Quick—you want to invest in cryptocurrency, but where do you do it? It’s not like you can walk into the nearest bank, or pull up an investment brokerage website, and buy cryptos. Banks don’t offer it, and the number of investment brokers that do can be counted on one hand.
To buy cryptocurrency you need to use a cryptocurrency exchange. Those are dedicated platforms, much like investment brokers, only they specialize in cryptocurrency.
What are the best crypto exchanges for U.S. investors? We are here to help find the one that will work best for you!
It seems like a new crypto exchange is launching every few weeks. How do you know which one to invest with?
To maintain a semblance of objectivity, we’ve used the following nine criteria to answer that question:
In this guide we’ll also highlight any special features offered by each exchange that might make it more appealing based on specific investment preferences you may have.
Let’s dive into our list of the best crypto exchanges for U.S. investors.
Best for: The only regulated crypto exchange.
Why Gemini is a good crypto exchange for U.S. investors: Gemini is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services. This is unusual in the crypto exchange space, where regulations are typically nonexistent. But because of that regulation, Gemini is subject to capital reserve requirements, making compliance standards, and cyber security requirements.
And though your assets held on the exchange are not FDIC or SIPC insured, Gemini offers insurance coverage from a captive insurance company to protect your cryptocurrency from broker failure.
Gemini Active Pro offers one of the top crypto trading platforms in the industry, as well as a wallet to hold your digital assets. As a stablecoin, Gemini offers the Gemini dollar, and the company plans to roll out a rewards credit card sometime in 2021.
Using Gemini Earn, you can earn up between 1.26% and 7.4% APY on your crypto holdings, based on the specific ones you own.
Best for: Ability to spend your cryptocurrency.
Why Coinbase is a good crypto exchange for U.S. investors: Coinbase is a full-service crypto exchange, but its strongest point may be that it provides both a stablecoin and a Visa debit card, making it easy to transfer or spend your account balance.
Coinbase offers trading in nearly 70 cryptos, but also enables you to hold NFTs (non-fungible tokens) on their wallet (see NFT discussion in the Basic Features section below). With Coinbase Earn you can earn additional crypto just by completing brief courses on specific cryptos. You can also earn commissions by participating in crypto staking on the exchange.
They have a relatively high base fee, but if you’re a high-volume trader, trading fees are as low as 0.05%. You will also get the benefit of their high-volume trading version, Coinbase Pro.
Best for: Earning interest on your crypto holdings.
Why BlockFi is a good crypto exchange for U.S. investors: BlockFi not only allows you to trade cryptocurrencies, but you can also earn high interest on your crypto holdings. It isn’t the only crypto exchange that pays interest, but at up to 8.6% APY, it may pay the highest interest in the space.
BlockFi also offers the ability to borrow against your account at low rates. Currently, you can borrow at an interest 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. They also offer a Visa credit card, paying rewards of 1.5%.
It’s also worth noting that BlockFi is closely tied to Gemini, which makes it a regulated cryptocurrency exchange by extension. They also offer Gemini dollar coin as their stablecoin.
Best for: Low fees on high-volume trading.
Why Binance.US is a good crypto exchange for U.S. investors: Not only does Binance.US offer the lowest trading fees for high-volume traders, but it also offers a cash rewards Visa debit card and a stablecoin.
Binance.US charges maker and taker fees on trades, with a low of 0.012% on the maker side, and 0.024% on the taker side. These appear to be the lowest high-volume trading fees in the crypto exchange space. To get those fees, you would need to be trading at least 150,000 Bitcoin per 30-day trading period.
Like some of the other exchanges on this list, Binance.US offers its own Visa debit card. Not only is the card for you to use, but it pays cash back up to 8% on your purchases.
Binance.US offers their stablecoin, BUSD. It can be purchased using your Binance.US cash balance, your debit card, or through an ACH transfer from a connected bank account. You can even convert other cryptos into BUSD.
Best for: Cash-back Visa card.
Why Crypto.com is a good crypto exchange for U.S. investors: Crypto.com is a relative newcomer among crypto exchanges, beginning operations in 2016. But they’ve come up quickly since, offering more than 100 cryptos to over 10 million users. The company also boasts $360 million in insurance coverage for cryptocurrencies stored on the exchange.
Crypto.com offers their cash-back Visa card. It’s a prepaid debit card, but it offers cash rewards of up to 8%. The amount of cash back you’ll receive will depend on the card you select, and that 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).
Best for: Investing in other assets, in addition to cryptocurrency.
Why Robinhood is a good crypto exchange for U.S. investors: Robinhood is the only service on this list that’s not specifically a crypto exchange. It’s an investment app where you can invest in stocks, exchange traded funds (ETFs), and options, commission-free. Since you can also invest in cryptocurrency, Robinhood gives you an opportunity to hold your cryptos on the same platform with other investments.
Robinhood only offers a limited number of cryptos, seven in all. That includes the biggest in the field, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Dogecoin, and Litecoin. Like other investments, Robinhood lets you trade cryptos commission free, relying exclusively on spreads.
They also offer an interest-bearing cash account, currently paying 0.30% APY.
Best for: Complete financial services, including cryptocurrency trading.
Why SoFi Invest is a good crypto exchange for U.S. investors:. SoFi Invest provides a simple trading platform and mobile app where you can trade 20 cryptocurrencies, and at a low flat fee.
But the real benefit of SoFi Invest is in the wide range of financial services it provides. They’re best known for student loan refinances, but they also provide home loans, personal loans, and credit cards. Meanwhile, you can invest in individual stocks, options, and ETFs, as well as take advantage of their SoFi Automated Investing robo-advisor—all while you also invest in cryptocurrency.
Crypto trades require a minimum of $10, to a maximum of $50,000 per individual, per day. SoFi offers their SoFi Money debit card, but it cannot be used to access your crypto holdings. SoFi Invest features 24/7 trading from your mobile app.
Best for: Investing in other assets, in addition to cryptocurrency.
Why Webull is a good crypto exchange for U.S. investors:. Webull is an investment trading app that offers commission-free trades on stocks, options, and ETFs. But you can also trade cryptos. It works similar to Robinhood, but we assigned a lower rank because it offers fewer cryptos and has a large trading spread.
Webull offers trading in eight cryptos and promises more to come. The current lineup includes Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Zcash, Stella Lumens, and Ethereum Classic. Webull uses a 100-basis point spread for both purchases and sales of cryptos. The spread is built into the price of the crypto you buy or sell. Trades require a minimum of $1, to a maximum of $200,000 in pending orders on the buy side.
Next to the decision to invest in cryptocurrency, the next most important decision will be the crypto exchange you use to make it happen. Any of the seven providers listed above will enable you to buy and sell cryptocurrency.
Decide how you want to invest, and what your individual preferences are, and you’ll know which crypto exchange will be the one for you.