital wallet provided: Yes.
  • Fees: Maker fees, 0.04% to 0.10%; taker fees, 0.10% to 0.16%.
  • Mobile access: Yes.
  • Customer support: Email only.

6. Kraken

kraken logo

Best for:24/7 support.

Why Kraken is a good crypto exchange for foreigners: Despite being based in the U.S., Kraken offers crypto services for investors in over 170 countries around the world. They offer trading in more than 50 cryptocurrencies, including the most popular ones.

Kraken offers staking, which will give you an opportunity to earn rewards on the cryptos you hold in your account. Depending on the crypto you stake with, you can earn yearly rewards of as much as 7%. The platform also accommodates margin trading on both long and short positions. They provide leverage of up to 5X, which means you’ll be able to purchase $5,000 in crypto with just $1,000 in equity.

They also offer trading in futures. That also involves margin, but the margin allowed on futures can be as high as 50X. That means you can actually purchase $50,000 in crypto futures with as little as $1,000.

However, you should be aware that Kraken lacks a few of the features offered by other crypto exchanges on this list. For example, they don’t provide a digital wallet for you to store your cryptos. Nor do they offer a debit card linked to your account. They don’t issue their own stablecoin, but you can trade those issued by other exchanges on the platform.

You’ll be able to fund your account using flat currency (U.S., Canadian or Australian dollars, Euros, Pounds, Yen, or Swiss Francs) or digital assets/cryptocurrencies.

Kraken Basic Features:

  • Minimum Initial Investment: Varies by cryptocurrency—for Bitcoin, minimum is 0.0001 for deposits and trades, and 0.0005 for withdrawals.
  • Number of cryptocurrencies offered: 50+.
  • Other investments offered: No.
  • Stablecoin offered: Yes, from third parties.
  • Debit card access: No.
  • Digital wallet provided: No, you’ll need to have your own.
  • Fees: Maker fees, 0.00% to 0.16%; taker fees, 0.10% to 0.26%.
  • Mobile access: Yes.
  • Customer support: 24/7 by live chat only.

Bottom Line

Though many crypto exchanges are U.S.-based, there are still plenty of options for foreign investors to participate in crypto investing on many of the same exchanges. That’s important, because you won’t be able to buy or sell cryptocurrency through a bank or broker. You’ll need to do it with one of the crypto exchanges, or one of the very few investment brokers that offer cryptos.

Choose the crypto exchange that offers the best combination of features and services for your own investment style and preferences.

best crypto platform featured image
Article written by Kevin Mercadante
Kevin Mercadante is a freelance professional web content writer for hire, and the owner of his own personal finance blog, OutOfYourRut.com. He has extensive backgrounds in both accounting and the mortgage industry. In fact, it was his career crash-and-burn from the mortgage business in 2008 that led him into blogging and freelance professional web content writing. Kevin and his family live in New Hampshire, after long stints in New Jersey and Georgia.

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