We’ve analyzed a total of 10 crypto sites and exchanges, so you can choose exactly which one will best fit your own preferences and investment style. Though some focus exclusively on Bitcoin, others can accommodate investing in hundreds of other cryptos.
But what may make up your mind are the other services offered by each platform, particularly if your interest in cryptos is mostly casual.
That being the case, some of the platforms listed are exclusively dedicated to investing in cryptos. But others offer other investments, like stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs), and others provide limited banking services.
You can choose whichever platform you feel will work best for you.
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What are the Best Crypto Sites and Exchanges?
The crypto investment market is still very much a work-in-progress. But below, we’ve identified 10 sites and exchanges where cryptos can be purchased, held and sold.
The list is in no specific order, since exactly which may be the best for you will depend on your own preferences.
Coinbase & Coinbase Pro
Coinbase is one of the best-known crypto trading platforms. They offer their services in more than 100 countries and claim more than 43 million verified users.
As a more advanced crypto platform, they offer secure storage of most digital assets. Those assets are stored off-line and are covered by an insurance policy. The platform even provides real-time prices of thousands of cryptos.
You can link your bank account to your Coinbase account, and transfer funds for trading. You can also earn up to $40 worth of cryptocurrency when you open a new account.
Coinbase also offers their Coinbase Pro, which is available for active crypto traders. It offers an advanced trading platform, not unlike that found on stock trading platforms with major brokers. The platform is available for anyone who has a regular Coinbase account.
Minimum Investment: $2
Cryptos offered: Over 4,000, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, XRP, and Stellar
Fees: Between $0.99 and $2.99 per trade, plus a .50% spread on both purchases and sales, but may be higher or lower due to market fluctuations.
eToro is one of the more advanced crypto investing platforms. That’s because it was one of the first platforms to offer trading in cryptos. It now has over 13 million users in more than 140 countries around the world. One of its advantages are its social component. Participants can connect with one another and swap information and investment strategies.
The company has been in business since 2007, which predates cryptos. It started out as a diversified trading platform outside the US, but now accommodates trading in cryptos in the US only.
eToro offers a digital currency wallet where you can securely store your cryptos. They also offer a virtual portfolio, where you can practice investment strategies with up to $100,000 in virtual currency.
And if you’re not comfortable trading cryptos on your own, they offer four different portfolios, similar to robo-advisos, but for cryptos. eToro offers crypto trading and 41 US states.
Minimum Investment: $50
Cryptos offered: 14 in total, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Dash, and less well-known cryptos.
Fees: No fees, but spreads ranging 0.75% (Bitcoin) to 5.0% on less popular cryptos. The spread is charged only on purchase, not sale.
Robinhood offers trading in cryptocurrencies – alongside stocks. In fact, it’s quickly growing to be one of the most popular trading platforms for younger investors, who appreciate the ability to trade on-the-go through the Robinhood Mobile App. And as an added attraction, Robinhood also offers a free stock, valued at between $3 and $15 if you open a new account.
Robinhood requires no minimum initial investment, and charges no fees on trading of stocks, options, and ETFs. They even offer a cash management account, currently paying 0.30% APY on your uninvested cash.
However, it functions as a limited trading platform, offering only those three securities – in addition to cryptos – rather than serving as a full-service broker. For example, it doesn’t offer trading in mutual funds, nor does it provide an IRA account.
Robinhood offers trading in a limited number of cryptos, and you can do so commission-free and on a 24/7 basis. You can transfer existing crypto assets or wallets into your account, you can easily transfer funds into your account from a linked bank account.
Minimum Investment: None
Cryptos offered: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and “other cyptocurrencies” (no details provided on which those are)
Webull not only gives you the ability to invest in cryptos, but you can also trade stocks, options, and ETFs on the same app. They offer both an individual brokerage account and an IRA.
There are no fees for trading in securities or in cryptos. However, like a lot of firms, Webull does collect 100 basis points on crypto transactions, whether buying or selling.
What’s more, you don’t need any money to open an account – though you will need funds on deposit to trade. Webull also offers a margin account, with a minimum initial investment of $2,000.
Minimum Investment: $1
Cryptos offered: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin
Fees: Webull has no fee for trading cryptos, but does impose a 100 basis points spread for both purchases and sales
Binance functions as a mobile app, but also has a desktop version. They offer 24/7 support, and like many crypto trading platforms, they also have a social factor, with the Binance community. And what makes this platform stand out is that they offer resources to help you learn the crypto trading process.
You can fund your purchases using bank deposits, as well as credit and debit cards. They do offer an advanced trading platform, and you can even take advantage of margin trading and various derivatives.
Minimum Investment: $10
Cryptos offered: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash.
Fees: No trading fees, but Binance does indicate it uses spreads on both purchases and sales, however the amount of the spreads is not disclosed.
Kraken offers their services internationally because they allow you to buy and sell Bitcoin using US dollars, Euros, Canadian dollars, British pounds, Japanese yen, Swiss francs, and Australian dollars.
A more comprehensive crypto platform than most, they provide expert market insights, as well as one-on-one service and full asset support. Market coverage is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
With a minimum order size of $100,000, Kraken is designed for higher net worth investors. They also offer margin trading on about 20 cryptos, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Litecoin and Ethereum Classic.
Minimum Investment: $100,000
Cryptos offered: Dozens, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Litecoin and Ethereum Classic.
Fees: Instant Pay: no fee with account balance, or 3.75% with a credit or debit card; Kraken Pro: 0% to 0.26% per transaction.
Cash App is a peer-to-peer money transfer system, similar to PayPal and Venmo. It works much like a bank account, and you can even have your own Visa debit card attached to the account. You can use the account to accept direct deposits of your paycheck, tax returns, and other recurring payments.
But Cash App goes beyond money transfers, enabling you to invest in both stocks and Bitcoin. In fact, they claim to be the fastest way to convert dollars into Bitcoin. However, you must have a balance in your account to purchase Bitcoin.
Minimum Investment: $1
Cryptos offered: Bitcoin only.
Fees: Website reports only that “Cash App may charge a fee when you buy or sell Bitcoin”.
Bisq describes itself as a decentralized crypto exchange, where you can buy and sell Bitcoin privately and securely using their peer-to-peer network and open source desktop software. You don’t even need to register to trade on the platform, and no identity verification is required.
Deposits are held in multisig wallets and your data is stored locally on disk, rather than on a central server. They claim you can trade in under 10 minutes.
Minimum Investment: Between .25 and 1 Bitcoin (minimums and trades are not priced in currencies).
Cryptos offered: Bitcoin
Fees: 0.10% maker fee, 0.70% taker fee.
Swan Bitcoin connects with your regular bank account, enabling you to make periodic deposits into the account, whether those are from paychecks or bank transfers. They have options that enable you to regularly convert your cash deposited into Bitcoin.
The use of regular recurring contributions and purchases is designed to create a dollar cost averaging effect for accumulating Bitcoin. That means the platform is primarily for the long-term, buy-and-hold crypto investor. It’s available to investors in all 50 states. Swan also allows you the option to set up a self-directed IRA to hold Bitcoin. It can be either a traditional or Roth IRA.
Minimum Investment: None
Cryptos offered: Bitcoin only.
Fees: The standard fee is 1.49%, but falls to 0.99% if you are enrolled in a prepaid plan of at least $50 per week, or purchase at least $5,000 in Bitcoin per year. They also have a pay-as-you-go fee structure if you prefer to not participate in regular purchases. That they can be as high as 2.29%.
River Financial is another crypto trading platform limited to Bitcoin only. You can either make purchases on a spot basis, or schedule recurring orders to buy the crypto automatically, potentially gaining a 20% discount in fees. They also offer performance tracking, so you’ll be able to follow your investment in real time.
Minimum Investment: $100
Cryptos offered: Bitcoin only.
Fees: $0.99 to $2.99 flat fees for transactions of between $0.01 and $200; converts to a percentage basis on higher value transactions, ranging from 1.5% to 1.3% on a sliding scale, based on the amount of the transaction.
Should You Invest in Cryptos?
Now that you know where you can invest in cryptocurrencies, the main question is are you ready to take the plunge?
There’s no easy answers here. Certainly, any investor needs to be impressed by the explosive growth in crypto prices, particularly Bitcoin. It rocketed from a few dollars to nearly $20,000 in 2017, before falling back to less than $8,000 at the beginning of 2020. But over the course of the year and into 2021, the price exploded again, topping $40,000.
The price activity indicates a combination of tremendous profit potential, as well as major risks if the investment turns against you.
You also need to consider the basic nature of cryptocurrencies. They were initially designed to function as an alternative medium of exchange, but have had only very limited success in that capacity. Instead, their primary function now seems to be in their speculative value.
Cryptos are true speculations because they aren’t issued or backed by any government, financial institution, or corporation. There is no production or physical assets behind the currencies, nor do they pay interest or dividends.
Given that they are true speculations, if you’re interested in participating, you should limit your exposure to no more than 2% or 3% of your total holdings. With such a small position, you’ll either get the benefit of a big run-up in price, or the crypto boom will end, and you won’t be out too much money.
Cryptos finally seem to be making their way into the mainstream investment universe. Not only do the major financial media regularly provide streaming prices, particularly of Bitcoin, but institutional investor participation is beginning to surface.
Step carefully into this speculative investment arena. Cryptos have only been around for a little more than a decade, which means they haven’t exactly stood the test of time. But if you’re looking to invest in a speculation, and fully appreciate the risks, any one of the above platforms or exchanges will be able to accommodate your purchases.